Still Blacklisted for Broadcast? 123


What on earth are they so afraid I am going to say?

Today Channel 4 News contacted me to ask me on to discuss wikileaks. I was not over keen to venture out in the snow, so a very nice lady called Leona said they would send a car to Ramsgate as they were “extremely anxious” to have my views as an ex senior diplomat who supported wikileaks.

She has just called back to say they have cancelled as “the running order has changed”. In fact I had made no preparations to go as I knew it would happen. This was approximately the fortieth consecutive time I have been booked by mainstream media then cancelled. In every case they approached me – I do not approach them – and then pull out usually close to the last moment.

I last blogged about this three years ago, when I posted this:

Blacklisted?

The last five times I have been invited on to television current affairs programmes, all within the last four weeks, my appearance has then been cancelled shortly before filming (except in the case of my comments on Newsnight’s piece on the Uzbek cotton industry, where I was called in and filmed, and then edited out).

This has not only been happening on the BBC. For example I received this:

Dear Mr Murray, ITV Sunday Edition – interview request I hope you don’t mind me approaching you out of the blue. I am writing to invite you onto our show, The Sunday Edition on ITV, this Sunday 18 November.

To give you some more background on the show, The Sunday Edition is ITV’s weekly news and review show, presented by journalists Andrew Rawnsley and Andrea Catherwood. We would like to ask you on to talk about aspects of international affairs: picking up from Gordon Brown’s Guildhall speech, what can and should we expect from his foreign policy?; the situation in Pakistan, Iran; and also the current domestic counter-terrorism measures. We would be happy to discuss other areas you wished to cover.

In terms of logistics, the programme is recorded live at 9.25am this Sunday, 4 November, at the ITN studios in Gray’s Inn Road, central London. We would of course of provide transport to and from the studio.

I do hope this is of interest. If you need any more information about the programme, or this request, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards,

James Reid

Followed by this:

Dear Craig, Many thanks for agreeing to come on the show this Sunday. Just to confirm the details, we will need to get you there for 8.45, to come on the programme at 9.25. Bekeh, our production co-ordinator will confirm the travel details with you when this is booked.

In the meantime, if you need any more information, please do not hesitate to let me know.

All the best

James

Then suddenly this:

Dear Craig, I hope all is well. I have been unable to get you on the phone this afternoon to let you know we had a change of plan for Sunday regarding the set-up for the programme, and are not going ahead with our planned interview. I wanted to say thank you very much for having agreed to come on, and for taking the time to talk to me on the phone. I apologies for this very late notice, and I hope this does not put you out.

Once again, may thanks for your time on this.

Best regards

James

Here is another example:

Dear Craig, I’m contacting you from the BBC’s Question Time programme where we are currently about to start a new season of programmes. I’m sure you are familiar with the format but just in case, each week five panellists take part in the programme – usually three politicians and two non-politicians. These other two panellists might be authors, artists, entrepreneurs, actors, pop stars or journalists. The idea is that they are non-political figures with an interest in current affairs – recent participants have included soul singer Beverley Knight, former Archbishop of Canterbury George Carey and entrepreneur Martha Lane-Fox. We were wondering whether you would be interested and available at some point in the run to take part as a member of our panel? We have a number of dates coming up and it would be good to see if you are around. For example, we are in Leeds on the 18th October, Oxford on the 25th, Swansea on 1st November, London on the 8th November and Buxton on the 15th November. I hope this might be something that is of interest to you. Please let me know if I can give you any more information. Regards, Tom Gillett

Followed by:

Hi Craig,

Just getting in touch as I’m aware that we’d pencilled you in for this week’s programme.

I’m sorry to have to do this but I don’t think that we’re going to be able to go ahead with the booking this week. It just feels that this week is going to be all about Westminster politics and very little foreign policy which I think would be a waste of your experience. It would be better to book you in on a week where international matters are more prevalent so could you let me know your availability over the next few weeks and hopefully we can slot you in somewhere else.

Again, sorry not to be able to go ahead this week but hopefully we can re-arrange for a convenient date.

Very best,

Tom

No reply has been forthcoming to my emails on potential other dates.

Now obviously, it is not unheard of for current affairs programmes to invite people and then to cancel them. But it is very unusual – contrary to popular myth, television people are not notably more rude than normal. It is indeed so unusual that for it to happen five times in quick succession reaches the point where an underlying cause is definitely more likely than chance. It is worth noting that on all five occasions I did not approach the show; the show approached me. My contribution was discussed and a date agreed.

