British Media on Parade

The recent orchestrated confrontation between newly elected George Galloway and Sky News deputy political editor Sam Coates, shown live on TV, was like watching a trained monkey in a zoo.

Photo: Crowd shouts down TV reporter from Sky News at Galloway victory party. (Joe Lauria)

03 March 2024 | James Porteous | Clipper Media News

The past few days should have been ‘routine’ for the print and tv media in the UK. Sure, the rebel George Galloway had been ‘elected,’ but as is typical in UK politics, the story began with heartfelt opeds about the losers and not the winner. (Friday briefing: Labour suffers a huge loss as Galloway takes Rochdale)

Later, we read that: ‘A dramatic night has come to an end. George Galloway, the leader of the Workers’ party of Britain, is back in Westminster after a decisive landslide win in the Rochdale byelection. At 12,335 votes, Galloway came away with a historic 41% swing against the Labour party, which abandoned its candidate Azhar Ali after he became embroiled in an anti-semitism scandal, though Ali appeared on the ballot as a Labour candidate.’

We will have to avoid any discussion regarding the fate of Azhar Ali, and we do not know how well Galloway would have done had Labour not…

Well, Galloway won. Decisively.

What happened next is of greater interest at the moment. This train flew off the tracks when: ‘Rishi Sunak gave a surprise speech outside Downing Street at around 5.45pm this evening about defending democracy. It comes after George Galloway won a by-election in Rochdale that Mr Sunak told reporters was “one of the most divisive” in recent times.’ (YouTube: In full: Sunak says British democracy is being targeted by extremists)

The speech was called ‘impromptu’ in some circles, but clearly it was anything but. The PM and his staff have known for quite some time that the end was nigh and the speech was delivered in a US-style that favours ‘we won’t talk about how we lost, but we will now offer very clear proof that we will win decisively next time.’

It was a beautifully crafted rant that was clearly meant to dismiss both the loss and the win and help galvanize the masses into spontaneously embracing the ‘issues’ the ruling party continues to endorse with unwavering support.

Transcript of Rishi Sunak’s speech 01/03/24

In recent weeks and months, we have seen a shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality.

What started as protests on our streets, has descended into intimidation, threats, and planned acts of violence.

Jewish children fearful to wear their school uniform lest it reveal their identity.

Muslim women abused in the street for the actions of a terrorist group they have no connection with.

Now our democracy itself is a target. Council meetings and local events have been stormed. MPs do not feel safe in their homes.

Long standing Parliamentary conventions have been upended because of safety concerns.

PM address on extremism: 1 March 2024

You can read the full text above, but it was what we used to call an odd duck. Even the title, PM address on extremism, might lead one to believe it would cover many diverse opinions. But no. Even the main topic, which he would claim led to Galloway’s decisive win, did not warrant a single mention. Not one. It was, in short, a mishmash of concerns that he expected the world would accept as ‘the truth’ without offering a thread of context or proof. So be it.

What happened next was a dream come true, when the coverage of the Extremism speech cut directly to a live interview with their reporter standing naked in the lion’s den with Calloway. It was to be the best hour of live TV I have ever seen. And I worked in live TV for two decades.

This hit found Galloway and his supporters celebrating their (still) decisive election victory. And Sky News was there to help them celebrate!

If only life were so simple! Sam, likely buoyed by the patriotic speech we had all just witnessed, could not deny the urge to move in for the kill. He owed his PM at least that much.

As you will see below, ‘Sky’s deputy political editor Sam Coates spoke to George Galloway who has just been elected MP for Rochdale. He was asked to respond to these words in the PM’s speech about extremism: “It is beyond alarming that last night the Rochdale by-election returned a candidate who dismisses the horror of what happened on October 7th, who glorifies Hezbollah and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist former leader of the BNP.”

Things went downhill for Sam after that point. What followed was a dog with a bloody bone routine that was clearly meant to force Galloway into delivering an extremist rant that would -what:- render his victory null and void? Who knows. What we do know is that this was a confrontational ‘interview’ that stated quite clearly that the winner did not deserve to win and the PM had come right out and told the world that it was ‘beyond alarming’ that this political wannabe was claiming to have won a decisive victory.

I am paraphrasing, but that is basically what Sam was intimating. The glory of this entire set piece was the fact that it was taking place LIVE and that Sam, either of his own accord or the staff on the newsdesk yelling at him through his earpiece, to push harder and harder.

Galloway was having none of it.

George Galloway: ‘I despise the prime minister’

And as you have noticed, it is unnecessary to watch the video to know Sky’s take on it. “I despise the Prime Minister.’ The point here is that the PM can fall just shy of calling the newest parliamentarian an ‘extremist’ but Calloway should have let it pass.

The highlight of the interview came at the end as Sam noted sadly that even now, at this very moment, LIVE ON TV!, we were witnessing the very ‘extremism’ his PM had talked about earlier. There was a “febrile atmosphere” and “you can see the anger in the room,” Sam said breathlessly.

