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16 Jun, 2021 13:46

As ads are pulled on new TV channel GB News, it is basking in the glow of the woke’s campaign to silence it

As ads are pulled on new TV channel GB News, it is basking in the glow of the woke’s campaign to silence it

Lazily hailed by some as the UK’s Fox News, new station GB News is under attack as brands are encouraged to cancel their advertising. But all the woke warriors behind this campaign have done is generate fantastic free publicity.

Can you hear those jackboots? Stomp! Stomp! Stomp! Just like in those old Pathe News clips, the modern day stormtroopers – those keyboard warriors – have slipped into SS mode to march forth and digitally stomp, stomp, stomp out any opinion that may differ from their own.

That’s what they do. Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda guru, would be so proud. It was his entire modus operandi in the 1930s, pretty much – burn books, hound journalists and extinguish all opinion that strayed from the fascist way.

The warriors of woke, of course, would be outraged I’m describing them and not the people they have ganged up to attack.

So what’s all the fuss about this time? 

The woke mob really don’t like a new TV news channel called GB News. So much so, they’ve launched a campaign online – of course it’s online, there’s no need to get up from the sofa and dig out that pitchfork – against GB News, and already a couple of advertisers have pulled their ads from the channel.

One of them is Grolsch. Remember Grolsch? It’s a Dutch beer company. Out came the inevitable statement, tweeted via a third party. “Grolsch is a brand that prides itself on core values of inclusion and openness to all people, and we want to be clear that we do not associate ourselves with any platforms or outlets that go against these values. We will do everything we possibly can to ensure that Grolsch does not appear on this channel again.”

I don’t remember ever actually drinking a bottle of Grolsch. It just seems such a 1980s brand to me. Remember when dumb kids who liked a pop band called Bros put Grolsch bottle tops in their shoelaces? I hated Bros. They were horrifically bad. Pop pap, cheese for the ears. And if you had Grolsch tops in your shoes it meant – to me and my way cooler mates – that you were, well, a bit of a twat. You had no taste and were proud to advertise your lack of taste in public.

Nivea, the face cream brand, and cider firm Kopparberg also pulled their ads. More will probably follow, as woke tends to win these days – at least for now. Although the tide is turning.

So, anyway, this TV channel called GB News launched on Sunday, set up by Andrew Neil, one-time editor of The Sunday Times and The Economist, who was also a presenter of political programmes and such like at the BBC. 

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I’ve actually met him a few times, and he’s a very calm and reasonable Scotsman. I wouldn’t define him as being on the far right, politically, as he’s very much willing to give the Tories a kicking too. Now and again. Tory Prime Minister Boris Johnson, after all, is afraid to be interviewed by him for good reason.

And it doesn’t take a doctorate in sociology from the University of Woke to work out that ‘GB News’ is all about... err... ‘Great Britain’ and ‘news’. “We’re proud to be British – the clue is in the name,” as Neil said when it launched.

Apparently, the UK needs yet another TV news channel. If they can make it work, then good luck to them. And if you don’t like it, don’t watch it. What’s the problem? There are loads of other outlets and, anyway, you should stick with RT.

New outlets create work for journalists and Woke News ain’t hiring. The press in Britain, aside from the Guardian and the BBC, leans to the right. And it pretty much always has. The nominally ‘left’ tabloid Daily Mirror has long been so unloved, underfunded and understaffed as to be utterly irrelevant.

Other than this loss of a few advertisers, GB News seems to have got off to a decent start – beating other news channels such as those offered by Sky and the BBC on its launch night. Although, GB News is not an actual rolling, breaking news channel as such. It’s more of an opinion-led beast.

Yet it’s sloppy and plain old lazy to compare GB News with Fox News in the US – as, of course, The Guardian and Financial Times did before it was even launched. It’s the earliest of early days, and Britain is a very, very different media market to the US. Just ask all the Brit media companies who have tried and failed in America. 

Rupert Murdoch is the exception – but he’s an Aussie. Or he was. He’s actually been a US citizen for decades. If he had believed there was a market in the UK for a Fox News style outlet, you can be damned sure he would have tried it years ago. Sky News was his entrance into TV news in the 1980s. He dropped his own recent plans for a similar GB News style channel in April, saying it was not “commercially viable.”

GB News may turn out to be way more of a threat than Fox News by operating at a far higher journalistic standard than Fox has ever done. Let’s wait and see if Neil and co. start broadcasting and promoting moronic conspiracy theories or employ incendiary idiots such as Tucker Carlson and Sean Hannity, two guys who smother themselves in self-love under studio lighting. 

Brits instinctively don’t warm to those kinds of irritating blowhards, those LOUD Yanks you hear on the Tube or outside Buckingham Palace – the ‘ham’ part pronounced the same as the ham in ham sandwich. They seem to just cut through any other background noise like fingers scratching down a blackboard. It doesn’t work in Britain, it just doesn’t.

The GB News roster of hosts is pretty tame really, if you ask me. Andrew Neil himself is the cornerstone, and he’s been doing this kind of stuff for a quarter of a century at the BBC. Then there is the slightly camp Kiwi dude Dan Wootton – he started his career at home in New Zealand before ending up as the much-sued showbiz guru on The Sun. Former Sky sports reporter Kirsty Gallacher is in the mix as is cuddly ex-BBC presenter Simon McCoy.

I can’t say I recognise any of the others, to be honest, save for a guy who Neil claimed is the ‘King of Scotland’ – that hippy-ish bloke Neil Oliver. He used to present ‘Coast’ on the BBC, a show about – of course – the British coastline.

Maybe it’s the ‘Woke Watch’ segment that’s irritating the mob so much, a five-minute slot that will call out cancel culture and the woke madness that ever more people – including yours truly – are starting to really despise.

If I were Andrew Neil and the financial backers behind GB News, I wouldn’t be worried about losing ads from a handful of admen – in fact, I’d be loving all this free publicity. And, ask any commentator, it’s great to have an enemy.

Sorry wokeys, but you’re actually being pretty dim. You’ve walked straight into a trap and made me wanna tune in to GB News and take a look. What time is Woke Watch on?

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.