BBC Newsnight editor Ian Katz apologized for an “ill-judged tweet” about a politician’s appearance on the Newsnight program.
Katz’s Sept. 9 tweet called Labour party Parliament member Rachel Reeves “boring snoring,” according to The Guardian, which noted that Katz was a former deputy editor for The Guardian. This is just Katz’s “second week” at Newsnight, The Telegraph noted.
Katz commented that he meant to send it privately as a direct message (DM) and ended up tweeting it. Regardless, he said the comment was “wrong,” he “apologised” and he deleted the tweet.
Accidentally sent v ill-judged tweet referring to @RachelReevesMP‘s appearance on NN. Thought was DM but in any circs wrong. Have apologised
— Ian Katz (@iankatz1000) September 9, 2013
After the tweet, the Labour Party called for a “full written public apology,” according to The Guardian. The BBC quoted an e-mail from the party to Katz about the tweet, which it called “completely unacceptable.” The e-mail read in part:
“It is completely unacceptable for a senior BBC editor to have expressed this view, whether or not you intended for it to be made public.
“It is vitally important that the Labour Party, our shadow cabinet and Newsnight viewers have confidence in the impartiality and fairness of your programme, and the criteria on which guests and interviews are judged.”
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Katz did apologize, but denied the party’s accusations that his tweet showed bias. In Katz’s e-mail to the party he wrote, “I don’t accept your implication that my tweet reflects in any way on the impartiality or fairness of Newsnight, except to the extent that it reflects a determination to make Newsnight as interesting as I can.”
The tweet may lead to Labour Party members not appearing on the program, the BBC noted. In a tweet, Labour Party vice-chairman Michael Dugher said:
And whilst I’m at it…I’m not sure a guy who worked for the Guardian (yawn) & now Newsnight (snooze) can lecture people about being boring
— Michael Dugher (@MichaelDugherMP) September 10, 2013
According to the UK Mirror, Newsnight referenced the incident in its “closing credits” with a line reading: “BBC Newsnight editor: @iankatz1000 #fail.” See a screenshot below.