3 Aug 2009 by CST
George Galloway and Press TV have been found to be in breach of Ofcom's rules on impartiality, after complaints were made about some of his shows on the Iranian-backed station during the fighting between Israel and Hamas in January.
The Ofcom ruling sheds light on one curious aspect of the story, concerning the background of one of Galloway's guests:
In the section of the programme that discussed Gaza George Galloway conducted a live studio interview with the Palestinian author, Ahmed Masoud. In addition, there was a telephone contribution from the American investigative reporter, Jeff Steinberg, who gave his perspective on alleged US involvement in Israeli Government policy towards Gaza.
Concerning the 18 January Real Deal, Press TV made a number of points:
· George Galloway referred to a parliamentary debate in which he participated, and where he was in the clear minority on the issue of Gaza. According to Press TV, this clarified to viewers that the issue of Gaza was not a one-sided subject, but is one that has different angles and can attract various points of view;
· in his interview with the Palestinian author, Ahmed Masoud, whose life had been affected by Israels actions, according to Press TV it would have been insensitive for George Galloway to tackle the Israeli line against his guest;
· the programme included a telephone interview with the investigative reporter, Jeff Steinberg. The latter was invited to explain to viewers the Israeli perspective. This interview highlighted Israels perspective on Iran, Hezbollah and Hamas and Israels objective to reduce the threat from such organisations, and in particular, to exterminate Hamas. In this way, the broadcaster said the viewers [were] therefore given Israels perception of the threat and can therefore make up their own minds about how Israel should deal with such a threat
Jeff Steinberg, who Press TV claimed was invited onto the show to explain the Israeli point of view, is the Counterintelligence Director of Lyndon LaRouche's Executive Intelligence Review. Unsurprisingly, he is certainly no supporter of, or spokesman for, Israel. Perhaps this explains why, as Ofcom drily noted, he did not actually support Israel in his comments to Galloway:
The broadcaster also had the journalist Jeff Steinberg as a guest on the programme. Ofcom noted Press TVs contention that he was giving the Israeli perspective on Israeli Government policy. However, Ofcom considered that his role in the programme was that of a commentator. His viewpoint would therefore be seen as an observer rather than someone putting forward the Israeli position. In fact at times he was actually critical of the actions of the Israeli Government, whilst giving his personal interpretation of the motivations behind US foreign policy and the actions of the Israeli Government. For example, Ofcom noted that during the programme this particular contributor labelled Israels actions in Gaza as an act of outright Nazi-type genocide.
Ofcom considered that both Ahmed Masoud and Jeff Steinberg were putting forward viewpoints critical of the Israeli Governments policy in Gaza.
I have no idea whether George Galloway chooses his own guests, or whether his Press TV researchers do that for him. Nor is there any evidence that Galloway is aware of Steinberg's position at EIR. For those of you who missed Steinberg's appearance on Press TV, there is another interview with him here, conducted by the LaRouche Political Action Committee, discussing some breaking news he revealed just last month about the 9/11 terrorist attacks:
In the report that follows, you will discover that some of the most fundamental assumptions that you have been clinging to since Sept. 11, 2001--assumptions that Lyndon LaRouche warned against--have been a total fraud. Much of what you have been told about the events of 9/11 have been a hoax. The truth, which is clearly revealed in newly declassified documents, available through the National Archives, is that two leading presumed U.S. allies--Saudi Arabia and Great Britain--were up to their eyeballs in the attacks on New York City and Washington. The United States was betrayed by leading elements within the Saudi Arabian Royal Family and intelligence services, in league with the British Empire. And top officials of the Bush-Cheney White House, the Justice Department, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) were both aware of, and fully complicit in the coverup of the crime of the century.