First, it was merely the kinds of liars and shameless propagandists that pop up all over right wing media: after the self-promoting Julia Hartley Dooda had given a platform to agent provocateur Andy Ngo on her TalkRADIO show - and conspicuously failed to interrogate her source - the deeply unsavoury Dan Wootton did likewise on GB News.
This was after Ngo had been praised by Wootton’s fellow host Neil Oliver, a Tweet that was Retweeted by another GB News presenter, Colin Brazier. And it was Brazier who went one worse than Wootton, as he gave his remaining viewers the dubious benefit of an interview with Rebel Media co-founder Ezra Levant. You heard that right.
Ezra Levant, of whom Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes said “I was never recognised before The Rebel”. The Proud Boys is a neo-fascist organisation that has been designated a terrorist group in McInnes’ native Canada. McInnes contributes to Taki’s Mag, published by Taki Theodoracopulos, whose columns in the increasingly alt-right Spectator magazine have included praise for Golden Dawn in Greece, and Hitler’s Wehrmacht.
Ezra Levant, who worked with pro-am motormouth Katie Hopkins (since banned by Twitter, to the great relief of all those who wished it had happened rather earlier). Ezra Levant, who worked rather more extensively with Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson (Lennon, McInnes and man-baby Milo Yiannopoulos had planned a speaking tour of Australia, only to fail the country’s “character test” and be denied visas).
So did Colin Brazier go where Ms Hartley Dooda had failed with Andy Ngo, and interrogate his source? Sadly, he did not, merely introducing Levant as a “political activist and broadcaster”. Peter Walker of the Guardian did not agree. “This is a really big mis-step by [GB News]. Ezra Levant isn’t a ‘political activist and broadcaster’, he’s a far right activist and very close ally of Tommy Robinson. Astonishing he’s allowed anywhere near the TV”.
Peter Jukes of Byline Media was equally unimpressed. “Shame on you [Colin Brazier] - you’re amplifying far right Ezra Levant who worked with Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (aka ‘Tommy Robinson’), Katie Hopkins and others to spread hateful, inciting and dangerous Islamophobia. What a falling off from broadcast standards”. Indeed.
So it was no surprise to see campaign group Stop Funding Hate quoting Walker as they listed some of this week’s GB News’ advertisers. Elsewhere, it was just plain old misinformation, with ex-ITV has-been Alastair Stewart telling GB News viewers “The coronavirus, which was never a threat to children's wellbeing, has made them victims”.
As Greg Travis has pointed out, “For children, COVID is four hundred+ times more deadly than influenza”. Misinformation, lies - and desperately embracing the far right for clicks.
GB News has not yet reached the end of the road. But you can see it from there.
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