Comments roundup 2

Bloggers4Labour discuss that slave picture.

“Roy” links to criticism in The Guardian – is this a Menshevik vs Bolshevik spat or does The Guardian realise that it is in fact a free market operator harmed by the Beeb’s gross taxpayer subsidisation?

“Try almost anything innovative, indeed – and Auntie, lifting her skirts, is off and running in a flash.”

On the subject of editorialising agency copy, “Roy” asks us to compare and contrast CNN and BBC Online on Ethiopia vs Eritrea:

‘CNN credit the following stories to Reuters. The BBC give no such credit.

“An international commission has ruled that Eritrea violated international law with an attack on Ethiopia in 1998 that triggered a border war.

But the peace process has stalled since Ethiopia rejected a decision in 2003 to award the flashpoint border town of Badme to Eritrea.” (CNN)

“Eritrea triggered the border war with Ethiopia when it attacked its neighbour in May 1998, an international commission in the Hague has ruled.

The war was ostensibly fought over the dusty town of Badme, which was awarded to Eritrea by another commission set up as part of the peace agreement.” (BBC)

So the BBC adds some local colour with “dusty”. Almost makes you think the BBC hack is there, wrapped in ethnic dress against the dust & heat.’

Well, that £2.8 billion has to be spent on something, doesn’t it?

“Rob Read” links to Matt Frei’s US That was the year that was – you’d never guess that most of the oppressed people in the world want to live there, would you?

If readers find any BBC Online articles snidely commenting on an ayatollah for wrapping his head – “mediaeval-style”- in cotton, please let us know.

Are national flags “really that meaningful“? (probably not in Islington)

Wait for this to be amended:

“Police said they suspected animal rights extremists broke down the fence enclosing the boar at the farm at West Anstey in north Devon.” (emphasis added)

Not even a scare quote – aren’t they “activists”? I note that the metadata (?) for the same article has “activists“:

“Up to 100 wild boar are released from a farm in north Devon by suspected animal rights activists.”

In BBCLand, Palestinian Christians are victims of Israel’s “curfews, closures and the newly-built West Bank barrier” – no mention of persecution of Christians in Palestine by other (pdf) sorts of people (pdf), except for these two throwaway lines:

“A few Christians speak privately of harassment, Muslims seizing Christian land and the fear of speaking out against radical groups.

But many others say they live like brothers with their Muslim neighbours, sharing the struggle against Israeli occupation…

The episode was reportedly a dispute over unpaid salaries within Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah party.

But a few Christian onlookers were quick to interpret it as a Muslim-driven plan to sabotage Christmas in Bethlehem.”

It couldn’t be persecution that is driving Christian exile – in a shameful echo of anti-Semitism, they are leaving because they are selfish:

“Although the dire economic situation has affected Christians and Muslims alike, emigration from Bethlehem is higher among Christians, who are helped by higher levels of education and better contacts in Western countries.”

To be fair, I wouldn’t want to be a female reporter of the state propaganda organ of a white-imperialist-infidel-atheist-Zionist-crusading-power in Palestine (hey, I wouldn’t want to be the gay guy that I am there either, regardless of skin colour, religion or employer), and at best Ms Sharp’s news contacts would dry up if she started reporting evenhandedly, and at worst, she would probably be kidnapped and murdered. Stockholm Syndrome/capture theory in tyrannies is nothing new, and it is a wider problem that needs to be addressed in consuming any media output.

“Eamonn” notes in The Independent (15 December 2005):

“Sir: Greg Dyke’s article (Media, 12 December) does not reflect the Chief Rabbi’s views on the BBC’s coverage of the Middle East.

At the meeting with a BBC management group to which Mr Dyke refers, the Chief Rabbi argued that there was in his view a failure to provide viewers with an Israeli perspective on events in the Middle East. He urged the Director General to commission a documentary that would do this by contextualising these events. He followed up this request by letter. He repeated his concerns when he addressed a subsequent gathering of BBC producers, at their request, several months later.

The Chief Rabbi shares the concerns held by the Jewish community about the BBC’s Middle East coverage, and is constantly reminded of these on his frequent visits to communities both in the UK and abroad.


“Ritter” notes Suicide bomber play to tour:

“The play also explores the true definition of the son’s name, Jihad – often interpreted as meaning Holy War, but actually denoting the battle to overcome internal conflict.”

This is not attributed to anyone so we are entitled to take it as the BBC editorial line. Jihad has a range of meanings, one of which certainly isholy war“* so the words “often interpreted as meaning …, but actually denoting” are fraudulently misleading.

*Not just wikipedia – see here and here.

USS Neverdock on Simpson’s sleight of hand.

“Rob” plays BB Blankety-Blanks – can you guess the missing words? He spies a word beginning with “M” (or “I”?).

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2 Responses to Comments roundup 2

  1. deepdiver says:

    Very good post.
    One notices that Christmas is drawing near by the plethora of “poor palestinian christians mistreated by the israelis” articles which begin to crop up.


  2. Sandy P says:

    — but actually denoting the battle to overcome internal conflict.”–

    Criminey, this is too easy.

    Internal conflict — temptation???

    And which country is the biggest temptor on the planet?

    Easier to make US go away than fight those “internal conflicts.”