A ‘Jolly’ poor show for a model query

. A commenter on B-BBC, Thomas, aka Grumpy Troll, has got a result from BBC Newswatch regarding the now more widely known BBC omission of coverage concerning Iran’s condemned-to-death rape victim (please check out the horrific details if you haven’t yet heard about it properly- we’re not talking about something in doubt here)

I notice that Mr Jolly (the BBC Newswatch man who responded) tries to excuse it by saying the story broke over the weekend, and then says effectively that failure to cover a story initially is reason enough for ignoring it permanently. Another interpretation is that the Beeb ignores stories that are presented to it by the online rabble (stories, in other words, that the Beeb are late to, ignorant of and culpable for omitting from their coverage).

It’s preposterous. Whatever happened to ‘the public interest’- or even a young girl’s? The coverage cited by the Newswatch man is just one instance of BBC coverage, five months back, reliant on one of their beloved transnationals, Amnesty, who voice ‘growing concern’. The rest (following links) tends to be generalised, infrequent, involving criticism mostly by proxy – and they turn up their nose at a specific example!

The Beeb’s Newswatch response:


I don’t think we have covered this story and to be honest, there’s no one reason why that’s the case. For one thing it became known on a weekend, and might not not have got picked up as quickly as it might have done during the week. Also, try as we might, it is impossible to cover every story, and we try to avoid running items simply because they have already been covered widely elsewhere.

To be fair, this particular story seems to have been covered largely on blogs and specialists websites, so may never have made it into mainstream media. However, the fact it isn’t running shouldn’t be seen as an act of censorship – we have covered the issue of Iran’s human rights in the past:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world…ast/ 4184598.stm

I hope that goes some way to answering your question. I’ll pass your
e-mail on to our Middle East editor so he can check what the latest
situation is.

Kind regards,

Ian Jolly

‘In the past’- oh, ok, we only bother with Iran as a kind of academic, history exercise. It’s not like their business is news or anything. And it was the weekend- the three billions of public money just couldn’t cover that

Thomas’s initial comment:

—–Original Message—–

Sent: 24 January 2006 16:06
To: News General Feedback
Subject: Feedback [NewsWatch]

COMMENTS: I am writing to ask why the story of a 17-year-old Iranian girl sentenced to death by hanging for having caused the death of one of her three rapists has seemingly not been covered by BBC News, at least not on the BBC News website.

(Story reported at the following URL:

I would appreciate an answer and do excuse myself should the story have been covered and missed by my searches.

(This blog mentioned the Iranian girl’s case via links to other sites- here and here, the latter post going back to Jan 11th, just a week after the sentence was handed out.)

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217 Responses to A ‘Jolly’ poor show for a model query

  1. Ritter says:

    OT – Sharp Fisking of the now imfamous BBC’s “Muslim’s in Europe – In Depth”

    Balancing the Bias


  2. Ritter says:

    The American Expatriate highlights the BBCs pathetic response to the allegation of bias in painting Uncle Sam as Satan for executing 60 people in 2005, whilst ignoring countries like China who Amnesty estimate executed “at least 3,400” in the same year.

    Question and “answer”

    Perhaps the BBC’s reply to anti-US bias allegations in the future should be “I refer you to the answer Justin Webb gave some moments ago….”


  3. Ritter says:

    OT – Question Time audience appear on Wogan….

    Icke turns the tables on Wogan
    “What a difference 15 years makes. David Icke was back on the Wogan show last night. The new Wogan show, that is, on UKTV Gold, in which he relives a few memories with guests from yesteryear. Except this time around Icke ended up having the last laugh. It started going badly for the chatshow host when he suggested the US was a “fairly open society”. “Fairly open?” laughed Icke in disbelief. Then Wogan said Icke’s ideas were “preposterous”. Not as preposterous, said Icke, as your suggestion that the US is a open society. And then a strange thing happened – the audience burst into applause. Poor Terry looked lost for words. It was all a far cry from 1991, when Wogan famously told Icke the audience was “laughing at him, not with him”. Still with Icke, the show also replayed the vintage clip when Wogan, with a look of incredulity on his face, asked the former Coventry City goalkeeper: “What, you mean there are going to be earthquakes and tidal waves in the future?” Yeah, what are the chances of that happening?”



