Sunday, July 12, 2020
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George Floyd, the BBC and the death of balanced reporting

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LAST week I wrote about the way in which the media altered the narrative of the lockdown blaming Covid-19 for the destruction of business and the economic fallout in this country. Now they have switched focus following the killing by a Minneapolis policeman of 46-year-old George Floyd. Protests have developed into riots, with thousands of people taking to the streets to engage in widespread destruction of property, vandalism and, in some cases, violence. If you listen to or watch mainstream media, though, the unrest escalated only when the police got involved, called in to quell the violence erupting not only in Minneapolis but all across America. The BBC, as you can imagine, have been covering this story from the get-go, not because of a man’s tragic death; no, they have been covering this story because it surrounds identity politics, and no one does identity politics like the BBC.

Since May 26, the day after Mr Floyd was killed, the BBC have been running wall-to-wall stories on race inequalities and, of course, the many ‘peaceful’ protests occurring not only in the US but in the UK and Australia. We have heard from Spike Lee, the multi-millionaire film director, about racial inequalities and the coronavirus: ‘Racism is all over the world. This was a global pandemic before corona. I’m a very spiritual person and I don’t think that’s a coincidence that these two things are happening at the same time.’

Incidentally, as this article informs us, Mr Lee has a new film on the horizon. Not for an instant would I believe that he is using these riots and the death of a man to plug his new film. 

We have heard about the mental anguish of BBC Radio 1 DJ Clara Amfo, praised for an emotional speech on her show about racism.

We have heard about police brutality from the likes of Rahul Dubey, who sheltered 80 Washington protesters, but we have heard next to nothing about the threat of these so-called protesters or what many of them have to do with the death of Mr Floyd. 

In the UK, protests began over the weekend with a throng, including those from the movements Black Lives Matter and Antifa, moving to Downing Street where they shouted ‘F*ck Boris Johnson!’ and ‘F*ck the police!’ 

What Mr Floyd’s death has to do with Boris Johnson or the UK police is a mystery to me but the BBC, in its wisdom, has explanations for this. 

If you click on the link above, you’ll find more than 16 pages of stories on George Floyd, ranging from celebrities who have said they felt anguish over his death to reports on the law-abiding, peaceful people who have taken part in these protests and are in no way at fault for the violence and destruction they’ve brought. Even now, if you flick on the news, you’ll continue to hear that the rioters engaging in widespread destruction are peaceable people who only want justice. It’s fascinating that our national broadcaster, among many others, not only cannot see the wood for the trees but can’t see any trees at all. They will not condemn these people for the violence they’ve wreaked since May 26 but continue to blame everything from white privilege to Boris Johnson to President Trump – yes, Trump has got it in the neck as well, predictably.

Doublethink has been a huge presence on the media, ever since Brexit and possibly before, but the distinct possibility, in the aftermath of Mr Floyd’s death, that the thousands who have engaged in rioting, looting, destruction of property and violence, are culpable in the escalation of these protests does not enter the head of the BBC journalist. (This isn’t the BBC, but it’s a perfect example of the mindset.): They have their own message to sell and damn those who want facts.

I’d be surprised if many or any of them have thought about George Floyd himself in all of this. The helpful and protective Christian individual you read about in this link does not sound like the sort of person who would condone what is now occurring in his name. Yes, justice should be done. The book and more should be thrown at the policeman who killed him but these riots haven’t helped anything or anyone. Neither has the race-baiting from some in the media or celebrities, using this man’s death to spread their own message. The family and friends of Mr Floyd have every right to express their anger at the police and the authorities but it is notable that his family have begged for any protests to be peaceful.

It would be nice, for once, if the media gave us all sides to the aftermath and the rioting rather than the one that fits their own agenda.

What does looting have to do with George Floyd? What does the destruction of property belonging to many who were innocent in this crime have to do with Mr Floyd? What does the widespread violence committed against bystanders have to do with the events of May 25?

These are questions in which the BBC has no concern. As with the aftermath of the 2016 vote on EU membership, the BBC’s agenda is in stoking division across the country. To what purpose, I’ll leave to better minds than mine.

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Michael Fahey
Michael Fahey
Michael Fahey is a social conservative and mental health carer.

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