For Newsnight, I commented that the British government was not telling the truth in denying that they knew of the use of forced child labour in the Uzbek cotton industry, as I had reported it officially four years ago and written a book on the subject which they heavily vetted. On Sunday Edition this Sunday I was intending to query the veracity of the government’s claim that there are 2,000 Islamic terrorists in the UK, and consequently the need for yet more draconian anti-liberty legislation to “protect” us. I was also intending to point out the contradiction between Brown’s professed support for “Internationalism”, and his slavish devotion to an aggressively unilateral US foreign policy.

These are neither unusual nor extreme views, but you almost never hear them on television, and you won’t now be hearing them from me. I wonder why?

Posted by craig on November 17, 2007 5:59 AM in the category Other

End quote

It has happened, again and again, ever since – though with decreasing frequency, as I suppose it has become generally known I am not to be filmed. I don’t normally post about it, because obviously it makes it easy to portray you as paranoid. You will recall that even when I gave shocking formal evidence before the parliamentary human rights committee on UK complicity in torture, or when David Tennant played me in a BBC radio play of my life by David Hare, or when I presented the Sam Adams award to Julian Assange, I was not given a single UK broadcast interview about any of these pretty startling events. I have given literally hundreds of foreign TV interviews throughout this period.

I am convinced that there must be a formal mechanism behind this blacklisting. It is too complete, and kicks in so effectively every time I actually am invited. To edit me out of a lengthy feature on slavery in the Uzbek cotton industry, as Newsnight did, for example, is inexplicable otherwise.

This started in 2007. In 2005 and 2006 I made about 50 TV appearances on UK national television in each year. In the first half of 2007 I made over thirty. Since then, not one, but numerous invitations cancelled at the last minute. Now give me a credible alternative explanation to blacklisting.


123 thoughts on “Still Blacklisted for Broadcast?

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  • MTB shoes

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  • CheebaCow

    I was happy to address Alfred remarks to me in the other post, but it seems like they have spilled over here and he has also added more, so I will repost and add some more.

    Alfred, what a classy guy you are, using the word ‘girl’ to speak down to someone. Your sexism is shining through. I don’t care if you think I’m female, I care that you use ‘girl’ in such a condescending manner. BTW in one of my earlier posts I explained that my nickname wasn’t necessarily using the English language (well it has multiple meanings using 2 languages).

    I also find it amusing that you do not even try to defend the god awful links you provided to advance your argument. Is it because you are embarrassed and know that you can’t?

    Finally it is rather ridiculous that you are so touchy about people hurting the feelings of royalty but you are so quick to insult others on this blog. Perhaps you should lead by example?

    BTW lets keep the responses to one another in a single post, saves people being spammed by us. You choose which post.

  • Ruth

    An interesting article by

    Jane Burgermeister entitled

    ‘Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has close links to the Economist, controlled by the Rothschild banking family’ containing this extract:

    “If Assange were a real activist, he would not be getting any coverage from the mainstream media, let alone so headlines every day in every well known corporate media outlet. The alleged hide and seek between Assange and the US government as well as Interpol is played out on the theatrical stage of the world’s media when it is well known the US government and Interpol can arrest anyone they want virtually any time they want given their immense resources.”

  • CheebaCow

    Ruth:

    Interpol don’t arrest anyone, local authorities do. It acts more as a global database to help local police forces. At least that is my understanding. The US can’t arrest anyone who isn’t in the US. That’s why the CIA had to illegally kidnap Muslims living in Europe. I’m guessing the US dare not kidnap such a high profile person. Does anyone find it odd that Interpol is involved in a ‘simple’ rape case? Hardly the international crime that Interpol is supposed to assist with.

  • CheebaCow

    Also, I wouldn’t say Assange has ‘close links’ with the economist. He won the 2008 Index on Censorship award (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_on_Censorship). The Economist was the 2008 sponsor. I think its a rather tenuous link. More like 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Six_Degrees_of_Kevin_Bacon)

  • Clark

    Assange, Assange, so many reports focus on Assange! It’s WIKILEAKS, it’s an ORGANISATION, and assassinating or imprisoning Assange will not stop the leaks. But it would create another martyr; a white, English speaking martyr no less. It would give WikiLeaks even more publicity.

