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Jonathan Cook - Frankie Boyle: Your new show betrayed Gaza
21 May 2018
Keeping you honest
There are those who say you, Frankie, are trying to do your best in a tough spot
from within the corporate media, and therefore we should cut you some
slack. Certainly, it is good that you have a platform that can reach far larger
numbers of people than any of us social media activists.
But that is not a good reason for us to keep quiet. First, we need to keep you
honest. You slipped up badly in this first episode, both in enthusiastically
adopting the right's anti-semitism "crisis" narrative and in not making a bigger
noise about the censorship of your Gaza criticisms. If we don't kick your arse
over it, no one else will.
Second, we on the real left have to raise our expectations. Okay, it's good to
have you on the BBC, but we need to make as much noise as possible when we have
a chance to remind viewers that you are a one-off, the exception that proves the
rule; and that even so, you are being censored and doubtless forced to make
other major compromises on your material to remain on the telly.
Our job is not to stand loyally by you while you trim your sails. It is to
challenge you on your compromises and expose the difficulties you face to a
wider public. That helps to raise awareness of how rarely alternative
perspectives are available on the BBC, while at the same time deepening our own
The fact that you have blocked so many of us for simply pointing out what should
have been obvious to you in the first place is a good sign that you do indeed
need your arse kicked. We'll happily do it again next time you play by the
establishment's rule book.