After a week of speculation on social media, LBC has announced that the award winning journalist Sangita Myska has ‘left’ her popular afternoon slot on the station. At the same time, Vanessa Feltz, who has made no secret of her Zionist views, has been recruited.

The hashtag #WhereisSangitaMyska had been trending on social media since her last interview on 27th April. She had disappeared from her afternoon slot on LBC Radio without explanation or warning, and her fans were angry and suspicious. The fact that this last interview was a a hard-hitting discussion with the Israeli government spokesperson Avi Hyman led many to believe that she has been punished for doing her job and holding the Israeli spokesperson to account.

Sangita is a respected and popular journalist. She has won many awards including one for her reporting on the Grenfell Tower Inquiry.  She also won the best current affairs category at the British Podcast Awards.

The popularity of her afternoon slot on LBC is evidenced by the numbers of listeners who have expressed their concern over her disappearance. One of her fans recently tweeted ‘I was so moved by Sangita Myska talking about the racism tolerated by the Tory Party and how it made her and people she knows feel, that I had to stop the car to listen and weep. So, yes, I am asking the same question #where is Sangita Myska”?

During this last interview with the Israeli spokesperson, Avi Hyman, Sangita posed critical questions and challenged him on Israel’s actions in Gaza. What really struck a nerve, however, was when she questioned him on Iran’s missile strike on Israel and suggested this was a retaliation for an earlier Israeli airstrike on an Iranian Consulate building in Syria. Hyman was clearly furious. He vigorously shook his head in disagreement and went on to deny that the building was even a Consulate and that saying this was nothing more than Iranian propaganda. Sangita ironically observed that the whole of the world’s press had clearly been duped. She argued that Israel’s action escalated an already fragile situation. Hyman, clearly rattled, refused to respond.

These were hardly ‘hold your breath’, off the scale controversial questions. In fact, Lord Ricketts, a retired diplomat had said much the same in the House of Lords days earlier.

However, her sudden disappearance following this interview led to an outpouring of support. A petition was launched that to date has 20,000 signatures. People had been phoning in and texting other presenters like Ian Dale and James O’Brien why they haven’t supported her. They kept denying there was a problem.

Of course, now the truth has emerged and their suspicions realised, people are angry. A boycott of LBC Radio is now trending

This issue, though is far more important than Sangita Myska. 

Although it is normal to believe that the media is biased against the causes we champion, there cannot be many who haven’t seen through the obvious bias of the mainstream media in its handling of Gaza. This has been confirmed by a report recently published by The Muslim Council of Britain’s Centre for Media Monitoring. The report analyses 176,627 television clips from over thirteen broadcasters, as well as scrutinising over 25,000 news articles. It finds that 76% of online articles frame Israel’s aggression as the ‘Israel-Hamas war’ rather than a war on Gaza and that over 70% of the terms atrocities, slaughter and massacre were used exclusively in reference to attacks against Israelis. Also identified is the willingness of many broadcasters to emphasise Israel’s supposed right to defend itself in Gaza. This is mentioned on 1,482 occasions. By contrast, mentions of the right of Palestinians to resist in Gaza amount to just 278.

The issue at the heart of this media bias is how so many journalists and news outlets without any obvious vested interests are willing to be constrained in this way.

Of course, the answers lie in the unspoken threats most journalists are aware of as to what happens if they challenge the dominant ideology. Sangita Myska’s sacking sends another very strong message to journalists not to step outside those red lines.   A form of self-censorship is imposed as a result.

The drivers for the news outlets’ bias may be different but it is usually ‘they who pay the piper call the tune’ either in the form of advertising revenue or government funding in the case of the BBC. It is also recognised that pro Israeli media pressure groups like HonestReporting are very well organised and any news report that breaks these unspoken rules and supports Palestine can be certain that they will be plagued by thousands of complaints.

This level of control should worry anyone who cares about democracy. If the media can’t tell the truth what is its purpose?

However, we must hang on to the fact that more and more people are seeing through the bias. The millions marching across the world in support of Palestine, the student protests in America and, on a smaller scale, the level of anger and support for Sangita Myska is the evidence we need to give us hope. This hope stems from the fact that the power of capital and corrupt governments is no match for the power of the people resisting indoctrination.

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