    I can understand Cryptome’s (and others’) reservations that WikiLeaks has become too desiring of money and publicity, but WikiLeaks has cracked the publicity barrier; they’ve become much harder to ignore than Cryptome and the others.

  • sigil

    Craig, I hear you and I utterly empathise. This is clearly one of those ‘if you’re paranoid it doesn’t mean they’re NOT out to get you’ moments. My instincts tell me that, leaving MI aside, for TV news at the most basic editorial level you have a) way too much esoteric knowledge and b) there’s anxiety about how your own experiences would (emotionally?) tip a ‘balanced’ debate.

    I wish you the very best of luck, and hope sometime to see you on Panorama or Andrew Marr or SOMEwhere a larger number can hear the important things you have to say.

  • Anonymous

    Somebody noticed:

    “I notice that the second in line heir to the throne is fawning round the FIFA crooks in Zurich who have Blatter to keep the lid on their corruption. Anyone see the Monday Panorama?”

    like myself, that the UK’s pressurising steam cooker athmosphere in Zuerich seems to galvanise the news media, quickly overcoming the ‘Twikileaks’ news schock with the help of an old footballer, PM Cameron and a few royal comments and ignoring the Cancun IPCC conference in Cancun.

    That is the man who was eager to be seen looking statesman like into the blue artic yonder, wearing a blue anorak, off course, pulled along by trusted Huskies and desperate to make out that he cares for the future of his kids and the environment.

    This week he shattered his own image by refusing the invitation of the Mexican President to the Cancun Environmental summit, he had a more important issue with FIFA to attend to.

    Thankls for the computer tips dreolin, don’t know whether it worked, shall see.

  • Alfred

    I agree with CheebaCow Boots and Shoes. Welcome to this webside. Very lucky I come here.

    No, I meant this for Dreoilin:

    My old man’s a dustman, wears a dustman’s ‘at, killed ten farsand Germans, what d’yer think of …

    No wait a minute. WTF are we talking about Spitfires or who’s dad did what in the war?

    Fact is they shouldn’t allow girls on the Internets.

    Well not girls but, you know, female bipeds of the genus Homo. You state an argument with diamond crystal clarity and they say it’s rabid, then give you some rubbish about the royal family living “a life of privilege they acquire purely by virtue of birth.” Hey think about that, the queen only got her job by “virtue of birth.” Um, well yeah.

    But look, all you republicans, here’s a thought experiment.

    What if the monarchy had been abolished and Tony Blair had been President of the Republic, Resident of Buckingham Palace, Head of the Armed Forces, Supreme Governor of the Church of England?

    What would it have looked like?

    Wouldn’t it have looked pretty much like the administration of Oliver Cromwell, the Last British President of the Republic, or Lord Protector of England, Scotland and Ireland as Cromwell preferred. And who followed Olly on the throne, I mean at the Presidential Palace? His son, Richard, of course. In fact, the only reason Cromwell was not crowned as an absolute monarch was that his puritan army hated the name of king.

    In fact the Cromwell’s would have become the established monarchs of the UK except that young Richard had little grip, and folks decided to defect. They called Charles II back and a decadent time was had by all. The rest, as they say, was history.

    And if you want to get a real feel for what how autocracy works, re-read War and Peace. There’s a wonderful account of the way in which the presence of absolute power can reduce even a sensible person to a state of driveling sycophancy.

    Did you know, incidentally, that the word sycophant has its origins in two Greek words: for figs and for discovery. The Athenians, apparently placed an export ban on figs, and set up a kind of Homeland Security Bureau to search mule packs and do pat downs to discover contraband figs: the agents were sycophants. For more, read David Hume’s essay on free trade.

    PS, I worry about Assange, Whether he’s a fake or a flake, I suspect he is a dupe. The leaked docs are now in the hands of the MSM where they can be searched for whatever is needed to justify the current spin. So now to do something about the alleged problem: seize the domains and dispose of the proprietor, either to jail or in a sports bag. I certainly hope not the latter.

  • DailyMagnet

    You are in good company, the 24-7 news cycle has little use for anyone who is truthful and doesn’t have biased and inflammatory opinions.

    Just take it as a compliment, I reckon!

    Independent media is the only way to change the balance(or lack thereof) of media ownership(a big problem in Australia).

    I wonder how much the real threat of Wikileaks is that more people are reading independent information than spin?

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    the man in the size Number 9 hat.

