Wednesday, 30 September 2009
BNP 'youth' on BBC
I'm pleased to say I didn't hear two BNP members being interviewed on Radio 1 today. The BBC station's Newsbeat programme did something worse than just play annoying music while the news is being read (previously the main reason for condemning it). It allowed a platform for two "young BNP members" to "explain" their beliefs. With no opposing or alternative voices, the BNP activists apparently received only the mildest questioning from the reporter. The word 'racism' - which I'd have thought a fairly crucial element in any reporting of the BNP - didn't even get a mention.
There's a strong response from Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism:
"The BBC seems to be bending over backwards to help normalise the BNP's agenda.
"We were told that inviting these Nazis onto the airwaves would help 'expose' them. But here we see what really happens – the BBC gives them the space to spout their hateful views, and doesn't even dare call them racist.
"Meanwhile black musicians and artists working with our sister campaign Love Music Hate Racism have told us that the BBC censors them if they make anti-BNP comments in interviews. It seems like it's one rule for racists, but another one black and Asian people as far as the BBC is concerned."
This controversy comes at a time when the BBC is already under fire for allowing fascists a platform. BNP leader, and North West MEP, Nick Griffin is due to appear on flagship BBC 1 programme Question Time, filmed in London, on Thursday 22 October. Unite Against Fascism has called a demonstration outside the BBC in London, and there'll be protests at BBC centres elsewhere.
For anyone else in the North East, the Facebook event for Newcastle's protest is HERE.
The montage above is courtesy of Counter Fire.