You know

how the Radio 4 news starts with a summary and then goes on to cover the same stories in more detail? Well, in today’s 1 o’clock news the summary said that a fax had been sent to a newspaper by the Abu Nayaf al-Afghani group saying that Spain would suffer more terrorism if it did not withdraw its troops from Iraq.

Just Iraq.

I thought it sounded odd, given the name of the group. And so it proved: when it came to the detailed story later (from a female correspondent whose name I did not catch) we heard that the actual threat was that Spain would suffer if it did not remove its troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Just over-hasty editing? Could be, could be – but just for fun, why not amuse yourself working out a political motive for playing up Iraq and playing down Afghanistan as a motive for terrorism.

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40 Responses to You know

  1. The Insider says:

    Are you for real?

    Sometimes, the BBC simply report what they get. In this case, information was released to say that a fax had been sent to a newspaper by the Abu Nayaf al-Afghani group saying that Spain would suffer more terrorism if it did not withdraw its troops from Iraq.

    Why can’t you just accept that, instead of spouting more paraniod rubbish?

    Abu Sayyaf al-Afghani (get it right, you fool) – are a Muslim group who operate all over the world in places like the Phillipines.

    They’re named after Jamal al-Afghani, a 19th century Islamic political activist.

    You ignoramus.


  2. foreigner says:

    Insider, do you really work for the bbc? If so then I’m afraid that all you do with your posts is confirm what many on this blog say – that the beeb is biased. If you disagree there is no need to call people “fools” and “ignoramuses”. Just because others insult doesn’t mean that you should stoop to their level – especially if you are representative of a typical beeb employee! If you correct people civilly maybe they will take what you have to say more seriously – as it is you come across as being somewhat intolerant! (which may or may not be the case!)


  3. The Insider says:


    Like the people who publish this website?

    People who propound the insanely paraniod theory that the BBC are a biased organisation?

    Take the post we’re commenting on, for example.

    It’s a totally ill-perceived “bias”, wholly unfounded, poorly researched and downright misleading.

    That’s the very definition of ignorance: uneducated, unaware and uninformed.

    It’s this bitter and deconstructive approach to genuine criticism that pushes you people down a blind alley and exposes you for the paraniod ranters that you are.


  4. Mr Tea says:

    I was merely suggesting that the patrons of this site where more enamoured with our Americans cousins then they are with they’re own proud tradition.

    The more I read the happier I feel that the proponents of this pseudo libertarian, social Darwinist crack pottery are hidden away in this dark corner of humanity. The rantings and ravings of this mob will be forever more filed under nutcases.

    I imagine you and your friends would like to see the friendly British bobby replaced by a gun toting cowboy and Buckingham Palace turned into a Wal Mart.



  5. Mr Tea says:


    This is in the wrong section and I aplogise. never let it be said that the BBC don’t correct mistakes.


  6. foreigner says:

    How am I a paranoid ranter? How can you lump me with “you people?” All I say is that while complaining that others ranted (quite possible) you end up ranting yourself. Apart from that I still feel that if you in some way represent the beeb you aren’t doing it any good with the way you write, you just confirm what the “ranters” say and what more ambivalent people suspect. I stand by what I said, if you are more civil in your arguments then others will be more civil with you and maybe even see your point. After all you might even begin to understand why (some) more civilised posters write what they do. People make honest mistakes – doesn’t make them an “ignoramus”.


  7. The Insider says:

    Once again, you’re missing the point: it’s ignorance and misinformation like this “honest mistake” that the Biased BBC people are trying to attack.

    Talk about hypocrisy. If it’s an “honest mistake”, it should be publicly retracted.

    However, at present, it’s an entry full of falsehoods, poorly-researched information and downright lies.

    I’ve got every right to call the author of such rubbish an ignoramus – it’s exactly what they are – particularly when they sit on their hobby-horse condemning the BBC for similarly-percieved wrong-doing.

    But maybe you think we should all sing along and be nice to each other, aggrandising this rubbish whilst belittling the good work of others?


  8. don says:

    Insider – “Spain would suffer more terrorism if it did not withdraw its troops from Iraq.

