Over many years the BBC has influenced swathes of people, who quite rightly and naturally, feel a strong sense of injustice at what they have been shown. All the BBC has done is to report what is happening, is it not? They have seen something happening and said “Hey, look at that!”
A friend was travelling back from some far-flung trouble spot. Sitting next to him on the plane was a journalist-in-chief. “We’re covering this newly emerging trouble” he confided. “Why then, are you travelling home?” asked my curious friend. “Well, I’ve set them up and told them what shots I need, why would I stay?” was the reply.
BBC denies antisemitism and bias against Israel. Its case might look credible if it did something to redress the balance. The recent Panorama programme raised the question of Islam’s incompatibility with the west. It was a small start. Memorable images are affecting and bound to influence opinion, and perhaps a number of viewers began asking themselves some questions.
Awareness that this kind of exposure doesn’t help Islam’s public face explains why images of extremism in the film ‘Fitna’ were the focus of such strenuous efforts to suppress and condemn them.
Most of the virulent loathing expressed by Israel-haters demonstrates huge factual ignorance and misunderstanding by the public. The underdog theory falls apart when you know the geography, the stolen land theory falls apart when you know the history, and the deliberate baby-killing theory falls apart when you know the facts.
I believe there smoulders an undeniable suspicion and dislike of Jews in Britain, always ready to reignite at the smallest spark. But I wait for the day when the BBC commissions a programme, informative, educational and entertaining, that sets the record straight. I fear I’ll be waiting a very long time.
MPs need to be very determined and steadfast to get where they are, and no doubt high ranking BBC executives and commissioning editors do too, but they still need other people’s approval to keep them in power. They have deliberately or accidentally ‘set up the shots’ over many many years. Now the current is so strong, who is going to risk swimming against it?