Something very strange is happening in the media.
It started as a whisper. Conversations in the corridor, the odd email, a handwritten letter. But it is growing into the din of a noisy restaurant, where everyone has something to say.
And what I hear from media insiders is that things cannot go on like this for much longer. Journalists, writers, reporters, even cameramen hired to support a single narrative have had enough of half-truths and lies.
One gentleman on the mainstream payroll confided:
“When the BBC made the series ‘Exodus: Our Journey to Europe,’ they did an episode on the situation in Serbia. They spent some time in the barracks in Belgrade where I joined the team. “The BBC decided to say that the people living in the barracks were mostly ‘Afghan refugees.’ This is complete rubbish and they knew this. It was 50/50 Afghan and Pakistani. But the point is, why would they not mention the Pakistani element? We all know the answer and it’s simply that the BBC would rather sway public opinion towards sympathy than ever have a rational and balanced report on a situation.”
This is not a unique account. Insiders at the BBC, The Guardian and other mainstream media outlets are increasingly aware that complying with the prescriptive narrative of their media masters is making them complicit in the downfall of our country.
They feel trapped. They need their contract and the benefits that come with it. Many have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay. The thought of going it alone in an industry where people are an entirely disposable commodity is a dark one.
But integrity matters to these people, too. Turning up to work each day to ignore reality and reframe everything according to prescribed-think is wearing horribly thin.
The agreed narrative on Syria — that Assad is the bad guy — has exposed cracks in the mainstream veneer.
BBC Foreign News Producer Riam Dalati tweeted:
“Sick and tired of watching activists and rebels using corpses of dead children to stage emotive scenes for Western consuming. Then they wonder why some serious journos are questioning part of the narrative.”
The tweet was promptly deleted and Dalati has been conspicuous in his "good behavior" ever since. I’d hazard a guess management was involved.
Dalati is not alone. The repression of dissenting point of views is enraging. We can expect to see more of these outbursts of real emotion appear on Twitter only to be repented of and swiftly withdrawn after a reprimand from the top floor.
I have watched journalists and friends of mine perform incredible acts of contortion in order to tow the approved Establishment line. I sit open-mouthed listening to them report that President Assad gassed his own people and that bombing him is a great idea, even though some of them don't believe this is true. We’ve discussed it together.
After all, why would Assad do something so seemingly counterproductive, especially after Trump launched airstrikes on him in 2017 for the same reason? All this just weeks after Trump declared his intention to withdraw from the region.
But desperate for a slot on Question Time or a presenter’s role on Newsnight, they dare not deviate. Shilling for the Establishment is an efficient way to achieve these things. You only climb the greasy pole by sticking to the script.
One of the latest victims in this smear campaign is Maram Susli, who goes by the online pseudonym Partisangirl. The UK Government and the Guardian have accused her of being a Russian bot.
She is very real.
It is curious. While the men shill for their spots on the BBC inside warm studios with smart exec cars on call, it is women who reject comfort and security and risk personal safety and freedom for the reward of the truth without the benefit of a contract or sick pay. And for this they are slandered and vilified. Often by those who have never ventured outside the M25.
But the tide is turning.
A good many journalists and opinion formers are questioning how much longer they can be complicit in the reigning duplicity. A brave few are preparing to leave.
And independent journalists are leading the charge, demonstrating the power of old-fashioned journalism whose sources are real people and their happiness or pain. Not Google, The Guardian or crib notes from a media-studies intern on the production team.
They are a new breed apart, authentic voices with honest stories to share. I salute them all.
Some have reached out to me with their truths, like fish on the surface, gasping for air.
My friends at the Daily Mail are in touch, alarmed at seeing smart voices like Candace Owens labelled "far right" in an editorial slight of hand designed to appease advertisers and left-wing critics of the paper.
This journalist inside the mainstream is sick of the lies:
“I work in the broadcast media, at a national level. You probably know who I am. Certainly you will have watched who I work for. To suggest in that environment that I support you or agree with even a fraction of what you are saying and revealing would be career suicide – the end of putting dinner on the table for me and my family. All for agreeing with the truth that for whatever reason Must Remain Unspoken.
“The wider UK, but London especially, is in a frightful state. In the cities we KNOW that the white Briton is a disappearing breed. Those with money move to the country and commute, those without are displaced to the slums that are now many of our market towns. Within the cities, Muslims gather and breed at a pace far outstripping the natives. They buy up properties, renting them to their own kind, turn High Streets into downtown Mogadishu, with the evil of their barbaric monkey religion omnipresent. Women forced to be downtrodden in dress, language and social interaction. Men free to fix elections, rape white girls and take as many wives as their savage desires will permit.
“They hate us. They plot against us. They bomb us. They fiddle our democratic elections.
“And we must not speak out. We are racist. We are intolerant. We are powerless. We, or at least our media, are complicit.”
I see you, I hear you, and I support you.