Throwing the Book At Ken LivingstoneJanuary 20, 2011 16:43 by Pesach Benson
HonestReporting once named Ken Livingstone the Lousiest Journalist Wannabe. The reason? This fawning interview with Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in an edition of the New Statesman, which Red Ken was guest editing.
I guess it got someone’s attention in Iran; the UK just discovered he’s been hosting Epilogue, a weekly book review show on Iran’s Press TV for several months.
Tellingly, the Evening Standard reports that the British public holds a very dim view of Livingstone’s association with Iran:
The broadcaster was investigated last year by Ofcom after interviewing a jailed Newsweek journalist who was allegedly under extreme duress at the time in an interrogation room.
Mr Livingstone’s appearances, reviewing books on the channel, put him at odds with senior Labour figures including party leader Ed Miliband, who called last month for the release of an Iranian woman sentenced to death by stoning after her alleged confession to her part in her husband’s murder was shown on Press TV.
I was particularly impressed with Toby Young, who really throws the book at Livingstone:
Livingstone’s role on the channel is to present a book programme – ironic, considering the Iranian regime isn’t exactly known for its love of literature. This is the same regime, after all, whose spiritual leader sentenced a British author to death for having the temerity to write a work of fiction he disapproved of.
It’s easy to understand why the Jewish community is outraged. Previous programs have included:
I’m sure Livingstone — like Press TV’s other faces, Galloway and Lauren Booth — is quite reasonably paid by the mullahs.