After the Murdoch mafiosi took over TalkRADIO, the changes began, specifically with the dismissal of host Stan Collymore, who had previously passed severely adverse comment on Creepy Uncle Rupe. What was more surprising, given his support for the Palestinian cause, something where the Murdochs do not agree with him, was their continuing with the presence of former Labour and Respect Party MP George Galloway.
But as Galloway continued to pass adverse comment on the actions of the Israeli Government, the thought entered that if he gave Rupe half an excuse, he’d be out. In the event, The Great Man gave his employers a proper full-blown reason for dismissal, with the result that his contract with TalkRADIO was terminated this morning.
What provoked the decision to fire him was Galloway’s reaction to Saturday evening’s all-Premiership Champions League final in Madrid, where Liverpool beat Spurs. “Congratulations to the great people of #Liverpool to the memory of the socialist miner #BillShankley to the fallen #96 to those who fought for justice for them and to the Liverpool dockers. No #Israël flags on the Cup!” he announced triumphantly.
Whether or not there was an intention to pass an anti-Semitic remark (and yes, there is no E in Shankly), the inference many would take from his comment is that he has seen Spurs, a club with a large following from North London’s Jewish communities, lose, conflated Israel and Jews and therefore veered over the anti-Semitism line. You’re nicked.
Moreover, what matters to Galloway is that this interpretation will be what he faces if he carries out his threat to take legal action against his now former employers. And that, after he opened with “I’ve been given a Red Card from @talkRADIO for ‘over-celebrating’ #Liverpool famous victory over Spurs. Not sure it’s the wisest move Mr Murdoch’s team ever made given the history and all”, is what he is proposing.
This came as he warned “I’ve just been sacked by @talkRADIO See you in Court guys. #Palestine #Moats Long live Palestine”, and then countered TalkRADIO’s claim “talkRADIO has terminated George Galloway's weekly show with immediate effect. As a fair and balanced news provider, talkRADIO does not tolerate anti-semitic views” with the threat “That’s a defamatory statement. You’d be wise to take it down”.
Galloway is trying to contrast his situation with that of TalkRADIO breakfast host Julia Hartley Dooda, who has, during her time with the station, been censured for a Twitter mis-step (on the Omagh bombing). But alleged anti-Semitism was not involved in her case.
Worse for Galloway, he’s suggesting going up against the Murdochs, who out-spent the Crown in defending Rebekah Brooks and getting her off that phone hacking charge. If they are so minded, they’ll out-spend him. One wonders if he has thought this one through.
George Galloway gave the Murdoch mafiosi a reason to sack him. They took him up on his offer. Now they can install a host in his place whose political leanings are more to their liking. And for that, ultimately, he only has himself to blame.
The age of George Galloway at TalkRADIO was for a time, but not for all time.
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