A Free Press?

Nick Casey, The Wall Street Journal's Middle East Correspondent, posted a photo to Twitter of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed on camera at Gaza's Shifa Hospital, which Hamas uses as a base. Photo: Nick Casey / Twitter.

Nick Casey, The Wall Street Journal’s Middle East Correspondent, posted a photo to Twitter of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed on camera at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital, which Hamas uses as a base. Photo: Nick Casey / Twitter.




WSJ Reporter in Gaza Wonders How Patients in Shifa Hospital Feel About Hamas Using it as Base

Posting a photo to Twitter of a Hamas spokesman being interviewed on camera, Nick Casey, The Wall Street Journal‘s Middle East Correspondent, wondered how patients there might feel about Hamas using the hospital as a “de facto headquarters for Hamas leaders, who can be seen in the hallways and offices,” as reported by The Washington Post last week.

On Monday, Casey wrote: “You have to wonder [with] the shelling how patients at Shifa hospital feel as Hamas uses it as a safe place to see media.”


Journalist Describes Interrogation at Hamas Headquarters Next to Emergency Room at Gaza’s Al Shifa Hospital

Radjaa Abu Dagga, Gaza correspondent for France’s Libération, told the newspaper‘s readers on Tuesday how Hamas refused his requests to leave Gaza and how he was interrogated by Hamas members from their headquarters inside Gaza’s Al-Shifa hospital, a violation of international rules of war.

A few meters from the emergency room where the injured from bombings are constantly flowing, in the outpatient department, he was received in ‘a small section of the hospital used as administration’ by a band of young fighters. They were all well dressed, which surprised Radjaa, ‘in civilian clothing with a gun under one’s shirt and some had walkie-talkies.’  He was ordered to empty his pockets, removing his shoes and his belt then was taken to a hospital room ‘which served that day as the command office of three people.’



Remarkable how no one at the BBC, least of all Jeremy Bowen, saw any of this Hamas activity whilst they reported day in day out from Al-Shifa hospital.


This is John Reed of the FT:




From Haaretz (paywalled)

Compromised coverage: Can the BBC really report from Gaza?

Can the BBC and other international news networks really provide ‘war reporting of the highest standards’ from Gaza when their staff are threatened by Hamas enforcers?


Reference ‘The World Tonight’  (22 mins)  War reporting of the highest standard’ according to UN bod.




The Blame Game



UNRWA also acknowledged on Thursday that Hamas fired into the Beit Hanoun area, where the agency’s school was hit, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News.’


But not according to the BBC who didn’t report UNRWA saying that….nor did they report this….

 ‘The Israel Defense Forces has counted at least 100 rockets fired by Hamas as striking within Gaza.’

But of course we all know, thanks to the BBC, that Hamas’ ‘homemade contraptions’ are harmless….so this couldn’t possibly be down to them……..


Some sort of explosive weapon has hit a school in Gaza, the BBC says it was a ‘shell’….only the Israelis use ‘shells’…..

Gaza UN school shelter hit, ‘killing 15′

At least 15 people were killed and more than 200 injured when a UN-run school used as a shelter in Gaza came under fire, Gazan health officials say.

Palestinian families were in the school in Beit Hanoun, fleeing Israel’s offensive against Hamas militants.

Correspondents say pools of blood lay on the ground in the courtyard of the school in Beit Hanoun, and there was a large scorch mark where it appeared a shell had hit.

Chris Gunness, a spokesman for the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine refugees (Unrwa), also said the Israeli army had been formally given the co-ordinates of the shelter in Beit Hanoun.


There is a clear implication that the Israeli army did this despite the BBC reporting this:

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement that …….”In the course of the afternoon, several rockets launched by Hamas from within the Gaza Strip landed in the Beit Hanoun area. The IDF is reviewing the incident,” it said.



Not only does the BBC not report that UNRWA confirms Hamas rockets fell short but it doesn’t report that UNRWA also confirmed that it had been warned to evacuate the area…the BBC instead preferring to say UNRWA ‘also said the Israeli army had been formally given the co-ordinates of the shelter in Beit Hanoun.‘   That is clearly meant to imply the Israelis hit the school despite knowing its exact location.

The BBC doesn’t bother with this:

Both the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and Chris Guinness, the UNRWA spokesman, confirm that the IDF had asked UNRWA to evacuate the Beit Hanoun school (Hamas’ official position on the strike is not yet clear). The IDF was planning to target what it claimed were nearby Hamas rocket launchers.


Others choose to highlight it could have been a Hamas rocket…note once again Hamas prevents evacuation:

IDF Says Bombing, Deaths at Gaza UNRWA School May be From Hamas Rocket Falling Short

“During the afternoon a battle took place between Hamas terrorists and IDF forces in the Beit Hanoun area. Besides that, we indeed have indications that rockets fell in the vicinity, fired by Hamas from within Gaza in the Beit Hanoun vicinity,” the spokesman said.

Later in the evening, the IDF tweeted that “Last night, we told Red Cross to evacuate civilians from UNRWA’s shelter in Beit Hanoun btw 10 am & 2 pm. UNRWA & Red Cross got the message.”

“Hamas prevented civilians from evacuating the area during the window that we gave them,” they army said in a second tweet, adding that “Today Hamas continued firing from Beit Hanoun. The IDF responded by targeting the source of the fire.”

UNRWA also acknowledged on Thursday that Hamas fired into the Beit Hanoun area, where the agency’s school was hit, according to Israel’s Channel 2 News.


An absolutely genuine photo of Hamass leader Khaled Meshaal in exile according to my good mate in Israeli Psyops.


Good though that the BBC gives the leader of Hamas in exile, Khaled Meshaal, plenty of airtime:

Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal told the BBC he wants a ceasefire and end to Israel’s blockade as soon as possible.

“We don’t want to be controlled by a border crossing that makes Gaza the biggest prison in the world,” Mr Meshaal, who lives in exile in Qatar, told BBC Hardtalk.

“People cannot go for medical treatment or to work. Why are the people of Gaza being punished by a slow death in the world biggest prison. This is a crime.”

When Is It My Turn To Die?



