Friday, March 05, 2010

Channel 4 News: Oh Dear, Oh Dear

I'm sorry, but Cathy Newman's so-called Exclusive on Channel 4 News tonight is pretty lame. Cathy has had a number of really good scoops lately, but this is not one of them. Earlier, she tweeted...

@cathynewman: C4News Exclusive: leaked email warns party's throwing away election victory with "shambolic" campaign

Er, leaked email? It was from a lobbyist, who sends his emails every day to a huge list of people. It's not a secret list. He sends them to clients and politios. Even I get them. Peter Bingle of Bell Pottinger Public Affairs (someone I know and like) shared his view that the Tory campaign is a shambles.

"The Tory campaign is shambolic and unless somebody of quality and experience takes control of it now there is a real danger of the Tories throwing away what should be an inevitable election victory. Should this happen, David Cameron will never be forgiven by his party and his party's supporters in the country."

Now, what part of that is news? Tim Montgomerie and I have both suggested that there needs to be an overall campaign manager. And if the latter happened, well, what Peter Bingle says is a statement of the bleedin' obvious.

Cathy has followed up her first tweet with this...

@cathynewman Bingle's email matters b/c it's what MPs, peers and ppcs are saying privately. Have i touched a nerve with tory tweeters?

Not really. A pretty poor story really. Is it a sign of the media latching on to every opportunity that presents itself to have a go at Cameron? Maybe, maybe not. But one thing is for sure, it is a reminder to all Tories that careless talk costs votes. Bingle is paid to give his views to his clients. But has anyone outside the public affairs industry ever heard of him? I'm not sure Cathy Newman had until today. And yet Channel 4 News saw fit to waste ten minutes of its 25 minute programme on an email which was not, as it was billed, leaked.

I;m not sure that aspects of this story would pass Cathy's 'Fact Check' feature. And they say bloggers hype things up!


planetpmc said...

Infamy! Infamy! They've all got it in for me

Jimmy said...

Quite right. Shambolic tory campaign hardly counts as a scoop.

simon.barnes said...

Perhaps on Monday they can cover his opinions on guinea pigs. Recently he has tweeted "What would Tufty the fun loving guinea pig do if he were PM?" and "Very sad that Tufty the fun loving guinea pig didn't live long enough to experience an election campaign ..."

Irene said...

Cheap and shoddy journo.

I thought I had seen everything last night watching Snow trying to drag something out of the electoral commission spokeswoman regarding Ashcroft.

But tonight was unbelievable

Anonymous said...


Wellll isnt hyping it up exactly what your doing now with this post? It's obviously a good story because its generated alot of media attention; even the criticism from the Conservative quarters. Why get so jittery....?

The fact is this; if the Conservatives werent falling in the polls, if they werent looking a bit jittery then you and others wouldnt be reacting like this.

Final thing: the twitter antics of your head of press; @henrymacory are truly disgraceful and pathetic. What is the point of going through this mans Tweets and retweeting them in a snide way? Partisan affiliation aside most people will have seen that and realised how pathetic it actually is.

Twig said...

The corridors of C4 news may well have been strewn with empty champagne bottles in '97 too, but they were rather more tactful than Jane Garvey.

I watch ITV news instead - it's far more balanced.

Plato said...

A total crock of a story and have to say that Henry Mac's digging into his tweets have had me in stitches

This one is great

henrymacrory More #BingleWisdom @parsifal2 Am convinced the election will be on 25th March 2010. I am the Nostradamus of the public affairs world

GM said...

They didn't need to wait for his email. A quick look at his tweets would have revealed his feelings over the last month or more. Not much of an exclusive, but it is Friday I suppose.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure if anyone else has mentioned it but I watched Question Time for the first time in ages. It was an absolute shambles - is it always like this?
No one came out with any credit - the panel, the chairman (especially the chairman) the questioners the audience (usual BBC audience). Were people auditioning for Sunday night at the London Palladium?

A couple of things stood out - Will Self - who otherwise was an unremitting bore pointed out that whoever won the election there would be 16-24% cuts in departmental budgets.

On a similar topic - but which also showed Labour think the electorate have not cottoned on to this - Lord Adonis nearly ruptured himself urging Boris to list the tory 'cuts'.

Its quite clear that labour think the electorate can be (may be already have been) duped into thinking that the tories will make horrible cuts but good old softy Labour will only make nice cuddly efficiency savings. Ah bless.

The third point is that no matter the usual BBC audience, Vorderman got a big cheer (as did whoever else said it) that all politicians are the same and all are (blah blah blah) beyond the pale.

sarah said...

This email story got more air time than Brown's breath taking display of dishonesty and arrogance at the Chilcot "inquiry".

When was the last a Labour policy was scrutinised by any media outlet? Go on, name one.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

Yeah. I guess. As if you and your like haven't applied the term "leak" generously in the past. It's a journalistic cliché for "I know something you don't know! Nah, nah, de nah-nah!"

