On the B-BBC case

Take a look at this fascinating exchange between the American Expat and Paul Reynolds of the BBC. I think Scott nails him with the logic of saying that either you report a claim of 100,000 civilian deaths (or more) in Iraq, and examine the methodology critically for the reader’s sake, or you don’t report it at all. Reynolds’ response?

‘It was simply a figure. I reported it. . What’s the problem?’

Yeah, no big deal.

Update 02/04: thanks to commenters, a challenge for Paul Reynolds (who added his comment too)- how about quoting this site’s analysis, which highlights the vital fact that 80% of the IBC civilian death count is male?

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Ignoring the elephant in the room.

Rottweiler Puppy sees the significance of the current trial of Islamists in London, and the BBC’s evasion of that significance. I suppose the point is not ‘this is Islam’, but that ‘this is what Islam is producing for us‘- and the BBC is concealing the fact; not trusting the British people to make any kind of distinction whatsoever, the BBC simply takes the dilemma away. As Devils Kitchen points out, amusingly:

‘perhaps it is a mistake or an oversight. Well, one would like to believe so, but with Al-Beeb’s other recent transgressions in this department—including such Boy’s Own-style thrillers as Al-Beeb And The Mysterious Case Of The Grey Men, Al-Beeb And The Fascinating Case Of The Salty Kebab and Al-Beeb And The Odd Occurance Of The Unpopular Pundit— one can only really conclude that it is deliberate editorial policy at Al-Beeb not to mention the Religion of Peace even when it is relevant to the motives of those involved.’

(go to Devil’s Kitchen for the links to those tantalising tales of al-Beeb, several of them referring to the excellent Puppy’s observations)

In fairness, I should say that I doubt the focus in court has been on the inspiration the accused felt for their plans, rather than on their conspiracy itself. However, everything about the case suggests that it’s unfathomable without the special kind of contempt that Islam seems to incubate generally and hatch among some where it concerns ‘the infidel’.

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Round the BBC riverbend

Quite surprised indeed that the BBC chose to longlist one of the few massively anti-Iraq war [Iraqi] blogs out there (compiled by some fanatic into a book) for their Samuel Johnson award: maybe some of you will have heard or visited Riverbend’s blog. For those who haven’t, imagine the unremitting gloom of an Eastender’s character transposed to Baghdad and cleaned up grammatically and you’ll have a fair idea. My guess would be she’s the wife or daughter (or both, more likely) of a Baathist, which would be about as good as the BBC’s (nb. she remains anonymous).

Or, if you want another tip about who she sounds like, imagine the constant drip drip drip of a John Simpson commentary and you’ll be close to the mark. Maybe, in fact, it is Simpson, given his penchant for Burqua-ing up from time to time. One never knows. (via ATW)

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Lacking a spine

This is not a post about the BBC’s lacking courage. They do, but the metaphor is a bit more literal than that. I’m referring to an interesting article concerning the booming state of the Israeli economy which is paradoxically dominated by the BBC’s focus on poverty.

The trouble is, like so many BBC reports, it lacks the spine provided by recognition of fundamentals. So we get a jelly-like rambling commentary telling us how

‘Last year, the economy expanded at its fastest rate in years, bolstered by healthy growth in exports, strength in the technology sector and a healthy investment climate.’

You look through the article in vain for the central theme: it is conveyed only in hints about a positive ‘investment climate’ and how ‘a Palestinian uprising sparked a slump’ in 2000.

But the real story behind economic growth is the stability brought about by Sharon’s barrier policy and unilateral action. Because they will not focus on this, a fundamental issue, they are released to focus on one of their cherished topics, poverty, which enables them to include Palestinian alienation in their ‘compassionate’ coverage. In doing so they pass over the fact that the gap between rich and poor is mirrored by the gulf between terrorist sponsoring people and law-abiding citizens.