    Why can’t you just accept that, instead of spouting more paraniod rubbish?”

    As Ms Solent points out, the threat issued to Spain required that troops be pulled out of Afghanistan as well as Iraq.
    This is important as the Spanish PM had indicated that Spain would increase their deployment in Afghanistan, even if they withdrew from Iraq. Therefore it is odd that the BBC report should mention only Iraq.
    I do not see why commenting on this should be regarded as “paranoid rubbish”


  9. The Insider says:

    More crap.

    Think about it logically: Ms Solent’s very words said:

    “the Radio 4 news starts with a summary and then goes on to cover the same stories in more detail”

    What is it you want? It’s a summary – they mentioned Afghanistan in the report.

    They probably just mentioned Iraq only in the opener, because current news is more contextualised by Iraq for listeners.

    How on earth is that biased reporting?

    Pointing out such a triviality is nothing short of paranioa.


  10. foreigner says:

    I don’t see why we cannot be “nice to each other” even when disagreeing. Especially if we claim to represent an unbiased media service and want to put forward its point of view. OK so lets say I’m convinced that this particular post is in error, I’d very much like your views on Orla Guerin’s reporting on the 16 year old would be suicide bomber. However hard I try it’s tough not to detect a certain amount of bias in that report – whether I agree with the bias is irrelevant, if Guerin is biased she was wrong – period.


  11. The Insider says:

    One of the things the publishers of this website can’t seem to get into their thick skulls is a simple fact of life: no matter how stringent you make guidelines, people will ocassionally divert from them – call it whatever you like, but the only way to get people not to imbue reports at the BBC with their own feelings is to make those reporters mindless robots who will obey Draconian rules.

    That’s not public-service broadcasting in a democracy – that’s Sky News and the Sunday Times.

    What is it you want? Bland factiods? Droning streams of monotonous Orwellian information?

    There’s all sorts of reasons why people might percieve a bias in the BBC’s reporting – personal views on the subject being reported, for a start – but it doesn’t mean to say that the bias actually exists.

    Devoting energy to such a negative pursuit is a sad way to live your life – why not just get your information from some other broadcaster if the BBC are so nasty?


  12. foreigner says:

    what are YOUR views on the Orla Guerin “discussion”. I usually want to be given unvarnished facts, I can make up my own mind about things. From what I understand the Beeb has a reputation for being fair and unbiased – personal views of a reporter are neither fair nor unbiased. Basically if I feel I can’t trust a news agency like the beeb I feel let down – I’m not interested in Orla’s personal views – But I want to be sure that I can trust whatever facts I’m presented with. (And I try to avoid other broadcasters because they too have obvious biases which may colour their facts – but at least they are open about this)


  13. The Insider says:

    So hang on – you think the Israeli Army were right to parade a young suicide bomber in front of the world’s media?

    You think it’s right that the Israeli government abused the boy’s arrest for propaganda purposes?

    You think it’s right that news organisations were expelled from Israel for not repoting the army’s actions during the boy’s arrest (Sky and The Times)?

    You don’t think such behaviour is worthy of reporting?

    Interesting viewpoint.

    (Ad at the bottom of this comment box: BBC Hamlet DVD)


  14. don says:

    Insider says ” why not just get your information from some other broadcaster if the BBC are so nasty?”

    It is not the bias of the BBC that annoys. All media are biased.
    But only the BBC forces us to pay for its services whether we want them or not. It is ridiculous that ownership of a TV requires the payment of £121pa to 1 broadcaster, when many others exist. It is no different to being required to pay for the continued existence of Co-op shops when you buy your groceries from Tesco.


  15. PJF says:

    I hate to say it, but I agree with The Insider that this is not an example of BBC bias.

    As I’ve said before, every time a flimsy example of something that might be bias only when its rolling downhill with the strongest of supporting winds – the BBC’s fans can jump up and down and claim that we’re imagining things (whilst they avoid addressing all the clear and obvious examples, of course).

    There’s plenty of fat trout out there – why stretch for minnows?


