MPs DEMAND PM REINS IN BBC ‘WOKE’ BIAS: Glen Owen (Mail 21/11) said that Conservative MPs had written to prime minister Boris Johnson demanding that he launch a fightback against the ‘politically correct woke agenda of institutions including the BBC. Mr Owen reported that the letter, from 60 MPs and peers in the Common Sense group, chaired by senior backbencher Sir John Hayes, was asking for a number of ‘drastic’ measures including decriminalising non-payment of the BBC licence fee on the basis that it was time ‘to defend British traditions and values’ as well as standing against ‘the senseless woke whingers and the soulless militants who despise the best of Britain’. Mr Owen quoted from the letter, written in the context of the BBC’s decision to remove the word ‘faggot’ from the The Pogues’ Christmas song Fairytale of New York in deference to the LGBTQ+ lobby:
‘In light of the BBC’s repeated refusal to address its organisation’s undoubted liberal bias, illustrated most recently by its bizarre decision to censor a well-known Christmas song (perhaps, similarly, the whole canon of popular music is to be reviewed by a highly paid zealot!), we believe it is now time to decriminalise the licence fee, so enabling ordinary Britons to choose whether or not to pay for the BBC’s content.’
Mr Owen noted that the BBC had said Fairytale Of New York would be played with its full lyrics on some stations, but not Radio 1, whose young listeners ‘are particularly sensitive to derogatory terms for gender and sexuality’.
MANGOLD ‘ASTONISHED’ BY OMISSION IN BBC PRINCESS DI PROBE: An article in the Mail (22/10) said that veteran BBC investigative journalist Tom Mangold had ‘expressed astonishment’ that the BBC panel set up by the corporation ’s management board to investigate whether the BBC Panorama interview of Princess Diana by Martin Bashir in 1995 had been properly set up and conducted would not investigate as part of its remit whether there had been a ‘cover-up’ within BBC ranks. The piece quoted Mr Mangold, who had been a ‘leading light’ on Panorama when the interview occurred:
‘I am somewhat baffled by the complete absence of any reference in Lord Dyson’s (the former judge chairing the inquiry) brief to investigating the events within the BBC after the story of the forgeries broke.’
It was also stated that Mr Mangold has previously spoken about his conviction that executives on the programme had ‘conspired, lied, deceived and cheated’ to hush up the scandal, adding: ‘The true story is much bigger than Bashir.’
It was further reported that Mr Mangold had outlined the points he believed Lord Dyson must address in investigating the (alleged) use of faked bank statements and other ruses which led to Diana agreeing to the world exclusive interview.
He suggested the questions should be: ‘1. What steps did the BBC and, in particular, Martin Bashir take with a view to obtaining the Panorama interview in 1995?
‘2. Were those steps appropriate, particularly in regard to the BBC’s editorial standards at the time?
‘3. To what extent did the actions of the BBC and, in particular, Martin Bashir influence Diana’s decision to give an interview?
‘4. What knowledge did the BBC have in 1995 and 1996 of the relevant evidence, such as the forged bank statements?
‘5. How effectively did the BBC investigate the circumstances leading to the interview?’
BBC ‘MUST DIVERSIFY AWAY FROM WHAT WHITE PEOPLE THINK’: Jemma Carr (Mail 20/11) reported that Jonathan Munro, the BBC’s head of newsgathering, speaking at a Creative Coalition conference and Media Masters podcast, had said that the BBC should ‘diversify’ its senior news staff because editorial meetings tended to be dominated ‘by what white people think’. Ms Carr said that Mr Munro had noted that when he had joined the BBC in 2014, every member of his team had been a Caucasian male, and a consequence of the lack of diversity had been that in the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire of 2017 – which had killed 72 people – the BBC news teams had not understood the gravity of issues faced by council house tenants. Ms Carr also reported that Mark Mardell, who had retired as presenter of the BBC World This Weekend programme, had warned the BBC against ‘annoying and dismaying’ its basic audience in its pursuit of the diversity agenda.