By Stephen Pollard
July 2, 2009
It's heartening that Press TV is, at last, getting the scrutiny it deserves. The propaganda arm of the Iranian government is being invesigated by OFCOM, Newsnight had a discussion last night with its MD and Martin Bright (which was, one has to say, embarassing given how awful the MD was) and presenters and commentators such as Nick Ferrari are leaving the station after it's reprehensible coverage of the Iranian elections.
(BTW, here's my JC column last week on how TfL is happy to take Press TV's money despite knowing where it comes from and what it funds.)
But I have to say that whilst I think the station should, as Martin put it on Newsnight, be left to wither and die in the mire of its own absurdity, I don't think it should be banned. I do not think it the business of the state, in the guise of OFCOM, to deternine who can voice their opinions and what they should be allowed to say.
It's one thing to expose Press TV for what it is and to pillory anyone who takes it shilling; it's quite another to demand the end of free speech. Freedom of speech includes, at its heart, the right to utter nonsense.