Tom Flanagan reviews the new right-wing television channel GB News
For what seems like forever, right-wingers in Britain have looked forlorn across the Atlantic as they wondered if there would ever be the most elusive of conservative unicorns, a British Fox News.
When former BBC presenter (and name in Epstein’s black book) Andrew Neil announced that he would be founding such a channel, many on the right in Britain greeted it with excitement.
Whilst the lunacy of American right-wing presenters such as Tucker Carlson and Bill O’Reilly can often be a source of entertainment, the high production value and popularity of channels such as Fox are no laughing matter. For many American conservatives, a family night round Fox News can be a regular occurrence, with even the younger members being indoctrinated into their world view.
The truth is that neither America nor Britain requires such a news outlet. The rest of the corporate media, be it CNN or the supposed public broadcaster the BBC, already serve the interest of the capitalist class. The British newspapers are in the hands of a tiny number of billionaires; the Washington Post is owned by Jeff Bezos. These newspapers set the agenda for the days’ rolling news cycles. Who can forget the 2019 election in Britain, whereby our supposedly impartial public broadcaster questioned Corbyn’s “broadband communism” or other lies that were spread about the former Labour leader? Or when the PM’s former advisor claimed Laura Kuenssberg was essentially reading his press releases as fact.
Challenge for instance doesn’t have the pretence of being some apolitical neutral force. We are communists and we want communism. The same is true of those public school boys at the BBC; only they are desperate for them and their mates to cling on to the control they have to exploit workers. They will do anything they can to achieve that goal.
Despite the cosy nature of the media to the Thatcherite orthodoxy in Britain, many had hoped for a Fox News alternative. Those who did will be deeply disappointed by the low production values and shambolic organisation of GB News.
Former Sun journalist Dan Wootton hosted failed London mayoral candidate Laurence Fox on the channel to ask questions from the public. They were joined via video call, unbeknownst to them, by Wrestling YouTuber Adam Pacitti who had his bare backside visible in the mirror behind him.
Host Simon McCoy had to order pranksters to “grow up” after messages were sent in by fake names such as Mike Hunt and Mike Oxlong. This wasn’t even McCoy’s first outburst, as he had chastised co-anchor Anna Phillips, or whoever wrote the script, for saying it was “good news for unemployment” when the rate of people out of work had apparently decreased.
Whilst it’s clear to anyone with a pair of eyes this is an unnecessary move from Neil and his Tory pals, we can all be thankful that despite everything being set up for them to succeed, they’ve managed to make such a mess out of it.