Suppressed By The BBC 79

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.

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79 thoughts on “Suppressed By The BBC

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  • JimmyGiro

    That’s because Bradley is a male victim, and the BBC don’t do male victims, they only do male perpetrators. And if they don’t have enough male perps, they invent them, as in Julian.

  • John Goss

    The BBC has given no exposure to Bilderberg either and its party of Banksters and Politicians. It is not difficult to work out why. I wonder how many BBC executives will be at the Grove Hotel, Watford, from Thursday onward?

    Bradley Manning is just as important. The United States broke its own military laws to keep him imprisoned without trial. Now he is a Nobel Peace Prize nominee and if he became a laureate it would be one of the best decisions the Nobel committee ever made. He would not be the first Nobel prizewinner to be imprisoned but it would put pressure on the most repressive country since the second world war.

  • geomannie

    Hi Craig
    Caught about half of your interview on Good Morning Scotland at about 8:50 am this morning. It was good to hear you there.

  • andy

    All BBC out-put has to be ”balanced”. So Craig, you were cancelled because the BBC couldn’t find a Nazi to appear with you or anytime that morning to give an opposing opinion – that traitors should be tortured and killed and so on.
    Perhaps they were all on Sky that morning?

  • Iain Orr

    Craig – I thought this had happened when I waited in vain to hear you on the after 08.00 slot you had originally expected. I’m in two minds about your principled decision not to accept the earlier interview slot. It’s at least possible that some in the BBC would like to be able to include you on a topic on which you can speak with considerable authority. They might be disappointed at not being able to use the argument “Look, we had Craig on – but only for an early-morning slot, to meet your worries – and the sky did not fall in?” Also, commentators are likely to pick up anything on Bradley Manning at present and would note that your views were being given air-time on the BBC.

  • Flaming June

    Bastards. I hate the way that they have had you on their piece of string more than once. Sorry for you Craig and shame on them. BBC Breakfast is only moving wallpaper anyway.


    I think you were right to decline the pointless live interview. It’s a considerable waste of your energy and time and is quite as you say – tokenism.

    Better that there is a stark lack of coverage than a few scraps that do nothing to further Manning’s cause.

  • Villager

    Consider sending another FOI request, this time through a lawyer. Although, this may reduce your chances of being invited back at all.

  • Horace Swanson

    And we have to pay licence fees for this inept politicized shite. Well, I don’t and I get half a tree worth of letters a year insulting and threatening me because I don’t have a telescreen.

  • Brendan

    You’d think the Manning case was controversial. In the real world, it isn’t of course. Manning is a whistleblower who revealed war-crimes, who should be let out immediately, and recompensed for his torture. This isn’t controversial at all, to anybody operating rationally, who has bothered to consider the matter for, oh, more than 10 seconds. But in the strange military-media-industrial world, everything about Manning is controversial. So controversial that an ex-diplomatic has to be dicked around and effectively censored just in case he says something sane. It’s the Kafka-esque levels of vindictive pettiness that are so tiresome.

    And, nope, I don’t give a flying if it’s a military tribunal; that’s the lamest, most authoritarian-blowing excuse I’ve ever heard. Soldiers can be whistleblowers too, and anyone who says otherwise is a cretin. It sure does appear that the entire US Foreign policy apparatus is filled with cretins, mind. But who could be surprised?

  • Sam

    I have noticed for several years now that any piece on Israel-Palestine which takes even a remotely pro-palestinian angle is broadcast before 7am.

  • nevermind

    You should have taken the 6.40 slot, they are obviously desperate to have you on.

  • Richard

    Craig, have you had any interest from Channel 4 News?

    I feel that they give a more balanced view; what do others think (certainly no coverage on Bilderberg)?

  • Giles

    “So the BBC sent me train tickets, booked a room in the Holiday Inn and organised a cab for me from Manchester Piccadilly”.

    I’ll give the Beeb one thing – they sure know how to piss away public money.

    Anyway, I saw you on RT, so not all bad then. And RT seems to get along ok with video links.

