A brilliant takedown of the BBC resurfaces after its latest Orwellian hypocrisy

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Tracy Keeling

A brilliant takedown of the BBC has resurfaced after its latest Orwellian hypocrisy. People are widely sharing a video of one man’s devastating characterisation of the broadcaster as a ‘mouthpiece for this corrupt government’ in 2017.

With the BBC‘s Orwellian ‘coverage’ of the war in Yemen and antisemitism in the UK, it’s no wonder the epic video is experiencing a resurgence.

Bullet-proof vests, motherfuckers

Following the Grenfell fire, reporters spoke to Kensington resident and writer Ishmahil Blagrove on the tragedy. In his response, he delivered an epic takedown of the British media – and the BBC in particular:

I say fuck the media; fuck the mainstream! You don’t deserve to be there… We should be campaigning not to government, but to the BBC, who act as mouthpieces for this corrupt government…

Then, talking about and Jeremy Corbyn and his party’s stunning result in the 2017 general election in the face of a vicious media campaign, Blagrove said:

they’re [the UK public] in bullet-proof vests to you and the other billionaire sort of media owners and Rupert Murdoch and all the other motherfuckers.

The video has recently resurfaced on Twitter and is receiving thousands of shares:

Doublespeak

The video’s re-emergence is timely. Because the public broadcaster has made multiple decisions recently which are relevant to Blagrove’s “mouthpiece” critique.

As historian Mark Curtis pointed out, the BBC covered Saudi Arabia’s unspeakable attack on a school bus in Yemen on 9 August. But in an article on Saudi Arabia’s murder of at least 29 children – there were reportedly 50 deaths in total along with 77 people injured – the BBC didn’t mention the UK’s role in that war once:

The UK government has licensed £4.7bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since it started the bombing campaign in Yemen. As Campaign Against Arms Trade’s Andrew Smith said in a statement seen by The Canary:

The UK government has been utterly complicit in the destruction. It has armed and supported the Saudi-led coalition right from the start. The death toll has spiraled, and the humanitarian crisis has only got worse, and yet the arms sales have continued.

The BBC knows it should report on the UK’s role in the Yemen conflict too. During a Q&A session on Twitter after the tragedy, its chief international correspondent answered a question on that very issue. A social media user asked:

Why does the UK media minimise the UK’s role in supporting their ally, Saudi Arabia, in this massacre?

Lyse Doucet responded:

So the BBC is saying one thing, and then doing the exact opposite. How Orwellian.

Eternal smear campaign

Meanwhile, of course, the BBC has joined other media outlets in continuing to attack Corbyn over allegations of antisemitism.

Antisemitism is on the rise in the UK and exists across the political spectrum. But the Home Affairs Committee concluded [pdf p46] in October 2016 that “there exists no reliable, empirical evidence to support the notion that there is a higher prevalence of antisemitic attitudes within the Labour Party than any other political party”. Nonetheless, British media coverage continues to suggest that Labour does contain more antisemitic attitudes than other parties – and that it’s Corbyn’s fault.

Meanwhile, the Labour Party has taken action against antisemitism in its party, including commissioning a report and drafting a code of conduct. That’s a lot more than the Conservatives have done about their Islamophobia problem, which is next to nothing.

Fuck the media

No wonder Blagrove’s takedown of the BBC and UK media as a whole has found renewed popularity. When the whole media establishment is constantly trying to sell you blatant half-truths and propaganda, it’s entirely reasonable to hunker down in your bullet-proof vest and scream out a deafening ‘fuck you’.

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