“See me, not the disability”

The BBC has a ‘Disability Champion’ – none other than Mark Byford, arch lefty from the World Service. I’m sure he could give you a lecture about the importance of seeing through a person’s disability to their true capabilities.

Alas, Newsweek Scotland (BBC Radio Scotland) hasn’t been to any of Byford’s seminars.

The show today carried a long article about the killing of Sheikh Yassin, which commenced with

This week Israel used all it’s technology to kill a blind man in a wheelchair

Whilst this is strictly true, the subtext here is that ‘this was a Bad Thing’, and in no way was impartial or unbiased. It is a good example of how you can be both truthful and biased. The presenter, the hopeless John Milne, wanted listeners to be outraged – after all, it isn’t nice to kill blind men in wheelchairs.

That the Sheikh was (according to the BBC) ‘the inspiration behind suicide bombing’ is neither here nor there, but I’d ask the BBC to see through the disability to the man inside.

As a footnote, I’d compare this with the recent BBC coverage of the murder of Leon Klinghoffer (as detailed on this and other blogs) who was also in a wheelchair, but according to the BBC ‘died’ during the hijacking of the Achille Lauro, much like he’d forgotten to take his medicine, rather than ‘shot twice in the head and thrown overboard’.

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4 Responses to “See me, not the disability”

  1. Marc says:


    I have posted a link to your site on mine and hope you might reciprocate. Exposing the BBC is a campaign for me.

    Here is my site http://www.ussneverdock.blogspot.com/

    Sir Jeremy told the BBC’s correspondent in Baghdad, Caroline Hawley: “We misanalysed at the beginning, both before and during the conflict.”

    But here is the quote in it’s entireity from the transcript:

    Q: Looking back over the past year, what do you believe the coalition’s biggest mistakes have been in Iraq?

    Everybody’s always asking me that and then they just dwell on the mistakes. We misanalysed at the beginning, both before and during the conflict.

    The conflict was over very quickly and some of the remnants of the army were left to do a certain amount of damage. But I think that the good decisions have been much more numerous than the bad ones.

    Now you see why the BBC used only part of the quote.


  2. PJF says:


    I enjoyed the little exchange of comments here recently over the BBC’s practise of presenting some news as “someone says something has happened”, as opposed to “something has happened”; allegedly to alter the perception of a story; allegedly when the story doesn’t support the BBC’s alleged agenda. Naturally enough, I don’t agree with our pro-BBC readers, and I do see selective news presentation to suit a pro-Arab agenda. Perhaps I should “move on” as the BBC journalists have supposedly done.

    Only they haven’t. Today saw the memorial service for Tom Hurndall, a pro Palestinian advocate who was shot by an Israeli soldier in the Gaza strip whilst working for a Palestinian organisation. The BBC continues presenting the notion that Hurndall was a peace activist:

    Service in memory of shot Briton


  3. PJF says:


    It isn’t clear, from a strictly journalistic standpoint, why the BBC is doing this. Hurndall may have been an activist who used peaceful methods, but that alone doesn’t make him a peace activist. I’m an activist (against the BBC) who uses peaceful methods, and I doubt anyone would be inclined to describe me as a peace activist (even if Andrew Marr were to shoot me). Specifically, Hurndall was on active duty for an organisation that recognises a right for the Palestinians to engage in armed struggle. That’s not activism for peace.

    The International Solidarity Movement sometimes likes to say that its members are peace activists, so perhaps that’s where the BBC is getting its information. Perhaps it was also the International Solidarity Movement who said that Hurndall was “helping Palestinian children”. Whoever it is saying these things, in this instance the BBC isn’t saying.


  4. carnell says:

    Notably absent from the BBC website is any reference to the Sunday Times expose on the expanded targets of 911 published today on the Australian front page.
    Obviously there is a lot of digesting to do here before we are treated to the regurgitaions.
    Can’ wait for it
    Any ideas on how they will spin it ?
    Will someone please pre-empt?
    Bloggforecasting is surely overdue.