    Very few people watch BBC Breakfast for anything other than background noise anyway. I can’t bear the way the presenters talk to viewers as if they are children. In fact, most of the BBC’s output these days seems to be aimed at adults with learning difficulties. And that awful red and black colour scheme combined with the loud drum noise is terrible when you have a hangiver.

  • Giles

    At least we know of one regular contributor who would have been watching intently at 6:40 am!

  • Giles

    Craig, have you considered that you may be persona non grata at the BBC since you committed the ultimate sin of “saying the woman’s name”. Maybe someone like Gavin Esler saw you were going to appear and said “Oh Christ no! We can’t have him on, he SAID THE NAME.” This would be a convenient way of suppressing you, even though the name appeared on the BBC’s own website.

  • Chienfou

    Good to hear you on Radio 5 this morning – well done.

    A poor interview from Rachel Burden though. She seems to have been told to give the impression to the general listener that this was about someone who had been a very silly boy – “What on earth was he thinking?” she gasped. She then invented facts to support this – “his defence will be along the lines that he didn’t really understand what Wikileaks was all about”.

    You did well to deal with this nonsense calmly and set out, at least some of, the true facts.

  • Methuselah Now

    Dear Mr. Murray,

    Call me naive, but maybe if by appearing at such an early slot, was an opportunity to test if you would have gone off-piste!

    It never serves to cut our nose, at the greater cost of getting on the record/our message out.

    If you would have said anything newsworthy, your interview would have the Minot possibility of being rebroadcast.

    Most importantly, in the modern era, the time doesn’t matter, as long as it can be recorded and made available/viral for anyone to view in the future.

    That is the opportunity that was lost.

    98%+ of the UK’s population do not watch RT, and even more don’t know who you are!

    Yours kindly,


  • ben

    damn, that is some shady goings on, right there. of course the bbc is state media, but you always hold out hope that it’s not entirely enthral to the whim of the government, who in turn, of course, are at the whim of the US government. so the bbc is really being controlled from washington.
    which sucks.

    thanks for all you do Craig.

  • Herbie

    They’re just checking to see whether you still want to appear on the BBC, and it seems that even with their repeated contemptuous treatment of you, you still are. Until people such as yourself tell the BBC that you don’t want to appear, explaining why, they’ll content themselves that they’re still the hottest date in town.

    Much better to ignore the BBC and concentrate on RT and other alternative outlets, allowing the BBC to fizzle out as a serious news and current affairs outlet. It’s already 90% percent of the way there, so just let it go.

    As it is, you’re just pandering to them.

    The only way now to deal with this increasingly disgusting outfit is unrelenting boycott, divestment and whatever other sanctions become available. That’s the only language they understand.

  • fedup

    This is how bbc keeps itself “relevant”, now and again in the off peek times injects a bit of reality into the fairy tales it broadcasts as “news”. Thus straight faces can be kept when anyone talks about the “impartiality” in bbc.

  • Someone

    “The only MP willing to raise these issues in the House of Commons is Norman Baker, the MP for Lewes. When his book on the death of Dr. David Kelly was published he was interviewed by Jeremy Vine on BBC radio. He was accused of being a “conspiracy theorist” and was not treated with the respect he deserved. Yet he is treated very differently when he is talking about the way MPs have been fiddling their expenses. The same goes for the Guardian. They gave his book a very unfair review and concentrated on minor issues without addressing the evidence that appears in his book.”

  • alistair

    It’s even worse when you discover that when Bradley Manning, who is half Welsh, was taken and tortured in the USA for exposing U.S. war crimes, members of the F.B.I. turned up in Wales to harass and interrogate his Welsh mother, who is in ill health following a series of strokes. They were escorted to her house, let in, helped in their abuse and then escorted away when Manning’s aunt intervened, by a British police officer.
    Not only should that also be a big news story for Britain, it’s very scary indeed that most people don’t know about it because it’s not reported. It seems that Wales doesn’t matter when it comes to law and human rights, because Britain is England and England is a state of the USA.

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