BBC Editor Removes Anti-Palin Tweet

BBC News editor Rachel Kennedy has removed the tweet, highlighted here, in which she expressed hope that recent events would “do for” Sarah Palin (h/t John Horne Tooke). In case you missed it here’s the screengrab:

Kennedy will now be attending a “masterclass” by BBC Twitter tutor Sue Llewellyn (who was herself quite keen to associate Palin with the Tuscon shootings):

No doubt the licence payer will be picking up the tab.


The Telegraph’s Toby Harnden has a good blogpost about the “unseemly rush to blame Sarah Palin, the Tea Party and Republicans for murder in Arizona”.

I noticed this eagerness to blame the Right, and Palin in particular, when reading some BBC twitterers last night.

BBC News strand editor Rachel Kennedy, whose opinionated tweets (highlighted here on Biased BBC) led Director of News Helen Boaden to issue a warning email to all BBC staff, continues to be unconcerned about impartiality. In Kennedy’s view the cross-hair imagery in a map of pro-Obamacare Democrats produced by Sarah Palin was of such significance to yesterday’s shootings that she hoped it would bring about Palin’s downfall:

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As Toby Harnden points out “martial imagery is standard political fare” and has been used by the Democrats when targeting Republicans. Such details are of no concern to a Palin-hating BBC news editor, though. Is it any wonder that BBC news output is so aggressively negative towards Palin when its editors openly express a desire to see her done for? It would be nice to think that such views would “do for” Rachel Kennedy, but as she works at the BBC she will no doubt be lauded instead.

The cross-hair map attracted BBC reporter Nicola Pearson’s attention too. She was concerned that it wasn’t receiving enough attention, and evidently was also impressed with the thoughtful balanced opinions of Kevin Maguire:

BBC US correspondent Katie Connolly was another who was keen to get in a mention of the Tea Party:

For BBC Radio Shropshire’s painfully right-on Jim Hawkins the map was the thing, as it was for BBC Twitter instructor Sue Llewellyn:

(Incidentally, “fieldproducer” is Sky News’ Neal Mann who last week was warning other journalists not to jump to conclusions about the arrest of the landlord in the Joanna Yeates murder case. No such worries about wild speculation for British broadcast journalists when there’s Palin-bashin’ to be done.)

Fiona Graham, a BBC “technology of business reporter” was very taken with the views of acute Palin Derangement Syndrome sufferer Roger Ebert:

Unfortunately for all the BBC employees desperate to pin the blame on Palin and the evil American Right, Caitie Parker, a former school friend of the shooter, had been offering some insight into his past politics and strange beliefs:

Doesn’t sound like he’d be a natural Palin-loving Tea Party supporter, does it?

It’s also worth noting that none of the BBC twitterers quoted above chose to mention that Giffords had enemies on the left, as this now-deleted blogpost at leftie website Daily Kos shows [click to enlarge]:

UPDATE 13.20. Gavin Esler has blessed us with his tuppence-worth this morning:

The BBC College of Journalism’s Marc Settle (h/t John Horne Tooke):

UPDATE 13.50. Remember how the BBC’s America editor rushed to inform us, incorrectly, that the Fort Hood shooter wasn’t motivated by religion? How very different from the BBC stampede to link yesterday’s sad events to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party.

UPDATE 14.20. Which US politician said the following in 2008? “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”. See here.

UPDATE 14.45. A further thought. What does Rachel Kennedy’s Sarah Palin tweet say about Helen Boaden’s authority? The BBC’s Director of News pontificates about impartiality but her underlings continue to ignore her.

UPDATE 16.00. Another tweet from last night, this one from senior BBC journalist Toby Brown:

I think it’s safe to say that BBC hatred of Sarah Palin runs wide and deep. Murderous dictators in Africa don’t elicit this type of reaction. Truly weird.


DB’s post about the impartiality-busting tweets of left-wing BBC News Channel editor Rachel Kennedy, having first spread the message of BBC bias to Guido’s blog and to Melanie Phillips in the Spectator, now seems to have provoked a reaction from Helen Boaden.

Under the headline BBC Boss Tells Left-Wing News Staff “Stop Tweeting” Guido reports:

The Director of BBC News, Helen Boaden, has just sent out this chatty email
to all her staff today:

Dear All,

We have had some occasions recently of BBC News staff using social networking sites to share with the world their somewhat controversial opinions on matters of public policy and the future of the BBC. Unsurprisingly, these have been picked up by the wider web and used to discredit the BBC and its impartiality. We have Editorial Guidelines which cover the personal use of the internet …which everyone should observe. We also have brains and judgement which I suggest people fully engage before rushing to communicate. Hx

(Guido , incidentally, has just tweeted Rachel:
Did you get Helen Boaden’s memo? @rachelkennedy84)

The Guardian speculates that an injudicious tweet from a BBC Breakfast reporter (Phil Lavelle) about the BBC’s funding of the Welsh-speaking channel S4C may well have provoked Ms Boaden’s action (probably “the future of the BBC” bit) though the the Guardian‘s Media Monkey seems to have missed the likeliest spark that lit the fuse – this website!


Do you think George Osborne is trying to “knacker the economy” and “ruin lives”? Do you love Green Party leader Caroline Lucas (despite her weird eyebrows)? Is leftie human rights lawyer and Labour peer Baroness Kennedy a hero of yours? Do you believe that the BBC Trust was wrong to criticise an inaccurate report by Jeremy Bowen? Do you think the rescue of the Chilean miners offered a good excuse to make a snarky comment about Margaret Thatcher, and the hunt for crazed murderer Raoul Moat was just the time to make a sick joke about Sky News presenter Kay Burley? If the answer to all those questions is yes, and you expressed it all on Twitter, then there’s a good chance you could be BBC TV news editor Rachel Kennedy (click image to enlarge):

Impartiality is in her genes, you know?

(They really do have a thing for Caroline Lucas, don’t they?)

Incidentally, if you want to be one of the cool kids on Twitter, having a little pop at Thatcher and/or Burley appears to be a fairly popular way of proving your right-on cred to other users. Even BBC political correspondent Chris Mason was at it last week: