Sandi Toksvig Update …

Drinking From Home notes Sandi Toksvig’s response to a complaint about her dewy-eyed BBC portrait of that popular holiday destination, Sudan.

Toksvig responded:

“I think that you can’t necessarily choose your country to visit because of its human rights issues. If we were to all do that we would be pretty limited in our choice of countries to go to. For my money it would almost certainly exclude the United States…

I think “moral equivalence” is the phrase we’re all looking for.

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78 Responses to Sandi Toksvig Update …

  1. Umbongo says:

    Laban

    If you’re broadcasting to an audience largely ignorant of our history (in other words almost anyone who left school after 1970) you can get away with this crap: worse, the people who are responsible for broadcasting this nonsense almost certainly believe that Gordon’s defeat at Khartoum did in fact usher in a period of “liberation” and that Omdurman ushered in a period of grinding imperial exploitation. Similarly, the secular apologists for present-day Islamic terrorism believe (or wish us to believe) that in some way it constitutes a continuation of the struggle against the selfsame imperialist exploitation so bravely resisted by the Mahdi.

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  2. Prodicus says:

    Very glad you mentioned this. I thought it was something I had eaten the night before, giving me auditory hallucinations. The other possibility that occurred was that someone had put on the wrong tape, a programme recorded many years ago. But no, it was today’s BBC, all right.

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  3. Rick says:

    I wonder if Toksvig took her new girlfriend with her to test the tolerance of the locals – I suppose Alice Arnold no longer has much to do with Toksvig even though they live nearby so she can visit the A.I. Children (no….not Artificial Intelligence)………………that’s Toksvig’s problem.

    She forgets too that Sudan was covered by the Khedive of Egypt and not the British – Gordon was on lease to the Khedive…………she should read Wikipedia and see why the Mahdi started up – it was against Arab corruption not the West…………..but she went to Cambridge and they only learn history through a Marxist prism as part of their Moscow Centre Training

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  4. Pete says:

    Maybe the BBC has decided that all the warfare and troubles in Sudan consist entirely of proportionate responses to proportionate provocations, and therefore a peaceful tourist is unlikely to be troubled by any nastiness.

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  5. Rob says:

    For the left, Slavers are fine as long as they aren’t white, it’s a “cultural thing” so mustn’t be judged, EVER.

       0 likes

  6. dave t says:

    The 1 million plus estimated WHITE slaves from the UK (Cornwall etc) as well as Europe kidnapped by the slavers are not to be mentioned either……

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  7. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    Was it not Churchill’s exploits in Sudan which woke him to the nature of islam? Not to be mentioned either.

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  8. Simpson John says:

    It was a travel programme, not a political one.

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  9. Fran says:

    John Simpson

    “It was a travel programme, not a political one.”

    Er, yes. That’s why Laban was drawing attention to the sly insertion of comments which reflect Ms Toksvig’s political views rather more accurately than they do history.

    Thanks, BTW, for the “homepage” link to the Beeb article on news and the blogosphere.

    Fascinating, particularly when one moves on to the associated “Have Your Say” section. I found the Readers Recommended option particularly enlightening and encouraging.

    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?sortBy=2&threadID=1655&edition=1&ttl=20060828203619&#paginator

    Are we being honoured with the presence of THE John Simpson – he of the many faceted head? If so, it’s a pleasure to spar with you.

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  10. AntiCitizenOne says:

    “When I want to know what the news is NOT, I turn to BBC News. Saves me time…and always good for a laugh!

    Michael, USA”

    Love it!

