The real ‘fake news’? From the likes of the BBC. How do we know? An insider reveals all…The BBC’s Amol Rajan:
I’ve written several blogs here about fake news, a phenomenon whose supposed rise has coincided with my time as media editor. Correlation not causation, let me assure you.
In summary: fake news is nothing new, though technology has allowed it to be disseminated further and faster than ever; its prevalence in Britain is unclear; and many of those who bang on about it, from politicians to the mainstream media, have an incentive to inflate the threat.
It’s also a distraction from the real issues, which are the editorial selections and judgements that comprise the news. Getting news right – choosing which stories to cover, and how to cover them – is a constant challenge. No programme editor ever goes to bed thinking “We got everything right today”.
But doing the stories that really matter, and getting them right, is a much bigger challenge to the integrity of news in Britain than the alleged threat from fake news.
Yep…editorial selections and judgements…all those choices of what to include and what to omit from the news, who to interview and how to edit and choose what to report from such interviews, how to not challenge post-truth truths such as ‘institutional racism’…know what that is? Doubt it even though the BBC has been talking about it all day and happily declaring the death of an immigrant as due to such a thing. Did we hear any of this from the BBC?…
Some neighbours accused Mr Ebrahimi of assault, harassment, drunkenness, being verbally abusive and sometimes intimidating. He was arrested on a number of occasions but was never charged with or convicted of any offence.
He was seriously attacked on previous occasions at different addresses [and the council moved him and provided accomodation]…you have to ask why that happened? Was it racism or his own behaviour as ‘trouble’ seemed to follow him around.
Seems the police and council reaction was not due to racism but a ‘mistaken’ view of his behaviour…
The police and Bristol City Council shared information in relation to Mr Ebrahimi and the incidents involving him on many occasions. Initially, both agencies provided a degree of support and referred him to SARI, who supported him until 2011. However, latterly, evidence provided for this review indicates that the police and Bristol City Council wrongly began to see Mr Ebrahimi as the primary problem. There were two incidents in 2009 and 2010 in which Mr Ebrahimi was wrongly judged to have provided inaccuraterepresentations of events and his allegations seemed thereafter to be wrongly regarded with suspicion.
They failed to react to his complaints because they didn’t believe him due to past events…not racism. His murder due to him being labelled a paedophile and caught filming the children of the man who subsequently killed him….so…racism?
Mr Ebrahimi was killed because Lee James subjected him to a vicious attack whilst perceiving him to be a sex offender and angered that he had recorded his children on film and that he had continued to record material and be defiant to Mr James after having been confronted earlier. Lee James had not been involved in any incidents in relation to events before 11th July 2013. Lee James’ personal internal inhibitors were likely to have been adversely affected by his alcohol consumption and his understanding of a local negative perception of Mr Ebrahimi that might see support for such an attack on him. Although Mr Ebrahimi’s ethnic origin may have contributed to Lee James’ negative view of him, there is no direct evidence to establish this with any certainty.
So was it ‘institutionl racism’ or the usual institutional lack of joined up thinking and awareness and the usual bureaucratic sluggardliness? The ‘key factor’…the ‘critical blocker’ to a proper response?…..racism or something else?…
The key factor that seems to have most adversely affected the responses to Bijan Ebrahimi by the statutory agencies is that a collective incorrect view was formed that he could be dishonest, that he was a nuisance, a time waster and difficult to deal with. Evidence available indicates that some became of the incorrect opinion that Mr Ebrahimi brought victimisation on himself because of his own behaviour. This appears to have been a significant factor in there being an absence of will to deal with the problems with which he presented, to take the side of others against him and to assess that it was his behaviour that was the problem that needed to be confronted. The lack of a professional and objective view of his situation was a critical blocker.
The claim of ‘institutional racism’ is tacked onto the end of the report with absolutely no evidence to back it up…as with the MacPherson Repoert there was no evidence of racism in individual behaviour nor in the policies of the police or council…..
No evidence has been provided to this review that any individual representative of either agency intentionally behaved in a racist manner. There is nothing racist in the intentions or established policies and procedures of either organisation. Nevertheless, there is evidence that Mr Ebrahimi was repeatedly targeted for racist abuse and victimisation by some members of the public, that this was repeatedly reported to Avon and Somerset Constabulary and Bristol City Council and that representatives of both organisations repeatedly sided with his abusers.
And yet all we hear from the BBC is that the council and police were racist in their response to events. Complete rubbish…dangerous rubbish. Fake news and a fake conclusion froom the report which ignores everything it found previously.