Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself


12:20 am - May 29th 2012

by Sunny Hundal    


      Share on Tumblr

Shadow minister Toby Perkins tonight called on BBC Newsnight to explain itself over the film by Allegra Stratton on Shanene Thorpe’s circumstances.

The film was broadcast last Wednesday and Liberal Conspiracy covered the controversy here.

In the interview, Allegra Stratton heavily implied Ms Thorpe was unemployed. The incident deeply distressed her and she took to Twitter to explain why.

Shanene has now launched a campaign calling for an apology from Newsnight, garnering over 7000 signatures in 72 hours.

Watch the interview here.

The BBC has not yet responded to any complaints.

    Share on Tumblr   submit to reddit  


About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
· Other posts by


Story Filed Under: News ,top

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.


Reader comments


The Radio 4 Today programme aired an apology and correction for comments previously about Philip Green, the retail multi-millionaire, and his wife, within 48 hours of those comments. Odd.

it’s all in the editing, you might give all info to make your interview contextual, but what they do with it in the cutting room is all important. did the bbc have an agenda here? i think they might have. the govt have just slashed the licence fee, and the bbc have to keep them on side as it were.

Martin

I agree it’s in the editing. Isn’t Allegra Stratton the Newsnight Editor?

It reminds me of another bit of BBC coverage of the working class, this time 2nd Feb 2009 covering the East Lindsey oil refinery strike.

In the BBC mews coverage, a worker says:

‘These Portuguese and Eyeties. You can’t work alongside of ’em.’

There is then a very awkward edit cut to the next scene.

The BBC Newsnight coverage of the same worker later the same evening, goes thus

‘These Portuguese and Eyeties. You can’t work alongside of ’em. They’re segregated. They’re coming in in full companies.’

The method of describing Italians may be a bit ‘choice’, but the reason for not being able to work for them is quite different.

Perhaps them some kind of internal ‘editing what working class people say’ course at the BBC.

4. Chaise Guevara

Damn right it should. There should have been a response by now, too, even if it was just “we are looking into this and cannot comment until we have reached a conclusion”.

It’s a good job the Beeb’s got a left-wing bias isn’t it? Otherwise we might have situations where single parents are made to appear like feckless jobless spongers. Oh.

6. Churm Rincewind

Just by way a reality check – as of this morning 30 May Shanene Thorpe had made no specific complaint to the BBC, and of course we don’t know whether she ever will. In the meantime Newsnight has indeed responded as follows:

“Newsnight was sorry to hear Shanene Thorpe was unhappy following her interview. While the BBC is still yet to receive a formal complaint, Newsnight contacted Shanene to hear her concerns. We are happy to accept her contention that her current situation was not made clear and have apologised.”

Storm in a teacup?

7. Chaise Guevara

@ 6 Churm

“Storm in a teacup?”

Not really, because the BBC shouldn’t be doing this. We need a statement on what action it’s taking against the person responsible for the decision to smear her (or the person who authorised such behaviour in general) and affirmation that the corporation will not be peddling lies to viewers going forward.

However, the BBC’s response was issued at least three days ago, before the OP was written, so the final line in the article needs to be corrected.

8. Churm Rincewind

@ 7 Chaise Guevara – “Not really, because the BBC shouldn’t be doing this. We need a statement on what action it’s taking against the person responsible for the decision to smear her (or the person who authorised such behaviour in general) and affirmation that the corporation will not be peddling lies to viewers going forward.”

Shouldn’t be doing what exactly? LC makes two complaints on Shanene Thorpe’s behalf. First, that she was asked an inappropriate question about her decision to have a child. Inappropriate or not, that sequence was never broadcast so there was no “smear”. Second, that in a subsequent sequence and in a different context the presenter remarked ““The government is thinking of saying to young people: if you don’t have work, don’t leave home.” and that “most likely” viewers may have thought the comment was directed towards Ms Thorpe.

Well, I’ve watched the whole programme and it seems clear to me that the presenter had moved on to a discussion of general topics, and that this remark did not refer to Shanene Thorpe (though obviously she thinks it did).