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  11. pounce says:

    The BBC and half a story;

    UN warns of new Darfur disaster
    The UN’s most senior humanitarian official has warned that Sudan’s Darfur region faces a new humanitarian disaster owing to lack of security.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/5293516.stm

    Yup the BBC brings out the Darfur card yet again and omits from its little post facts such as;

    1) “Sudan ignored U.S. pressure to accept U.N. troops in Darfur, sidelining Washington’s top diplomat on Africa on Monday ahead of a critical U.N. Security Council debate on quelling violence in Sudan’s western region.”
    2) “Frazer was greeted by an angry crowd telling her to go home on her arrival in Khartoum on Saturday. Her meetings with Sudanese officials since then have been described by one Foreign Ministry official as “just protocol meetings nothing else.”
    3) “The U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., John Bolton, said Sudan had decided to boycott the meeting.”
    4) “Bashir, whose government has consistently rejected U.N. forces in western Sudan, calls the resolution an attempt at a Western invasion.”
    5) “Amnesty International, in a statement on Monday, supported U.S. claims the Sudanese government was preparing a new offensive in Darfur against some rebel factions who did not sign a May peace deal.”Eyewitnesses in el-Fasher in North Darfur are telling us that Sudanese government military flights are flying in troops and arms on a daily basis,” said Kate Gilmore, Amnesty International’s executive deputy secretary general.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20060828/wl_nm/sudan_darfur_dc

    http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article17279

    http://www.khaleejtimes.ae/DisplayArticleNew.asp?xfile=data/theworld/2006/August/theworld_August951.xml&section=theworld&col=

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20060828.wdarfur0828/BNStory/International/home

    BBC telling half a story yet again.

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  12. PJ says:

    “…the sly insertion of comments which reflect Ms Toksvig’s political views..”

    The sly insertion of Ms Toksvig’s political views are what we generally get whenever Ms Toksvig gets airtime.

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  13. GCooper says:

    PJ writes: “The sly insertion of Ms Toksvig’s political views are what we generally get whenever Ms Toksvig gets airtime.”

    Or, indeed, any of the ‘comedians’ regularly employed by BBC Radio 4.

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  14. Kulibar Tree says:

    Back in the dark days of Stalin, the true communist believers couldn’t believe that Stalin himself was the instigator of all their troubles: if only he knew what was being done in his name, they thought, he’d come like some avenging angel and put all to rights.

    And so it is with the BBC and its audience – and, I fear, not a few of the contributors to this blog.

    For instance when PJ writes of “the sly insertion of Ms Toksvig’s political views are what we generally get whenever Ms Toksvig gets airtime;” or GCooper rejoins with “or indeed, any of the ‘comedians’ regularly employed by BBC Radio 4;” or when there are the regular calls for this or that Guerin or Webb to be sacked, we do need to remind ourselves that none of them operates in a vacuum – there are presumably whole layers of approving editors and producers and channel controllers past whom all their stuff has to get.

    Sacking the current bunch of agenda-toting presenters and correspondents isn’t going to make a ha’p’oth of difference as long as the whole organization is endemically corrupt.

    Cheers.

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  15. GCooper says:

    Kulibar Tree writes:

    “…there are presumably whole layers of approving editors and producers and channel controllers past whom all their stuff has to get.”

    Indeed, there are. However there’s not a lot to be gained by kvetching about the Trots in the typing pool.

    To bring the whole edifice down all one can hope to do is keep hammering at its abysmally biased output.

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  16. archduke says:

    “excess baggage”

    a metaphor for the bbc itself.

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  17. Kulibar Tree says:

    GCooper:
    “However there’s not a lot to be gained by kvetching about the Trots in the typing pool.”

    Indeed not; I’m merely suggesting the focus of attack is wrong. On the other hand, when an organization like the BBC is – to adapt one of its own beloved phrases – institutionally biased, where does one start?

    Cheers.

    PS – Archduke: nice observation, Why didn’t I think of that?

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  18. GCooper says:

    Kulibar Tree writes:

    “On the other hand, when an organization like the BBC is – to adapt one of its own beloved phrases – institutionally biased, where does one start?”

    That’s why this is, in my estimation, one of the most important blogs in the country.

    The BBC seeps its poison into almost every sphere of activity in the UK – increasingly so, as it employs its massive revenue to dig deep into new media.