We know that Hamas published a guide for budding Goebbels in Gaza giving some splendid advice on creative writing but here’s a trick they missed off that particular list:





Snow published that photo in this post:

‘Am I Going to Die, Daddy?’ The Child in Gaza Asked

Even our own translator, cut off from his family, in the south of Gaza, has to listen on the phone as his children weep and his 6-year-old asks: “Am I going to die, daddy”.



Snow then had to apologise for the photo as it was thought to have been taken in Syria:

But now it is said to be confirmed to be from Gaza:

‘Editors’ Note: Getty Images and the Anadolu Agency have verified that the photograph at the top of this article was taken at al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza City on Wednesday. We had temporarily removed the photograph while we investigated complaints about its authenticity that were sent to the author of this article.’


Well so far so good, that is the photo dealt with….but what about the words of the six year old?  Could this possibly be the same six year old whose mother claimed spoke similar words when she was being interviewed by Sheila Fogarty 10 days ago?

Fogarty has a couple of quick comments from Israelis then a long interview with a Palestinian, a ‘Gaza mother’….Fogarty asks, amongst other things, ‘What do you say to your 6 year when he says to you ‘When is it my turn to die’.

Any proof at all that the 6 year old boy said that?  Or is that the invention of Hamas’ media unit?


Are all six year olds trained to parrot this phrase by Hamas or is this sad story just the invention of a uniquely resourceful and exploitative propagandist?









A Work Of Remarkable Honesty




Hamas advised its supporters:

‘You must always cast doubts on this [Israeli version], disprove it, and treat it as false.’

Who could doubt there are many who have taken that advice to heart.

In this post we look at the numerous occasions BBC reporters mislead its audience with claims that the Israelis deliberately target civilians and that Hamas does not have a policy of using ‘human shields’.

This is what the BBC’s coverage of Gaza feeds into:




We know that ISIS are sending even blind Jihadis to fight the good fight.  That being so can there be any surprise to know that the BBC has also sent several journalists to cover the Middle East whose eyesight seem similarly limited….Jeremy Bowen in particular needing not just a white stick but perhaps a white flag as well.

It is all too easy to stand there and express outrage and horror at the casualties of war and dodge the abuse you might receive for reporting the truth about the Palestinians…it is a lot harder to take a stand and do what is right…Bowen takes the easy option and cheerleads for Hamas having very selective eyesight…always able to spot an Israeli war crime whilst never able to spot Hamas up to no good.

For example Craig at Is the BBC biased? has noted this from Bowen in the New Statesman:

I was back in London for my son’s 11th birthday party by the time all those people were killed in Shejaiya. But my impression of Hamas is different from Netanyahu’s. I saw no evidence during my week in Gaza of Israel’s accusation that Hamas uses Palestinians as human shields. I saw men from Hamas on street corners, keeping an eye on what was happening.


Remember :

‘You must always cast doubts on this [Israeli version], disprove it, and treat it as false.’

Who can doubt that Bowen’s book, War Stories,  was not a ‘Work of remarkable honesty’ as described by the Independent..Robert Fisk perhaps?


Clearly Bowen has not seen this well known video:





Nor has he read his own colleague’s assessment of Hamas’ motivations:

Here Kevin Connolly admits Hamas uses civilian casualties for political advantage….

Hamas’s military leaders might be calculating that the sight of Palestinian civilians suffering under terrifying aerial bombardment will force the Palestinian Authority to show much greater solidarity and prompt Arab governments to show more support.
Hamas might reason that there were few advantages in keeping the peace whereas once hostilities have started it can demand concessions for agreeing to end them.

Connolly then highlights the advantages of the dramatic exploitation of dead children to a cause….

Israel might argue that it’s trying to avoid civilian casualties while Hamas is trying to cause them. But television pictures of civilian dead in Gaza – especially children – will help shape perceptions of Israel round the world.

Bowen, and his colleagues, conveniently ignored this report where Hamas are shown to be urging Gazans to stay in their homes and  to ignore the Israeli warnings:

“Urgent call to the residents of the Gaza Strip” in which locals were told to ignore the calls and warnings made by Israel and the IDF. “To all of our people who have evacuated their homes – return to them immediately and do not leave the house.”
 “You must follow the directives of the Interior Ministry. This is psychological warfare, random messages to instill panic in people.””

But it isn’t just Bowen whose lack of knowledge or innate prejudices compromise his reporting…here BBC Watch  relates what John Simpson said to Israeli Minister Tsipi Livni:

“I have to say it to you in these terms: are you going to carry on killing civilians – including women and children in quite large numbers – until you get what you want?”


No problem there condemning Israel, in fact almost blatantly accusing Israel of targeting civilians deliberately….despite the accusation being completely false.


How different when it comes to Hamas….then saying such things is ‘controversial’ even when based on the truth…..here yet more expert comment on Hamas’ use of human shields, denied above by Bowen,  the BBC presenter also unwilling to accept this claim……..

Among the subjects still missing from the BBC’s coverage is some in-depth coverage of the topic of Hamas’ use of human shields and the way in which that deliberate policy contributes to the high number of civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip. Without that essential knowledge, BBC audiences will still be unable to reach informed conclusions regarding this particular international issue. One attempt to shed some light on that issue was made by Barak Seener of the Royal United Services Institute in an interview with BBC World News on July 21st – with a remarkable reaction from the presenter when presented with an expert opinion (which is presumably what the BBC sought when it invited the specific interviewee) on the realities underpinning Hamas strategy.

“That is obviously a very…ah…controversial thing to say and many people will refute that the leadership of Hamas want to see their own people, supporters, women and children killed…ah…unnecessarily…”




The BBC though isn’t so censorious when Hamas makes claims that are obviously wrong, such as Israel targets civilians… as above Simpson seems to agree with them…but here are a couple of examples where the BBC reports Hamas’ claims as if they are fact:

Here Yolande Knell not only doesn’t challenge a claim that Israelis deliberately target civilians but accepts it as true (via BBC Watch):

“This is a third consecutive war against Gaza since 2008 and Israel always, I mean, do target the civilians and they are in the eye of the storm.”

