The BBC’s treatment of this far-right racist is a perfect demonstration of everything that’s wrong with its current affairs programming.
The woman was hand-picked to join the audience of the BBC’s Question Time on February 20, and delivered a fact-free rant during the show.
It was followed by an awkward silence, before panellists delivered the fact injection that the general public needed after being exposed to such nonsense.
But then the BBC acted really atrociously. Look at the way the Corporation portrayed the moment on Twitter:
“We should completely close the borders … enough is enough”
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) February 20, 2020
I’m grateful to the Angry Yorkshireman of Another Angry Voice for his comment on this:
“The role of any responsible broadcaster should be to point out the lies, and the massive impracticality of just ‘closing the borders’, not to actively and uncritically amplify dangerously ignorant far-right diatribes like this.
“Uncritically amplifying this fact-averse nonsense adds to the toxic political environment in which bigots are encouraged to believe that their ignorance has as much value and importance as other people’s facts and evidence.”
Correct. It’s doubly-abhorrent in a week when Boris Johnson’s government was exposed as being stuffed with racists (including the prime minister himself).
I believe @bbcquestiontime will have known that the racist woman on Thursday night's #bbcqt Tommy Robinson supporter, she's been seen at far right events, this vile individual represents a narrative that is being enabled/normalised by @BBC do they like promoting hate? Yes.
— Loz Argyle ⚓ (@ArgyleLoz) February 22, 2020
Just to balance up, here’s panellist Ash Sarkar responding to the racist:
— Danny Shell Ⓥ #RLB2020 #Richard4Deputy (@DannyShell4) February 21, 2020
The tweet from Sam Bright is very interesting, as are his follow-ups:
If run properly, Question Time should inform people and (in theory) contribute to healthy, democratic debate.
At the minute it’s built like an entertainment programme. It’s about clipping up extreme views and getting viral hits.
The BBC need to rethink.
— Sam Bright (@Scram_Sam) February 22, 2020
That’s the heart of the matter – that the BBC is putting clips of extreme views onto the internet in order to get viral hits, as though that somehow validated its current affairs programming. It doesn’t.
Spare a thought also for the poor guy who had to sit next to the racist while she ranted. He looked uncomfortable at the time and he expanded on his demeanour on Twitter afterwards:
Truly overwhelmed by the kindness and support since my #bbcqt trauma live you lot! After 30 years of trying to articulate a coherent argument for the left I now find that a meme of my cringing face is infinitely more powerful than my words! Let's all do it – #facesagainstracism pic.twitter.com/2IUjYxDQLg
— Will Austin (@WillAustin1964) February 22, 2020
The reason for the racism can be summed up in this video which, ironically, was made for the general election campaign and if more people had paid attention, perhaps we would not be putting up with the increased bigotry and ignorance we’re experiencing now:
— Jerry Hicks (@JerryHicksUnite) February 22, 2020
So there you have it. When politicians – or their mouthpieces, as on Question Time – blame immigrants, it’s because they’ve run out of excuses for the terrible decisions they’re making.
Lastly, isn’t it amazing how the mainstream news media have tried to normalise this?
People think Pam from Gavin & Stacey got really racist and went on Question Time last night https://t.co/41dppQF5Np
— The Independent (@Independent) February 22, 2020
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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