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  1. Culture
26 October 2009updated 27 Sep 2015 4:07am

Racism and the tabloids

The hypocrisy of Question Time outrage

By Daniel Trilling

If you thought tabloid outrage over Nick Griffin’s appearance on Question Time was hypocritical, you weren’t alone. Anton Vowl at The Enemies of Reason blog has produced a very thorough picture essay on the subject, which we repost here in full.

NB: “Today” below refers to Friday 23 October, as that’s when Anton made the original post.

Today’s tabloids express mock outrage at the appearance of N*ck Gr*ff*n on the BBC Question Time programme. But they have short memories.

Here’s today’s Star:

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1

Hang on, though. Isn’t that the same newspaper that did this?

2

And this?

3

The Express, meanwhile, is also clutching its pearl necklace, claiming that the party is going to get taxpayer-funded broadcasts at the next election. Not a big lead on Griffin, because there’s apparently another twist in the Diana saga (and as ever the stock image of her wearing a seat belt, which would have saved her life in the crash, nutjob neenaw whoop-whoop conspiracy or no conspiracy).

4

But it’s got those because it’s gained votes. I wonder why? I wonder which newspapers are read by BNP supporters? Maybe ones that say stuff like this

5

Or this?

6

Or even this?

7

And not forgetting the all-time classic:

8

Not some. Not five hundred. Not even a thousand. Not half. Not three-quarters. No. ALL. IN BIG RED LETTERS SO YOU’RE MADE CLEARLY AWARE THAT IT’S ALL.

Hey, and please let’s not forget this:

9

I almost didn’t include this!

10

Which is almost the same as this!

11

But no. The Express doesn’t like the BNP. They just happen to share entirely the same views on immigration, but Griffin is bad, because . . . well. I haven’t quite worked out why he’s bad. Maybe he doesn’t hate Muslims enough for their tastes?

The Mail have also had a bash, but as ever they’re more concerned with attacking their nemesis the BBC than they are about hand-wringing over Griffin:

12

Having said which, I still think

13

it’s worth making the point

14

that the Mail doesn’t always steer so far away

15

from using content

16

which the BNP and “bigot” N*ck Gr*ff*n

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might completely agree with

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and it’s not long

19

before you might start thinking to yourself

20

are they really protesting a bit too much? And what’s the difference, really, between the BNP bigots and the supposedly mainstream newspaper which claims to distance itself from them so much?

21

And you have to start thinking: do these newspapers which select certain types of images of ethnic minorities and use them again and again

22

really have such different views or agendas from the likes of the BNP?

It’s all very well people blaming Labour, or the BBC, or whoever, for the “rise” of the BNP. But if there has been a significant increase in BNP support — and it hasn’t translated into votes yet, despite a severe recession and growing unemployment — perhaps that might have more to do with the legitimisation and absorption of their extreme views by newspapers creating scare story after scare story concerning race and immigration, often baseless stories created simply to scare? It’s one thing going to a BNP meeting but it’s quite another to hear exactly the same thing over the breakfast table from a publication which purports to report the facts.

But no. It’s all the BBC’s fault. Let’s blame them.

 

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Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
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