Friday, 2 February 2018

Normalising extreme-right hate-mongers is a disgusting new low point for the BBC

One the day that the extreme-right fanatic Daren Osborne was convicted over the Finsbury Park terrorist attack, the BBC Newsnight team took the outrageous decision to invite one of the extreme-right hate preachers who radicalised and inspired him for an interview about the attack.

The prosecution presented Osborne's web browsing history as evidence in the Finsbury Park trial, and that evidence showed his fixation with the extreme-right hate group Britain First, and with the former EDL leader Tommy Robinson (real name Stephen Christopher Yaxley). It also turned out that Osborne had copied out Tommy Robinson tweets and left them on the dashboard of the van he used in the terrorist attack.

The BBC Newsnight team then decided to invite Tommy Robinson onto the show to make excuses, distance himself from the extreme-right fanatic he helped to radicalise, and spread even more of his extreme-right propaganda.

The interviewer Kirsty Wark was so weak that she even allowed Robinson to go completely unchallenged when he grossly misrepresented the peaceful Al Quds Palastinian Solidarity march as "a terrorist march", claim some kind of BBC conspiracy to cover up this so-called "terrorist march", and use it as justification for Osborne's terrorist atrocity.

Wark and the Newsnight team were so shockingly unprepared for the interview that they allowed Robinson to deny being a hate preacher without countering his claim with anything from the mountain of evidence that he is (with this horrific hate-inciting video for example).

Anyone who thinks that this move was editorially justifiable should have a think about how Tommy Robinson and his ilk would have reacted had Newsnight invited an Islamist hate preacher onto the show on the the very same day one of the people they had radicalised was convicted for carrying out a deadly terrorist attack.

Just imagine the wave of outrage if the BBC had used the conviction of an Islamist terrorist as an opportunity to give a fanatical Islamist hate preacher a platform to spread even more Islamist propaganda, and even actually make excuses for the attack.

Amazingly the BBC's decision to hand Tommy Robinson a massive platform to make excuses and spread even more of his vile extreme-right views and conspiracies has elicited hardly any outrage at all.

It's just somehow taken for granted that the BBC would use the conviction of an extreme-right terrorist to actually help to promote one of the extreme-right hate preachers who radicalised him!

Newspaper columnists are not writing outraged pieces about it because to them it's perfectly normal that the BBC would actively promote a man who inspired an extreme-right terrorist attack.

If we think back a few years to that time the BBC invited the BNP leader Nick Griffin onto Question Time and the massive controversy that caused, it's clear that something has changed dramatically in the last decade.

Only a few years ago it was a highly controversial move to invite the leader of a far-right political party onto the BBC, even though Griffin was the leader of a political party that had bagged almost a million votes at the 2009 European Parliament elections, and he had no connections with a deadly terrorist attack.

But now things have changed so much that it's considered completely fine and uncontroversial to invite an extreme-right hate preacher onto the BBC on the very day one of his followers was convicted for carrying out a deadly terrorist attack!

If we look at the appalling decision to invite Tommy Robinson onto the BBC to spread extreme-right propaganda in the context of what was considered highly controversial less than a decade ago, it's beyond doubt that extreme-right politics has been embraced by the mainstream media to such an extent that people have become thoroughly normalised to it.

The only conclusion to draw from this horrific editorial decision is that the BBC is now actively working to promote and normalise extreme-right fanaticism.

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