Tory government support for GB News

In its first week Andrew Neil’s GB News demonstrated it’s intent to broadcast conspiracy theories and right-wing trash with a parade of extremists and cranks as guests.  Its presenters are libertarian think-tankers and professional far-right grifting screaming heads.  It is as ugly as expected.

Unsurprisingly, the increasingly Trumpian Tory government welcomed and defended GB News.  Cabinet ministers chose to appear as interviewees having avoided both Channel 4 news and ITN news recently, and many Tory MPs published supportive messages.

After several advertisers stated they would remove their adverts from GB News, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden and chair of parliamentary committee for Digital, Media, Culture and Sport Julian Knight attacked both the businesses who had withdrawn their adverts and left-of-centre organisation Stop Funding Hate; the latter helped with the campaign to persuade advertisers to cancel agreements with GB News.

Dowden: “One of the cornerstones of our liberties is our robust, free and diverse media and GB News is a welcome addition to that diversity.  As we’ve seen this week with the totally unacceptable harassment of a BBC journalist, we cannot take it for granted.  It is up to brands to advertise where they wish, but it would be worrying if they allow themselves to succumb to pressure groups.  They should note that GB News is regulated by Ofcom and held to the same high standards as every other broadcaster in the UK.”

Knight: “This is the worst type of cancel culture. GB News is bringing a much-needed perspective to our media landscape. The brands that are pulling their advertising are frankly gutless and need to understand that the UK is a conservative country and will remain so for the foreseeable.”

Dowden’s claim that UK has a “robust, free and diverse media” was the opposite of truth.  Almost all of UK’s national newspapers and talkRadio and LBC are owned by extremely wealthy tax-dodgers who abhor freedom and diversity.  News in the newspapers is intrinsically biased, often by omission, and most of the newspapers promote bigotry, xenophobia, racism and many other prejudices. 

The Tory government planted its three amigos – Tim Davie, Richard Sharp and Robbie Gibb – in the BBC and their effects have been received already with restrictions placed on political actions and opinions of BBC staff.

GB News does not “add” to “diversity” in the media.  The political position of GB News is exactly the same as that of Mail, Sun and talkRadio.  The orchestrated mob who physically and verbally harassed BBC journalist Nick Watt near parliament last week were members of GB News’ target audience.  They expressed exactly the same political view on Covid-19 restrictions as GB News presenter Dan Wootton.

Dowden claimed he was worried that advertisers “succumbed to pressure groups.”  He knew that businesses made pragmatic decisions that took into account their image.  Dowden did not object to libellous accusations against The Canary and other left-wing news sites by far-right activists accompanied by pressure on businesses to withdraw their adverts from those sites.

Knight’s comments were horrendous.  He expectorated the prevailing right-wing trope of “cancel culture” but neglected to mention Andrew Neil’s assertion that GB News will not broadcast any political view that is counter to that of GB News philosophy.  Contrary to Knight’s fellating praise, GB News’ destructive “perspective” has existed in UK media for a long time.

Knight’s desperate appeal that “UK is a conservative country and will remain so for the foreseeable” was simultaneously chilling and absurd, embellished by the childlike use of the adjective “foreseeable” as a noun.

Julian Knight MP, chair of DCMS parliamentary committee

Tory MP Craig Tracey commented on a GB News show broadcast on Sunday June 20th (2021) wherein three right-wingers, hosts extreme-right grifter Nigel Farage and Tory MP Dehenna Davison, and guest professional contrarian Paul Emberry, indulged in trionanism. 

Tracey: “Political Correction’ on GB News is fantastic watching.  Wasn’t sure about Nigel Farage as a host but actually doing exceptionally well – overseeing a very balanced, grown up debate.  There’s such a noticeable difference.  It’s great to have an alternative outlet to let people see the difference.  And make their own judgement.  It’s nice to hear issues actually discussed.”

It is no longer surprising or even noticeable when Tory MPs praise extremist Farage.  

Tone of Tracey’s comments was compatible with a GB News mendacious PR message.  The predictable contributions from the three participants in the show were decidedly unbalanced and purposefully lacking in adult reasoning. 

GB News is not an “alternative” outlet; it is consumed by its predictability and conformity.

Tracey was happy that hosts and guests were not interrupted and allowed to speak without challenge.  Of course they were allowed to do that because they shared political aims; the intent of GB News is to broadcast propaganda. 

Like all Tories Tracey objects to being examined by interviewers.  Tories hate having to answer actual questions and hate having to explain their decisions.  Their performances on TV, radio and at press conferences are a concoction of lies, obfuscation, misdirection and disdain.

Davison described her and Farage’s ‘Political Correctness’ as “a place to have grown-up, respectful debates about the issues of the week.”  She encapsulated the learnt arrogance of Tories.  They expect unearned respect.  They expect the public and the media to treat them deferentially.  They demand to not be questioned.  They never accept criticism.  They never accept blame.  

GB News, owned by wealthy tax-dodgers, is a tool to engender far-right philosophy and to do so with a very dumbed down anti-knowledge tone.  It sits comfortably with Tories’ methodology and aims.

Related blogs
GB News is worse than expected
BBC bans news staff from supporting anti-racism

Tory government support for GB News

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