BBC ‘WOMEN’S HOUR HAS MADE ITSELF REDUNDANT’: Allison Pearson (£ Telegraph 9/9), noting that ‘talented’ presenter Emma Barnett had been appointed as the new main presenter of BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour, replacing Dame Jenni Murray, commented that the programme had become ‘too pious’ for her and that there was a ‘weary inevitability’ to the fact that an item on singing or Arctic exploration ‘will shoehorn in a diversity or BAME angle’. She opined:
‘A recent hyper-Woke discussion about something called “allyship” featured a blizzard of politically-correct terms like “systemic oppression” “intersecting identities” and “decolonising your mind”. Anyone tuning in to find out what to do with foraged blackberries would have been bemused.’
‘Emma Barnett will appeal to a younger generation of women. The trouble is most won’t be at home listening to the radio. They will be out pursuing the jobs that they can take for granted because seven decades of fervent campaigning by an iconic female radio programme, among others, has given them all the opportunities their grandmothers never had. Woman’s Hour has made itself redundant.’
BBC DIVERSITY CHIEF ‘SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED BY DAVIE’: John Smith (Conservative Woman 9/9), noting that BBC presenter Naga Munchetty had taken a second recent moonlighting role – thus adding to her £195,000-a-year publicly-funded salary – said that a bigger problem facing new director general Tim Davie, who had vowed to crack down on such activities, was the approach of June Sarpong, the corporation’s director of creative diversity. Mr Smith pointed out that Ms Sarpong’s salary, which alone among senior executives, was not disclosed, but was likely to be at least £150,000 a year for a three-day week, and had a budget of £100 million connected with her role. He said that the rest of the time, Ms Sarpong took commissions from advertisers M&C Saatchi Merlin and Burberry, and also wrote books for Harper Collins as well as running her own company, Diversify International. Mr Smith concluded:
‘Are newspapers too afraid to ask probing questions about her activities, including her naïve at best and dangerous at worst, promotion of revolutionary Black politics on social media, fearing they will be labelled ‘racist’ if they do so? Or is it just that nobody has noticed this glaring oversight yet? If Tim Davie is not aware of the Sarpong case, it’s time he had a look at it. I sense it has the makings of a scandal.’
BBC SPORTS PRESENTERS WARNED ABOUT ‘RACIAL STEREOTYPING’: Kieran Gill (Daily Mail 9/9) reported that around 450 broadcasting staff, including BBC presenters, and those from a range of outside organisations, had been on an ‘avoiding racial bias’ webinar training session, and had been told they must not use terms such as ’nitty gritty’, ‘sold down the river’ and ‘uppity’, along with ‘whiter than white’, ‘blackballed’ and ‘black mark’. He said that the participants had also been warned describing black players as having ‘pace or power’ could lead to them falling into the trap of racial stereotyping.
BBC FARMING STAPLE ‘NOW ABOUT BLACK LIVES MATTER’: Jane Kelly (Conservative Woman 9/9) said BBC Radio 4 On Your Farm – which used to focus on advice on ‘stockpersonship and agricultural practice’ – had now, like all BBC output, succumbed to reporting through the Black Lives Matter lens, with the result that reporter Anna Jones had told the audience from a farm in New York state run by two black women and two lesbian married couples that ‘black, gay female farming and diversity is the way of the future’. Ms Kelly observed:
‘Rather than correct animal feed, the programme fed us with essential facts; Africans invented agriculture, but their skills were stolen from them. And if you thought people once moved from the land to the cities seeking a better way of life, you were misinformed; it was all about slavery and racism.’
BBC EXECUTIVE ‘WISHES DONALD TRUMP DEAD’: Kurt Zindulka (Breitbart London 8/9) reported that a senior BBC human resources executive had shared social media posts wishing for the death of president Donald Trump, expressing support for Jeremy Corbyn and had called so-called ‘right-wing’ British actor Laurence Fox a c**t. Mr Zindulka – noting that director general Tim Davie had announced a crackdown on such activities – quoted a BBC source as saying that what she had done was ‘very inappropriate’.