Comment at end
26th February, 2010
Stan Rosenthal’s PAID advertisement “Ban Blair-Baiting” which simply calls for the fair reporting of Tony Blair and the case for war at the Iraq Inquiry has been on the Press Gazette’s website for a number of weeks now.
The ad is fairly innocuous. It doesn’t ask for others to arrest Blair, and to put their hands in their pockets for the right to do so. It doesn’t chase around the internet for signatories to indict him at The Hague. It’s evidently not playing the game.
Neither does the ad insist that Mr Blair is completely innocent of all ‘charges’, although NONE have actually been made in this “not a trial”. That little technicality has little influence on the fact that the press seem to have concluded that he is “guilty” of all sorts of “crimes”.
Nor does the ad suggest, by the way, that he is JC or Mother Theresa re-incarnated. The rolling ad says ONLY this:
‘Yes, we all want the facts on Britain’s part in the Iraq war/But an open inquiry is one thing/Reporting it in a highly selective, slanted and misleading way to vilify our former Prime Minister is quite another/Show your contempt for this kind of media coverage by signing our online petition.’
Interested, fair-minded and balanced journalists are then invited to click through to the Ban Blair-Baiting petition here
The results of this call for fair reporting by Mr Rosenthal? For the man who PAID for this ad out of his own pocket when it became clear to him that this charge of unfair reporting would never be alluded to by the guilty parties – the press – themselves?
Well, as you might imagine he has been inundated with support from British journalists. NOT. ALL British journalist read this website, and reportedly quite a few MPs too, and yet …
Today there are still three journalists.
You might have thought that if all journalists visiting the site opposed the ad, some of them might at least have made some comment on it in their columns or blogs. After all it raises important issues about the way the media are reporting the inquiry, it is newsworthy in that someone has paid to put up a highly controversial ad aimed at them at their own newspaper’s site, and it has been staring them in the face for the past few weeks every time they visit the site. Yet this huge elephant in their room continues to be completely ignored by those who generally make a story out of the most trivial of matters. Even when a comment to this effect was posted at The Gazette Editor’s Blog not one journalist has deigned to respond to it.
One can only assume that they are embarrassed about the message being conveyed because they have no answers to it. As with an unwelcome guest at a party they are simply turning their backs on it and are just waiting for it to go away. As a result, a crucial perspective on the role of the media in our affairs is not being allowed to appear in the public domain.
So much for the Press being the bastion of free speech in this country!
The ad has also been uploaded to YouTube by Julie, with the background ALL-KNOWING chants of the protestors outside the Iraq Inquiry on 29th January when Mr Blair appeared. I attended the afternoon session on that day if you’d like to see my report here.
- 3rd February 2010 – This ban Blair-Baiting petition commenter says it all
- 27th January 2010 – Iraq Inquiry – New Statesman Special: Ban Blair-Baiting
- 27th January 2010 – Iraq Inquiry: Read comments & Sign the Ban Blair-Baiting petition
- 1st February 2010 – Further Update on the Ban Blair-Baiting petition
- 23rd January 2010 – Update on Ban Blair-Baiting petition: Blair’s mentor Thomson dies
In the post above Julie mentions these signatories:
The petition has already been signed by:
Tom Harris MP (No.139),
Lord Foulkes (No.194),
John Burton, TB’s former constituency agent (165)
And pro Labour journalists:
John Rentoul (The Independent)
Oliver Kamm (The Times)
Stephen Pollard (The Spectator)
As well as Iraqis, Iranians, Afghans and people from all over the world!!!!
And Julie links to John Rentoul here
- 26th November 2009 – Iraq War Inquiry Ban Blair-Baiting petition Update
- 8th November 2009 – Proud to be Blair Supporters, and Why
- 18th September 2009 – Ban Blair-Baiting Petition
- 10th August 2009 – Petition Launch – to ban Blair-Baiting at the Iraq Inquiry
Tags: advertisement, ban blair baiting, British journalists, JC, Jessica Assato, John Burton, John Rentoul, Lord Foulkes, Mother Theresa, Oliver Kamm, petition, Press Gazette, shame, Stan Rosenthal, stephen pollard, Tom Harris MP, Tony Blair