  4. disillusioned_german says:

    Who cares if the Iranians are murderous scum… let them have nuclear weapons anyway, right, BBC?


  5. Pounce the Cat says:

    And people laugh at the Current bun for its reporting.


  6. Dr. Whingeing Breid says:

    Why are we going to send 3,500 more troops to Afghanistan when just 2 years ago the Labour Government were reducing our UK defence in totality?

    Is this in any way linked to Iran’s nuclear programme?


  7. RottyPup says:

    To be fair, this particular story seems to have been covered largely on blogs and specialists websites, so may never have made it into mainstream media.

    Well, alright, it’s possible to miss my mention of the story here, or The Devil’s Kitchen piece here, but what about the reports on the story at these, much larger blogs, all of whom have covered this story:

    Little Green Footballs
    Daniel Pipes
    Dhimmi Watch

    Don’t Beeboids working the Persian angle bother with any of these? Well, that would certainly explain the endlessly positive press the Mullahs get from the BBC … And maybe snotty liberals don’t like visiting ‘hate’ sites.
    Alright, then, how about the voices of Iranian opposition:

    Iran Focus
    Regime Change Iran

    No? Then what are BBC reporters doing in Iran? I mean, do they just pick up the press releases from President Headcase’s office, type them up and leave it at that?
    Of course, it’s been suggested that maybe if Amnesty International were involved, then BBC antennas would begin to twitch … But, wait.


  8. disillusioned_german says:

    Rotty Pup: I’ve just taken a look at your Amnesty Intl. US link. They use the term “child offenders” which implies that the young girl committed a crime. In actual fact she did what I would advise any girl / women who is being raped to do – defend herself.

    I am getting increasingly aggressive over the lack of coverage of this case by the Western MSM.

    Where are all the leftie do-gooders? Hello? I lack the words to describe how I’m feeling. May all these so-called “journalists” suffer in eternity after they’ve experienced a very slow and painful death!


  9. disillusioned_german says:

    I’ve thought about the topic again: By not reporting this story prominently the BBC are part responsible for this poor girl’s death. Come on… let’s have some bloody outrage here, alright?


  10. IndianRunner says:


    You’re right.


  11. Rick says:

    What happened to the 24/7 365 day digital world of rolling news we used to hear so much about from the BBC ?

    Surely they aren’t jusat taking one story and polishing it all day ?


  12. Cockney says:

    Small point, where is the original information regarding this case coming from? I assume that Iranian courts don’t issue transcripts so who has confirmed the ‘facts’ – who’s to say this girl didn’t just stab someone? It would be embarrassing if the BBC reported something unsubstantiated on the back of a rising tide of hysteria circulating round and round the usual suspect blogs.


  13. Anonymous says:

    It would be embarrassing if the BBC reported something unsubstantiated on the back of a rising tide of hysteria circulating round and round the usual suspect blogs.

    Well, perhaps the Beeb’s Iranian correspondent(s) can get off their a*se(s) and do some reporting.


  14. archduke says:

    If memory serves me right , it was IranFocus that broke the story first – and THEN the blogs picked up on it and ran with it.

    but it was an Iranian opposition site (IranFocus) that dug up the story (they reported – obviously by translating Persian – from an internal Iranian news source)

    like disillusioned_german i’m getting increasingly angry about this – a bit of MSM media pressure could save this girls life – especially when the nuclear crisis makes Iran a focus right now.

    but no – the Beeboids prefer to push the likes of crip gangster “Tookie”.

    i’m getting more and more disgusted about all of this.


  15. archduke says:

    “It would be embarrassing if the BBC reported something unsubstantiated on the back of a rising tide of hysteria circulating round and round the usual suspect blogs.”

    iran focus contact page:


  16. TottenhamLad says:

    BBC stockpiling Internet domain names

    I don’t know if this waste of licence payers money has been mentioned already:



  17. archduke says:

    50,000 suicide bombers recruited in Iran:


  18. archduke says:

    danish cartoon rage escalates – jordanian parliament calls for punishment of danes reponsible:


  19. Rob Read says:

    Archduke 50,000 less Islamists is good news.