Possibly no coincidence that earlier a Hamas spokesman said this:

“There is no safe haven in this place and Palestinian civilians are once again in the eye of the storm and are paying heavily. Israelis.. are trying to pressure militant groups through targeting civilians.” ”


Bowen himself in his New Statesman article continues to peddle the myth and reports such things as fact:

Raji Sourani, the director of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights in Gaza, told me that Hamas, whatever you think of it, is part of the Palestinian DNA.

I met Sourani first when he was condemning abuses by Yasser Arafat’s men. He has taken an equally tough stance on Hamas. Now he says Israel is violating the laws of war by ignoring its legal duty to treat Palestinian civilians as protected non-combatants.




Which senior BBC journalist said this?:
‘We cannot get across the view that Palestinians are a displaced people who are fighting to overthrow, as they see it, a brutal military rule.’
Who are ‘the many’  senior BBC journalists who say that:

‘They simply cannot get the Palestinian viewpoint acoss, the perspective they cannot say is that Israel is a brutal apartheid state.’


I’d say they are doing their utmost to get the Palestinian narrative across…shame they don’t bother with  the truth.

Here is Charles Moore in the Spectator:

Large parts of the Arab world — Egypt, the Arab League and so on — are fiercely critical of what Hamas is doing. This is hardly mentioned on the BBC, which can cope only with a simple story of Palestinians versus Israelis.


And here’s one we did earlier on Fatah’s opinion of Hamas:

Not All Palestinians Support Hamas…’Merchants of War’








Could Explain A Lot



The Open University examined the BBC World Service in 2010:

Little is known about why and how certain diaspora groups connect with their home countries via the BBC World Service (BBCWS).

Its authoritative reach across national and diasporic boundaries may seem paradoxical, given that is funded by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and has a remit to build Britain’s reputation and influence abroad. Nevertheless, despite its international profile, astonishingly little research exists on the historical and contemporary work of cultural brokerage and diplomacy performed by BBCWS.

From the prewar Empire Service on shortwave to the tri-media World Service of today, Tuning In documents how the BBC has, over eighty years, been a pivotal contact zone for diaspora engagement.




This could explain the BBC’s approach to the Middle East and the Palestinians in particular revealing that impartiality is not a valued commodity…what is needed instead is a ‘voice’ that resonates with the audience..ie tells it what it wants to hear.  We  get to see confirmation that the BBC speaks with a different voice depending on which audience it broadcasts to…BBC Arabic providing a different narrative to the BBC in English.


Memory, Participation and Resistance in ‘Global Conversation’: Discussing the 60th Anniversary of Al-Nakba on BBC, Al-Jazeera and Al-Arabiyya Arabic and English Language On-line Forums


‘The language of impartiality misses out on a key dimension of the ‘battle for hearts and minds’ in the Middle East – the role of social memory, loyalty and solidarity in the public sphere of Arab societies, and the need for any broadcaster to resonate or articulate with this to attract a popular audience.’


In 2014 you may recognise the approach taken in 2009 whilst reporting on ‘Cast Lead‘ in Gaza:

‘BBC Arabic TV focused on the rescue operations for civilian victims, and many appreciated this.



Impartiality?  The BBC seem to have ditched that…what about ‘factual accuracy’?  Seems that that too is disposable, replaced with ‘narratives and world views’:

Perhaps we should ask critical questions like what value does factual accuracy carry in a media environment where facts have become so widely available and commoditized? In the context of the battle for hearts and minds being played out over the airwaves of transnational Arab news networks overt discourses, narratives and world views have gained renewed importance. How will the BBC confront these narratives and offer alternatives to the dominant narratives of the Arab public sphere, which perceives the Arab nation as the victim western neo-imperialism, illegitimate and authoritarian leadership and the object of multiple designs to ensure it remains paralysed, occupied, de-Islamised and conditionally democratised. The incident of the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Nakba and the creation of the State of Israel is arguably a vital testing ground for evaluating the BBC’s role of presenting the grey areas to a polarised audience.


Here we get to see the infamous different emphasis placed on reports by the various BBC news servies catering for different audiences:

BBC Arabic seems to have navigated the controversial waters of the 14th and 15th of May 2008 quite well.  The BBC global website contains an “Israel at 60” portal which contains interactive features and maps and testimonials from both Israelis and Palestinians on the contradicting celebrations and remembrance. However, the portal was not translated into Arabic or made available on the BBC Arabic website. Instead BBC Arabic’s coverage of the coinciding events was composed mostly of its own Nakba orientated TV news packages, along with a limited number of translated articles from the BBC World Service Middle East website.  The former spent on average one minute on Israeli celebrations and two minutes on the unresolved plight of the Palestinians. The stories clearly contrasted Israeli and “international” celebration of the creation of the State of Israel with the ongoing costs of 1948 to Palestinians.

Although Israel’s celebrations were acknowledged and pictures celebrations from around the country on the 15th of May were published on BBC Arabic there was no celebratory or congratulatory tone to the coverage despite national celebrations in Britain and congratulatory messages and events in Europe and North America, and there was no sense that BBC Arabic would attempt to rebrand the Nakba narrative in a way that recognised the legitimacy of Israel and the redemption of the Jewish people.

Instead there was a clear emphasis on the Nakba in the Arabic service’s coverage which began around the 5th to the 18th May 2008.  Some would argue that the “BBC” did not speak with the same voice in its Arabic and English coverage, but this would suggest some kind of political inconsistency which would not accurately reflect the editorial independence of the numerous services within the corporation and importantly their different mandates.  


Whilst the BBC didn’t want to go so far as to ‘recognise’ Israel it does recognise the ‘Nakba’…a Palestinian political creation that tries to put themselves on the same level of ‘victim’ status as the Jews and the Holocaust…..

In contrast, BBC Arabic’s coverage and clarity in terms of recognising the Nakba went far further than Al-Arabiya


As for peace in the Middle East based upon the recognition of Israel?

