Joined: 25 Jul 2005
Location: St. Pauls, Bristol, England
|Posted: Sat Mar 16, 2019 9:12 pm Post subject: UK 9/11 Truth radio show survives Ofcom antisemitism charges
Local radio station cleared after being reported to Ofcom for anti-semitic conspiracy theories
It could have resulted in BCfm radio station being shut down if the complaint was upheld
By Neil Maggs 14:45, 14 MAR 2019UPDATED10:23, 15 MAR 2019 FRONT PAGE
Tony Gosling reported to Ofcom by UK Lawyers for Israel after being accused of anti-semitism
A Bristol radio station, which had one of its programmes reported for anti-semitism and racism has been cleared by Ofcom.
The radio regulatory body received a complaint from “UK Lawyers for Israel’ over a show on BCfm radio, hosted by investigative journalist Tony Gosling.
The weekly politics show, on the popular community radio station based in Easton, was reported for several allegations on a show which aired on November 23.
If the complaint had been upheld it could have resulted in the station being shut down.
Tony Gosling, who was a former BBC journalist between 1989 and 1993, has been producing and presenting ‘The Tony Gosling Politics’ show every week on BCFM radio for 11 years.
BCfm radio supported Mr Gosling throughout the investigation, provided evidence and support against the complaint put forward.
They have released a statement which reads: “Whilst we are supportive of all our volunteer presenters, The Tony Gosling Politics Show only represents approximately ten percent of our political output content wise, and less than two per cent of our entire weekly output.”
Mr Gosling's programme looks at local politics and he interviews a range of councillors and MPs in the city. The show is also perhaps more well known for its alternative look at international politics, and he has a cult following online from across the world. Mr Gosling has made regular appearances on national media including the politics show with Andrew Neil on BBC One, and international channels such as Russia Today, Channel1 Russia, NTV, and recently for both Turkish and Lebanon TV.
The complaint against the show was made by UK Lawyers for Israel (UKLFI) about a show specifically broadcast on Friday November 23. An investigation into the allegations was launched by Ofcom on January 31.
The complaint was filed by Jonathon Turner CEO of UKLFI. On their website they claim Mr Gosling’s The Politics Show was: 'Filled with conspiracy theories, extremism, racism, and propaganda and in breach of multiple provisions of the Ofcom code.'
When referring to the show which aired on Friday November 23 it continued: “We identified 14 breaches of the Ofcom code in a single episode of a programme that is broadcast every week. This must be a cause for alarm. Ofcom should ensure that an extremist is not permitted a platform to spread his message of conspiracy and hate.”
The complaints were narrowed down into three components. Firstly, the peddling of conspiracies, secondly lack of balance in regards to the state of Israel, and thirdly that it was racist and anti-semitic.
Examples cited included, according to the UKLFI, Mr Gosling in this programme alleged: The Manchester Arena bombing was carried out by MI5 and the Rothschild’s family; Israel is the most dangerous country in the middle East; and Israeli children are indoctrinated and Palestinian children are intentionally killed by Israelis in Gaza."
Complaints of anti-semitism have gathered increasing focus in the media of late, kick starting a national debate. The most highly publicised being within the Labour party, where they have received a total of 673 anti-semitic complaints within 10 months since last year. A record high.
After an investigation, Ofcom on March 1, have ruled that there is no breach of rule 5:13 which states that ‘Broadcasters should not give undue prominence to the voices and opinions of particular persons or bodies on matters of political or industrial controversy and matters relating to current public policy in all the programmes included in any service.’
The report concluded there was an 'appropriate level of challenge' on the state of Israel, and that critical views of the state were 'not unduly prominent' across the station.
Offcom have, however, listed a couple of key recommendations, commenting on the balance of the criticism of intelligence services, and would like to see a more consistent challenge from the lead presenter when the state of Israel is criticised.
On any rule break the complaint was not upheld. 56 year old Mr Gosling has said: “I am pleased that Ofcom have recognised my efforts” and describes the complaint as being "motivated by a wish to conflate intellectual criticism with abhorrent anti-semitism.”
A spokesperson for BCFM Radio said: "We take note of the guidance they have issued us. We’d like to draw a line under this matter and continue with supporting our 180 strong volunteer team.”
Mr Gosling states: “I am pleased I have been exonerated. It could have resulted in BCfm being fined, made bankrupt, or potentially taken off air permanently.”
“The attempt to shut me down was not motivated by concerns about a neo-nazi extremist peddling hate speech on UK airwaves as painted, but by a wish to conflate intellectual criticism of the Israeli state policies:" he added.
Tony Gosling has made regular apprearances on national and international media outlets. Here seen previously on Russia Today (RT)
In responding to allegations of bias against Israel Mr Gosling said : “I pointed out six occasions from August 2018, where I had aired extensive interviews with five Israeli cabinet ministers, including the Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.”
This was according to Mr Gosling ‘more than any UK radio programme had.’
The final complaint, which by Mr Gosling’s own admission was the ‘most serious’, when he aired a programme looking at ‘extreme fundamentalist Zionist doctrines.’ This he says has been common place in many programmes looking at Islamic doctrines such as Salafist and Takfiri, so it was an offshoot of this.
On the programme he invited Canadian author David Livingstone who has written a book examining these themes entitled ‘Ordo Ab Chaos’ (latin for Order of Chaos) which examines how religions can be hijacked by ‘ruthless political and criminal purposes.’ The aim of the programme was according to Mr Gosling to ‘take a balanced look at extremes of Zionism against Islamism as being ‘pseudo-religious doctrine.”
On the show Mt Gosling examined the role of the intelligence services in the Manchester bombings, in the week that there was a Parliament’s Intelligence and Security committee chaired by Domini Grieve MP. Despite the statement by Ofcom, Mr Gosling maintains that every mainstream press, including in Manchester, was critical of MI5, and he ‘tried to portray contrast views in his show.’
A BCfm spokespoerson added: “Let me be clear that Bristol Community FM strongly condemns any anti-Semitic comments or behaviour. We are proud of our diverse broadcasting schedule that we feel represents all aspects of our communities and do not wish to be embroiled in a row that polarises any single issue.”
"The maintenance of secrets acts like a psychic poison which alienates the possessor from the community" Carl Jung