Media adds insult to injury for disabled protester

My Facebook feed is full of people up in arms about this BBC interview with Jody McIntyre, a political activist with cerebral palsy who was pulled from his wheelchair and attacked by the police during last week’s student protests in London:

Interviewer Ben Brown spends the full eight minutes trying to get McIntyre to admit to provoking the police, suggesting he was “rolling towards the police in his wheelchair”, that he is a “revolutionary” (presumably this would justify police violence) and repeatedly asking him if he threw anything at the police or shouted insults at them. McIntyre does fantastically well to keep his composure and point out the inherent ridiculousness of this line of questioning. Please see FWD for a full transcript.

The interrogation interview displays a bias towards those in power and against those theatened by that power. The media portrayal of the protests and protesters looks like a desperate attempt by the former – who count media moguls and top journalists among their numbers – to convince the rest of us that the protesters are not people like us. They know the government has launched a huge attack on the vast majority of the UK population – of which they will be the beneficiaries – and they therefore have a massively vested interest in preventing any kind of solidarity and empathy building up between us. Hence the ludicrous and offensive accusations thrown at Jody McIntyre in the place of any attempt to get a balanced picture of what actually happened.

So hoorah for social media and the internet: you can read Jody’s blog here, join a Facebook page supporting him here and make a complaint direct to the BBC here.

While you’re at it, you could also complain about the latest bit of vile, ignorant commentary from the Daily Mail’s finest columnist, Richard Littlejohn, who compares Jody to Andy from Little Britain, making him out to be a petulant imbecile who “put himself on offer” to the police (scroll down to second article).

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