Check these Arab views out…Nationalist, Islamist and Liberal:

المرجع القومي    The nationalist repertoire:
إسرائيل ورم سرطاني    Israel is a cancerous tumour
إسرائيل اغتصبت ارض فلسطين    Israel has raped the land of Palestine
ما اخذ بالقوة لا يسترد إلى بالقوة    What has been taken by force can be returned only by force
المجتمع الدولي منحاز لطرف إسرائيل    The international community is biased in Israel’s favour
السلام مع الكيان الصهيوني الاستعماري مرفوض    Peace with the Imperialist Zionist entity  is rejected
ضعف و عدم شرعية الأنظمة العربية    The weakness and illegitimacy of so called “Arab” regimes

المرجع الإسلامي    The Islamist repertoire:     
الصراع مع إسرائيل صراع عقاﺌدي    The conflict with Israel is religious
الرجوع للإسلام الوسيلة الوحيدة لمواجهة إسرائيل    Returning to Islam is the only means to confront Israel
قيام إسرائيل مذكور في القران الكريم    Israel’s ascendance is prophesised in the Quran
نكبة فلسطين نتيجة التأمر على نظام الخلافة    The Palestinian catastrophe is the result of the abandonment of the Caliphate
كما حرر المقاومة الإسلامية جنوب لبنان ستحرر فلسطين    In the same way that Hezbollah liberated south Lebanon Palestine will be freed
لا فاﺌدة في المعاهدات مع إسرائيل – ف وسفهم الله في القران بأنهم إذا وعدو اخلفوا وإذا أتمن خان    There is no point in negotiating with theIsrael’s – Allah has described them in the Quran as breakers of trust and promises

المرجعاللبرالي    The Liberal repertoire  
دولة إسرائيل أصبحت حقيقة يجب التعامل معها    The State of Israel has become a reality we must deal with        اليهود لديهم حق تاريخي في العيش في ارض فلسطين التاريخية    The Jewish people have a historical right to live in the land of Palestine
لا يوجد بديل للمفاوضات مع إسرائيل    There is no alternative to negotiating with Israel
السلام مع إسرائيل خيار استراتيجي    Peace with Israel is a strategic choice
الحقد والشعارات وتشدد الأعمى لا يؤدي  إلى شيء     Hatred, rhetoric and blind extremism has got us nowhere
مبروك لاسرائيل    Congratulations to Israel


Of the 829 contributions on the forum 93% (or 775) participations correspond to one of the three repertoires identified.

Islamist   87  12%              Nationalist  523  67%              Liberal  165  21%


The BBC….What’s It For Exactly?





There are two main issues about the future of the BBC that are under discussion…what is the purpose of the BBC and how should it be funded?

The BBC believes the two are inseparable…only the licence fee funding structure can maintain the unique service that the BBC tells us the BBC provides….and that no other funding structure could.

Personally I don’t see that…it provides nothing that a commercial broadcaster can’t in the way of entertainmment, news and ‘social capital’ and the licence fee is by no means the most successful or viable option.

The one thing the BBC does have, despite its loud disclaimers, is a close relationship with the government.  The BBC world service broadcasts to the world a particular view of how life should be lived, a cultural, social and political ideology beamed into the homes and minds of millions if not billions of citizens around the world….‘an overt and directed instrument of British foreign policy,  a voice within a strategy of public diplomacy.’

The satellite dish and the internet are now among the greatest enemies of tyranny (then UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw, Straw 2002)

The BBC on home turf is not so very different…it sees itself as the principle diviner of moral values, the  educator and guide for those who have lost their way through ignorance or prejudice, a social, political and spiritual authority providing the nation with the correct message.

Mark Thompson admitted that the BBC was no longer just a broadcaster, the corporation was to be a social force in the land, he said. The corporation was an “important builder of social capital, seeking to increase social cohesion and tolerance”, which in future would try to “foster audience understanding of differences of ethnicity, faith, gender, sexuality, age and ability or disability.


This outlook has been inherited by his replacement Tony Hall who during the Parliamentary inquiry into the future of the BBC has said that :
‘The BBC is a vitally important organisation…the greatest cultural force in Britain in my view…It is the passion that we all want to bring to what we do. Serving all audiences.  That universality is absolutely key to the BBC, to what we do.’


A ‘vitally important organisation’?  Or one doing a job that any other broadcaster could do?

‘The greatest cultural force in Britain’?  It certainly has a uniquely powerful position, completely dominating the airwaves and the internet…but if it is so powerful it should also be under intense scrutiny…it should not be able to hide explosive and highly damaging reports such as the Balen Report and all contacts between journalists and politicians, pressure groups such as Green Peace, scientists etc should be open to inspection, if not to the public then to an independent reviewer.…it should be utterly blameless in its approach to reporting and held strictly to account for its activities…it should be entirely open about such activities and the decision making process that produced them.

‘Serving all audiences’?  Hardly….it serves only one audience….those who adhere to its own particular liberal, progressive world view.  If you have doubts about immigration, climate change, Islam or Europe you are shut out of the debate…the debate that is carried on is within very narrowly defined limits.  So no, ‘universality’ is paid lip service to, but in practise the BBC does not represent the vast majority of cultural and political views of a major proportion of this nation’s population.



During that recent Parliamentary questioning of Lord Hall and others they delved into these matters…and as said they claimed that the licence fee was the only way to fund the BBC…here the answers are variously from Hall or James Purnell about BBC funding:


Q600 Mr Bradshaw: Could you clear up what the BBC’s current thinking is on both the licence fee and subscription, limited or otherwise?
Lord Hall of Birkenhead: Yes. On the licence fee, we believe it is a system that “ain’t broke”……the licence fee does a number of things. For 40 pence a day everybody in this country can enjoy first-class programmes and services.
Secondly, for that 40 pence a day we are not in competition for revenues with either Sky or ITV, or indeed with Channel 4, and what you get back from that is a broadcasting ecology that I think is the envy of the world.
You know this. You just have to go beyond these shores. Leave this country for 10 minutes and you realise that what we have here is very precious.
The system is working.

James Purnell carries on…..

The fact that we are confident the licence fee is the best way of funding the BBC makes us very open to having discussions because we are pretty confident that the arguments show that it works in practice and in theory.
We very much welcome a debate because if you have a strong idea that you believe in, testing it is a very good thing.

