piers-morgan

Piers Morgan defends TV rival over BBC reprimand for Donald Trump comments

The Good Morning Britain host certainly had something to say…

Jenni McKnight

Piers Morgan has defended his TV rival Naga Munchetty after she was reprimanded by the BBC for sharing her personal opinion of President Donald Trump during a live broadcast in July. The GMB host criticised the BBC for "gagging" Naga after she called out Trump for telling a group of congresswomen to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came". During the broadcast she said: "Every time I have been told, as a woman of colour, to go back to where I came from, that was embedded in racism. Now I’m not accusing anyone of anything here, but you know what certain phrases mean."

However, the BBC's Executive Complaints Unit (ECU) ruled that the BBC Breakfast host breached editorial guidelines when she publicly condemned his comments, saying that she is not allowed to share her personal opinion. Speaking in Naga's defence, Piers posted on Twitter: "Since the BBC will gag my breakfast show rival @BBCNaga from saying anything about this, allow me: it’s bloody ridiculous. Her words were powerful & necessary. Shameful censorship."

BBC broadcaster Naga Munchetty has been reprimanded by the BBC

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Following the backlash online, the BBC said in a statement: "President Trump's comments that a number of female Democrat members of Congress should 'go back' to the 'totally broken and crime infested places from which they came' were widely condemned as racist, and we reported on this extensively. The BBC's editorial guidelines do require due impartiality, but the Editorial Complaints Unit's ruling is clear that Naga Munchetty was perfectly entitled to give a personal response to the phrase 'go back to your own country'. She understandably feels strongly on this issue, and there was nothing wrong with her talking about her own experiences of racism."

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The statement added: "However, our editorial guidelines do not allow for journalists to then give their opinions about the individual making the remarks or their motives for doing so - in this case President Trump - and it was for this reason that the complaint was partially upheld. Those judgements are for the audience to make."

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