The BBC’s Stephen Nolan has caused an uproar on social media for his vigilante activities at a Belfast Service Station as he set out to challenge people for not wearing masks.
The clip posted online shows Nolan challenging a man he claims wasn’t wearing a mask going into the store but wore one coming out. As the man tried to avoid the cameras Nolan chased after him shouting questions in full view of local businesses and shoppers.
It appears the reason why this has caused so much disgust, even from people who are vehemently “pro-mask”, is because this bully-boy type of journalism is not how you get people to listen to your views or indeed challenge theirs. And given that most people have forgotten their mask at one time or another, or simply forgot to put it on initially, people are thinking that could easily have been them being broadcast all over national TV and internationally via social media.
Whose to say that that man didn’t forget to put his mask on going into the store, remembered when inside, and then put it on only to walk outside and have a TV camera shoved in his face and then subsequently chased? How would you have reacted? Had that been the case, why should that gentleman have stood and explained himself to a journalist whose business it is has nothing to do with?
His behaviour at the service station in question even drew scorn from 2 times Olympic medal winning boxer Paddy Barnes:
Prominent Unionist activist Jamie Bryson also called Nolan out:
Stephen claims he has the people’s interests at heart and wants to protect them, and I’ve no doubt there is an element of truth in what he says but how big, or small, that element is, is up for debate.
But there’s another angle to this story that shines a different light on Nolan’s behaviour towards those not wearing masks. A light that shows him as being a hypocrite.
Nolan – The Hypocrite?
It’s a well documented fact that Stephen Nolan has long struggled with his weight and it’s something he openly discusses on radio. He’s been previously diagnosed as being “severely morbidly obese”.
Measuring the BBC man’s waistline to be 51 inches, Dr Orsmond said he was classified as severely morbidly obese and would become diabetic.Source: Belfast Telegraph
It’s also a long established fact that with obesity comes a plethora of health issues that places the person at high risk for life threatening illnesses:
Since the outbreak of COVID-19 medical professionals were eager to stress to those who are overweight that their risk for contracting the virus were extremely high and got higher the more excess weight they were carrying. The UK government also noted the risks of complications, and even death, were increased with excess weight:
Being obese or excessively overweight increases the risk of severe illness and death from COVID-19, a new Public Health England (PHE) report confirms.
The report summarises findings from evidence published during the pandemic on the effects of excess weight and obesity on COVID-19. UK and international evidence suggests that being severely overweight puts people at greater risk of hospitalisation, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and death from COVID-19, with risk growing substantially as body mass index (BMI) increases.Source: UK Gov
I would draw your attention to this specific piece of information given by the UK government experts:
being severely overweight puts people at greater risk of hospitalisation, Intensive Care Unit (ICU) admission and death from COVID-19
Now, I’m by no means trying to victimise Stephen or attack him for being overweight. I don’t know his personal situation or his mental health. It’s none of my business in the same way he doesn’t know the personal situation with the people he challenged at the Belfast Service Station, nor is it any of his business. Though he made it his business.
Just over 4 weeks ago Stephen tweeted an image of a huge chocolate crepe with ice-cream that he was having for breakfast.
Here is an picture of Stephen:
Is eating chocolate crepes and ice-cream for breakfast the actions of a responsible person, especially given that we know his weight places him in a high category for taking up a valuable ICU bed in an NHS hospital should he contract the virus? If Stephen is that concerned and worried about the front-line workers, and if he’s a genuine supporter of their cause, then why is he lining himself up to add an extra burden to the NHS?
He says challenging people for not wearing masks “is about the community protecting each other.” I ask you, is Stephen protecting the community and the NHS by his actions? As someone who is morbidly obese, who eats chocolate and ice-cream for breakfast and then shamelessly brags about it on social media; are those the actions of someone who is looking out for the NHS? What example does that give to others who may look to him for guidance?
In this clip he pays no attention to drivers of vehicles entering the service station, placing both himself and them at risk of an accident, as he pursues non-mask wearers.
Next is the full clip of Nolan chasing after, and harassing, the man mentioned earlier:
Interestingly, Nolan decided to wear a mask when carrying out his assaults on members of the public, yet when speaking to the Health Minister Robin Swann, outdoors, neither of them wore masks. For good reason too. It isn’t mandatory to wear masks outdoors…yet. So why then was Nolan wearing one in the forecourt of the service station? Virtue-signalling perhaps?
Likewise, when Stephen went indoors to the BBC studio with his guest – no masks.
I started out by asking if Stephen Nolan is a hypocrite for his position on wishing to save the NHS and save lives whilst putting his own life in danger thus potentially adding unwarranted pressure on the NHS. As I showed, obesity raises the risk of the person for COVID-19, but not just the risk of catching the virus, but the risk for severe life-threatening complications that would likely result in them taking up an ICU bed. An ICU bed that may be needed for an elderly person struggling to breath.
Him gloating over eating a chocolate crepe and ice-cream for breakfast is irresponsible and insulting to those who are overweight and who are struggling with COVID-19 complications. So it would seem that he is projecting his own guilt, via bullying, onto the general public and using his media platform to do so. Maybe the camera should be turned to his face? Maybe instead of chasing people outside petrol stations, the state funded BBC should do its licence fee payers a service and question Nolan on his irresponsibility, and his actions.
And in closing, I can reveal that Nolan hadn’t requested permission to attend the Finaghy Service Station but had actually requested permission to attend the Balmoral store. At the very last minute he changed the store location and thus took the Finaghy station by surprise.
He had asked for permission to “survey customers about the wearing of face-masks” and at no time made the company aware of his true intentions who were “shocked to see that it turned out the way it did.”
This was junk journalism and agenda driven. He took advantage of the company in question to attack their customers on their own forecourt and have left them now in a position they never thought they’d be in.
Whilst there, he virtue-signalled wearing a mask outdoors, running in front of traffic and chasing people down in a bullying fashion. This was a disgraceful debacle and Stephen Nolan deserves all the criticism he is gets over the matter.
Yes, Nolan is a hypocrite on this occasion.