A FEW days ago LBC host James O’Brien sparked outrage when he clashed with a listener who called his radio show to express his keen desire for children to return to school this September. Given that this involved O’Brien, who is known for being provocative on the airwaves, ‘clashed’ was putting it mildly. As the conversation wore on, O’Brien deployed the ultimate of put-downs and told the caller, ‘If you are 100 per cent behind this idea then when a child dies it’s on you.’
Twitter was alive with opinion: many were raging against O’Brien’s savage words, while others felt the way the LBC media team swiftly promoted the incident on Twitter moments later, by sharing a short clip of the exchange and detailing exactly how O’Brien had stamped all over the caller, was crass.
This coincidentally occurred on the day that a documentary about a fraudster and paedophile, The Unbelievable Story of Carl Beech, aired on BBC2. James O’Brien became embroiled when he hosted the relatively unknown news agency Exaro News no fewer than six times on his show, and thus helped to whip up the false allegations that fantasist Beech had made to them about a VIP paedophile ring operating in Britain in the 1970s. Despite his penchant for sermonising, neither O’Brien nor the station have ever apologised after all Beech’s claims were found to be total fabrications. (Beech is serving 18 years for perverting the course of justice, fraud and child sex offences.)
After this week’s fiasco, O’Brien’s biggest critic has undeniably been Alex Belfield, a radio presenter formerly of BBC2. He is now the host of his own show, The Voice Of Reason, a daily news bulletin that airs over YouTube. This week he used it to launch an attack on the pompous LBC presenter.
Belfield calls O’Brien ‘supercilious’ and ‘sanctimonious’, and suggests that his words were ‘hugely damaging’ and ‘offensive’. He says it is entirely wrong to threaten parents when it is clear even from ‘the science’ that the government is following, that a child is more likely to be killed by a meteorite, or heaven forbid, in a road accident, than it is by Covid-19. He goes further and says that the LBC presenter is in fact ‘dangerous’ and ‘a disgrace’ and that he finds the ‘far left movement in this country, that pervades the mainstream media, is terrifying’.
Watch Belfield’s broadcast here and let us know if you agree, and what you think.