  16. The Insider says:

    Let’s hear it for PFJ! (or is it PJF? He can’t seem to make up his mind).

    Now, let’s hear the same from Natalie Solent too.

    Be careful what you publish kids – and remember: just because you’re paraniod, doesn’t mean to say they’re not out to get you.


  17. The Insider says:

    “It is no different to being required to pay for the continued existence of Co-op shops when you buy your groceries from Tesco.”

    No Don, it’s nothing like that. Food is essential for you to live. The telly isn’t.

    Complaining about the Television Licence is the same as complaining about road tax or a gas bill.

    If you don’t like it, don’t buy/use a telly.

    When are you people going to realise that the BBC don’t just make telly, radio or internet output?

    You benefit from the BBC in ways you probably don’t even realise.


  18. Joe says:

    Actually the BBC leans far enough in it’s lack of fact checking, reporting focus, and what it chooses not to report on, that it is INCREADIBLY biased. To the point where it forces opinion. If they force opinion they’re no better than William Randolph Hearst was in the late 19th century.


  19. PJF says:

    The Insider wrote:
    “Let’s hear it for PFJ! (or is it PJF? He can’t seem to make up his mind).”

    The error and petty distortion is yours, not mine.

    The Insider wrote:
    “Food is essential for you to live. The telly isn’t.”

    Indeed the telly isn’t essential for life – so why have the state so deeply involved in it? As you’ve said, it’s just a luxury. So let’s just let commerce take care of it, eh?

    Wow, you’ve already acknowledged that the BBC isn’t independent, and now you’re beginning to see that what it does should be left to the free market. You’re beginning to get it, The Insider – well done.


  20. The Insider says:

    “so why have the state so deeply involved in it?”

    Why bother with municipal swimming pools, or libraries, or art galleries?

    Give half the chance, you greedy Thatcherites would put a turnstile on every public park and charge people money to sit on the grass.

    Your colours are well and truly nailed to the mast PFJ.


  21. foreigner says:

    Hi Insider, I didn’t say what the israeli army did was right or wrong – my opinion is pretty irrelevant since I don’t work for an international news media outlet:-)) So are you saying that what the israeli army did (in this case) was worse than what the people who sent the lad to blow himself up did? Because that is the impression guerin gave us. Maybe balance would have entailed either the plain unvarnished facts or criticism of both the people who sent the lad & those who paraded him. Come on, what do you honestly feel guerin should have focussed on.


  22. The Insider says:

    Guerin reported the major issue: that the Israeli’s paraded a young sucide bomber for the world media, then expelled news organisations from Israel for not reporting it.

    Can you imagine what these “Biased BBC” types would have said if the BBC had just ignored that little issue and maybe just went on about the fact that he didn’t actually blow up?

    Sure, what the guy was planning wasn’t very nice, but he didn’t actually carry out his attack, yet the Israeli’s treated him no better than a trophy.

    Guerin reported that.


  23. foreigner says:

    Ok, at least now I know what you consider to be the major issue. As for blowing himself and assorted bystanders up being “not very nice” is the understatement of the century. Can’t say I agree with you on this but we all have a right to our opinion. I personally feel that sending a teenager to kill himself is more reprehensable than parading said teenager, after all palestinians do parade the wounded and killed – all part of the media circus. maybe I respect life a bit too much to gloss over teenagers blowing themselves but I suppose that you won’t see that. “Not very nice” indeed:-) signing out once and for all.


  24. foreigner says:

    Oh, just one last thing, take a look at all your posts and ask yourself if they respect the opinions of others – after all we all claim to respect differing opinions. We can do that without stooping to insult – even when others do. Just ask yourself if maybe you could have convinced more people about your point instead of alienating them further. As for me I’m not convinced of the beeb’s impartiality – and your attitude towards the other posts didn’t help my friend! It’s not a problem to me, I don’t live in the UK & don’t have to pay license fees or such stuff. Don’t bother answering, I’m not going to be logging on again.
    cheerio all.


