You know the annual round-ups we get in the media at every New Year? This round-up is of items from the last couple of days, just to indicate the direction the BBC is taking.
The interview with bushy-bearded Qasim Rafiq, the former best friend of the underpants bomber who swears that nice Mr. Abdulmutallab couldn’t possibly have been radicalized in the UK, or at the UCL, or in the Islamic Society or while he was president of the Islamic Society. So that’s alright then. That’s proof enough for the BBC. “The BBC has learned that the underpants bomber wasn’t radicalized here, and that’s official.”
I’ve read countless articles about University Islamic Societies that describe them as highly radicalizing, and saying that some are actively recruiting, preying on and pressurizing Muslim undergraduates to turn towards extremism. The BBC must have heard about these because they have to know everything. The BBC is always learning this or that, but it evidently hasn’t learned to challenge something that everybody else in the entire world must be wondering why on earth they unquestioningly accept.
Next, the Today guest editor chose some right-on items for us to wake up to. One of them was an alternative Thought for the Day, as though one wasn’t enough-already. This thought was a poem written by revered Palestinian poet, the late Mahmoud Darwish. I’d have preferred something from Nonie Darwish myself, but I won’t be holding my breath.
I’ve nothing against Palestinian poetry especially as this particular poet kindly says he doesn’t hate Jews, just Zionists and Israel. His poetry is rather political as one might expect, but apparently that was not his intention, so I wonder if he would have been comfortable with the intro by guest editor Robert Wyatt’s favourite writer John Berger.
“For 60 years now the Palestinian people have been forcibly separated and exiled from their land, and Darwish’s poetry is about their struggle to keep faith and not to lose hope. It’s a poetry of resistance but at the same time it’s a poetry that admits loss and vulnerability, and absolutely refuses political rhetoric.”
Good. Pity John Berger doesn’t refuse political rhetoric too though. After an ominous period of rustling, he commenced reading the poem. About the mirage; about hope; about the slight difficulty with pronouncing r. And about the wose.
The poem was okay, but John Berger I could have done without.
I was going to comment about the Media Show on Wednesday but they took ages to put it on the website I so gave up. There’s an interesting thread on CiFWatch by Israelinurse about Mehdi Hasan. Here’s what Adloyada says in her comment:
“Mehdi Hasan is increasingly being given a “voice of Muslim opinion” and a “let’s show we’re inclusive by fielding a media man who happens to be Muslim” slot on BBC talk shows, thanks to the position he now holds on the “New Statesman”.
He was on BBC R4 “The Media Show’ just a couple of days ago, on Wednesday 30th, in the latter capacity, part of a panel chaired by Steve Hewlett (Guardian writer), consisting of Simon Jenkins (Guardian columnist), Emily Bell (The Guardian), senior media person who happens to be a woman) and Trevor Kavanagh (ex the Sun and so presumably a Tory just for balance).
All highly balanced–if you happen to think the BBC/Guardian world view is the core median balanced position from which all other views deviate.”
Next. The repeated coverage on BBC news 24 yesterday of award winning footage of Israel attacking Palestinians sheltering in a UN school. It was one of the finalists in the 2009 Rory Peck Awards. Not the winner. The incomplete picture Frank Gardner gave us in his narration somehow brought to mind another iconic bit of film, that of Mohammed Al Durah.
Now here’s something I didn’t see at all. Mahmoud Abbas’s glorification of Dalal Mughrabi, perpetrator of a bus hijacking in Israel that ended with the deaths of civilians and children. As Robin Shepherd points out “There is nothing on the BBC – though there is plenty about Gaza, one anniversary they do seem to be taking notice of.”
If this represents some of what we get from the BBC over a couple of days, no wonder fings aint what they used to be.