Update on GBN

Well, it still exists! That in itself is quite remarkable in the circumstances. Usually these days when the wokerati set out to cancel something, it gets cancelled and that is the end of the matter. There were certainly strenuous attempts by an organisation called Stop Funding Hate to frighten potential advertisers away in the hope that the new channel would then run out of money. Their biggest scalp was a quite popular “challenger” energy supply company called Bulb, which, after advertising on GBN for a couple of weeks, crawled off apologising in all directions and claiming that they had absolutely no idea what kind of channel it was. Really? They obviously hadn’t been very attentive to the huge amount of publicity the new channel was putting out. Of course it is a pure coincidence that Bulb has since gone bankrupt, but it’s nice to know that arrant cowardice doesn’t go unpunished in the greater scheme of things.

In the mean time, the channel has bedded down nicely and has started simulcasting on DAB radio. Evidently they are not short of money or a following, and I’ve noticed quite a few new advertisers alongside the old faithfuls. Most of the interviews are still done by zoom, probably because it is cheaper and easier than getting people into a studio. There are definitely fewer glitches than there were in the beginning but the channel still has that raw improvised feel, which I must say I rather like. It feels refreshingly honest, a bit reminiscent of an old BBC show of the 1960’s called That Was the Week That Was, which was devised in the days when the Left really were on the side of ordinary people.

There are now formal hourly news bulletins (something that Andrew Neil definitely did not want!) and half-hourly weather forecasts, sponsored by the Canary Islands Tourist Board of all people. Maybe they think that viewers of a right wing channel are all bound to be rich and therefore in the market for exotic holidays. I suspect that most GBN viewers are in fact working class because the rich people are all on the so-called left these days. Incidently I noticed the presemce of one former BBC weather forecaster called Alex Deakin, who has apparently jumped ship for GBN. A straw in the wind maybe.

But the hot news is that I have heard some genuine hate speech at last. And there was I thinking that this was a mythical beast like a unicorn or a dragon! It occurred during a discussion chaired by Nana Akua, one of their regular presenters, on the saga of the Black Bitch of Linlithgow. This legendary black greyhound is much loved by the people of Linlithgow, a small town in Scotland, because she saved her owner’s life by ferrying food to him after his enemies had marooned him on a small rocky island in the middle of a loch to starve to death. There is a statue of her in the marketplace and a local pub is named after her. The trouble started when a tourist saw the pub sign and decided that it was racist. He complained to the owners, a large company called Greene King, who promptly renamed the pub. The good citizens, outraged by this slur on their beloved canine heroine, then started a petition to get the old name back again.

Akua had invited an achingly woke young woman (I won’t call her a young lady for reasons that will soon become obvious) to give the left wing side of the argument. She embarked on a standard tirade about racism and misogyny that had obviously been written in advance. She had probably expected to be up against a middle aged white man, with whom she could play the familiar ”Heads I win, tails you lose” game. We all know how that goes: if you refuse to accept that you are a racist and a misogynist, you prove yourself one by denying the right of a black woman to “speak her truth”. However it all fell painfully flat when addressed to another black woman.

Akua let her have her rant, then asked her quietly if she actually knew who the Black Bitch was, what she had done, and why there was a pub in Linlithgow named after her. Sadly she did not. The poor girl clearly hadn’t done her homework. When she was told the story and realised that she had made rather a fool of herself, she completely lost it and gave vent to the most shocking language I have ever heard on a daytime TV show. I can’t quite remember if she used the N-word. I think she did. And she certainly used the C-word.

Of course if this vile, hate-filled stuff had happened on any other channel, the offending words would have been bleeped out, as they all use a 5-second delay precisely to deal with this kind of situation. Evidently GBN is not technically sophisticated enough to do that, or else perhaps it is against their principles. After all, they do claim to be champions of free speech. I suspect all the same that she will not be invited back any time soon.

I await further developments with interest.
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