The BBC is failing to report Downing Street’s refusal to say if the prime minister thinks black people have lower than average IQ, or if he agrees with eugenics.
A “tense briefing with the media” this morning (Monday) saw the PM’s deputy official spokesman repeatedly decline to distance Johnson from the highly controversial views of his adviser, Andrew Sabisky, who has also suggested “enforced contraception” be used to prevent the creation of a “permanent underclass”,” reports the Guardian.
Sabisky’s controversial comments about race, pregnancy and women’s sport have made headlines across the media but the BBC has so far not covered the story on his comments, or the fallout following this morning’s media briefing by No 10.
Labour called for the 27-year-old Oxbridge graduate’s sacking from his adviser role yesterday (Sunday) after stories he wrote in 2014, published on the website of the PM’s chief aide Dominic Cummings, were reported.
‘Women’s sport is more comparable to the Paralympics’
Sabisky – who self describes as a “superforecaster” – wrote on race and pregnancy in several posts on Cummings’ website.
He claimed black Americans have a lower average IQ than whites and were more likely to have an “intellectual disability”, and in another post wrote: “One way to get around the problems of unplanned pregnancies, creating a permanent underclass would be to legally enforce universal uptake of long-term contraception and the onset of puberty.”
He added: “Vaccination laws give it a precedent, I would argue.”
The Times report a tweet by Sabisky in which he stated: “I am always straight up in saying that women’s sport is more comparable to the Paralympics than it is to men’s.”
Sabisky hired after Cumming called for ‘misfits and weirdos’
Sabisky is contracted by No 10 for specific and not a permanent member of staff and was hired after Cummings’ high profile call to recruit “misfits and weirdos” to No 10.
The transport secretary Grant Shapps tried to distance himself and the government from the comments when, as ITV report, he told the BBC yesterday: “I don’t know the individual but they are particularly not views that I or the Government shares in any way, shape or form.”
However, the BBC has not followed up the story or indeed has not covered this morning’s “tense” media briefing when the PM’s deputy official spokesman repeatedly failed to state whether Johnson shared Sabisky’s views or not.
“The prime minister’s views are well publicised and well documented,” said the spokesman more than ten times when asked about Johnson’s views on eugenics and black people’s intelligence.
BBC ignoring Sabisky story
Despite Grant’s comments to the BBC yesterday, the national broadcaster is yet to feature the story – today’s BBC Radio 4’s World at One flagship news programme did not mention the story at all (as was the case with their 12pm news summary) while as of 3pm today, its website was similarly muted regarding the story.
A search for “Andrew Sabisky” on the BBC website (last checked at 3.22pm) delivered three results – the first for a link to their daily newspaper headlines page where the national broadcaster and news provider covers the Guardian’s and the Telegraph’s reporting of Sabisky’s remarks – in six sentences.
(The other two results relate to the writer’s appearance on the Daily Politics show on April 24, 2017 where he called for increases in defence spending.)
The BBC is covering the story about the government plans to scrap the licence fee and reports that “two senior Tory MPs have warned Downing Street not to pick a fight with the BBC amid reports it wants the broadcaster “massively pruned back”.
However, as the same story reports: “other Conservatives said the BBC must “get its house in order” if it wanted to continue in its current form.”
Labour’s Lammy condems Sabisky’s ‘dangerous claptrap’
Labour MP David Lammy took to Twitter to condemn the “super-forecaster’s” comments, writing: ““Andrew Sabisky has some very ugly views, but depressingly he’s not alone. There is a resurgent belief in Eugenics across fringes of the right. It’s dangerous claptrap. Skin colour has no more relevance to an individual’s intelligence than their hair colour.”
In another tweet, Lammy wrote: “Eugenics is intimately linked to scientific racism, reaching it’s gruesome conclusion in some of the worst horrors of the 20th century. It is deeply depressing that this needs to be repeated in 2020.”
Conservative MP Caroline Nokes (Romsey and Southampton) tweeted: “Cannot believe No 10 has refused to comment on Andrew Sabisky. I don’t know him from a bar of soap, but don’t think we’d get on ……. must be no place in Government for the views he’s expressed”.
UPDATE – the BBC website published a story headlined ‘No 10 refuses to condemn adviser’s remarks‘ at 16.13 on Monday 17 February 2019.