I’m going to vote for the Brexit party and I tell you that was a hard decision for me to make as someone on the left. Because I am ashamed and appalled by the fact that the left has so exited this discussion… eurosceptisim on the left… was a central tenet of left-wing viewpoints.
But the spiked columnist is hardly left-leaning. Whelan is a self-proclaimed ‘anti-feminist’ and has written articles calling for people to stop “obsessing” over sexual assault allegations against Donald Trump.
That didn’t stop the BBC describing Whelan as a “left-leaning journalist” and allowing her to position herself as such during broadcasting.
Actual progressives are rare
The BBC‘s billing of a spiked journalist as “left-leaning” comes against a backdrop where the corporate media marginalises actual progressive voices. Take the sheer number of pro-establishment right-wingers on BBC Sunday Politics. In 19 episodes following the 2017 general election, the BBC brought on pundits well to the right of the political spectrum on every show. By contrast, the public service broadcaster included people on the left only three times during that period. That meant there were 16 episodes without a meaningful leftist viewpoint from any of the three guests.
“Left-leaning my fucking foot”
On social media, people scoffed at the claim Whelan is left-wing:
Not Spiked magazine's Ella Whelan! If the left has lost Spiked magazine's Ella Whelan, the game is up! https://t.co/uYeK70peeH
— Karl McDonald (@karlusss) May 13, 2019
This is Ella Whelan, a Spiked columnist, who wrote an article for them called ‘Lily Madigan is not a woman’. She isn’t someone ‘on the left’. She’s a fascist. https://t.co/ph38KWqydV… pic.twitter.com/QcfbrlkAh2
— Lily Madigan (@realLilyMadigan) May 13, 2019
"Left-leaning" my fucking foot. Here's the tea.
The Koch-funded Spiked replaced 'Living Marxism', a title which folded after denying the genocide of Bosnian Muslims, and its leftism should be considered homeopathic (it was once there, traces now undetectable). https://t.co/dXC9JsLvz6
— Ash Sarkar (@AyoCaesar) May 13, 2019
It looks like Whelan is simply billing herself as left wing in order to appeal to that voter base. And the BBC not only left that unchallenged but also described her as ‘left-leaning’. That’s a disservice to viewers.
Featured image via Twitter – BBC Politics
Do your bit for independent journalism
Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.
We need you to help out, if you can.
When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.
You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.
In return you get:
- Advert free reading experience
- Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
- 20% discount from our shop