We think it might be pretty hard to raise the money to fund the costs of the services. Nowhere else in the world are the kinds of services that you are talking about funded commercially through subscription, certainly not without advertising. We think it may well not work even from the point of view of whether you could raise the money to cover the services, but even if you could we are not sure it is a terribly attractive idea in practice. We tried to model it. We said let us say that the services you put in the top-up would be BBC Three, BBC Four, online and iPlayer. That would save a household only £1.40 a month. They would be losing all of those services for £1.40 a month. If they then wanted to pay to get them all back, they would be paying twice the licence fee that they are at the moment.



Note that line:

‘We think it might be pretty hard to raise the money to fund the costs of the services [other than by the licence fee]‘


And note he says advertising is a major factor.



Sky doesn’t seem to have a problem raising money…they have around 10 million TV customers and raise nearly £6 billion…the BBC has over 25 million licence payers raising nearly £4 billion.

Here are Sky’s figures for 2013..note that advertising plays a relatively small role in its revenue stream:

Our business model
Sky is Britain and Ireland’s leading entertainment and communications provider. As at 30 June 2013, we had 11.2 million customers taking a total of 31.6 million products.

Retail subscription revenue grew by 6% to £5,951 million (2012: £5,593 million), reflecting continued product and customer growth and the benefit of the price rise which came into effect in September 2012. Sky Business returned to growth in the second half to achieve revenue growth of 1% for the full year.
We delivered a strong performance in wholesale subscription revenue which increased by 13% to £396 million (2012: £351 million). Although the volume of wholesale subscribers was flat year on year, we continue to benefit from greater take-up of Sky premium channels on other platforms.
Advertising revenue was flat year on year at £440 million (2012: £440 million), despite the impact of the Olympics in our first quarter. Sky Media gained market share across the year to reach 22.2%, with the majority of this growth underpinned by increased ratings for our media partner channels, with whom we share revenue upside. AdSmart, our tailored advertising product, is on track to launch early in 2013/14 with good interest from potential advertisers.
Installation, hardware and service revenue of £87 million was lower year on year (2012: £98 million) driven by improved product reliability, an increased number of customer self-installations, and higher right-first-time engineer visits.
Other revenue increased by 17% to £361 million (2012: £309 million) due to continued strong performance from Sky Bet which saw an increase in unique users in the year, and growth in international programme sales due to more original commissions.



The BBC states that the complex nature of its output, the need for independence from government, and simplicity of collection mean that only the licence fee structure can work.

Clearly that isn’t true…Sky offers a tremendous range of products, it takes in a huge amount of revenue not dependent on advertising, a subscription payment method would obviously be technically possible and the technology is proven…the BBC are already looking at blocking the iPlayer for those who haven’t paid the licence fee which indicates they can similarly control access to other television broadcasts. A subscription payment system would also loosen the government’s grip on the BBC’s finances.


Of course when you have looked at the funding method you might then look at what is the purpose of the BBC and does it uniquely provide that service?

The BBC sees itself as providing ‘social capital’, a ‘public good’, and most importantly a ‘shared experience’ that unites the nation as they talk about the same TV programmes around the water cooler at work.  It clams only the BBC can provide such an experience.

But the BBC doesn’t provide that any longer, or no more than any other broadcaster or media provider.

The BBC doesn’t represent the views of the majority, instead it lectures and preaches to them, filling the airwaves with programmes designed to make you ‘think again’ about immigration, or programmes with messages about climate change shoehorned into them, or news broadcasts so one sided that they would make any Soviet era propagandist look on in envious admiration.

There is nothing really unique about the BBC any longer, there is nothing it can do better, cheaper or in a more principled manner than any commercial rival and its claim to the moral highground has long since been surrendered to political correctness and the desire to undermine everything ‘British’…..in fact rather than working to provide a shared experience it does the opposite trying to cater to all ‘communities’ as they now see Britain as being made up of…and that means British history must be deconstructed and rewritten to make the ‘new’ Britons feel good about themselves and their heritage even if it means trashing Britain and making those immigrants more likely to hate Britain than to love it and its culture…and hence unwilling to integrate….so no ‘one nation’ there due to the likes of the BBC who presumably are merely echoing what Muslim ‘conservatives’ like the once head of the MCB, Iqbal Sacranie, said….‘no other language or culture should be treated as the ‘norm’ and that the British should only be treated as one community in a community of communities.’

Ryan Bourne, head of public policy at the Institute of Economic Affairs, explains why the BBC cannot continue in its present form as Hall & Co would like:


Forget the licence fee: Why Game of Thrones damns the case for a universal BBC

If we did create the BBC now, it’s likely we’d limit its activities to pure public service broadcasting – things which would not be produced or would be under-produced in the broader market. This would require one public TV channel and one radio station at most.

The BBC knows this, so instead tries to justify its privileged position by claiming that it serves a wider “instrumental purpose” by “building a stronger sense of community through shared experiences”. But this is based on a false premise: that a genuine free market in broadcasting could not deliver shared experiences.




Sex, Lies and Video Tape



Sorry there’s no sex….but lies and videotape there’s aplenty of.


The probable Pallywood video we looked at earlier has been going viral, not just on the internet but on mainstream news..in the papers and apparently on C4.

The BBC has ignored the video completely, commendably not reporting it as genuine, but incredibly, in light of its massive presence on the web and in the MSM, they have ignored the fact that the Palestinians have almost certainly created another Pallywood masterpiece that has become fact.

The Independent, despite being seemingly pretty anti-Israeli also doesn’t report the story…but does question its authenticity on a page that looks at social media about Gaza:

Trying to separate fact from fiction on social media in Israel-Gaza

Claim 1: A volunteer aid worker was killed by an Israeli sniper

The video has been widely covered but has still not been independently verified.


Not so ‘widely covered’ that the BBC even deign to examine its authenticity.


It’s not as if the BBC isn’t interested in what is ‘trending’…they after all have a dedicated site to monitor what’s ‘hot’:

Trending blog


But no mention on there.


The BBC have looked a few times at the propaganda war over Gaza:

#BBCtrending: Are #GazaUnderAttack images accurate?