    Hopefully they will ‘splode before reproducing and improve the Persian gene pool.


  20. archduke says:

    good point rob. fingers crossed that our forces in Iraq can deal with them if they cross the border.

    yet more sabre rattling from the iranians – they are threatening to put Israel in a “coma”:


    sweet jesus – not a day goes by without this sort of rethoric coming from Tehran. its like 1938 all over again.


  21. Cockney says:

    AD, I’d totally agree that it’s rank hypocrisy for the BBC to fail to get excited about a child getting a death sentence.

    As far as the rest of it goes the links demonstrate that (presumably) reputable news organisations reported the child told the judge she was defending herself against attempted rape. It doesn’t report what the judge said about this – plenty of people on murder charges plead self defence?? As anon says though, maybe the BBC should be reporting this properly.


  22. archduke says:

    “maybe the BBC should be reporting this properly”

    well, there is a BBC Persian website – so, they do have Persian/Farsi speaking people working for them.

    so why dont they translate the report from Etemaad, the Farsi language newspaper from which this story was first picked up by IranFocus.com ?

    i understand your point Cockney – in that, if there really is another side to this story, then the BBC should be reporting on it.


  23. Ashley Pomeroy says:

    “OT – Sharp Fisking of the now imfamous BBC’s “Muslim’s in Europe – In Depth”
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_de…ope/ default.stm

    Balancing the Bias
    http://awesternheart.blogspot.co…ng- balance.html”

    That’s really quite brilliant; the tally of smiling faces was particularly good (especially the one in which the writer “couldn’t tell”).

    The “Muslims in Europe” page needs to be screen-grabbed by someone. Is there an equivalent for Hinduism? Sikhism? Buddhism? Perhaps there is, I can’t be bothered to look. I assume that those religions are much less useful to the BBC than Islam.

    Sikhs used to be a cause celebre for the left wing because there was a ban on them wearing turbans. Aha:

    Obviously, now that Sikhs are no longer useful for the left wing, they are superfluous. It would be interesting to go through the BBC’s “on this day” archives and make up a chart of which religions and ethnic/social minorities are trendy during a given point in time; I remember that gay people (for example) were very trendy in the 1980s, but they are less trendy nowadays.


  24. archduke says:

    i’m irish , and we were never “trendy” and we didnt have a “IrishExpo” when the IRA bombs were going off.

    maybe that was because we had white skin.

    inverted racism?


  25. Venichka says:

    The “50,000” story is so obviously just loud-mouthed ranting propaganda (that other ME regimes have come out with previously) that it surely cannot be taken seriously


  26. anon says:

    Since when was the BBC scrupulous about ignoring “loud-mouthed ranting propaganda”? — Plett, Orla, C Hawley, Frei, to name only a few, have all built careers on it. Am I missing something here?


  27. Epi-Me says:

    If this was to have “broken” in America (even at the weekend!) then we would get interviews with many of the usual suspects, phone ins, condemnations of the death penalty in particular and America in general.

    To not report the story shows that the BBC does not expect any better fron Johnny foreigner and their non English language speaking countries.
    Each time they ignore civil rights in non English language countries for copious reporting of lesser or “alleged” Human rights vioations in the US and UK, they further show this predjudice.

    I take it life is just wonderful in Sudan, Saudi, China et all these days.


  28. archduke says:

    Venichka – obviously i wouldnt treat that 50,000 bomber story as being entirely true- but the mere fact that such loud mouthed ranting propaganda is being spewed out by the Iranian regime should be reported on.

    its kind of like reporting on Hitler, but neglecting to cover his ranting at Nuremburg. you wouldnt get the full picture. see what i mean?


  29. Epi-Me says:

    Having said that, I wouldn’t like an untrue story to be used against the Iranian system when they could then use the discrediting of that story to discredit other stories.

