We have all heard the term institutional racism. David Jordan, director of the BBC’s editorial and policy standards, really put his foot in his mouth when responding to Nick Robinson on Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday 27th May, suggesting that everyone had misinterpreted the committee’s decision to uphold a complaint against Naga Munchetty that she had breach editorial guidelines. In trying to explain how Naga had breach BBC’s ever so high standards, when she appropriately gave her own experience. Basically he came off with a load of waffle, not thinking that his responses were digging an even greater hole, when he denied that the complaints against the BBC had implied Dan Walker’s conduct was to be called into question. The fact that Dan Walker had asked Naga Munchetty her feelings about President Trump’s “Go back to your own country statement…”, meant that he gave her the perfect layup to express her opinion as a person of colour, from Indian and Mauritian extraction. Dan Walker, Naga’s BBC Breakfast partner in crime was, also the subject of the complaint, but was not the focus of BBC’s executive complaints unit (ECU) investigation. The fact that later that day, the Director-General of the BBC Tony Hall overturned the decision after looking into it personally, suggests that some urgent Diversity training is needed at the Beeb.
Author Khalid Mair