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Monday, November 22 2010

Ofcom: No Real Conversation On George Galloway's Show

George_galloway George Galloway and Press TV were found in breach of the UK broadcasting code by Ofcom, Britain's media standards authority. Bottom line: Galloway's show, Comment, is just a vehicle for the former MP to bash Israel.

The ruling was the result of a complaint by a viewer against a February broadcast discussing the death of Hamas leader Mahmoud Mabhouh in Dubai. 

The broadcast code allows free speech to presenters like Galloway, providing that impartiality is preserved, as described in this rule Ofcom cited:

Rule 5.5: ‘Due impartiality on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy must be preserved on the part of any person providing a service. This may be achieved within a programme or over a series of programmes taken as a whole.’

But Ofcom found a pattern of criticism over several broadcasts it couldn't overlook. I don't have room to mention all the examples it cited; suffice to say, Ofcom didn't feel there was enough real "debate" to allow Comment to accurately describe itself as "impartial." The watchdog's conclusion says it all:

Further, the broadcaster failed to engage or debate with any point of view that was contrary to the view presented by George Galloway. Rather, Ofcom is of the view that George Galloway, in particular, used the alternative opinions made by the viewers, which were contrary to his own, only as vehicles to punctuate what could be classed as a form of on-going political polemic, delivered by the presenter directly to camera and unchallenged.

Press TV is run by the Iranian government, meaning Galloway's on the payroll of the mullahs. That helps explain this comment on June 10:

If I was running Iran I would build a bomb because Israel is aiming hundreds of nuclear weapons at me.

(Hat tip: The Wire)



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