  25. don says:

    Insider – “Complaining about the Television Licence same as complaining about road tax or gas bill.”
    Road Tax is general taxation. The licence fee funds just the BBC.
    Gas Bill – Choice of supplier. I don’t pay British Gas, I don’t use their service.
    Insider is a good socialist-
    – S/he knows what we want better than ourselves.
    – Get others to pay for what s/he wants. Like wanting better public services, but expecting others to pay the tax. (usually this is soak the rich, in this case a poll tax suffices). In truth the BBC service is little different to ITV/Channel4.
    If Insiders were so sure of the value of the BBC, why not allow voluntary subscription?
    Insider has made much of “competition” in BBC external productions (been redepolyed as a result of outsourcing, Insider?). But external production of entertainment programmes is not the same as providing a varied editorial stance. The BBC’s guaranteed £2.5billion pa stifles competition.


  26. Mr Tea says:

    I don’t want a “varied editorial stance” I want an impartial one which the vast majority of people believe is provided by the BBC.

    There will always cranks on the political fringes moaning about not being adequately represented but that is democracy and I’m sure there are many publications for those of us with more outlandish beliefs.


  27. The Insider says:

    Don, you’ve just walked yourself down a very big hole. Thank you.

    “Road Tax is general taxation.”. Wrong. Owning a vehicle is a luxury – just like owning a television. Don’t drive and you don’t have to pay it.

    “The licence fee funds just the BBC”. Wrong. As I’ve proven time and time again, it also funds private companies who provide content for the BBC, sub-contractors, third-party business etc. etc. (e.g. Land Securities Trillium own every single BBC building in the UK, the BBC pay rent to them).

    “The BBC’s guaranteed £2.5billion pa stifles competition”. What, you mean like Sky TV bidding £1.1billion for a monopoly on live Premiership matches, plus a further £22.5m over three years for other exclusive rights to live football?

    Yeah, that’s a competitive market.

    Now, off you go and gobble it all up as your bank balance vanishes into Rupert Murdoch’s pockets.


  28. don says:

    Insider – “Owning a vehicle is a luxury – just like owning a television. Don’t drive and you don’t have to pay it”

    Insider, why should I have to pay the BBC in order to own a TV?
    In what way is the broadcast medium different from the print medium? Do you think I should have to pay for your sister mouthpiece, the Guardian, even though I have no desire to read it?


  29. brian says:

    The Insider really is a piece of work. Not content with dubbing everyone who doesn’t rush to pay their licence fee a Thatcherite he then puts the boot into Murdoch. Mm..I’m guessing a lefty, islington chattering class type here.

    Moving on: Not including Afghanistan in the main heading but doing so in the report is fair enough with him? What an absolute moron. Since the Madrid bombing we have been deluged with “If Aznar hadn’t taken us into Iraq this wouldn’t have happened…” blah, blah, so when a group also include Afghanistan as a greivance the BBC, er, smuggle it into the body but don’t trumpet it. Mmm…fair enough… no agenda there.

    The point is this: BBC News will cost the BBC the licence fee because the lazy culture of assumption that pervades it forgets that the peasants out there who fund it might take exception.


  30. The Insider says:

    “when a group also include Afghanistan as a greivance the BBC, er, smuggle it into the body but don’t trumpet it. Mmm…fair enough… no agenda there.”

    Man, that’s just downright paraniod piffle.

    If you had your way, the intro to every programme would be a report in itself.

    That’s called THE NEWS, you half-wit.


  31. The Insider says:

    Don – if you don’t like The Guardian, don’t buy it.

    The Grauny is an entirely different entity – it’s a commercial enterprise designed with the purpose of generating income for it’s owners (although, to be fair, The Grauny is actually a supported foundation with a public-service remit too).

    The television licence is a fact of life – it’s a TAX. A certainty.

    First and foremost, it subsidises PUBLIC-SERVICE BROADCASTING, free from the influence of commercialism and greedy market forces.

    Like the roads, or the streetlights, or swimming pools, or libraries – it’s paid for from the public pocket so that the population can utilise it without it being prohibitively expensive to do so (like Sky TV, for example).

    That’s the whole point – but you clearly can’t see that.