    There is almost no media activity (with the exception of newspapers) in which the BBC does not abuse its position to spread its political (in the widest sense) influence.

    I can’t see activity on a party political level achieving anything while politicians remain convinced that they have to keep the BBC sweet to either stay in, or gain, power. It is, after all, the only reason why the flaccid ‘Dave’ Cameron was elected by the Tories. They couldn’t face having another leader savaged day in, day out, by the liberal media.

    Which means that any attempt to rid ourselves of this ubiquitous channel of liberal-Left propaganda has to take place outside of current party politics, with an appeal to the increasing number of people in the UK who regard the traditional parties as an utterly discredited force.

    Sooner or later something is going to give in the UK and there is going to be a major shift away from the current Lab/Con hegemony.

    If and when that happy day comes about, the more people who know that the BBC is a source of habitual bias, lies and distortions, adjusting the reality for many millions of people to what a tiny Liberal-Left elite wishes them to believe, the more likely we are to see whatever replaces the rotten buroughs of our two party state get rid of the BBC once and for all.

    It may not be much – but compared with time wasted lobbying the parliamentary whores who rule us, it is time very well spent.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Following the link posted by the Liberator of Kabul…

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4965550.stm

    …I read this:

    Only in three countries did governments score higher than the media. In the US, 67% said they trusted the government compared with 59% prepared to put their trust in the media.

    In the UK 51% trusted their government (media 47%) and in Germany 48% trusted officials (media 43%).

    So, despite the UK having a Govt. perceived to be dishonest (war in Iraq…false prospectus…blah blah) it still polls higher than the media?:lol:

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  20. hippiepooter says:

    gcooper wrote:

    “To bring the whole edifice down all one can hope to do is keep hammering at its abysmally biased output.”

    Indeed. But that simply can’t be achieved on the internet. A year or so ago a ‘John in London’ proposed an organisation with a paid spokesman to give interviews and issue press releases. Unfortunately, in my experience, despite this by far being the leading anti-BBC bias site, it doesn’t have what it takes for such an organisation to emerge from it.

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  21. disillusioned_german says:

    hippiepooter:

    You can’t fight an organisation like Al Beeb unless you have massive financial clout. I wish we had a conservative news channel (like Fox News) in both the UK and Germany. There are loads of conservative blogs on the internet but even the biggest of them can’t keep up with Al Beeb’s propaganda machine. I wish there was a solution but I don’t see one at the moment (unless there’s a very rich, conservative European with an interest in all things media-related)

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  22. gordon-bennett says:

    disillusioned_german | 29.08.06 – 3:11 am

    One suggestion is that there should be an equivalent for the beeb of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Perhaps the Conservatives could be persuaded to adopt such a policy. Perhaps such a complaints body could be given the power to fine the corporation substantial amounts (like, for example, the FSA does for the finance industry).

    However, in the end you are going to have to get through to the masses just what is going on inside the beeb. The best means for that is using the beeb itself. This is the scale of the problem we face.

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  23. Bryan says:

    It was a travel programme, not a political one.
    Simpson John

    I think this is indeed the BBC fellow, for two reasons:

    *He makes statements like the one quoted above.
    *He’s coy about clarifying whether he does in fact work for the BBC.

    “Travel programme” my foot. Isn’t it just typical of the BBC to give the genocidal regime in Sudan the thumbs up? That wouldn’t, of course, have anything to do with the fact that it’s an Islamic regime, would it?

    The BBC’s bias runs through every aspect of its output.

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  24. archduke says:

    ” GCooper | 29.08.06 – 12:18 am |”

    i’m convinced that is why 1 in 5 of the UK population want to leave the country.

    the bbc is actually a depressive influence on the nation.

    and i also see a link to the 7/7 bombers – if the BBC constantly bashes our democracy and culture, is it any wonder that IslamoNutters can come along to young Muslim lads with their “answer” to the “decadence” of the west.

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  25. John says:

    I like Sandy, and Jeremy Hardy too. They make me laugh. In fact I treat
    everything they say as a joke.

