There are many broadcasters out there ready and willing to serve up debate on the subject of Britain and the EU. All are bound by Ofcom’s rules on impartiality. So perhaps that regulator would like to mosey over sometime to the increasingly piss-poor offerings served up by Murdoch-owned Talk Radio, where every appearance is given that Brexit is not being presented in the most even-handed of ways by one particular host.
Yes thanks, we know who you are
To no surprise at all, the not really pro-Brexit bias, honestly, comes from self-promoting pundit Julia Hartley Brewer, who presents Talk Radio’s breakfast offering, probably because nobody else wanted to do it. One look at those appearing, with the eager promotion of their views, shows the lack of even-handedness.
How might this have manifested itself? Let’s have a look. First off - rubbish anything not offering a good hard Brexit. “Labour's Lord Adonis warns: "If there is no deal then planes won't fly and there will be 50-mile queues at Dover." Can we expect Project Fear from Jeremy Corbyn's Brexit speech today?” Yeah, it’s just Project Fear, and it’s rubbish!
Then it was on to Barry Gardiner for more ridicule, this earning the endorsement of the Leave EU mob, who told happily “@JuliaHB1 ridicules Barry Gardiner and Labour's latest Brexit policy: "If you think Jean-Claude Juncker, Guy Verhofstadt et al are going to agree to give the UK a veto over international trade agreements signed by the EU, you are stark staring mad!” Then, having rubbished one side, it was time to promote the other.
And who better for Ms Hartley Dooda to promote than Jacob Rees Mogg? “Jacob Rees-Mogg: ‘We will be out of the single market, out of the customs union and out of the jurisdiction of the Court of Justice’”. And don’t mention his lying about Jeremy Corbyn.
This theme continued: “Is the issue over the Irish border in the EU withdrawal negotiations ‘a storm in a teacup?’ DUP Brexit spokesman Sammy Wilson speaks to Julia”. That’s right, just speak to one part of one side of the Irish border problem. And on it went.
Next up for the totally unbiased Hartley Dooda show was Bill Cash, who isn’t exactly sitting on the Euro-fence. “Sir Bill Cash: Remainers are orchestrating a ‘highly organised attack on British democracy’”. He’s not shy of losing it on air, either, it seems.
Could she top that? As if you need to ask. “Iain Duncan Smith: ‘Theresa May’s Brexit speech will embarrass the EU which has behaved unbelievably badly and there is a panic about what’s going to happen when the UK leaves’”. As if Iain Duncan Cough is a credible source - even for the Leave side. He’s a congenital liar - as well as not having been anywhere near the action. Panic my arse.
Behold the real boss at Talk Radio
Perhaps it should surprise no-one that having a rabidly Europhobic right-winger hosting a show on a station owned by the Murdoch mafiosi will lean towards a predictable outcome. But the blatant and shameless way in which Julia Hartley Dooda displays her phobia is still surprising. As is her ability to get away with it - so far.
This attempt to bring a little of Fox News to the UK may be for a time, but not for all time.