Thursday, June 13, 2024
HomeBBC WatchDavid Keighley’s BBC Election Watch: Evan Davis admits Auntie couldn’t care less...

David Keighley’s BBC Election Watch: Evan Davis admits Auntie couldn’t care less about your complaints


At last! Someone at the BBC has finally admitted publicly what has been obvious for years.

Step forward Newsnight presenter Evan Davis, who – according to the Daily Mail – told the Hay literary festival that the BBC programme makers and journalists don’t take note of emails complaining about bias.

The reality, of course, is that although the Corporation has an elaborate so-called complaints process, its primary purpose is to bat into the very long grass the vast majority of audience concerns.

Davis made his ‘admission’ about the handling of complaints while plugging his new book Post Truth: Why We Have Reached Peak Bullshit and What We Can Do About It.

Perhaps in the ‘B****’ word he was describing subconsciously his own elements of BBC output. His approach speaks volumes about the BBC mind-set.

Take Monday’s Newsnight, for example. True to form, Davis fawningly allowed Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to rattle on without interruption about alleged Tory cuts to the police service. A couple of minutes later, he displayed maximum gurning cynicism in his handling of a Trump adviser’s reaction to the London bombings. From Uriah Heep to Torquemada in a flash.

In the book, Davis chooses a number of careful historical examples in his ‘b******’ stakes. One is Ian Huntley’s ludicrous defence in the Soham killings. Another is Bill Clinton’s claim that ‘he did not have sexual relations with that woman’.

But then his real contemporary targets come in to view. Top of his hit list is the EU referendum Leave side’s claim about £350m a week savings through the ending of the UK’s EU contributions. Associated with that, he pushes again the line that ‘most business and expert opinion’ believes that Brexit will be bad for the British economy.

Then comes Trump and his claims that unemployment in the US had been downplayed in official statistics.

The book confirms the stark reality that Davis and his chums ignore complaints because they are stuck in their own BBC bubble of unreality. Everything outside it that they disagree with – from Brexit to the election of Donald Trump, and from climate scepticism to populism (when associated with the Right) – is viewed as ‘b*****’.

(Image: Chatham House)

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David Keighley
David Keighley
Former BBC news producer, BBC PR executive and head of corporate relations for TV-am. Director of News-watch.

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