But Bindle is right on a number of things:

-- the poster campaign was a crashing disaster;
-- Cameron's speech at the Brighton shindig was barely competent; the stage-set was appalling (those croc boots!);
-- Lansley leading on the NHS (an enthralled public says "Who?"); Gove tying himself in knots ("comprehensive grammar schools", "the Swedish model");
-- the Ashcroft business won't go away until it has been fully explained: this is a stirr'd turd and it stinks -- and the stunned silence among the Tory blog-sites says it all;
-- the punchline on Mugabe was a killer.

Every campaign has its wobble. My first motorcycle, which saw me around the lanes and by-ways of North Norfolk, had had a couple of close encounters of the hedge kind. At 40 mph the front wheel became positively IWW. But it was never as bad as this.

Anonymous said...

yes Twig - "I watch ITV news instead - it's far more balanced." --- I understand Mandelson nearly had a thrombosis when ITV asked if he knew if Lord Paul paid UK tax on all his overseas earnings.

He spluttered and said no before a jump cut to him carrying on. The neat point being that Mandelson is in no different a position than the tory leadership about the tax position of their donors. And why should they be?

And the ITV clip ended with the famous quote - 'people in glass houses should not throw stones.

I think any money laid on a bet the BBC would never have asked those questions is pretty safe.

golden_balls said...

if this had been a critical email about the Labour campaign this would have been tweeted and blogged to death by you and your friends

You've had four years where the Tories have been treated with kid gloves by the media. At long last the attention is moving onto your party and you you just don't like it.

The arrogance of the conservatives over the ASHcroft story just by ignoring the questions doesn't make them go away.

expect many more stories like this iain you can't just sleepwalk to victory.

Stepney said...

I wouldn't worry too much Iain,

Hardly anybody outside Islington and Hampstead watches it anyway.

It's ideal risotto watching fare.

Salmondnet said...

Channel Four is public sector broadcasting, albeit financed by advertising. It has the same left bias as the BBC and will sieze on anything which hurts the Tories (which is not to say that it will seize on nothing - there has to be something for it to latch on to).

mark said...

Anyone who knows Peter Bingle also knows his tweets are written with a great deal of humour and can be very self deprecating.
Tweets like “I am the Nostradamus of the public affairs world” and “I am a combination of Nostradamus and Doris Stokes.” are written tongue firmly in cheek and with the acknowledgement that his guesses on these matters can often be wrong.
Henry Macrory retweeting these as an attempt to discredit Peter is a rather sad affair.
Perhaps Peters description of the Tory campaign being an utter shambles has hit a nerve. Henry would do better focussing on why the Tories have thrown away a 25 point lead than taking pot shots at the messenger!

strapworld said...

Well said Peter Bingle, a man who should be in Cameron's team.

I am pleased that someone is actually saying what so many of us have been saying.

I am of the opinion that there is a major problem within the Tory high command and Cameron had better get the stilleto out now!

He also needs help in what will turn on the mass of people needed to sweep the tories to power.

Peter Bingle is the man to help him on that!

Horshamite said...

Put Ken Clarke in charge and for God's sake put Osborne in a cupboard and don't let him out until its all over.

DeeDee99 said...

Channel 4 News is behaving just like BBC news - obviously they both fear a Tory Government.

I've given up watching the BBC 6pm and/or 10pm Labour Party Propaganda Broadcast - looks like I'll be ditching Channel 4 as well, in favour of Sky and Jeff Randall.

gordon-bennett said...

channel4 news is so good that its ad breaks contain almost no paid ads and they have had to cut the daily noon programme.

Not only are they irredeemably leftist, they are also unsuccessful.

I think the two are linked.

Anonymous said...

I thought this email story rather amusing, talk about mountains out of mole hills!!! I did not think Channel 4 were being balanced and I think the Interviewer got a bit personal and showed his outright hostility. Unprofessional IMO. He certainly tried to shoot that Fox but missed! lol.

Labour and their media cyphers are really in trouble when all they can do is talk about the 'campaign'. I can tell you now not a single vote will change because of whose big fat bottom is in a seat at CCHQ or Labour HQ. Indeed a lot of the media air war is ignored by floating voters.

The media are giving the Tories alot of stick at the moment but this happens, this election is potential regieme change. It is good to see the leadership carrying on with the strategy they have selected, that is called leadership. There is a good reason why the manefesto release will be the time the detailed policies in some areas are published, they are being held back for the time once Parliament has been dissolved and the election is called IMO. We have to remember Labour are having a budget first (That will be interesting)so no point giving hosteges to fortune away. I am puzzled by this 'no policies nonsense'. It has been the tories putting policies forward whilst Labour dont have any in this last parliament, indeed Labour have assimilated those policies at times but screwed up the implementation. Some folk seem to be taken in by the Labour spin from internet trolls and the medias glib assertions about position and policies. Water off a ducks back!

