Anyone with even a scintilla of intelligence who has endured the BBC report on the Middle East will wonder if it is Hamas that directs editorial policy! Listening to the likes of Jeremy Al-Bowen, for instance, whinge about the plight of those poor oppressed Palestinians even as they kill each other in their desperation to kill innocent Israelis, is to listen to the voice of bias unfettered. I’m just surprised he doesn’t wear a kaffiyeh! And which of us will forget Barbara Plett’s award winning performance as she wept copious tears even as she bravely reported the death of the repulsive thug Arafat?
So anyway, today comes the news that the BBC continues to seek to suppress the results of the internal study it did on alleged Middle Eastern bias. Three Court of Appeal judges rejected a challenge by Steven Sugar, a commercial solicitor from Putney, south-west London, to overturn a High Court ruling which rejected his claim that the contents of the report should be made public under the Freedom of Information Act. Mr Sugar may now decide to take his case to the House of Lords. He argues that the 20,000-page report by Malcolm Balen should be published as part of the debate about a perceived anti-Israeli bias at the BBC. But the BBC argues that, under the Freedom of Information Act, it is exempt from disclosing information held for the purposes of “journalism, art or literature”. The broadcaster contends the report was always intended as an internal review to help shape future policy on its Middle East coverage and was never intended for publication. (Why, did someone think it was too generous to the Israeli point of view?)
But why so coy? Where is the transparency? What is it that the BBC seeks to withhold from our view? As the people who pay for the BBC, I believe we have a perfect right to see the report that the BBC seeks to hide away. It is my view that ANY objective report into BBC coverage of Middle Eastern affairs will have revealed a systematic failure to apply the necessary professional impartiality of a news reporting organisation which is precisely why the BBC will continue to use public money to fight the gallant efforts of Steven Sugar.