I was invited then disinvited to discuss Bradley Manning on BBC Breakfast TV this morning. I was delighted and really surprised that the BBC were prepared to give such prime media exposure to the case against the persecution of Manning. I should have realised it would not be allowed to happen.
I was asked to appear twice, once after 7 and once after 8, and to explain why the case of Bradley Manning ought to concern people in the UK. BBC Breakfast is based in Salford. So the BBC sent me train tickets, booked a room in the Holiday Inn and organised a cab for me from Manchester Piccadilly. I had reached so far as Euston from St Pancras yesterday when I discovered, rather by chance that my slots on BBC breakfast had been cancelled. I was instead offered a single live interview at 6.40 am that would not be repeated.
I suppose the BBC are at least being more subtle; instead of management intervention outright to cancel a possible airing of dissident thought, they are pretending to give it a voice by broadcasting it before 95% of the audience are awake. I was not prepared to participate in such tokenism, so I turned round and came home.
It of course brings back memories of when I was on my way to Leeds to take part in BBC Question Time, and was cancelled en route, and replaced by another neo-con clone. A Freedom of Information Act request for the documents and emails concerning that cancellation was refused by the BBC on the grounds of a Freedom of Information exemption for journalism. Censorship is not journalism.
Good to see that the odious war criminal James Purnell is earning his £295,000 a year by keeping the air waves free of thought.
Given the extraordinary amount of time the BBC has devoted to promoting the ludicrous trumped up charges against Julian Assange, their non-coverage of the Bradley Manning trial today is chilling.