Labour are seeking re-election off their record in government, the economic failure Labour have unleashed, the huge debt Labour have dumped on the shoulders of the young and the mounting lawlessness in society and the '1984 book' way figures from the economy to crime figures and Immigrant numbers are falsified and published. The Tories media campaign and hypothetic scenerios if X or Y happens are not of interest to voters or rerasons why votes will change.

strapworld said...

DeeDee99. Apart from the excellent Jeff Randall, I do not think you will like SkyNews. They are as bad as the BBC.

They have one political correspondent, Jon Craig, a bumbling, hysterical, individual who is incapable of saying anything about the tories, unless it is a slur.

He makes Andrew Marr look positively statesmanlike. His arms wave about, I thought he must be directing traffic the first time I saw him! But he is so biased.

Then their top political correspondent, and the one who will be chairing the Sky debate, is Adam Boulton. Who had all the Labour cabinet attend his wedding. He tries to be balanced, as long as he can finish on a good note for Brown and Co!

Sorry, Sky is biased as well!

Anonymous said...

Channel 4 is the same as the BBC: A bastion of Socialism that needs overthrowing!

BrianSJ said...

Certainly the campaign (if there is one) is a shambles.

Me said...

I think it's really interesting what we're witnessing in the media at the moment.
Despite the fact that we have a government that has ruined the economy, given up controlling our borders and hence seen our cities' social order disintegrate, handed scores of law-making powers over to unelected officials in Europe, infringed civil liberties in all sorts of different ways and been almost permanently mired in sleaze and spin, it's the OPPOSITION that the media are attacking.
With nearly three million unemployed, look around and try and find the modern-day equivalents of the Thatcher-bashing TV show Boys From The Blackstuff. Where are the pop stars mercillesly knocking the government, as the Jam, the Smiths and lots of others did? Where are the alternative comedians rubbishing the government for its failings?
What we instead see: newspapers and news broadcasts and others taking any chance they can to knock the Tories. (The Guardian, Independent and Mirror are the three newspapers doing most cheerleading for a political party on their front pages, and it's the Labour party they're cheering for.) Has there ever been such a clear indication as to how the media is bent leftwards? And how they influence people in their casual thinking! Ask most younger people today what they think and it's right = bad, left = good. Thatcher is derided and mocked by those who don't even know anything about her.
It doesn't make things better that we have the useful idiots of the right - Heffer, Hitchens and Fraser Nelson - constantly belittling the Tories.
The Tories do not deserve this opprobrium, they never did. It is socialism and the socialists with their pie in the sky promises and 'heart over head' policies that deserve the abuse, because they so consistently fail those who have elected them.

jojoko said...

I turned on Ch.4 news to see what they had to say about Brown's testimony at the Chilcot hearing. They opened with it, gave an edited version of what transpired with no analysis or interviews. It lasted 90-120 seconds. Then straight into Ashcroft. What with the Climate Change wailing and gnashing of teeth and now this, I think Ch.4 news has completely given up on any form of debate and has become the Guardianista form of Fox.

miko said...

Jon Snow and Channel 4 has lost me as a viewer - grotty man and grotty journalism.

Malcolm Redfellow said...

So, what have we learned from this thread?

1. Most commenters have a definite view on Ashcroft. Ken Clarke twice re-named him on Question Time "Ashdown". Was there a Freudian twitch there: "Pantsdown, pants-on-fire"?

They seem to believe that it is somehow promiscuous and prurient to take an interest in a man who has climbed from selling doughnuts in the playground, to an office-cleaning and slot-machine empire, to owning a couple of small nations (Belize and Turks and Caicos), which he now aspires to trade in for a larger model (Britain). Well, if so: disgraceful! shame on most of us!

2. Having dismissed the message, most of the commenters here would wish to shoot the messenger. Channel 4 News is a branch of Socialist International, so that must also take out ITV News, which provides the Channel 4 service (as I seem to recall). The BBC is a seething hotbed of Trots. The Guardian and Independent are the lefty enemy-within. The Telegraph, Mail and Times are undermining the Cameroonie Project from the Right. So that leaves the True Believer only the Sun or the Express as the chosen journal of repute and record.

Hmmm ...

Not, of course, any of this amounts to persecution-mania.

shelagh said...

The Tories must realise that the coming election is going to be fought by the nastiest Labour party ever. The best way of defence is attack, attack, attack. At PM's Questions they should know that Gordon Brown is going to allude to toffs, Lord Ashcroft etc.when he is supposed to be answering a question. Go in fighting. They have to employ someone with as nasty a mind as Alistair Campbell and who can second-guess the man.
Finally, is it coincidence that the new EU Foreign Minister, Baroness Who is the wife of the founder of the YOUGOV polling organisation, and the recent polls showing the gap narrowing between the main parties

Osama the Nazarene said...

Rather than "shooting" the lame messenger address yourself to the (Bigle's) message, like Guido did. A far more valuable use of your time then whingeing on about a petty reporter.