If, in the United Kingdom, there was concern about some media reaction to the High Court ruling on Article 50, there is worse to come. A new generation of web-based news organisations are squaring up for a battle.
Yesterday, Brietbart.com’s London office published a story headed: BBC Plan to Counter ‘Christian Bias’ Could Include Broadcasting Muslim Call to Prayer. It is true that the BBC is looking at the balance of its religious content and has invited faith leaders to talks. I could find nothing in the copy to justify the headline which plays into the Islamaphobic agenda.
President elect Donald Trump has nominated Stephen Bannon, chief executive of Brietbart, as his chief strategist. Brietbart, regarded as an online home of the alt-right, is now planning expansion in Europe and other parts of the world.
Its objective is, according the AP news agency to be “the best source of news on the new administration”. AP says:
That scares its critics, which consider Breitbart News the home of cheerleaders rather than journalists — and often offensive at that.
Politico.com, one of a generation of new largely online news organisations, makes its fears clear with the headline, Will America Now Have a Pravda? The intro reads:
As President-elect Donald Trump prepares to take control of the American executive branch, he will have a weapon at his disposal that few if any presidents have enjoyed—a direct connection to a faithful media operation that reaches millions of loyal populist readers in the form of Breitbart, the self-styled honey badger of alt-right journalism.
To balance my comment on the Brietbart headline, the Politico story has no quoted source for the use of the name “Pravda”. A quote suggesting Brietbart could become the closest thing the US has had to a “state-run media enterprise” is the nearest it gets.
Politico is a more mainstream news organisation and its European site, Politico.eu is a partnership with the German Springer group. It also publishes print editions in both the US and Europe.
The executive editor of Brietbart London is James Delingpole who has also written for the Daily Mail, the Daily Express, The Times, the Daily Telegraph and the Spectator.
Yesterday he wrote a climate change denying piece for Brietbart which includes this:
Gosh I do wish I’d taken my own advice and gone long on fossil fuels, short on renewables in the run up to the U.S. presidential election. I would have even bigger a reason to celebrate the Donald Trump victory than I do already.
Make no mistake, the Donald Trump presidency represents the biggest blow yet to the Great Global Warming Swindle.
I fear the Anglo-American idea of impartial journalism is facing its greatest threat on both sides of the Atlantic.