The BBC reports that Respect MP, media host and prominent anti-Israel activist George Galloway:
has breached Ofcom’s impartiality rules after calling for listeners to attend anti-Israel protests on his radio show.
The media regulator received 14 complaints about five shows broadcast on Talksport during the Gaza conflict between November 2008 and January 2009.
Ofcom ruled the show “crossed the line from legitimate and provocative debate” to one calling listeners to action.
However it also ruled the show did not break rules on offering opposing views.
Ofcom said that although Galloway did not in any way encourage or incite hatred or violence, he turned the debate into “active campaigning on a major matter of political controversy”.
It noted that, as the presenter was actively involved in one side of the campaign and at various points gave details of dates, times and locations of demonstrations across the UK, he failed to comply with impartiality requirements.
The Times columnist Oliver Kamm disagrees with Ofcom’s decision that Galloway was fair about presenting opposing views. Kamm writes:
Well, I was one of those guests (in “a blazing on-air row” according to an impeccable and respected source) and I’m unconvinced that Ofcom has got this right. I realised this only after our discussion, but Galloway made liberal use of the fader button to make sure that my replies to his questions were not heard. He would ask a question and block the answer from the airwaves after literally two or three seconds.
Now, some readers will doubtless think I should have been grateful to be a contributor to Galloway’s programme and that the format of a radio programme is the prerogative of the host rather than the guest. But even so, the radio station itself acknowledged that my observation was correct. I have no doubt that Talksport has a sincere policy of allowing different points of view to be heard. But from my experience, that doesn’t happen on Galloway’s programme.
[Ofcom is the independent organisation which regulates the UK’s broadcasting, telecommunications and wireless communications sectors.]
GALLOWAY & PRESS TV: VOICES OF THE IRANIAN REGIME
Talksport isn’t the only place where George Galloway is able to promote his extreme views. Galloway also appears on the Iranian government owned Press TV, which has been available to view in the UK to those with a Sky satellite subscription since December 2008.
HonestReporting has previously exposed Press TV’s self-proclaimed “unbiased news agenda”. Now, as the Iranian people fights against a regime which murders its own citizens, attempts to suppress the communication media and expels foreign journalists, Jewish Chronicle Editor Stephen Pollard writes:
If you’re in London, you’ll have seen the adverts for Press TV which have sprung up everywhere in the past few days. Manchester has also had them:
Press TV. Giving a voice to the voiceless. 24/7. News. Truth. The World is changing. People are changing. Opinions are changing. The News is changing. Why do you still watch the same tired news channel? GET THE FULL STORY AT PRESS TV. …
But ignore who funds it, and look at how Press TV actually behaves. And that’s clear: as a Holocaust denying, racial hatred inciting, Islamist-boosting, conspiracy theory peddling propaganda outfit.
While Press TV may be able to broadcast and advertise in freedom, let nobody involved with this media outlet be under any illusion as to what it stands for. If anyone had any doubts about the nature of the Iranian regime, recent events should have put this to rest.