    The story does need to be verified and then published (you know unlike all those Koran flushing stories), if the story broke at the weekend the BBC have had plenty of time to do so by now. And here’s me twiddling my thumbs…


  30. archduke says:

    yeah , i agree Epi. the silence on this one is odd.

    on other matters, it looks like the Nazi’s have taken power in Palestine


    1938 all over again.


  31. archduke says:

    ha ha! … look at that news story again – right hand panel – the dreaded T word appears , courtesy of fox news



  32. Venichka says:

    Archduke – well, yes, it probably should be reported in context (I think of Saddam making similar statements immediately before the 2003 war, in front of processions of ceremoniously attired “suicide bombers” – which were reported), presuming that the person who made the statement wasn’t just some random nutter.

    (mind you – the worrying thing about the current Iranian regime is that being a random nutter no longer is sufficient to prevent one from obtaining high office)

    (I couldn’t access the story I linked to – so I don’t know who it was making the statement etc, so apols if I am misinformed, etc)


  33. Noel says:


    Being a random nutter is an Iranian pre-requisite for obtaining high office.
    Remember Rafsanjani – he was the one threatening to vomit Israel out of Arab lands with nukes. He was known as a moderate.


  34. archduke says:

    looks like all the focus on iranfocus.com has made it less focused (site has crashed)

    google cache has the story:

    (note the juicy titbit – HAMAS were at the rally in Iran… )

    Tehran, Iran, Nov. 17 – Fifty thousand Iranians have signed up for “martyrdom-seeking operations” and 1,000 of them have already been organised into operational units, Mohammad-Ali Samadi, the spokesman for a government-orchestrated campaign to recruit suicide bombers told an Iranian news agency.

    Samadi was speaking a day after a rally on Tuesday in the city of Shahroud, north-east Iran, where 1,000 volunteers signed up for suicide attacks against the West and Israel. A video film of the full speech by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on October 26, in which he called for Israel to be “wiped off the map” and threatened the leaders of other Muslim countries, was shown to the audience.

    The rally, dubbed “Palestinian Intifada and Martyrdom-seeking”, was organised by the Headquarters to Commemorate the Martyrs of the Global Islamic Movement on campus at the Industrial University of Shahroud.

    “Up till now, 50,000 people have signed up for martyrdom-seeking operations throughout the country. Of these people, 1,000 have been organised into garrisons”, Samadi told the Mehr news agency, which is run by the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    Samadi is a senior officer of the Revolutionary Guards and his organisation is run by the IRGC in an effort to recruit potential suicide bombers. The representative of the militant Palestinian group, Hamas, in Iran, Abu Othmama, addressed the rally in Shahroud.

    Similar rallies have been held in the Iranian capital Tehran, as well as Tabriz and Bushehr.

    “A film on the latest suicide operation in the Occupied Territories, carried out by Hassan Abu-Zaid, was shown at the rally and was greeted with great enthusiasm”, the news agency reported.

    Earlier this month, radical fanatics signed up for suicide operations in Tehran to mark the end of the month of Ramadan.

    Samadi had previously announced that 40,000 volunteers for suicide bombing operations had enlisted to attack targets on the orders of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

    The group’s organisers previously said that their targets were three-fold; U.S.-led forces in Iraq, Jews in Israel, and Salman Rushdie, who still has a fatwa against his head issue by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.


  35. Rob White says:

    OT, Iran Blocks BBC News site,


    “The BBC has expressed concern at the action, saying it deprives many Iranians of a trusted source of news.”


  36. Rob White says:

    OT “The Reg” has a go at “Wooly liberal bbc”



  37. Bryan says:

    The Mullahs are evil incarnate. I will never forget the case of that poor girl they murdered for the ‘crime’ of having sex outside marriage. The ‘magistrate’ himself put the noose around her neck, apparently because she had talked back to him in ‘court’. Then they hanged her from a crane – if anyone can get their mind around that.

    Makes me wonder whether they have to hire cranes for the purpose. Or whether they simply cart their victim off to the nearest building site and interrupt hoisting operations for ten minutes. And then dump the body via a bulldozer at the family home.