Hamas and Israel step up cyber battle for hearts and minds



But no mention of this video.  Could it be that the ‘fisking’ of this video would be so embarrassing to the Palestinians, and cast so much doubt on their other claims about casualties, that the BBC has decided not to bring it or the fact that it is likely a fake, to its audience’s attention?


Never mind…here’s what the BBC think is important…still no sex..but it is funny:



Not All Palestinians Support Hamas…’Merchants of War’


The BBC splash this:

Gaza conflict: Abbas backs Hamas ceasefire demands


But has the BBC reported this?…I don’t think so:


In an interview on 11 July with Al Mayadeen satellite channel, the PA President Mahmoud Abbas accused Hamas of being “merchants of war” and called on them to accept the Egyptian ceasefire initiative and proceed with political negotiations later. 

Five days later, Tayeb Abdel Rahim, director-general of the PA presidency and member of the Fatah Central Council, commented on Hamas’ rejection of the Egyptian proposal. He accused Hamas of serving regional agendas and “sacrificing Palestinian blood in the service of a global Muslim Brotherhood plot.”

Riyad al-Maliki, the PA’s foreign minister, has also reportedly said in a conversation with Frans Timmermams, the Dutch foreign minister, that the current escalation in Gaza only serves Hamas’s political interests.

PA officials are echoing the Israeli government’s narrative, putting the blame on Hamas for the high loss of civilian life in Gaza and ignoring the reality imposed on the Strip.

War Crimes? As Judged By The UNHRC Whose Bias Against Israel “cannot be doubted.”



The BBC has gone frontpage with the UN’s suggestion that Israel ‘may have committed war crimes’:

UN’s Navi Pillay warns of Israel Gaza ‘war crimes’



Curiously no mention of the UN’s own war crime on the BBC….the hiding of Hamas weapons in one of their schools…for the second time…at least:

For second time, rockets found at UN school in Gaza


Also where are all those tunnel entrances used to launch attacks on Israel been hidden?

To hide the tunnel work from Israeli intelligence, the entrances are mostly located on the bottom floor of houses, mosques, schools or other public buildings.


Clearly that wasn’t a revelation from any of the BBC’s journalists who don’t dwell on such truths:

Dr Eado Hecht is an independent defence analyst and lecturer in military doctrine at the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at Bar Ilan University.


The UN of course has a great record when accusing Israel of ‘possible war crimes’:
Goldstone: Israel didn’t target civilians
04/02/2011 12:38

Richard Goldstone writes that Israeli investigations refute allegations against it; slams Hamas war crimes, calls UNHRC “skewed against Israel”; “Israel has right, obligation to defend itself, its citizens.”

Judge Richard Goldstone said that if Israel had cooperated with his UN-sanctioned fact-finding mission into Operation Cast Lead and if he had known then what he knows today, “the Goldstone Report would have been a different document,” especially its allegations of “possible war crimes” directed at Israel.

Goldstone also slammed the United Nations Human Rights Council, which commissioned the report, saying that the original mandate given to him was “skewed against Israel.”

“I have always been clear that Israel, like any other sovereign nation, has the right and obligation to defend itself and its citizens against attacks from abroad and within,” he wrote.

Saying that he changed the original mandate handed to him in order to investigate Hamas as well as Israel, he noted, “something that has not been recognized often enough is the fact that our report marked the first time illegal acts of terrorism from Hamas were being investigated and condemned by the United Nations.” He added that he had hoped his inquiry would usher in an era of even-handedness in the UNHRC, whose bias against Israel “cannot be doubted.”

Seems not.



The BBC grudgingly admit that Goldstone exonerated Israel when more evidence came to light but only right at the bottom of their article, the very, very last sentence:

The Goldstone report was rejected by Israel and the US as biased and flawed.

In 2011, the report’s author, South African judge Richard Goldstone, said that new accounts indicated Israel had not deliberately targeted civilians.








Don’t know about you but I’d drop my phone if I’d been shot and fallen to the ground….especially if I’d been shot not once but three times, apparently.  Having said that her indoors probably would cling on to hers hell or high water.


The BBC has remarkably played it cool with this video which claims to be of a Palestinian out looking for his lost family when he was allegedly shot by an Israeli sniper in the hip…he is then shot twice more…apparently in the chest…which would be most likely if he were to be shot again. However there is no sign of any injury to the chest and the hip injury is conveniently on the other side of the camera, a camera fortuitously on hand, provided by the International Solidarity Movement…otherwise known as Palsolidarity.org…..

The International Solidarity Movement (ISM) is a Palestinian-led movement committed to resisting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land using nonviolent, direct-action methods and principles.

Wonder if that ‘commitment to resisting the Israeli occupation’ could include a bit of play acting? Remarkably not only does the man cling on to his phone but he is seen checking it immediately after being shot….and he is still moving after the third shot.

The ISM claims the ‘body’ is still out there in the rubble…After Salem was murdered, the rescue team was unable to recover his body, which like so many others, remains among the rubble….so they obviously didn’t check to see if he was still alive…as he was definitely moving…they just left him.  With no body of course there is conveniently no need to show where the bullets hit…much like the vanished ‘body’ of Muhammed al durah.

As for an Israeli sniper…who says it was?  Where’s the proof?  Where are the wounds and where are the soldiers?  The shots sounded very close…have to be a brave sniper team to be infiltrating a Hamas held area to get that close.

Why shoot someone who is obviously with a film crew from some form of activist group in their hi-viz vests?

I’m sure the poor guy really was shot but with no visible sign of injury, no body, the background of the film makers and the unlikelihood that an Israeli ‘sniper’ would target him so openly the authenticity of this video should be questioned.


Finally if even the BBC is reluctant to go with this there must be a high degree of doubt….not something either the Telegraph, Mail or Mirror seem concerned about as they splash it over their websites.

One up for the BBC then.





What? No Concrete?



The BBC has often opined that Gaza is destitute and failing, lacking resources to build its infrastructure…indeed it highlights Ban Ki-Moon trying to blame the Israeli blockade for the rocket attacks on Israel:

Mr Ban is due to travel to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and meetings with Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

Mr Ban said he appreciated Israel’s right to defend itself, but said restrictions on Gaza should be lifted “so that people should not resort to this kind of violence as a way of expressing their grievances”.