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It’s the little things …

… that make a BBC worldview. Take the coverage of today’s March for Free Expression, a response to the recent world-wide outbreak of cartoonophobia.

Blog site

The free speech movement was born from a blog site on the internet and rallied hundreds from across the political spectrum to join Saturday’s rally.”

You’d think the story might contain a link to said blog. Ah yes, there’s a link at the side of the story.

But it’s a link to the cartoonophobic Global Civility site ! However could that have happened ?

Elsewhere, Stephen Pollard notes a remarkable contribution to BBC Radio Four’s “Thought For The Day”.

“Paying taxes is how love operates at a distance”

You can see how a service funded by a compulsory levy might warm to such a religion. As Pollard says, “we either pay to have this stuff broadcast or get sent to prison”.

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Min Truth’s Words Absurd

One could create a blog dedicated to the BBC’s disfigurement of the English language, but it wouldn’t make one happy.

However, I have to comment on language + on this occasion.

First up there’s this absurd article in praise of Israel’s campaigning Labour leader. Can someone, anyone, find a shred of light between the writer’s gabbing mouth and the Labour candidate’s posterior? Thought not. Well, a quote mark or two maybe, or a ‘likes to be seen’ perhaps. He has to come up for breath I suppose.

Anyway, to the language. I’ll quote it because no doubt some Beeboid will tidy it up once we’ve blogged about it, but it’s classy:

‘Born in Morocco, Mr Peretz is the first time non-European Jew has to head the Labour party.’

Uh. Caution! Wordsmith at work!

However, language is not the Min Truth’s strong point, it seems. Or maybe they know only too well on occasions what they’re doing to language. Take the BBC’s use of three words in referring to the Kember rescue where one would do- the one I’ve used. Can you guess which one is lowest in the pecking order, too? The BBC use ‘free’ and ‘release’ and ‘rescue’ as though they were fully interchangeable. I’d say, with dictionary in hand, that ‘rescue’ implies active intervention from outside, ‘free’ is neutral and can imply either the voluntary release of a prisoner or his/her release following intervention, while ‘release’ implies that those with power over the prisoner decided upon their release (clearly this is not appropriate). Whatever quibbles we might make, clearly ‘rescue’ is the appropriate word here, and the only really appropriate word. One further point: the state of Kember’s family’s education or their manners, or their politics etc., is none of the BBC’s business in deciding the right language to use to describe a news event.

Maybe that’s how they can reason that Moazzam Begg has something worthwhile (scroll to bottom) to say about the Kember rescue. He’s the former Guantanamo guy who’s becoming an accepted face of the jihad for the BBC. He ‘pleaded’ in December to the people he has absolutely no connection to or affinity with for Kember’s release, but Kember wasn’t released, he was rescued. So nil points to Begg and minus points to the BBC.

Btw, Kember’s a bit of a sad excuse isn’t he? But, ah, yes, that’s a bit off topic I suppose…

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Roundup.

  • Stephen Pollard points out a bit of BBC stealth editing – from very biased to just biased. This BBC story by Alan Johnston originally said:
    Hamas has largely been respecting a ceasefire, despite frequent Israeli army provocations, for more than a year, and it is unlikely to go back on the offensive now.

    Someone complained. Now it says:

    Hamas has largely been respecting a ceasefire, despite what it sees as frequent Israeli army provocations, for more than a year, and it is unlikely to go back on the offensive now.

    The only thing that surprised me that was Stephen Pollard thought this was a new tactic.

  • Mike writes:
    The BBC’s coverage of the fact that Mick Gault has broken the all-time medal record for a brit at the games is hidden down the commonwealth games page in the shooting section:

    link.

    I get the feeling that had it been any other sport, it would have been a headline.

    The story itself is also interesting – Have a look here: link.

    And at the through link “shooting guide” here: link.

    Even in the “want to get involved?” section there is no mention that pistol shooting is banned in the UK.

