Entertainment

Tuesday 22 October 2019

BBC boss on Naga Munchetty row: Dan Walker was not helpful

Dan Walker was not helpful, according to the BBC director.

BBC boss says Dan Walker did not help his colleague with his line of questioning (Mike Egerton/PA)
BBC boss says Dan Walker did not help his colleague with his line of questioning (Mike Egerton/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

A BBC chief has said Donald Trump was racist and Dan Walker did not help his colleague following a complaint made against Naga Munchetty.

David Jordan said Mr Walker led his co-host into a compromising conversation.

The BBC’s director of editorial policy said that the US President voiced “ignorant prejudice” when he told four female Democrats to go back to their own countries.

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Naga Munchetty has been at the heart of a media storm (Ian West/PA)

BBC Breakfast presenter Munchetty was the subject of an upheld complaint after commenting on the statements, and saying they were “embedded in racism”.

Her co-host Walker has escaped censure, but BBC editorial bosses said he was not helpful during the incident.

Mr Jordan spoke on Newswatch to face the backlash against the corporation which followed the ruling on Ms Munchetty.

He said: “There is no doubt that the comment that he (President Trump) made was racist.

“To say to anybody from an ethnic minority community, from an immigrant community, that they should go back to where they came from is just ignorant prejudice, and is racism.”

Mr Jordan explained the reason the complaint against Ms Munchetty was upheld was because she and her fellow presenter went on to speculate about the motives of Mr Trump.

They conjectured that it may have been in a bid to get attention.

Mr Jordan said that presenter Walker – although he was not the subject of any complaint – did not do his colleague any favours by starting a conversation with her which strayed into the sphere of opinion.

The editorial director said: “Dan Walker’s contribution was not, as it were, helpful in the context. It could be said that Dan Walker kind of led Naga Munchetty to the conclusion that she eventually made.”

He said that the Executive Complaints Unit, which handled the case, did not receive any complaints directed at Walker, and could only process what it was given.

Mr Jordan said: “I don’t think we’ve singled anyone out. I’m afraid the Executive Complaints Unit deals with the complaints it gets, so some people say why isn’t Dan Walker being singled out in the same way.

“The simple fact is we haven’t had a complaint.

“They are obliged to deal with the complaints they have, not the complaints they might like to have.”

The BBC director said that the corporation was not impartial on racism.

PA Media

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