An interview by TalkTV host Julia Hartley-Brewer has gone viral online for all the wrong reasons. Hartley-Brewer’s rude and, frankly, racist treatment of Palestinian politician Dr Mustafa Barghouti has sparked outrage online, with people calling out the British journalist and the channel.
Dr Barghouti, the general secretary of the Palestinian National Initiative, appeared on Hartley-Brewer’s show after the assassination Hamas deputy leader Saleh al-Arouri.
The clip from the show that most infuriated people was one posted by TalkTV itself in which Hartley-Brewer’s petulant behaviour and dismissive attitude towards Dr Barghouti was evident.
Users warned people not to dismiss Hartley-Brewer as a one-off — her behaviour is indicative of the Western media’s bias against Palestinians.
People never had a terribly high opinion of her, it seems.
Others said Muslims shouldn’t go on TalkTV at all because its treatment of Muslim guests has never been good.
Her racism was very apparent during the interview.
The dehumanising way in which she spoke to Dr Barghouti is what riled people up the most.
Dr Barghouti commented on the racism himself!
Hartley-Brewer’s immediate reliance on anti-Arab tropes such as the subjugation of women was indicative of her own personal biases. Dr Barghouti never said anything in the clip that warranted that reaction from the journalist, nor did he do anything that other guests on TV shows haven’t done before.
Over the past few months, we’ve seen rampant dehumanisation of Palestinian men and the peddling of tropes that they are misogynistic or oppress women. Misogyny is not limited to a particular country or religion — it’s something that is present everywhere and the trope that Arab men are all misogynistic is blatantly racist. Time and again, Palestinians — both men and women — have been forced to prove their humanity. They’ve been forced to prove to the world that their pain exists, that their suffering exists and that they deserve to grieve their loved ones.
Hartley-Brewer’s extreme lack of basic courtesy was shocking, given that she presents herself as a journalist. Her dismissal of her guest’s answers and the rude way in which she spoke to him was evidence of how many in the Western media treat Palestinians as lesser beings.
We’re as appalled as social media is by the way Dr Barghouti was treated and hope all this backlash will at least instil some sense of self-reflection in the journalist — though we’re not counting on it.