Media Lens’ dissection of the reporting of George Galloway’s victory in the Bradford West by-election (April 3rd) is well worth highlighting. As ML said, “it afforded a rare opportunity to witness naked imbalance, establishment scorn of any challenges, and blatant anti-Muslim propaganda in the corporate British media.”
On Channel 4 News, Midlands correspondent Darshni Soni interviewed George Galloway, attempting – like so many others – to outwit him. ML’s other analyses of TV programmes can be read here; they include Galloway’s interrogation by Cathy Newman on Channel 4 News, by Anna Foster on BBC Radio Five Live and by BBC2’s Newsnight, reporter Peter Marshall, who also used the ‘Muslim vote’ line, though more impartial accounts made it clear that Galloway’s vote was also high in areas with low Muslim populations.
A website new to PCU was quoted, “the excellent News Sniffer” in which John Leach monitors news websites and detects when articles change; comparing two versions side by side it exposed how the words ‘immigrant’ and ‘fundamentalist’ were hurriedly removed from an article by the Guardian’s political editor Patrick Wintour. Further key changes are easily visible here.
CLOSING REMARKS IN FULL : the British political system has degenerated into a grotesque, neo-feudalist fraud representing the same elite interests . . .
“In our 2005 media alert, Ambushing Dissent, also analysing media treatment of Galloway, we noted how ‘across the spectrum, “rogue” thinkers, politicians and parties are relentlessly smeared and mocked by the elite media. The effect is as inevitable as it is intended – to persuade the public to revile and turn away from radical voices threatening established privilege and power.’
“The response to Galloway’s latest electoral victory from the Guardian, the Observer, Channel 4 News and the BBC piles on the evidence. It shows – once again – that the supposedly liberal media, purveyors of ‘open journalism’, will fight tooth and nail to neutralise anyone who challenges the establishment status quo.
“And yet it could hardly be more obvious that the British political system has degenerated into a grotesque, neo-feudalist fraud representing the same elite interests under different brand names. Our politics is structurally addicted to greed-based ‘humanitarian’ militarism, to exacerbating the catastrophic threat of climate change, and to denying the public any serious choice on the major policy issues of the day. An honest media would welcome any small sign of hope that the iron grip of this corrupt and oppressive system might be subject to serious challenge.”
Our tiny fragment of social media does indeed welcome Galloway’s victory as a cheering sign of hope for all those aware of the urgent need for political change. Though not always prudent, he was at his best when making an impressively clear and compelling case as he faced – and outfaced – the American Senate Committee in 2005. An excerpt can be seen and heard here: