Press TV: Take it Off Air?

presstvlogoHonestReporting has consistently exposed Press TV, the Iranian government funded mouthpiece of the brutal regime. Numerous broadcasts promote an obsessively anti-Zionist agenda far beyond any pretence at impartiality, while Press TV’s website continues to host Holocaust denial.

As the regime attempts to crush dissent following the recent Iranian elections, Press TV’s self-proclaimed “unbiased news agenda” and advertisements on London buses promoting the station as “giving a voice to the voiceless” have been clearly revealed as fraudulent.

Ofcom is now investigating a complaint that Press TV has breached its duty to be impartial and accurate and BBC Newsnight has broadcast its own feature asking whether a broadcaster funded by the Iranian government should be allowed to operate in the UK. Click on the image below to view the studio debate hosted by Jeremy Paxman, between Press TV’s MD, Matthew Richardson and Spectator contributor Martin Bright. (The full programme can be seen here on the BBC’s iPlayer available in the UK only.)

Respect MP, media host and prominent anti-Israel activist George Galloway, recently censured by Ofcom, has continued to give his uncritical support to Iranian president Ahmadinejad. During a phone-in show, one caller questioned the democratic credentials of the election. Galloway responded:

gallowayhaniyehIn the end the opposition was defeated and there was a lot of disappointment about that amongst the Iranians and especially amongst western commentators, and you can work out why.

Why they hate the Islamic republic of Iran, why they hate President Ahmadinejad.

It’s not for any bad things he has done or any mistakes … it’s because Iran will not bow the knee to western power. Because Iran will not bow the knee to the Zionist settler state of Israel which is an apartheid state, I remind you.

That’s why they hate Ahmadinejad.

Booth_keffiyehWe congratulate radio presenter Nick Ferrari, who quit his show on Press TV in protest at the regime’s crushing of dissent. Ferrari told The Times that Press TV’s news coverage had been “reasonably fair” until the election – but not any longer. “I imagine they’ve been told what to do, and I can’t reconcile that with working there,” he said.

Press TV continues to employ numerous “star names”, including Lauren Booth, Andrew Gilligan and Yvonne Ridley. Booth told The Times that her weekly programme, Remember the Children of Palestine, was “too important for me not to make it”, demonstrating how the anti-Israel agendas of some of Press TV’s presenters outweigh any moral scruples they may have working for Iran’s government.

Political commentator Iain Dale, an occasional guest on Press TV programmes comments: “I have been appalled at the way their website has portrayed what’s happened in the Iranian elections. Quite how they have complied with Ofcom’s rules on objectivity, I don’t know.” Referring to the Newsnight debate he adds: “Having heard Mr Richardson on the radio last week and now seen his ridiculous performance against Martin Bright, it has confirmed my decision not to appear on the station again.”

HonestReporting and members of its staff have, in the past, been invited to assist with or appear on Press TV programmes. On principle, we refused to cooperate then and we will continue to deny the mouthpiece of the Iranian regime the credibility that it does not deserve. We hope that other sensible invitees to Press TV, including members of the UK’s Jewish community, who have previously accepted, will follow suit.

Please write to your local MP and ask whether a broadcaster funded by the Iranian government should be allowed to operate in the UK.


amnestylogoAn Amnesty International report accusing Israel of “war crimes” features prominently in the media, including The Times, Financial Times, BBC and Sky News. In advance of a more detailed analysis, NGO Monitor has issued a press statement:

In 117 pages of the latest report, a mere 8 are devoted to the ‘conduct of Palestinian armed groups’.  Although this brief reference condemns Hamas rocket fire on Israeli civilians as a war crime, Amnesty makes the tendentious claim that it “did not find evidence that Hamas or other Palestinian groups violated the laws of war to the extent repeatedly alleged by Israel.”

Ignoring well-documented evidence of Hamas’ extensive use of human shields (including this video clip of a gunmen grabbing a child as cover and this detailed independent report) Amnesty found “no evidence that Hamas or other fighters directed the movement of civilians to shield military objectives from attacks.”

Read the full statement here and more on Amnesty International’s history of anti-Israel bias at NGO Monitor.