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  26. GCooper says:

    archduke writes:

    “…if the BBC constantly bashes our democracy and culture, is it any wonder that IslamoNutters can come along to young Muslim lads with their “answer” to the “decadence” of the west.”

    I’m quite sure you’re right. If the BBC constantly harps-on about the ‘wrongs’ inflicted on Moslems, is it to be wondered at that notoriously volatile Moslem youths react violently?

    As for those who believe blogs cannot change the BBC, I’m quite sure you’re wrong. The MSM takes blogging and the Internet very seriously indeed – particularly as audiences and readership figures dwindle.

    The fact that ‘John Reith’ (and others, I suspect) from the corporation spend so much time and effort to nit-pick, shows just how worried they are.

    If they didn’t care, they wouldn’t bother.

    Getting rid of the pervasive drip-drip of politically motivated distortions emanating from the BBC and its fellow travellers won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. But look at what is happening in the USA – where blogs have had longer to bite.

    The momentum is against the monoliths of the MSM. And they know it.

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  27. Jack Bauer says:

    One might have thought that Ms Tosvig, being a raving lesbian, would have had a healthy interest in female genitalia, including the Clitoris.

    So it is surprising that she seemed remarably unconcerned in the practice of the “Clitorectomy”. A barbaric ritual performed on 90% of the young females of the Sudan.

    Please note, this is not for the easily offended…
    http://wakingbear.com/africa1.htm

    Infibulation
    “In the Horn of Africa – Djibouti, Somalia, the Sudan and parts of Ethiopia – the most severe and harmful form of cutting, infibulation, is practiced.

    In this procedure, the clitoris and some or all of the small genital lips are cut away. Then an incision is made in the large lips so the raw surfaces can be stitched together, covering the urethra and most of the vagina. Only a small opening, as tiny as a matchstick or as large as a small fingertip, is left to pass urine and menstrual blood, said Nahid Toubia, a Sudanese surgeon who is an associate professor of clinical public health at Columbia University.”

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  28. Ralph says:

    ‘It was a travel programme, not a political one.’

    Which is why perhaps ST should have presented an accurate summary of the situation in the country.

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  29. disillusioned_german says:

    GCooper: I don’t underestimate the power of bloggers (otherwise I’d be utterly depressed and not just disillusioned) but we have to face the fact that we’re up against the mightiest (and wealthiest) propaganda outfit the world has ever seen. Therefore I don’t think blogging alone will achieve much. Where’s the right-wing George Soros? I can’t believe people like Bill Gates or Warren Buffett are actually closet socialists.

    What political views does Richard Branson have? (I could look it up but I’m on my way out for my nightly jogging round so maybe someone could educate me). Cheers.

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  30. Pete says:

    The BBC has a guaranteed income. Nobody at the BBC will lose their job if people don’t buy its products. If the BBC were a car it would be the Austin Allegro. That car was made not because anyone really wanted it but because the government forced the taxpayer to pay to have it made. The workers of Birmingham didn’t quite have the same social standing as the public school types at the BBC so we don’t have the Austin Allegro anymore, but we do still have the BBC.

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  31. Laban says:

    Apologies for changing the post ! From here on comments are ambulance – related …

    (although to the guy who said “we’re up against the mightiest (and wealthiest) propaganda outfit the world has ever seen” – I’d just like to quote Thomas Hardy to you.

    “continual dropping will wear away a Stone – ay, more – a Diamond.”

    and the BBC’s no diamond …)

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  32. PJF says:

    Laban, compare the ambulance damage to this on a Reuters vehicle from a couple of days ago:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5289984.stm
    http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=newsOne&storyID=2006-08-27T071956Z_01_L26776476_RTRUKOC_0_US-MIDEAST-EXPLOSION.xml&WTmodLoc=Home-C2-TopNews-newsOne-9

    The damage in these shots is much more akin to the alleged ambulance hit than to the destroyed vehicle in the link you provided. Last I saw (a couple of days ago) Zombie thought the Reuters hit story was genuine but exaggerated. Zombie takes a profoundly different view of the ambulance story – and it isn’t clear to me why.