The blockade is of course a response to those very rocket attacks…so Moon’s logic fails me there. Good though that such a deep thinker is at the head of the United Nations in charge of peace negotiations.


The BBC frequently tells us that Gazan civilians have no where to go to take cover when the fighting begins.


But that’s just not true is it?

For a start thousands of Gazans fled to UN controlled safe areas, in agreement with Israel.

Second, instead of investing in the people of Gaza Hamas has been building a large number of tunnels, lined with concrete, some up to one mile long.

They took years to plan and build.

With all those resources Hamas has used to build these tunnels to attack Israel they could have used to build schools, homes or indeed bomb shelters.

The tunnels themselves could be used as shelters if Hamas were so concerned about their civilians.

Or indeed Hamas could just stop bombing Israel and killing Israelis and there would be no need for shelters, no need for a blockade and Palestinians could get on with their lives turning the rat trap of Gaza into a thriving society as Israel has done with its own land even whilst under 65 years of Muslim attacks designed to wipe it off the face of the earth.




Choose Your Words Carefully


The BBC has decided not to report all the words of John Kerry…just the ones that suit its apparent anti-Israel agenda.

John Kerry is the US Secretary of State and is leading the effort to agree a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians.  You might think his words would be worthy of some note by the BBC.  But no. Or rather, not all of them.


He said some important things two days ago in support of Israel but look as I may I cannot find them reported on the BBC website:

After airstrikes kill dozens in Gaza, Kerry backs Israel’s right to defend itself

US Secretary of State John Kerry said Israel “has every right in the world to defend itself” against attacks by Hamas in Gaza.

Kerry said Israel has long endured rocket attacks by Hamas, and no nation “would sit there while rockets are bombarding it.” He said “thousands of rockets” were being fired at Israel. “People can’t live that way.”

Kerry also cited tunnels constructed by Hamas in what he said is “an obvious effort” to try to kidnap Israelis.

He that it is “unacceptable by any standard anywhere in the world” and that Israel must protect its citizens.

In response to a question on ABC’s “This Week,” Kerry dismissed claims that Israel was committing genocide as “rhetoric that we’ve heard many, many times.”

Kerry turned his answer into an excoriation of Hamas and continued, “What they need to do is stop rocketing Israel and accept a ceasefire. It’s very, very clear that they’ve tunneled under Israel. They’ve tried to come out of those tunnels with people with handcuffs and tranquilizer drugs to capture Israeli citizens and hold them for ransom, or worse. They’ve been rocketing Israel with thousands of rockets.

“They’ve been offered a ceasefire, and they’ve refused to take the ceasefire. Even though Egypt and others have called for that ceasefire, they’ve just stubbornly invited further efforts to try to defuse the ability to be able to rocket Israel.”

Kerry placed responsibility for the escalation on Hamas, arguing that “when three young Israeli kids are taken and murdered, and Hamas applauds it and celebrates the fact that they were kidnapped and supported the kidnapping, and then starts rocketing Israel when they’re looking for the people who did it, that’s out of balance by any standard, George. And I think it’s important for people to remember the facts that led to this. Hamas needs to join up, be part of a solution, not the problem.”

The BBC on 5Live has just quoted Kerry saying that Israel has the right to defend itself….but two days later than The Times of Israel reported the same words.

The BBC instead chose to report this:

Gaza crisis: Kerry Israel air strike remarks caught on mic

Kerry said, apparently unaware it was being recorded: “It is a hell of a pinpoint operation. We’ve got to get over there.”

Mr Kerry later told Fox News he “reacted obviously in a way that, you know, anybody does with respect to, you know, young children and civilians.”

More than 500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since the Israeli offensive began 13 days ago, Gaza’s health ministry says.

Twenty Israelis – 18 of them soldiers – have died, Israel says, as it seeks to end rocket fire from Gaza.


Curiously the BBC has gone the other way in reporting the words of the UN’s Ban Ki-Moon, here on the web admitting that he says Israel had the right to defend itself…but then goes on to blame Israeli blockade for the rockets….er…isn’t the blockade in place because of the rockets?:

Mr Ban is due to travel to Israel for talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and meetings with Palestinian officials in the West Bank.

Mr Ban said he appreciated Israel’s right to defend itself, but said restrictions on Gaza should be lifted “so that people should not resort to this kind of violence as a way of expressing their grievances”.


It was a different matter on the radio bulletins where the BBC preferred to report that Ban Ki-Moon had utterly condemned the Israelis….“dozens more civilians, including children, have been killed in Israeli military strikes in the Shuja’iyya neighborhood in Gaza. I condemn this atrocious action. Israel must exercise maximum restraint and do far more to protect civilians.”




Anyone looking at the way the BBC has reported Kerry’s and Ban Ki-Moon’s words might rightly consider that the BBC has been trying to paint the Israelis in the blackest light possible.

What Would You Do?



mock-up image of the British Houses of Parliament on fire after being hit by rockets


Let’s think…….









Crying children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, run down Route 1 near Trang Bang, Vietnam after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places as South Vietnamese forces from the 25th Division walk behind them







Guess we’d know what ‘you’d’ do.

The same as the Israelis when it comes to defeating terror and a merciless and ruthless enemy which seeks to eliminate you……’never again’ is the Israeli response…and who can blame them.






Gaza Casualties As Of Sunday




Pounce originally came up with these figures in the comments and I was reminded of them by Is the BBC biased?:

Analysis Of Gazans Killed So Far In Operation Protective Edge


From their figures, and I haven’t looked at the source myself, it looks like the Palestinian casualties are 14% male under fighting age (up to 17), 18% women, 6% male over age (over 60) and the bulk being 61% of male fighting age…up to 60 years old.

So when the BBC reports ‘X’ number of Palestinians have been killed…just how many are in fact Hamas fighters or commanders?

The figures of course are changing as time goes on and more operations take place but the BBC’s blanket use of the simplistic and misleading description ‘Palestinians’ for casualties feeds into the Hamas narrative and is a highly emotive way of wording their reports…note how in contrast the BBC is very careful to emphasise how many Israeli casualties are ‘military’…


Twenty Israelis – 18 of them soldiers – have died, Israel says, as it seeks to end rocket fire on the country.