    I personally feel that the fact that pistol shooting is effectively banned (although I believe that Mick uses a UK-legal “long arm” free pistol) is relevant to the story, since it enhances his achievement. Yet the BBC leaves this out. It could just be that the journalist is utterly unaware of the situation, which is quite likely.

  • Steve_Mac spotted the surprising title of this BBC discussion forum:

    Should religious converts be punished?

    Gosh, BBC, that’s a tricky one. Pros and cons either way, what?

    Whenever the World Service wants to touch the Foreign Office for twenty or thirty mill to set up a new Arabic service, the organisation claims that it is all justified by the fact that the BBC is an ideal medium to carry democratic and liberal values to the Arab world.

    From this it looks like any spreading of values is going the other way.

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BBC balance severely askew

(but you knew that).

What is it with them? As our Canadian friends pointed out (see below post), they ignored a press conference at which the current and fully elected President of Iraq stated that ‘civil war is out of the question and… the Iraqi people will not accept [for] a civil war to take place’ in favour of Mr Allawi, the former President’s comments about civil war being emblazoned across the BBC website all through Sunday.

Then, today, they report Bush denying the case stated by Mr Allawi, as though that were more logical than demonstrating balance with comments from Iraq’s current and elected President. Just who do the BBC think runs Iraq? Bush, from the Whitehouse? Why, he must be a clever chap! There’s something both lazy and patronising in bypassing the elected President’s comments in favour of the former and unelected President’s comments, partially, one feels, because Allawi deigned to make his to the BBC directly.

It’s not balanced reporting to only allow the news to be filtered through the BBC’s own favourite caricature-politician, saying ‘He said there were many voices that disagreed with Mr Allawi’s view, including President Jalal Talabani and top US commander Gen George Casey.’

Look Beebies- we know about these voices disagreeing with Allawi, but no thanks to you! Bush’s comments were not themselves news, but referring to news. They are not opinion expressed by the President of the USA, but facts that the BBC should merely have acknowledged. Some people accuse Bush of failing to state his case, but often all he fails to do is to rip into the sensitive media souls who fail to paint the picture truly and can’t understand why that makes some people, interested people, angry. Bush refers to shadows and the public disbelieve him, and whose fault is that when the shadows in fact are real yet go unrecognised and unreported by the farcical MSM?

See also: The Belmont Club’s analysis.

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Sparklingly good post

concerning Iraq from a blog unknown to me. Canadian, apparently. I really wanted to make something like this argument but didn’t have the energy. A taster:

‘Long story short; the former PM declares civil war. No matter how tentatively he does it, the BBC jumps on the story and whips up a bold headline. On the same day, the current President declares that there is no civil war, citing the unity of the government and people, and yet this is not deemed newsworthy by the BBC. What a farce! The very least that could be expected, would be coverage that includes the views of both the current president and former PM in juxtaposition.’

The full maple syrup.

The only thing I’m not sure about is first half of the post’s title.

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And you thought the BBC didn’t have advertising breaks.

A reader called Dina writes:

Hi, I just wondered if anyone else watched the programme on BBC2 on Friday 17th March about called “The Family that Walks on All Fours”?

I watched this expecting it to be a scientific documentary about the curious anomaly of a rural Turkish family who have several mentally handicapped children who walk on all fours, like monkeys. The programme started well. About half way through, one of the scientists interviewed the Imam at the local village Mosque who was afraid that the programme might hint at Darwinian evolution in explaining the childrens symptoms. The programme went on sympathetically to explain that the idea of evolution is generally anathema in Turkey as an Islamic country, especially in rural areas and the Imam thought that to allow a Western programme to make the connection could invoke the wrath of an Al Qaeda attack on the village. The programme then went on to emphasise that hostility to the idea of evolution is not exclusive to Islamic countries and then, in classic BBC style, the programme switched to show an American Evangelical Church discussing the bible. At this point I changed the channel. I thought I was watching a genuine scientific documentary, but I should have known that the BBC needs to insert a political (especially anti-American) angle into such a programme. I try not to watch the BBC as much as possible as I cannot stomach the boring and predictable PC, anti-American drivel that is their stapel diet. Anyway, I just wondered if anyone had seen this and agrees with me?

