MUNCHETTY ‘WARNED FOR MOONLIGHTING’: Andy Halls (Sun 10/8) reported that BBC1 Breakfast presenter Naga Munchetty – whose salary from the BBC was £195,000 – had been warned about potential ‘conflict of interest’ after she appeared in a corporate video promoting the Aston Martin car company without prior permission of her bosses or declaring her earnings. Mr Halls noted that the BBC’s editorial guidelines allowed journalists to carry out external speaking, or chairing, at private engagements as long as they maintained ‘objectivity and impartiality’, though he also reported that politicians had called for an end to the practice, and that Aston Martin was in the midst of a cost-cutting exercise which could result in the loss of 500 jobs. Mr Halls added that last year, Ms Munchetty was found to have breached the BBC’s impartiality guidelines by the corporation’s complaints unit after she condemned President Trump for telling some female politicians to “go back” to where they came from. That ruling had been overturned by Director-General Lord Hall, who said the BBC was not neutral on racism.
‘WOKE” BBC PRESENTERS ‘GET AWAY WITH MURDER’: Dan Wooton (Talk Radio 14/8), interviewing commentator Rod Liddle about his Spectator column describing BBC ‘woke’ issues (see BBC Bias Digest August 14), also picked up the Naga Munchetty story. This was part of the exchange (transcribed by Craig Byers, of Is the BBC BIased?):
Dan Wootton: If you are one of their woke stars – and I’m noticing this increasingly with BBC News. I know we’ve spoken about Emily Maitlis before but now Naga Munchetty as well – if you’re one of those woke news presenters you can get away with murder at the BBC. This week it was revealed by the i newspaper and The Sun that Naga Munchetty had been moonlighting making corporate videos for Aston Martin. She hadn’t declared the fact that she was doing this. She hadn’t told the Beeb how much she was being paid. For many presenters that would be a sackable offence at the BBC. And she got a very minor slap on the wrist.
Rod Liddle: They all get minor slaps on the wrist. Emily Maitlis…has consistently, almost with a deliberation, broken the rules every single week, either through her Twitter feed or occasionally live on Newsnight, and nothing ever happens. It is true…I think there are a few people at the BBC in senior positions who are genuinely worried about the grandstanding wokeness of these presenters but still nothing seems to get done about it. It’s remarkable. And the desperately sad thing is that that vast tranche of middle England remembers the BBC for good things. It remembers all the great stuff the BBC did to draw the nation together and now it’s being foisted with this agenda which has no relevance beyond NW3 frankly.