Over 500 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed since the Israeli offensive began two weeks ago, Gaza’s health ministry says.


The BBC has absolutely no proof of a casualty’s status…it is relying, as it says, on the Palestinians own figures.  Are they likely to be truthful?  ‘Mainly civilians’.…at present that is pure propaganda but the BBC doesn’t seem to be too bothered about the truth at the moment.


Any civilian casualty is  a terrible thing but the BBC’s pretence that nearly all casualties are civilian when they fail to differentiate between the status of the various victims makes the BBC part of Hamas’ ‘human shield’ ploy….a cynical charade that the BBC turns a blind eye to.

I don’t think there can be any doubt whose side the BBC takes in this war.


mock-up image of the British Houses of Parliament on fire after being hit by rockets





Soundbite Advice


Judge for yourselves how much attention BBC journalists have paid to Hamas’ media guidance to its own supporters…whom, if you were of a cynical bent, might say included the BBC, or elements thereof:

Via Harry’s Place/Memri:

The Hamas guide to social media

MEMRI provides some excerpts:

“Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine, before we talk about his status in jihad or his military rank. Don’t forget to always add ‘innocent civilian’ or ‘innocent citizen’ in your description of those killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza.

“Begin [your reports of] news of resistance actions with the phrase ‘In response to the cruel Israeli attack,’ and conclude with the phrase ‘This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.’ Be sure to always perpetuate the principle of ‘the role of the occupation is attack, and we in Palestine are fulfilling [the role of] the reaction.’

“Beware of spreading rumors from Israeli spokesmen, particularly those that harm the home front. Be wary regarding accepting the occupation’s version [of events]. You must always cast doubts on this [version], disprove it, and treat it as false.

“Avoid publishing pictures of rockets fired into Israel from [Gaza] city centers. This [would] provide a pretext for attacking residential areas in the Gaza Strip. Do not publish or share photos or video clips showing rocket launching sites or the movement of resistance [forces] in Gaza.

“To the administrators of news pages on Facebook: Do not publish close-ups of masked men with heavy weapons, so that your page will not be shut down [by Facebook] on the claim that you are inciting violence. In your coverage, be sure that you say: ‘The locally manufactured shells fired by the resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation that deliberately fires rockets against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza’…”

Additionally, the interior ministry prepared a series of suggestions specifically for Palestinian activists who speak to Westerners via social media. The ministry emphasizes that conversations with them should be conducted differently from conversations with other Arabs. It stated:

• “When speaking to the West, you must use political, rational, and persuasive discourse, and avoid emotional discourse aimed at begging for sympathy. There are elements with a conscience in the world; you must maintain contact with them and activate them for the benefit of Palestine. Their role is to shame the occupation and expose its violations.

• “Avoid entering into a political argument with a Westerner aimed at convincing him that the Holocaust is a lie and deceit; instead, equate it with Israel’s crimes against Palestinian civilians.

• “The narrative of life vs. the narrative of blood: [When speaking] to an Arab friend, start with the number of martyrs. [But when speaking] to a Western friend, start with the number of wounded and dead. Be sure to humanize the Palestinian suffering. Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation’s operations and its bombings of cities and villages.

• “Do not publish photos of military commanders. Do not mention their names in public, and do not praise their achievements in conversations with foreign friends!”



It is surprisingly, or not so surprisingly, easy to tie in BBC reporting with the Hamas version of events:


‘Anyone killed or martyred is to be called a civilian from Gaza or Palestine’

Rarely does the BBC provide the figures for actual civilian deaths preferring to say ‘X’ number of Palestinians have been killed since the Israeli attacks began.


‘This many people have been martyred since Israel launched its aggression against Gaza.’

The BBC always limits the casualties to those caused ‘since’ the Israeli counterattack on Gaza began….never mind this is is a 65 year old war.


‘You must always cast doubts on this [Israeli version], disprove it, and treat it as false.’

Well….how often have we heard the BBC interviewer challenge an Israeli spokesman’s explanations?


‘Try to paint a picture of the suffering of the civilians in Gaza and the West Bank during the occupation’s operations and its bombings of cities and villages.’

That’s just constant from the BBC.


‘In your coverage, be sure that you say: ‘The locally manufactured shells fired by the resistance are a natural response to the Israeli occupation that deliberately fires rockets against civilians in the West Bank and Gaza’…”

Oh yes..those famous ‘homemade contraptions’…inaccurate and harmless.


‘There are elements with a conscience in the world; you must maintain contact with them and activate them for the benefit of Palestine. Their role is to shame the occupation and expose its violations.’

The BBC…the world’s ‘conscience’…imposing its own moral values and judgements upon others….taking it upon themselves to ‘shame the occupation and expose its violations.’


Yep….reckon Hamas must be pretty pleased with the BBC’s reporting despite it being so pro-Israeli according to Greg Philo who would seem to be a firm favourite of some at the BBC (h/T  Is the BBC biased?) such as Roger Bolton who lavishes praise upon him:

On Today on Tuesday he was also in challenging mode, alleging that the Beeb’s coverage of the conflict in Gaza was pro-Israel. Many Feedback listeners agree with him, and almost as many disagree.
It was refreshing to hear his views, and I look forward to the publication of his detailed analysis, and that of those who allege the opposite. I also hope voices like his will be heard more regularly. Broadcasters need to be challenged. That’s what Feedback is all about.




‘Now here’s a story for BBC Trending.’

Neither BBC Trending nor any other department has shown any interest whatsoever in the topic of the use of conventional and social media by Hamas for propaganda purposes  - despite the fact that there are numerous recent examples.

That lack of interest appears to have caused the BBC to fail to notice that it has itself been co-opted to Hamas propaganda.

A picture circulated by Hamas purporting to show a teenager in Gaza killed by an Israeli airstrike is in fact a still image from the Hollywood horror film ‘Final Destination 4′, as can be seen in this video below.




Note the caption in Russian inserted by Hamas: it reads “BBC Israel kills Palestinian teens in Gaza”.