  32. JohninLondon says:

    The Insider feels that Orla Guerin’s report on the boy bomber was correct to attack Israel and to omit any criticism of the evil people who sent the boy bomber on his errand. And dismisses what the guy was planning was “not very nice” !!!

    Therein lies the moral equivalence that is rotting the BBC. Criticise the Israelis for saving a boy’s life and showing the world what Hamas does. But no criticism of Hamas.

    Sick, truly sick. So readily in step with Guerin’s sick bias.


  33. Mr Tea says:

    You know something John even by the dismal standard of intelligence set by the sad bunch of UFO abductees that populate this site you really do stand out as a moron.

    Are you called JohninLondon in case you forget where you are?


  34. Tommy says:

    Tell me Insider, if the US had invaded both Afghanistan and Iraq at the same time how credible would a BBC top of the hour announcement be if it said ” The US invades Afghanistan…Beckham in sex scandal…”

    Don’t you think listeners would have thought the part about Iraq would have been important enough to make the intro?? I mean what are we talking about, 0.005 of a second?

    Also I see you did not counter my Islington slur. Could it be true!! Are you one of those trendy, starbucks, “Isn’t Bush just so dumb!” tpes so beloved of us bloodthirsty warmongers?

    You are a bad joke. What are you…a sound editior? John Humphreys Teaboy?…

    Were you one of those brave souls who stood in the RAIN, yes! the RAIN! to tearfully say goodbye to Greg Dyke.

    Come on, if you are good at your job what have you to fear from the free market? Support privatising the BEEB and double your wages on the free market as people rush to sign up to the “indispensable BBC”


  35. The Insider says:

    Tommy – what is it that’s important to you?

    The Headline – or The Story?

    Maybe it’s the headline, since it’s probably the most your limited attention span and intellect can cope with.

    Does it say “Eat food at 12pm” on your school lunchbox?

    “Wash face at 8am” on your Thomas the Tank Engine flannel?

    Does your Batman talking toothbrush say “brush teeth before bedtime, Tommy”?


  36. Tommy says:

    Now, now,Insider. You’re deliberately missing the point here. Surely the heading should contain the most important points from a story?

    “Get out of Iraq and Afghanistan or we bomb you again”

    “Get out of Iraq or we bomb you again”

    Now it is possible you live in some sort of Orwellian universe where Afghanistan is a verb or maybe a preposition but those of us in the real world would beg to differ.

    “Sorry Affy but you don’t make the headline”

    “But…but are we not a country?”

    “Of course, … technically you are”

    “Why do we not make the heading…we are humiliated!”

    “Look old boy, it’s a long story, but you see there were these protesters, this dumb president and a guy called Tony…”


  37. The Insider says:

    Your stupidity has plumbed new depths of tedium, Tommy.

    Okay, I’ll prove how ludicrously paraniod and your dull point is.

    Here’s some headlines from BBC NEWS Online today:

    “Battles grip Iraq on anniversary”

    On the anniversary of what? – the president of the Young Liberals, Peter Hain, being acquitted of robbing a branch of Barclays bank on April 9 1976? Oh – how stupid of me, it’s the anniversary of Saddam being toppled! If only I had read the story!

    “‘No alternative’ to study fees”

    Does this mean that there is no alternative than to scrutinise fees, or is it meaning tuition fees?

    “Japan firm on Iraq hostage demand”

    Does this mean a Japanese corporation are making hostage demands, or does it mean the Japanese goverment are resolute on their stance regarding hostages in Iraq?

    It’s fairly obvious that an entire story can never be conveyed in the headline or intro.

    Why do you brainless fools need this sort of thing spelled out to you every time?


  38. Anonymous says:

    Mr Insider

    You are a waste of bandwidth.


  39. Tommy says:

    It’s hard to know where to go with The Insider. This deliberate avoidance of the issue whilst clouding the debate with unrelated issues smacks of someone who might work for the BBC.

    Wait a minute…

    I’m off to watch the latest garden/house/holiday home/body/ makeover show that inspires me with pride in this fine institution.


  40. Just Stopping By says:

    “I don’t see why we cannot be “nice to each other” even when disagreeing”