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Record of dissent: Ms Maitlis attracted attention in April when she criticised the Johnson government’s attempts to handle the Covid-19 crisis.

The BBC has apologised to the government after Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis delivered a highly-critical account of the Dominic Cummings affair at the start of an edition of the late-night news show.

The problem is that her monologue was accurate:

‘Lefty’ columnist Owen Jones was quick to make the logical connection:

He’s right that it is not how functioning democracies behave.

It is the way dictatorships behave.

Some of us told you last year – before the general election – that Johnson wanted to run a dictatorship rather than a democratic government, but too few people listened.

Now This Site’s prediction has come to pass. And with Johnson holding an 80-seat majority in the House of Commons, matters can only get worse.

The scandal is escalating, with the BBC accused of replacing Ms Maitlis on the May 27 edition of Newsnight, which it is understood she was due to present. The person who did present the show, Katie Razzall…

… Newsnight editor Esme Wren…

… and deputy editor Stewart Maclean…

… all denied that Ms Maitlis had been forced to step back from the show. And the presenter herself…

… explained that she had “asked for the night off” (after a five-hour pause).

All very plausible. But in a dicatorship, anyone who had been coerced into such actions would have said the same.

And the BBC’s behaviour in this matter has not been honourable.

Ms Maitlis has ‘form’ for attracting ire from Tory politicians; she triggered attacks from the Tories after she criticised Johnson’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis in April:

I wrote at the time: “The speech flags up a new attitude in the BBC.

“Maitlis, and her editors, are showing more criticism of the Tory government than they have in the last, what, 10 years?

“The decision to highlight the fact that poor people are disproportionately likely to suffer, because of the way our society is currently ordered, is extremely important – if media organisations like the BBC follow through on it.

“Public opinion is hugely influenced by the media – and public opinion is what shapes our society.”

Perhaps the Tories were reading and have taken steps. But can they stop us drawing the logical conclusion?

Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.

https://www.crowdjustice.com/case/mike-sivier-libel-fight/


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