Veteran journalist Peter Oborne demolished BBC propaganda live on Radio 4 on 17 February. Oborne’s critical phone call startled host Justin Webb who initially tried to laugh it off.
Slamming BBC coverage
Oborne resigned from The Telegraph over its connection to HSBC. On Radio 4, he compared coverage of Tony Blair to Donald Trump to illustrate BBC bias.
Oborne said the BBC and the liberal media “cheered it along” when Blair showed “complete contempt for the truth”. He argued that they are only calling out Trump’s lies now because he’s a president with unfavourable rhetoric.
The Daily Mail columnist began with a direct attack on the previous caller. BBC correspondent John Sopel was on the line right before Oborne.
I have to say that I was listening to Mr Sopel there who reported the Blair years, very enthusiastically. And he was accusing Donald Trump of all sorts of things that he never accused Blair of…
He only took one line of argument. He excluded the hostile press – he was obsessed by the media. This just as much applied to Blair… when Mr Sopel reported for the BBC. This one-dimensional politics and obsession with the press. Welcome to what’s been going on for the last 20 years.
In response, Webb attempted to laugh off the allegations:
Are you seriously arguing that Donald Trump is a kind of extension of Tony Blair?
To which the Middle East Eye contributor offered “the mendacity, the lying, the cheating, the obsession with the press”. He said one of the differences is that Trump’s “off message”. So the BBC can “sneer” at him.
The Radio 4 host retorted:
Are you seriously suggesting that the chaos of the Trump presidency and his approach to the outside world is being ‘got up’ by a media that don’t like him? And actually, behind the scenes as he says everything, all’s running smoothly?
But Oborne denied he was saying that. He argued that the “contempt for the truth” was worse during the Blair years because the press respected him. He also accused the media of selling the public the lies about the invasion of Iraq. For Oborne, this continued:
Then Cameron, the inheritor of Blair, sold us the lie about Libya and that catastrophe in North Africa. And the press and the BBC cheered it along. They didn’t question it. And now that they’ve got somebody they don’t like, they’re going after him. But when you have liberal leaders who you loved, Iraq, Libya and so forth – you cheered them on.
Oborne’s point appears to be that there’s a double standard in the liberal corporate press. Of course Trump’s premiership can be worse than Obama’s and Blair’s in many ways. But the BBC and other outlets have only grown teeth now that the lies are accompanied with distasteful rhetoric.
Here’s an interesting interview with Peter Oborne:
– Check out the Media Reform Coalition.
– Write to your MP, asking their view on media monopolies.
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