Just be grateful they didn’t find some reason to show a clip of Gitmo.

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Distinguished scholar David Pryce-Jones meets the modern BBC

:

‘The BBC is an integral part of Britishness, is it not, part of the national heritage, synonymous with fair play, and respected for it, especially by foreigners who resent that their news media are essential tools in the hands of the regime. Well, here is a personal anecdote to illuminate reality…

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Roundup

  • Clive Davis, Times columnist and blogger wrote this article for the Washington Times: “Public service broadcasting, some honesty from the left?” (Hat tip: Rachel and USS Neverdock.)
  • Melanie Phillips discusses a Newsnight programme that had some schlockhorror relevations about secret collusion between the Israelis and the British in, er, the 1960s. (Hat tip: Archduke.) This article in the New Statesman is by the producer of the programme, so I assume it is a fair representation of it. Both programme and article claim that a Jewish civil servant called Michael Michaels, now deceased, helped the Israelis get plutonium without telling Tony Benn. Much play is made of Michaels’ middle name being “Israel”.

    I don’t know enough to offer an opinion as to the historical truth of these claims. Melanie Phillips offers credible reasons to doubt them. All I can say is that even if every allegation made in the programme is true, half a lifetime has gone by and the Israelis haven’t nuked anyone yet. Care to bet that the same would be true of the Iranians?

    But I digress. The question before us is BBC bias. After terrorist attacks by Muslims the BBC has been at pains to encourage non-Muslims not to stigmatise Muslims generally. Here is one example, one of many that could have been chosen. It is only fair not to blame all members of a group for the crimes of some members. So why is the treatment of allegations of Jewish “dual loyalty” so much less sensitive? Melanie Phillips quotes some lines from the programme:

    ‘Well his middle name was Israel’, Kelly replied. ‘You think there was an element of dual loyalties here?’ pressed Crick. ‘Yes’, said Kelly.

    I can’t imagine the BBC being willing to broadcast equivalent dialogue about someone whose middle name was Mohammed. After the capture of one undoubted criminal whose last name was Muhammad the BBC was scrupulous to a fault in refraining from speculation that his race and religion might have provided some part of his motive. Again, this is only one example among many that could have been chosen.

  • House of Dumb says that BBC coverage of the tenth anniversary of the Dunblane massacre “offers us an answer to the age old riddle: what’s the difference between ‘campaigners’ and ‘lobbyists’ ? Answer: the side of the issue they’re on.”

    I’m kicking myself for not spotting that one myself, as I read the same article. I guess I have read so many articles using the same terminology that it slid straight past me.

    I tended to agree with – in fact I might go further than – one specific criticism of the post offered in the final paragraph of the comment by JohnM. But DumbJon is a blogger, not a public body charged with a duty of impartiality.

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I can’t help thinking

that the moral relativism and non-judgementalism of BBC foreign affairs reporting is spreading to Home News. Here’s a news report which seems to miss half the story.

“Police said two men had entered the pub on the Langworthy estate, which was packed with fans watching a Manchester United game, and opened fire. The bodies of the two victims, who are both believed to be 27 and from Salford, were found on grassland across the road from the pub.”

A glance at this story gives the impression that the poor ‘victims’ had been shot by the bad men who entered the pub. Let’s find out what really happened, shall we ?

“The attackers, wearing balaclavas, walked into the Brass Handles pub in Pendleton, Salford, and opened fire.”

“The gunmen were then chased out of the pub, and while they were running across the little croft one of the men was shot in the back. His mate turned and was shot in the face.”

“Witnesses said a man got out of the Mondeo, took the guns and balaclavas off the bodies and sped off.”

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