    As a matter of detail, the major hole in the ambulance roof is indeed mostly the pre-cut aperture for the vent cover – but interestingly the apparent impact gouge on the edge of that aperture is similar in size to the holes in the Reuters vehicle roof. The Reuters vehicle roof also has rapid rusting.

    It strikes me that both incidents could be based on truth – a hit from Israeli fire (kinetic rounds, not explosive missiles) – and subsequently embellished in “Green Helmet” style.

    BTW, I think the BBC story on the Reuters hit is typically biased. It’s the only one in which I’ve seen the word “rocket” used.
    .

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  33. GCooper says:

    d_g writes:

    “What political views does Richard Branson have? (I could look it up but I’m on my way out for my nightly jogging round so maybe someone could educate me).”

    I’m afraid you’re out of luck there. I doubt if even Bransom knows what his political views are. On the few TV programmes where he has attempted to pass opinions, he has come across as a complete bimbo.

    My own impression of Bransom is that he isn’t even a fraction as clever as many suppose him to be. Cunning, yes.
    But otherwise about as intellectually gifted as a doorknob.

    As for the potential of blogs to change the BBC, I’m 100 per cent with Laban on this.

    It won’t be easy and it won’t be quick – but the MSM is already worried and, eventually, we will prevail.

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  34. Biodegradable says:

    “What political views does Richard Branson have? (I could look it up but I’m on my way out for my nightly jogging round so maybe someone could educate me).”

    http://ibiblio.org/mal/MO/philm/friends/branson.html

    http://ibiblio.org/mal/MO/philm/friends/andrew.html#tourist

    The underground was always incredibly entrepreneurial. When you think about what they managed to do with their limited resources – they didn’t have merchant banks coming round and throwing money at them – was pretty amazing that people could actually produce these things and I think they gave a lot of hope to other entrepreneurs. Branson was around, but he was only a tourist. He always was a Tory and an exploiter of the trends. He didn’t bother with the hardcore underground, but he was very good at the fringes. He would have been found out, disparaged and vilified if he had tried to join in properly.

    http://ibiblio.org/mal/MO/philm/friends/stan.html

    http://www.suck.com/daily/1997/05/05/

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  35. GCooper says:

    Biodegradable writes:
    ” Branson was around, but he was only a tourist. He always was a Tory and an exploiter of the trends. He didn’t bother with the hardcore underground, but he was very good at the fringes. He would have been found out, disparaged and vilified if he had tried to join in properly.””

    Apologies for typing Bransom earlier – it’s late.

    You know, if he really were a Tory it wouldn’t be so bad – though I can well understand why an old hippy might call him one.

    Having watched him on Question Time and other programmes, I don’t really think he can be described as a Tory. He’s just a pretty typical amoral businessman with the usual meretricious instincts.

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  36. disillusioned_german says:

    Thanks, guys… very interesting!

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  37. Anonymous says:

    Simpson John:
    It was a travel programme, not a political one.
    Simpson John | Homepage | 28.08.06 – 8:21 pm | #

    Oh well, that’s okay then. Let’s have more biased crap from Sandi Toxic, Mark Steel, Jeremy Hardy et al. on the “impartial” Beeb.

       0 likes

  38. Market Participant says:

    “Was it not Churchill’s exploits in Sudan which woke him to the nature of islam?”

    Chinese Gordon was the best thing to ever happen to the Sudan. And Sudanese Arabs woke Churchill to the nature of Islam.

    The BBC just can;t bring itself to understand that the Sudanese Arabs have been trying to exterminate/enslave the Southern Blacks for over 200 years.

    This doesn’t depend on if the blacks in question are muslim or not. It is pure Arab racism directed at all non arabs. If the blacks are non-muslim, their abuse is justified by the Sudanese Arabs on two levels.

