So that is exactly what it did. By its own hand. GB News’ average evening audience - covering the period from 1800 hours to midnight - is now down to 22,000, well below that of Sky News, which is way behind the BBC News Channel. And the BBC News Channel attracts only a fraction of the audience of BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4.
That, together with the exodus of advertisers prompted by campaigns like Ripples and Stop Funding Hate, is why GB News is already in A Very Bad Place. But after former Tory spinner Guto Harri took the knee live on air, in solidarity with the racist abuse meted out to England’s footballers, the channel made its own bad situation very much worse.
At first, the mood was that Harri was entitled to express his view on taking the knee, because GB News was all about FREEZE PEACH. Indeed, his fellow host Neil Oliver told “My [GB News] teammate [Guto Harri] is right to say and do as he sees fit. I do the same. That’s the ethos of the channel. Free speech. We don’t all agree with each other - that’s the point, or else where’s the debate?” But two days later, all was changed.
There had been such a wave of indignation from the Gammonati - not that the average GB News viewer is at all racist, you understand - that FREEZE PEACH went out of the window. Whether Harri was thrown through the window as well is yet to be told.
“GB News stands four square against racism in all its forms. We do not have a company line on taking the knee. Some of our guests have been in favour, some against. All are anti-racist. We have editorial standards that all GB News journalists uphold” told the channel’s Twitter feed, before adding “On Tuesday a contributing presenter took the knee live on air and this was an unacceptable breach of our standards”.
Eh? “We let both sides of the argument down by oversimplifying a very complex issue”. What will happen to Guto Harri? Jim Waterson had ominous news. “GB News spokesperson unable to say if Guto Harri, the former Boris Johnson spokesperson who took the knee on air in solidarity with England football team, is still going to have a job following backlash from furious viewers who feel channel has gone woke”.
I warned you, English - we know how to deal with counter-revolution! What will happen to the luckless Harri? Will he be forced to confess his distraction into momentary interest before the Brill-O-Vision Politburo? What of the imperialist running dog Oliver? Will there be any GB News hosts left by the end of September? Or even any GB News at all?
Will there be any point in Brillo bothering to leave his non-trivial patch of Grasse and journey north to the studio in not-really-metropolitan-honestly Paddington? Will the channel get to the end of the year to wish a Merry Christmas to all its viewer?
GB News has not yet reached the end of its road. But you can see it from there.
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