    I believe it was some time last year that the BBC’s Owen Bennet-Jones interviewed one of Iran’s vice-presidents – a woman who had been part of the student gang that took over the American Embassy.
    They got on famously, the airwaves positively crackling with the electricity between them. No tough questions from Owen, that’s for sure.

    I don’t know whether the BBC is simply aligning itself with the enemy or whether the BBC is the enemy.

    Probably a little bit of both.


  38. archduke says:

    the bbc wouldnt know the concept of “enemy” even if it came barrelling straight at them in with a suicide bomb-belt.


  39. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    The BBC does have an Iran correspondent – Frances Harrison, I believe her name is. She sees no evil there if her anodyne reports are anything to go by so it is unlikely that the BBC will do anything to upset the mullocrazy.


  40. Peregrine says:

    Re The Reg. article

    41% choose Intelligent Design to be taught in schools?

    Do we really believe that 41% of the British population even know what Intelligent Design is?

    I am not surprised that there has possibly been a fall in belief in Evolution. People like Dawkins have turned it from being a theory that best explains species development into a sort of green religion that disproves the existance of God.


  41. TAoL says:

    Spot the difference:

    1) Five Live punters are complaining about the network’s over-the-top coverage of Galloway and Celebrity Big Brother which, of course, is a popular programme on a commercial station.

    The message board hosts argue that it is newsworthy:

    “I think it’s fair to say that this story [Big Brother] appears to be considered newsworthy by the world’s media as a whole – so singling out Five Live and the tabloid papers for a bit of a tub-thump seems a bit myopic.”


    2) A BBC punter emails Newswatch to complain about the lack of coverage of a particularly brutal execution of a teenage girl for the murder of one of her rapists in Iran. The BBC’s reply:

    “…we try to avoid running items simply because they have already been covered widely elsewhere”.

    Riiight. I think I understand. The rest of media is covering Big Brother ad nauseam, so Five Live is following suit. But the BBC prefers to “avoid” those items which are being covered elsewhere.

    Yep: that makes a lot of sense. Not.


  42. archduke says:

    well spotted Taol. well spotted.


  43. DFH says:

    Nice one TAoL. Busted!


  44. Rob Read says:

    The BBC is YOUR enemy.


  45. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    Just doing some browsing: I noticed that The Daily Telegraph’s site had a headline “Islam is a vicious, wicked faith” which relayed a report from the trial of the BNP’s Nick Griffin in Yorkshire in which Mr Griffin expanded on his opinions. I then decided to check the BBC’s version of the proceedings and, to my surprise (or maybe not), there was nothing. Now, given the fact that the case against Mr Griffin is based upon video evidence made at the BBC’s behest, why isn’t there a report by the BBC on the defence that its (BBC’s) intended victim is mounting during his trial?
    There is, however, a video of George Galloway’s first ‘in-depth interview’ since his expulsion from Big Brother’s cage.


  46. Bryan says:

    Rob Read and Archduke,

    Well, the gloves are off.

    Weirdest thing is, according to Rob White’s link at 12:59 pm above, the Iranians apparently regard the BBC as their enemy.

    Or maybe it’s not so much the BBC that the Iranians are worried about as the open door any Western site provides to the wider world.


  47. Rob White says:

    Sorry for my above re Iran and BBC – Its already been covered here.

    Ive been away.


  48. archduke says:

    much as a loathe the BNP, i thought it might be useful to point out that they are blogging about the trial here:



  49. Bryan says:

    Rob, well, I dunno. ‘Twas news to me.

    On Hamas, all those doubters who doubted the Palestinian polls indicating overwhelming support for suicide bombing of Israeli civilians need doubt no more.

    The Palestinians have thrown their weight behind the more radical of the two terror groups contesting the elections.

    Shows you what a mix of terror, youth, social work and apparent lack of corruption can achieve at the Palestinan ballot box.


  50. D Burbage says:

    O/T on the politics page at the moment there are 5 pictures of Simon Hughes….