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  39. Bryan says:

    Looks like the Lebanese have taken a leaf out of the Palestinian book when it comes to the abuse of ambulances in conflict zones.

    Here follows evidence of that abuse. Scroll down for the articles:

    http://www.rantburg.com/qsearch.php?q=ambulance&N=6

    10/06/2002
    25/04/2002
    12/04/2002
    04/04/2002
    29/03/2002
    08/03/2002
    30/01/2002

    http://www.rantburg.com/qsearch.php?q=ambulance&N=5

    22/06/2003
    12/12/2002
    30/06/2002

    http://www.rantburg.com/qsearch.php?q=ambulance&N=4

    05/10/2004
    02/06/2004
    14/05/2004

    http://www.rantburg.com/qsearch.php?q=ambulance&N=3

    23/11/2004
    04/11/2004
    03/11/2004
    02/11/2004
    19/10/2004
    17/10/2004

    http://www.rantburg.com/qsearch.php?q=ambulance&N=2

    08/09/2005

    http://www.rantburg.com/qsearch.php?q=ambulance&N=1

    28/07/2006 (Video of armed, unwounded Hamas members getting into UN ambulance.)

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  40. archduke says:

    “The MSM takes blogging and the Internet very seriously indeed – particularly as audiences and readership figures dwindle.”

    the latest stats out of the U.S. show that the crucial 15 to 35 year old demographic gets most of its news from – the internet. freefall figures on radio listenership. newspapers declining. tv audiences shrinking.

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  41. RB says:

    People get their news from the net but from online versions of the print and broadcast media or compilations thereof. I can’t see the day when blogs are used by anyone sensible for news per se as they tend to be written by the more politically extreme who believe their views aren’t represented in the MSM and reflect this.

    Also non professional journalists can’t generally follow a story on site. ‘Reporting’ on (say) Iraq or even London from a bedroom in Inverness aided by ‘facts’ from a host of other sites written by people in Barnsley and Gillingham tends towards Chinese whispers. Where blogs are good is for the occasional bit of investigative analysis of MSM stories amongst the dross and for a good laugh/argument, but I wouldn’t be getting aspirations beyond this.

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  42. max says:

    PJF,
    You have a point there.
    Hotair did an analysis by a reader claiming to be an intel expert who’s done some work on battle-damage assessment about the possibility that the Reuters truck was hit by some sort of an IDF missile here:
    http://hotair.com/archives/2006/08/29/reuters-van-attack-70mm-unguided-rocket/
    This post by Ace about seeing fakes everywhere is also useful to this debate (I agree with him):
    http://ace.mu.nu/archives/194519.php
    Later, a possibility is raised about Reuters being hit by sharpnel (third update):
    http://hotair.com/archives/2006/08/29/fauxphotography-did-the-windshield-on-the-reuters-van-magically-heal-itself/

    It is theoretically possible that the Reuters van was hit by a missile. However, there’s a difference between the two incidents. The Reuters vehicle was armoured While the Red Cross ambulances were not. Zombie’s analysis is still very compelling. Take out one argument (the rust for example), you’d still have the rest to refute.
    Red Cross removing the relevant hi-res images from its website doesn’t add credibility either.

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  43. GCooper says:

    RB writes:

    “I can’t see the day when blogs are used by anyone sensible for news per se as they tend to be written by the more politically extreme who believe their views aren’t represented in the MSM and reflect this.”

    Personally, I consider the BBC, the Guardian and the Independent to be written by people with extreme political views and, as such, no more trustworthy than you are suggesting are blogs.

    As for getting one’s news from blogs, a year ago I might have agreed with you. Now I find a quick scan of a handful of MSM sites for the raw data gives me the basic facts.

    Increasingly, where I might then have once read one or two newspapers, I now look for that analysis on blogs – not to mention the stories MSM outlets are too scared or too biased to print.

