The mainstream media is no stranger to giving airtime to right wing views. But on 12 September, it surpassed itself.
Today @joannaccherry made history by proving in court that Johnson is the first ever PM to have lied to the monarch. So who do people decide to interview about it this evening?@Peston: Nigel Farage@afneil: Nigel Farage.
Shows exactly why our country has gone down the toilet.
— Richard milne (@milneorchid) September 11, 2019
People expressed their frustration over Farage’s media appearances on Twitter:
WHY is this utter Tosspot on our TV?
He is not an MP, he is an unelected leader of a Company, not a political party.
He is divisive, he is a liar, he is a thief, he is a fraud.
Why do journalists give him the time of day to spread his hatred.
He is a vile man. https://t.co/pU2cdip8Ws
— Kerry (Stop the Brexit MADNESS). (@Rozkez67) September 12, 2019
Some also pointed out the danger in giving someone like Farage, who has a track record of racism, a platform:
Maybe a racist who has to beg the PM for a pact by taking out an ad in the daily express doesn’t deserve this kind of platform?
— James Felton (@JimMFelton) September 11, 2019
Robert Peston, in particular, was criticised for not challenging Farage’s views. However, plenty of people online did a better job of scrutinising his words:
No grip on reality. Just bombastic, spluttering denial in the face of hard truth assessed by impartial civil servants. What does Farage do next if he gets his way on no-deal and #Yellowhammer all comes true? #Peston https://t.co/xGCABfJN1A
— David Lammy (@DavidLammy) September 11, 2019
Just a thought @Peston
Allowing Nigel Farage the last word to dismiss and disparage the word of industry experts based on nothing but his own bullshit laden self interest is an incredibly stupid thing to do.
Surely you know he's talking bollocks – so challenge him.#Peston
— Graham Lithgow (@grahamlithgow) September 11, 2019
Farage wants a group of sovereign states working and trading closely together. That already exists. It's called the European Union.
— Matthew McGee 🌍🇪🇺🇬🇧🎭♻️🎞📚 (@McGeeMatthew) September 12, 2019
It’s safe to say that people saw past Farage’s empty rhetoric:
— Cat (@cat186) September 11, 2019
As inevitable as death, Nigel Farage pops up on #Peston to say contingency scenarios published today are “Projecf Fear Mark 2” and “should be utterly, completely disregarded”. Based on what? His business background in the 80s.
He is a vandal. There’s no shorter word for it. ~AA
— Best For Britain 🇬🇧 #StopBrexit (@BestForBritain) September 11, 2019
Andrew Neil similarly received criticism for hosting Farage on the same night:
Andrew Neil is a disgrace inviting one racist and a hard brexiter member of government when we had the decision in the courts in Scotland today.
And remember this? https://t.co/z7QvliLckv
— Catio Miles (@CatioMiles) September 11, 2019
Farage contributed to the show from a Brexit party conference in the Northern town of Sedgefield. However, a special appearance improved his segment dramatically. A protester wearing a t-shirt that said “Keep the immigrants; deport the racists” appeared behind Farage on live TV:
Anti-racism protester photobombs Nigel Farage's BBC appearance and steals the show https://t.co/fzUl2LCgsc
— The New European (@TheNewEuropean) September 13, 2019
The timing was perfect, too, as he appeared just when Farage claimed, “I don’t think Westminster even understands how people in constituencies like… Sedgefield feel about politics”:
Nigel Farage was in Sedgefield tonight. As he told the BBC’s Andrew Neil, “Westminster doesn’t understand how people in Sedgefield feel,” one voter made his feelings very clear…. pic.twitter.com/tBGaccy1Eo
— winnie davies (@fussydolphin) September 12, 2019
Joking aside, it’s important to recognise the very harmful impact of giving Farage media exposure. Such publicity has been linked to a rise in his popularity, and therefore in people agreeing with his views:
From today's RedBox. The chart indicates how if you starve Farage of media oxygen his ratings suffer, give him media coverage oxygen his ratings rise pic.twitter.com/K6Da21tPXT
— Carole Peters #FBPE⚫🇪🇺🏴🇪🇺🔶️🛫🎪 (@CPFlo) September 13, 2019
Mainstream media outlets have shown time and again the right-wing bias in their reporting. However, the consequences of giving voices from the far right repeated exposure on mainstream media are grave. The media might be doing its best to ignore the concerns of working class and marginalised groups but people are showing they aren’t fooled by this manipulation.
Featured image via YouTube/liarpoliticians2
We need your help ...
The coronavirus pandemic is changing our world, fast. And we will do all we can to keep bringing you news and analysis throughout. But we are worried about maintaining enough income to pay our staff and minimal overheads.
Now, more than ever, we need a vibrant, independent media that holds the government to account and calls it out when it puts vested economic interests above human lives. We need a media that shows solidarity with the people most affected by the crisis – and one that can help to build a world based on collaboration and compassion.
We have been fighting against an establishment that is trying to shut us down. And like most independent media, we don’t have the deep pockets of investors to call on to bail us out.
Can you help by chipping in a few pounds each month?