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  • dreoilin

    “Hey think about that, the queen only got her job by “virtue of birth.” Um, well yeah.”

    Yes, Alfred, you do write sarcasm well. And no, I don’t express myself the best just before bed, when I’m very tired.

    Happy now?

  • Jives

    Hey y’all…

    Aint posted here for a while however…

    Just watching the inane idiotic pathetic ABC News with the plastic autocue reading Stepford Bitch-Droid Diane Sawyer stickin her vulgar simplistic n bony souless ass in the air on behalf of the Neocon nutters inre:Wikileaks bollox and Assange gettin chased for not wearing a condom-er,sorry,”rape” in the dumbass spook Neocon/CIA lexicon of lies….yawn

    Aint we all laffin at the idiot simplistic Establishment desperation tactics???

    We’ll see the absurd worst of their evil in their desperate cling to the raft of their own,self-deserved demise?

    Hilarious desperation in the vista.

    They’re losing it all.

    Its never been clearer,to me.

    A new era dawns.

    Evevin’ all…

    No set up thus far eh ? Lol

  • Jives

    Sorry been away awhile but …

    A big re-hello to> Craig,Dreoilin,Vronsky,Writerman,Clark,Suyahl and Tony Op-Moc(despite the bizzaro)et al…and all the other wise decent humans..

    And a big Fuck You to the spook trolls like Larry The Lamb who’s just a wage-slave spook provocatuer lackey who is laughable yet so easily so see-throughable in his pitiful duty to a cause he will never understand yet is medoicre enuff to serve…x

  • Steve

    Cheebacow

    International arrest warrants are very common now and interpol do act like a database holder/liasion for them. And people have warrants out for them for very trivial things indeed. So trivial they are not even crimes here. But people are arrested and held for sometimes days in police cells taken to Court to have the warrant rubber stamped then held again to be deported back to the country of origin. The UK authorities and Courts ahve no details of the crimes and no way of knowing that the crime even happened they just have to take the word of the Court from the originating country. This is a very scarey state of affairs that could see anyone deported on spurious allegations.

  • CheebaCow

    Steve:

    Cheers, thanks for the info. I’m actually surprised that the local authorities have no info about the supposed crimes they are arresting people for. Seems like a big loss of sovereignty to me.

  • Anonymous

    I noticed at the Wikileaks press conference where you presented Julian Assange with an award, both the BBC and Sky cut their live coverage just before you made the presentation. CNN International carried it though.

  • Jaded.

    Nobody – ‘Hullo Craig,

    You ain’t got nothin’ on Scott Ritter mate. In 2003, in the run up to the war, the media in their discussion of WMD’s in Iraq, astoundingly failed to feature the only chap in their rolodex who came under the heading “Iraqi WMD expert”, which is to say, Scot Ritter. All of them, every man jack in every television station in the UK, the US, Canada, and Australia, uniformly failed to get the only Iraqi WMD expert with a rep, a man they’d previously featured dozens of times, on the telly. Instead we got a whole cavalcade of ‘who-the-hell-are-these-guys’.

    Ritter, like you, was off-message. His message was that all the WMD’s had been destroyed. As far as the media is concerned (‘fiercely independent’ blah blah blah) this was the equivalent of the laws of gravity turning upside down. His disappearance was so impossible that there was only one conclusion to come to and that’s the media is in fact a bloc-media: a songbook is handed to them and they ALL sing from it.’

    So you’re out. Scot Ritter is out. And Julian Assange? Gosh! What a popular chap he is! I don’t know about your neck of the woods but round here he’s a nightly star. The bloc-media can’t get enough of him.

    Go figure, eh?’

    It could be the agenda of controlling the story once it has already got out. The internet as a source of news now is huge and only going to get bigger. The powers that be must see this as their number one threat. For example, Giraldo on Fox News did a piece questioning 9/11 truth the other day. It wasn’t done as a smear job either. If the mass media covers it to death, then it will dissuade sheeple from seeking things out for themselves. The sheeple will think ‘someone’s taking care of it’. I’m not sure about Assange, it’s dangerous to ever be sure, but I think too many people have jumped on the ‘Dodgy Assange’ bandwagon too quickly. I foresee some serious unrest in the next few years by the way. The powers that be won’t be able to stem the growing tide of awareness and will be forced to act out of self-preservation. You’d need a closet the size of Wembley to store all their skeletons and they know they’d be up for the chop.

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