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  44. Anonymous says:

    The main stream media are shitting their pants right now…..

    People are waking up to the net….

    They can get honest news……from the net…..

    And now they can get “entertainment” from places like Google Video and YouTube……….

    TV and Global Media are Obsolete…….simpy Obsolete…they are dyig, and they know it………

    Anyone who still thinks the mainstream TV Media is “the future” is just an old man refusing to accept the new world….

    TV and the BBC are dead……long live the interent..

       0 likes

  45. archduke says:

    “RB | 30.08.06 – 9:42 am ”

    http://www.michaeltotten.com

    bedroom blogger who actually goes out there and reports from the middle east.

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  46. Biodegradable says:

    GCooper

    … and an exploiter of the trends..””

    You know, if he really were a Tory it wouldn’t be so bad – though I can well understand why an old hippy might call him one.

    I think perhaps the latter part of that sentence (above) qualifies it.

    The other page gives more of an insight of his view of politics and his ‘business model’:
    http://ibiblio.org/mal/MO/philm/friends/stan.html

    I met some guys giving out leaflets in Oxford Street, from an organisation called Help, which Richard Branson had set up. It gave help to young down and outs, druggies, lost children and so on. They needed people to give out leaflets: badly paid, but a job straight away, working with people who seemed to be like myself. I got on well with Branson and he was setting up a new magazine that was to be the backbone of Help, ‘Student’ magazine. I’d written a lot in Australia and had pretensions to becoming a journalist, and he suggested I work on the magazine, which I did.

    The editorial board was made up of pretty interesting people, but we soon realised that ‘Student’ was just a vehicle for selling advertising, for bringing in money and thus its motivation became questionable. The more we began talking about real political stuff, talking genuinely about the contradictions in English society, the more Branson became worried and clamped down on us writing that kind of article. In the end ‘Student’ was just a cover-up job. It did sell, it was probably well-received at the beginning, but it was not intended as an organ of youth dissidence, it was just the usual advertising hype.

    We confronted Branson with our views, and with the facts that we weren’t willing to continue working if we weren’t allowed to write what we wanted. Branson got very uptight and gave us an ultimatum: knuckle down to the line, or leave. He wanted to get rid of everybody but me, I don’t know why. There were six or seven of us and we decided unanimously not to back down. he fired the others and in solidarity I left too. There was another complication with Branson: I had started chatting up his charming and beautiful sister…

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  47. RB says:

    GC,

    I don’t read analysis anyway unless its by an acknowledged expert in a particular field. As you say, if you scan a cross section of the quality press and the news weeklies you can get the basic facts and come to your own conclusions. Why should some idiot in a bedroom somewhere whose views are hopelessly skewed by the echo chamber/chinese whispers effect influence me?

    I acknowledge that there are some useful niche sites out there and the checking/questioning factor is undoubtedly good for keeping the pros on their toes. Problem is once you’ve been told about what’s happening in your city which utterly conflicts with the reality of living and working there and the teller is thousands of miles away and refuses to back down on the basis that they’ve got lots of blog links to prove it, then cynicism sets in very quickly.

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  48. Biodegradable says:

    Melanie Phillips is back with The media war against Israel

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  49. Biodegradable says:

    Look who’s on the front page http://news.bbc.co.uk/ (International version)

    http://newsimg.bbc.co.uk/media/images/42029000/jpg/_42029300_woman_afp203index.jpg

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  50. RB says:

    As Mel hates Britain and its people so much and appears to provide her allegiences wholly to a foreign state isn’t it time we packed her off along with the traitorous ‘British’ Islamists. I’m getting a bit f**ked off with her telling me how loathsome I am.

    Anyway, one of Mels bolder predictions was that if a ceasefire was agreed prior to the utter destruction of Hezbollah, it’s weaponry, supporters etc etc etc, this would inevitably result in a ‘second holocaust of the Jewsih people’. On the basis that this is now looking like distasteful sensationalist boll*cks I assume she’ll be retracting it publically.

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