Lord Adonis v BBC: Twitter smackdown ends in social media row over national broadcaster

 rt.com  2/15/2018 12:18:00 PM 

Labour peer Andrew Adonis has lashed out at the BBC in a scathing attack that described the national broadcaster as “on the ropes” – despite having appeared on one of its radio stations just hours before.

The Europhile took the time to describe what he perceives as the BBC’s failings, apparently angered by a double-whammy of stories aired by the broadcaster on Wednesday. 

About to out John Redwood as supporter of 2nd referendum on @vicderbyshire. Have discovered pre-2016 article where Redwood said 2nd referendum on Brexit terms democratically essential! So much for Boris telling us all to shut up & fall in line.

— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) February 14, 2018

That morning, Adonis had appeared live on the BBC, seemingly thrilled to stick it to Wokingham MP John Redwood over Brexit live on air.

However, the rest of Adonis’ day was not destined to be fine and dandy, with his mood souring considerably. He appeared to be enraged by the BBC’s expansive coverage of Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s flop of a Brexit speech at the Policy Exchange in Central London, and by a pro-Brexit story with a headline that read “UK no longer shackled to a corpse.” 

BBC on ropes. Sport largely gone to Sky. Quality drama gone to Netflix. BBC news increasingly Brexit, weak & simply Govt press releases. If Netflix set up a sharp, balanced News service, what would be left besides local radio, a desert island & a few good foreign correspondents?

— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) February 14, 2018

Dear BBC, I have asked your economics editor to change this disgraceful ‘EU corpse’ headline & correct other bias, but nothing has been done. Can you please do it now before I start formal complaints? https://t.co/RMtcoO2MLu

— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) February 14, 2018

The ‘Twisted Weasel’ – Nigel Farage's nickname for Adonis – was then subjected to an onslaught of disagreement from the Twittersphere, from both BBC affiliated accounts and the general public.

One of the BBC’s highest-paid presenters, Dan Walker, lashed out at Adonis, dismissing his comments as the top “guff” of the day.

Dear me. You read some guff on twitter but this just about takes the top spot today. Misinformed garbage.

— Dan Walker (@mrdanwalker) February 14, 2018

BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker soon chimed in too, calling Adonis’ comments “utter tosh.” 

What a load of complete and utter tosh.

— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) February 14, 2018

His colleague, BBC Radio 2 presenter Jeremy Vine’s response was a simple image to point out the BBC’s diverse range of programming. 


— Jeremy Vine (@theJeremyVine) February 14, 2018

Sports News Correspondent Richard Conway also took the time to highlight the BBC’s diversity – at least in sport – with a subtle dose of sarcasm.

Yes, sport on BBC largely gone... that is if you exclude Premier League, 6 Nations, Summer and Winter Olympics, Wimbledon, World Cup, FA Cup, women's super league, return of cricket in 2020 plus live streaming of 1000 hours a year for sports such as swimming, hockey + basketball.

— Richard Conway, BBC (@richard_conway) February 14, 2018

Even BBC Sport’s golf Correspondent pitched in. 

Nonsense, did you not see iPlayer figures? 3.3 billion downloads

— Iain Carter (@iaincartergolf) February 14, 2018

It wasn’t just employees of the national broadcaster to hit back. The response from the general public was largely perturbed by Adonis’ comments.

Why are you knocking the BBC? That’s what the Daily Mail, Murdoch and the Express is for. The BBC is the greatest cultural institution in the country. More actors, writers, directors, technicians are trained by the BBC than by anyone else. It has some problems but don’t knock it.

— Simon Fanshawe (@SimonFanshawe) February 15, 2018

Call the midwife. And blue planet. Oh and loads of other good stuff. The BBC still provides unbelievably good quality programming and good value

— Elizabeth Ammon (@legsidelizzy) February 14, 2018

On Thursday morning, the Adonis steam train showed no signs of slowing down.

BBC BIAS: yesterday the BBC ran big story on website with headline describing the EU as a ‘corpse’. I and others complained. The BBC’s economics editor told us to chill because his point of reference was Douglas Carswell quote from 2012. We asked for it to be changed. It wasn’t.

— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) February 15, 2018

PM went to Belfast this week, was brusquely told to get lost by her coalition partner, & did as she was told. So the DUP carry on marginalising the Catholic community & propping up a government threatening Good Friday Agreement. This, not Boris, was yday’s big news @BBCr4today

— Andrew Adonis (@Andrew_Adonis) February 15, 2018

However it is not all mobs and pitchforks for Adonis. Tony Blair’s former press secretary Alastair Campbell added his voice to the opposing chorus, one of the few in support of Adonis. 

The @bbc have this ludicrous self-defence that if both sides attack them they must be doing something right. They are not. Andrew's points totally valid. Brexit and Ireland coverage shameful https://t.co/so2UJ0l0lb

— Alastair Campbell (@campbellclaret) February 15, 2018

So on and on go the accusations of BBC bias. What will happen next? (Hint: probably more whining on social media).

Not too long ago Adonis was using the BBC as his platform to attack RT and spar with ‘Going Underground’ presenter Afshin Rattansi on the broadcaster’s ‘Daily Politics’ program. Now his relationship with the national broadcaster is now fractured. 

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