At worst, the comment might be described as ambiguous. But to call this demonisation, and to suggest that there was a deliberate decision to smear her, is in my view both absurd and unworthy of LC.

9. Chaise Guevara

@ 8 Churm

In that case, it should be explaining why Ms Thorpe is wrong to see it as demonisation. The apology is barely an apology – note how it doesn’t admit wrongdoing? “We’re sorry that you’re not happy”, indeed. So they’re avoiding saying anything real, when they should be saying one of the following:

1) “Yeah, we smeared her, the person responsible has been disciplined and it won’t happen again.”
2) “It was an editorial error where we cut some explanatory dialogue without noticing that it changed the overal piece. Sorry about that.”
3) “It wasn’t demonisation, actually, and here’s why.”

10. Churm Rincewind

@ 9 Chaise Guevara: You say: “In that case, it should be explaining why Ms Thorpe is wrong to see it as demonisation.” But she never said she’d seen it as demonisation. It was LC which made that particular claim. You say: “The apology is barely an apology.” Newsnight says “We…have apologised” In what way is that not an apology? You say that the BBC should say one of the following:

1) “Yeah, we smeared her, the person responsible has been disciplined and it won’t happen again.” But she never said she’d been smeared. Again that was an LC view, and a contentious one at that. She complained that her full situation had not been explained – the BBC have accepted her specific complaint, and apologised for it.
2) “It was an editorial error where we cut some explanatory dialogue without noticing that it changed the overall piece. Sorry about that.” Well, we don’t know what they cut or didn’t cut, so this point is completely conjectural.
3) “It wasn’t demonisation, actually, and here’s why.” Again, she never said she’d been demonised – that was a claim made by others. The BBC cannot be expected to answer to her on points she hasn’t made.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 10 Churm

“The apology is barely an apology.” Newsnight says “We…have apologised” In what way is that not an apology? ”

Let’s say we have an argument, and I say “Well, I’m sorry you’re too stupid to understand”. Would you go “Oh, cool, he’s apologised”?

Newsnight didn’t do that, but they offered a non-apologetic apology by “apologising” for her reaction. NOT for their actions. That’s not an apology. It takes more than using the word “sorry”, the context has to make it genuine.

FYI, she hasn’t accepted the apology unless I’ve got my order of events mixed up. She posted an update yesterday about the phone call in question, stating: “I appreciate the offer, but I don’t think it’s enough. I still want a public apology and a full explanation as to how this was allowed to happen.”

“But she never said she’d been smeared. Again that was an LC view, and a contentious one at that. She complained that her full situation had not been explained”

No, she said she’d been smeared. From the campaign she set up: “she was shocked to find herself presented as unemployed and a ‘scrounger’.”

“the BBC have accepted her specific complaint, and apologised for it.”

See above RE empty apologies. What do you mean “accepted”? They’ve accepted her complaint in that they haven’t ignored it; they haven’t accepted that her complaint is accurate AFAIK.

“Well, we don’t know what they cut or didn’t cut, so this point is completely conjectural.”

Um, that was why I included it on a list of possible explanations.

“Again, she never said she’d been demonised – that was a claim made by others. The BBC cannot be expected to answer to her on points she hasn’t made.”

She did, and it has apparently has failed to answer. Unless you’re quibbling over the exact words used.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Jamie

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself

    http://t.co/YFF7ur4v

  2. Anita Gwynn

    Labour MP says BBC Newsnight should explain itself as @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/K9lgeseW

  3. Foxy52

    Labour MP says BBC Newsnight should explain itself as @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/K9lgeseW

  4. Michael Amherst

    Labour MP says BBC Newsnight should explain itself as @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/K9lgeseW

  5. Indra Persaud

    I think @BBCNewsnight @BBCAllegra should explain. @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/BORkaL4H

  6. Sue Mitchell

    I think @BBCNewsnight @BBCAllegra should explain. @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/o41imOtr

  7. 7RaysofLight

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/iol6NWUy via @libcon

  8. julian willis

    Labour MP says BBC Newsnight should explain itself as @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/K9lgeseW

  9. Jonangus Mackay

    I think @BBCNewsnight @BBCAllegra should explain. @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/BORkaL4H

  10. Monika Neall

    "@sunny_hundal: Lab MP says Newsnight should explain itself @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/1Xy3p0yj" yes it should

  11. They Call Him Woodo

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  12. Brian Tomkinson

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  13. Eugene Grant

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  14. Ferret Dave

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  15. Virginia Moffatt

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  16. BendyGirl

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  17. Anne Booth

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  18. Declan Gaffney

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  19. PeterJFitzpatrick

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  20. Love the Bees

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  21. HouseOfTwitsLab

    RT @sunny_hundal Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/cZ9zawtF (from last night)

  22. House Of Twits

    RT @sunny_hundal Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/ayjAM4tA (from last night)

  23. Sue Marsh

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  24. Magapanthus Smith

    RT @sunny_hundal Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/cZ9zawtF (from last night)

  25. Paul Nezandonyi

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/8B1o7hWg (from last night)

  26. graham

    RT @sunny_hundal Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/ayjAM4tA (from last night)

  27. miss crazy

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  28. NORBET

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  29. Mrs Blogs

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  30. Flo Fflach

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  31. Tudor Evans

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  32. Andrew Griffiths

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself http://t.co/Adh1uoUK #BBC

  33. christine clifford

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  34. Performativcontra

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  35. Quinn

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  36. Martin Shovel

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/Ealz35aX (from last night)

  37. Roger Thornhill

    So many things wrong with Newsnight interview with a single mother http://t.co/Pz4sElbN but also response from LibCon and others

  38. McGinOxford

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  39. Duncan

    Labour MP says BBC Newsnight should explain itself as @nenes_life's campaign gets 7000+ signatures http://t.co/K9lgeseW

  40. TeresaMary

    Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/K9lgeseW (from last night)

  41. Jonathan Taylor

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  42. Citizen Ember

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  43. Empress Change

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/8B1o7hWg (from last night)

  44. Silver

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  45. Richard Exell

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/2atbI9HI via @libcon

  46. Jacq Kelly

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/6Sv8gR24 (from last night)

  47. Marie Paludan

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/rOYq0Tkj via @libcon

  48. Catherine Brunton

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  49. Pete Skinner

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/TyFdDqpz via @libcon

  50. BASW

    RT @libcon: Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself http://t.co/DB63rKje

  51. Slutwalk Edinburgh

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/6Sv8gR24 (from last night)

  52. Harriet Elena Clarke

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  53. A J Horniman

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eeSxnbC9 via @libcon

  54. fiona

    RT @sunny_hundal: Labour MP says Newsnight should explain itself over interview with a single mother http://t.co/6Sv8gR24 (from last night)

  55. Cory Hazlehurst

    @psythor @PodDelusion This story provides a nice Postscript to my story on a "left wing BBC bias" http://t.co/vv3Fh1i0

  56. The Pod Delusion

    @psythor @PodDelusion This story provides a nice Postscript to my story on a "left wing BBC bias" http://t.co/vv3Fh1i0

  57. Richard

    Labour MP: #Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/aZ8zx0xy via @libcon

  58. Alan Summers

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/eyr9DhUW via @libcon

  59. Laurie Penny: Shame has become our stick for beating the poor | Social Warriors

    […] Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself(liberalconspiracy.org) Print PDF (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1&appId=191581650890064"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, "script", "facebook-jssdk")); Posted in ConDems, David Cameron, Human Rights, Iain Duncan Smith, Lib Dems, Neo Liberal, News, Nick Clegg, Welfare Reforms permalink […]

  60. dan hancox

    @dianehain she was just vapid. Don't forget Stratton misrepresented this woman as a scrounger then refused to apologise http://t.co/ffKAQG7k

  61. Diane Hain

    Labour MP: Newsnight should explain itself | Liberal Conspiracy http://t.co/QrlnJ3Cd via @libcon





Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.