That the anger was in fact directed solely towards him and Sky News did not seem to register. Well, of course it did. The endpiece was the reason he had been sent there in the first place. It tied in with the ‘extremism’ speech and his fear of rabid voters and the newest parliamentarian who ‘despised’ the PM and likely wanted to take a chunk out him as well.

And again, just once more, the glory of this stunt, and the reason it is plastered all over eXTwitter now and for evermore, is that this shitshow was taking place LIVE on TV. Not only that, but it continued to be shown LIVE on TV even after it became obvious to everyone -Sam, the newsdesk, the crowd- in one glorious, fleeting moment, that they could easily take possession of Sam’s microphone and conduct another sort of live-hit altogether. A potential coup could have been seconds away.

Sam moved to a safe area, a foot or two away from the gang of rabid voters, and delivered his panic-stricken ‘someone please save me’ summation that encouraged the rabid band of voters to begin an impromptu ‘Free, Free Palestine’ chant. Oh, dear, the newsdesk said. We can’t have that sort of thing airing on OUR network. After all, that was exactly the sort of thing the PM had just now warned about! And laws had been passed to prevent!

Below is an independent video that shows Sam doing the live hit and it provides a great view of the band of bemused rabid voters watching Sam as one might watch a monkey performing stunts in a zoo. Which is what was happening, really.

All fun and games, but really, the Extremism speech and the interview were horrendous, both for what they said and, more importantly, for what they didn’t say. All of which could turn out to be yet-another viral rider in the storm, but at least this time, the video of the circus has survived.

And for the record, I was barely even aware of George Galloway prior to his guest appearance with Sam. And I am sure that is true of many, many people. But not to the one million and counting who had at the time of writing, enjoyed the online videos showing the antics of British Media on Parade.

James Porteous | Clipper Media

MSM Target Galloway at Victory Party

Photo: Galloway defends himself against media attack. (Joe Lauria)

A victory bash for the people of Rochdale descended into chaos when hit teams of MSM reporters took the prime minister’s cue to go after the newly elected member of Parliament. 

02 March 2024 | By Joe Lauria
in Rochdale, England
Special to Consortium News

Hours afters after British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said it was “beyond alarming” that George Galloway had been elected to Parliament in a by-election at Rochdale, mainstream media reporters descended on the newly elected MP’s headquarters to confront him.

“I despise the prime minister,” Galloway told them Friday night. “I don’t respect him at all. You keep referring to the prime minister as if that’s supposed to impress me,” Galloway told one reporter. 

Earlier in the day Sunak said in a speech at No. 10:

“In recent weeks and months, we have seen a shocking increase in extremist disruption and criminality. What started as protests on our streets have descended into intimidation, threats and planned acts of violence. …  Now, our democracy itself is a target. Council meetings and local events have been stormed. MPs do not feel safe in their homes. Longstanding parliamentary conventions have been upended because of safety concerns. …

And it’s beyond alarming that last night, the Rochdale by-election returned a candidate that dismisses the horror of what happened on 7 October, who glorifies Hezbollah and is endorsed by Nick Griffin, the racist former leader of the BNP.

Yes, you can march and protest with passion. You can demand the protection of civilian life. But no, you cannot call for violent jihad. There is no context in which it can be acceptable to beam antisemitic tropes on to Big Ben in the middle of a vote on Israel, Gaza. And there can be no cause that you can use to justify the support of a prescribed terrorist group like Hamas.”

At what was supposed to be a victory celebration, Galloway told a reporter: “The prime minister is a rather diminutive, diminished and degraded politician. He made a party political statement. I don’t care about Rishi Sunak’s attitude.”  He said:

“What I care about is that the returning officer, a man of unimpeachable integrity … declared it a free and fair election, and me as the winner, and Rishi Sunak as one of the crushed, big two parties in the state. That’s all that matters to me.”

Galloway’s supporters, working people and their families, had flooded his headquarters at a Suzuki car dealership to celebrate his victory, in which he outpolled major party candidates by a wide margin. But the food remained in containers as teams of mainstream reporters went after Galloway surrounded by increasingly angry supporters. 

This fed into the prefixed narrative of an “intimidating” largely Muslim crowd of Galloway voters who pose a “threat” to proper, white Britain. 

“There are allegations of intimidation by your supporters,” a reporter persisted.

“That’s five times that you’ve said that,” Galloway responded. “The returning office last night declared it — you were there — declared it a free and fair election and me the winner. You are just going to have to suck it up. I won the election.”

Another reporter tried to tell Galloway that the result somehow wasn’t legitimate because Labour had no official candidate after it booted Anzar Ali off the ticket because he said Israel was complicit in the Oct. 7 attacks. 

“Are you a Labour press officer?” Galloway sarcastically asked him.

Hostile media targets Galloway at post election party


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