I’m afraid this is a post that was meant to appear several days ago. I intended to press “publish” before we went away for a few days, but in the rush of packing it didn’t happen. Some elements may also have been mentioned in the 2,390,766 emails and comments I haven’t read; consider yourselves hat-tipped in spirit.
- Incoming email:
Today programme, July 29th. The reporter, only asked British Muslims what they thought of the Lebanon crisis. NOBODY else. There were masses of e-mails complaining , Carolyn (?)Quinn admitted.
- Hat tip to James Hammett for alerting me to an article by James Taranto: BB “C” no evil. It’s about how the peculiarly ghastly murders committed by Samir Quantar were described by the BBC. Interestingly our commenters report that this story started off giving a non-sanitized account, and then was edited to blandness.
- That’s the reverse of the usual order of events, in which the story starts off bland and – possibly as an effect of scrutiny by blogs such as this one – gradually fills in some of the omitted details. The usual order appears to have been followed in the evolution of the Seattle murder.
- Kudos to the Mr Buchanan of the BBC World Service programme Newshour for this hard-hitting interview with a Hezbollah representative, as described by Bryan in comments.
- In this post for Samizdata, Paul Marks points out an all-too-typical error in an article for BBC History magazine on education in the nineteenth century.
- The way the Beeb dealt with the Mel Gibson affair wasn’t so much biased as panic-stricken. Nigel’s email was typical:
Wearing your Biased BBC hat, I thought that you might be interested in two stories about Mel Gibson’s drink-driving incident, one from The Sunday Times (link) and one from BBC News (link).
The BBC report seems to be missing something…
The BBC did get round to mentioning what Gibbers actually said eventually, but one can only wonder exactly why they didn’t at first. Can’t have been that they thought “Mel Gibson got drunk” was the newsworthy part of the story. Can’t have been that they had a soft spot for the man; while they might have done while he was making anti-English movies, I doubt it extended to the maker of The Passion of the Christ. My best guess is that the BBC has got so used to playing down the anti-semitism of its favoured victim groups that they just did it out of habit.
Please use this thread for off-topic, but preferably BBC related, comments. Please keep comments on other threads to the topic at hand. N.B. this is not an invitation for general off-topic comments – our aim is to maintain order and clarity on the topic-specific threads. This post will remain at or near the top of the blog. Please scroll down to find new topic-specific posts.
Ok. Well, it appears I was wrong in the observation posted here about the lack of BBC coverage of a pro-Israel march. Sorry folks. Thanks to those who pointed out BBC coverage such as this. I heard all about the anti-Israel marches that had been held just before; nothing about this. It’s impossible for me to evaluate the coverage and say whether it was proportionate in the light of what’s emerged so that’s my testimony.
Referring to the other matter I mentioned, I think that giving coverage to 60 protestors against an arms fair is to open the way to inconsistency: how many more protests with a strength of 60 will they ignore in the future? How can they justify it?
And btw the BBC’s search facility sucks completely. No hard feelings though.
As part of its services to the chattering classes, the BBC has been
preaching teaching how to say “Qana”. Important stuff, I am sure, for making up anti-war chants and for feeling comfortable in that after-dinner conversation mode.
The Beeb have also been quick to help define what we’re to associate with “Qana”- an Israeli ‘war crime’.
Once more this brings into question why the BBC gives such prominence to the views of pressure groups. Why pressure groups and not blogs like this or this? Blogs after all have their international associations and expertise, just like pressure groups.
Unlike the BBC and HRW these blogs have emerged because they give credit to details. It’s detail that reveals the truth of things. It used to be known as “journalism”, but since that word has been misappropriated into meaning ‘making a difference’, maybe we’ll have to think of a new word that means reporting what happens. Suggestions welcome in comments.
(all links from other people: Ritter, Archduke, Melanie Phillips. Hat tips to all)