Guardian: Breitbart London Dismisses Crap We Love

It was only a matter of time before Breitbart London got its very own hit-piece in the Guardian. We naturally take Nafeez Ahmed's article as a great compliment, even if it's a little soft on us as James Delingpole put it:

If you’d like to read the article (seriously, its a hoot!), here it is below. Oh and here's some interesting information about the author. We're shocked. SHOCKED I tell you!

In February, Roy Greenslade reported that US conservative media outfit Breitbart News Network was expanding into the British media scene with the establishment of a London office. Heading up Breitbart's new UK operations are executive editor James Delingpole and managing editor Raheem Kassem.

The expansion – which Delingpole himself effectively concedes is about "pandering to readers' prejudices" to maximise profits – reveals the worrying extent to which the forces behind climate denial and racism are one and the same: "American conservativism" of the "right-wing libertarianist" kind.

Anti-science

Given Delingpole's track record of fundamentalist opposition to climate science at the Telegraph, it is hardly surprising that Breitbart UK's environmental reporting standards sink to an unprecedented low.

In one story this month, for instance, Delingpole lauded a new US poll which found that: "More Americans believe in God than in man-made global warming." Only thirty-three per cent of respondents, the poll showed, are confident that average global temperatures are rising mostly due to human-caused greenhouse gasses.

Delingpole mockingly dismissed the explanation of Nobel Prize winning biochemist, Prof Robert Leftkowitz: that public opinion is being misled by "the force of concerted campaigns to discredit scientific fact" - largely funded by the fossil fuel industry, as documented in a recent extensive study in Climatic Change.

Rather, said Delingpole:

"Perhaps he should venture out of the biochemistry lab a bit more often. If he did so, he would realise that the 67 per cent who had doubts about greenhouse gas theory are almost certainly correct."

Delingpole's scientific evidence for this is the alleged inability of broadly accurate if conservative (rather than alarmist) computer models to account for "real world data" – data which he completely fails to understand, hence his endorsement of the fictional "pause in global warming since 1997."

Anti-activism

Similarly, another story this month by Breitbart political correspondent, Andre Walker – a former Tory political aide who resigned after being caught plotting to smear a deputy council leaderlent unwarranted credence to a new report by the anti-climate policy advocacy group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF).

One of GWPF's funders is Tory Party donor Michael Hintze, head of $5bn hedge-fund CQS which operates in the oil finance industry, among other areas. The report claimed that "environmentalism" had come to "permeate school curricula across the UK," resulting in children being "brainwashed" by climate change activism.

Walker's story on the report quoted a spokesman for British education minister Michael Gove, saying that teachers who do not offer a "balanced" view on climate change issues are breaking the law. "There has been concern for a number of years about teachers using the classroom to preach radical ideas," commented Walker, before throwing in a bone for his former party: "The Thatcher government introduced the National Curriculum in 1988 because some schools spent so much time on 'trendy' causes that they had little time left for the basics."

Anti-everyone

While attacking environmental science and activism, Breitbart UK simultaneously revels in being an unadulterated mouthpiece for right-wing ideology without even a semblance of editorial objectivity. Literally dozens of 'news' articles over the last month, many by editor Raheem Kassam, offer gushing praise for the anti-environmentalist UK Independence Party (Ukip) - which as far right expert Dr Matthew Goodwin of the University of Nottingham explains, has "considerable overlaps with the extreme right."

"Far from being 'xenophobic' or 'racist'," Kassam writes instead, "Ukip's objections to mass immigration into Britain" are merely a reaction to the Blair government's policy of "'open borders' immigration from Europe." He whines that Ukip is "often unfairly lumped" with the British National Party (BNP) and the English Defence League (EDL).

Compare Kassam's unbridled enthusiasm for Ukip with the sober assessment of Dan Hodges in The Telegraph, who explains how his views on the party have changed as the party's racism has become increasingly obvious:

"Over the past year Ukip has gone beyond raising general concerns about immigration to directly targeting and stigmatising individual national groups. Poles, Romanians, Bulgarians and Albanians are amongst the favourite targets. And, as Nigel Farage said at the weekend, he believes that's fine because they represent national, not racial stereotypes. But of course it isn't fine… Ukip is now an overtly racist and extremist party."

Indeed, in a damning overview in yesterday's Spectator, Nick Cohen decisively highlights the systematic pattern of overt xenophobia on the part of Ukip candidates and representatives, demolishing the myth of the party's love of Britain.

Kill 'em all

Breitbart's hysterically partisan support for Ukip is no innocuous error of judgement. On 2nd April, Breitbart columnist Patrick Dollard tweeted this in response to the Fort Hood shooting last month by an Iraq War veteran – the same Texas base where former US Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people in 2009:

"If there is even one more act of Muslim terrorism, it is then time for Americans to start slaughtering Muslims in the street, all of them."

Despite being widely reported and condemned, to date Dollard has not deleted or apologised for this statement, and Breitbart.com continues to list him as a columnist.

Read the rest on the Guardian website


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