Why I placed that Ban Blair-Baiting ad

by Stan Rosenthal

The hate-speech directed at Blair must be countered

The wild hostility towards Blair is damaging democracy. Photograph: Getty Images

The wild hostility towards Blair is damaging democracy. Photograph: Getty Images

“Bliar is a war criminal and should be tried and executed – let’s bring back castration, disembowelling, hanging, and quartering since he is also a traitor.”

This is a more extreme example of the sort of hate-speech being incessantly directed at our former Prime Minister which prompted a group of concerned citizens to set up the online petition related to this week’s New Statesman ad. Our other worry was that the media would be cherry-picking, distorting and exaggerating anything said at the Iraq inquiry which appeared to undermine the case for war and therefore Tony Blair’s reputation.

And so it has proved to be. Here’s a graphic case in point from the BBC’s supposedly impartial coverage of Blair’s inquiry appearance. In the morning coffee break the commentator, against a backdrop of hostile anti-Blair banners and placards, blithely referred to previous testimony “that a deal (about regime change) had been signed in blood”.

In fact the witness in question, Sir Christopher Meyer, had merely explained that he wasn’t in on the meeting so he couldn’t say whether a deal was “signed in blood”. Last week’s Observer twisted his words in the same way. I could have provided many instances of such biased reporting had there been more space for this post.

I have looked in vain for mainstream media comment setting the record straight on this vital matter. That is why I felt compelled to take out that advert as the only way of getting the message across.

Surely there is something badly wrong with our principal channels of communication if the reporting of such an important topic can be so slanted in one direction that those with another perspective have to resort to paid advertising to make their views known.

It has to be put right soon if we are to have a functional democracy in this country.

Signing the petition would be a first step.

One Response to “Why I placed that Ban Blair-Baiting ad”
  1. オテモニャン says:



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