So it is that the channel appears to be winging it, and doing so to no discernible purpose: first, figurehead host Andrew Neil leaves for his Petite Maison on the French Riviera, with no sign of when he will return. Then, stand-in host Guto Harri is hung out to dry and later sacked for an expression of free speech (Harri is now consulting lawyers).
And to top all of that, GB News has, in its desperation, called in former Brexit Party Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage in an attempt to bring back the few viewers that had given up and gone elsewhere. But this may not be the genius move that the channel’s decision makers might have thought, because Farage also means baggage.
When Nige still had his LBC show, he trotted out this gem one evening: “there are other very powerful foreign lobbies in the United States of America, and the Jewish lobby with its links to the Israeli Government is one of those strong voices … Well, in terms of money and influence, they [the Jewish lobby] are a very powerful lobby … There are about six million Jewish people living in America, so as a percentage, it’s quite small, but in terms of influence it’s quite big”. Jews equals Foreign. Jews are all rich. Oh dear, Nigel!
The problem for anyone wishing to excuse Mr Thirsty’s swerve across the anti-Semitism line is that this was not an isolated occurrence. As the Guardian reported last year, “The Board of Deputies of British Jews said Farage’s airing of claims about plots to undermine national governments, and his references to Goldman Sachs and the financier George Soros, showed he was seeking to ‘trade in dog whistles’ … [he] was also condemned by the MPs who co-chair the all-party group against antisemitism”. There was more.
Farage had claimed “Orbán's Hungary is standing up to George Soros and closing him down, I wish we all did the same … Another anti-Brexit plot backed by George Soros. This man will stop at nothing … The Soros-funded attempt for a second referendum has failed”.
Then came those dastardly Globalists. “London is ranked the best financial centre while Frankfurt is 11th. We're all sick of the constant threats from Goldman and the globalists … We are heading towards a world where the democratic nation state has made a comeback against the globalists … We are beating the globalists! … Obama and Merkel are holding a losing party for the globalists! … The globalists are sticking together”.
Someone say “Goldman”? “Goldman Sachs and big business lost the referendum … If Goldman Sachs are leaving London for the US, why aren't they going to their beloved European Union? … Goldman Sachs Chairman thinks those who want border controls are 'xenophobic'. Badly out of touch”. Whistle those racist doggies, eh Nige?
Nigel Farage’s arrival at GB News may, in the short run, bring more viewers. The problem for the channel is that it will also bring pressure on advertisers to move the other way.
Importing the stench of anti-Semitism to a dying media brand? This will not end well.
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