I think it can be safely said that the BBC views the United Nations as “the world’s highest moral authority” insofar as it’s coverage of this institutionalised vast bloated corruption is always glowing. So when the UN Security Council condemns the violence and intimidation against Zimbabwe’s opposition party, the BBC runs with this and no tough questions are posed as to what these words amount to. It also throws in a few specious lines about the brave attempts by South African President Mbeke to find a solution to the Zimbabwean nightmare . This is pathetic stuff. The UN, and Mbeke, have done NOTHING to seriously pressurise the thug Mugabe. In fact Mbeke has given years of tacit support to his Marxist pal Mugabe. What is happening in Zimbabwe demonstrates two truths which sit uneasily with Beebview. It shows the utter impotence of the UN to do anything of substance and demonstrates the callous disregard that South Africa’s President has for the suffering of those poor people under the jackboot of Mugabe.

Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Paul McLaughlan says:

    I was starting to think there was more than one Mbeki! It seems to me that none of our NGOs truly care about the Zimbabwean people. Why can’t the BBC do some half decent analysis of the build up and the players?


  2. Cockney says:

    absolutely correct, if absolutely nothing can be done (which is probably the case short of starving the entire country to death, let’s face it) the Beeb should come out and admit it.

    incidentally how come John Simpson is “in Harare” – i thought the beeb were banned from zimbabwe due to their “disgracefully biased coverage” of big bad bob’s regime?


  3. Joel says:

    I have something for you to ponder…

    I think you can all agree that Orla Guerin is completely biased against Israel, part of the BBC’s left wing bla bla bla. So why then was her report last night on the 10 O’Clock News about Zimbabwe, so biased against Mugabe? It was very critical.
    And how do you square this with the BBC and its campaign to shill for Mugabe?

    And how do you explain that this was then follwed by a highly complimentary report about John McCain?

    Its a conundrum inside a mystery. Or maybe some of your presumptions are incorrect? Sit down if your head starts to spin.


  4. Cockney says:

    joel, i can’t see any suggestion here that the beeb is shilling for mugabe (quite the opposite). the complaint is that they aren’t exactly probing the complete inadequacy of the UN, Africa etc etc in dealing with the situation. i’m no fan of the bush administration but it does strike me that the iraqi shambles is presented as an appalling failure of foreign policy, whereas the foreign policy which has failed to address what is starting to look like genocide zim isn’t questioned at all.


  5. Anonymous says:

    Joel | Homepage | 24.06.08

    Joel, comprehension may not be your strongest point, but re-read (assuming you actually read it first time) the post and you’ll see it’s about how the BBC views the UN. You know, that body that can’t actually get round to doing anything about Mugabe, Darfur, Iranian nukes, North Korean nukes, removing Saddam, saving Rwanda, saving Srebrenica etc. etc.

    No, the UN is above criticism for al-Beeb so you’ll have to look to other outlets for in-depth coverage of UN failures.


  6. Hugh says:

    Joel: “And how do you explain that this was then follwed by a highly complimentary report about John McCain?”

    I don’t know, did the highly complimentary report also give air time to the guy who says McCain is lying when he said he was tortured (the Beeb being suddenly very relaxed about libel)?


  7. Joel says:

    I read, I comprehended. The original post wasn’t really worth commenting on. But I thought I would put some tiny minds into a spin by asking this, given that Zimbabwe was covered on the News at 10 last night.

    Coverage of UN failures, a brief search revealed:

    Did the report about McCain also give air time to the guy who says he is lying about being tortured.

    Yes, Tran Trong Duyet was in charge of the notorious Hoa Lo prison. The report pointed out that his denial that torture went has no real bearing on reality.


  8. thud says:

    You can’t really expect members of the communist trained black liberation murderers club to condemn each other can you?…where is St Nelson in all this?


  9. Cockney says:

    I’m sure there has been reporting on UN embarrassments in the past, but that doesn’t explain the lack of aggressive questioning about the effectiveness of their action (or lack thereof) on Zimbabwe?


  10. Ryan says:

    They seem pretty supportive of Mugabe here – quite an astonishing piece about Mugabe “the comeback king” from John Simpson, the man that gets all his best stories from local barber shops.


  11. Hugh says:

    “The report pointed out that his denial that torture went has no real bearing on reality.”

    Did it really, or was it more along the lines that “his version of events is impossible to verify – and should be treated with caution”, as in the web report, which leaves it as an open question?

    And it’s a bit odd, isn’t it, that the Beeb is so carefree about making libelous claims, which – as you point out – have no basis in reality (and which all the UK press have avoided)? Contrast that with its selective reporting of some of the slurs on Obama.

    And on the subject of the UN, do you honestly believe the fact that the BBC has (along with everyone else) sometimes carried reports reflecting on it badly is proof that it’s not biased? By that logic it seems the BBC really isn’t necessary, since the Mail, Guardian and the rest of them are already models of impartial reporting.


  12. David Preiser (USA) says:

    thud | Homepage | 24.06.08 – 11:41 am |

    Good point about St. Nelson. Which makes me wonder, where’s that other Nobel Laureate African peacemaker, Bishop Desmond Tutu? Oh, that’s right.


  13. Jason says:

    I’m sick to death of the BBC’s obsession with Zimbabwe to be honest. Every morning I hear the BBC world service devote 20 straight minutes to the country, top story every time. It’s like they’re fishing for awards. Do we need to hear a full-on documentary about Zimbabwe every morning? According to the BBC, it’s been the most important story in the world for weeks now. I beg to differ.


  14. Dr R says:

    I posted a message on the loathsome BBC’s Five LIve MB that was vaguely critical of St Nelson’s abject silence on Zimbabwe yesterday…. it was instantly banned.


  15. David Preiser (USA) says:

    I can explain the why the BBC reporting on Zimbabwe can include both criticism of Mugabe and their extraordinary efforts to advocate keeping him in power.

    The hypocrisy works this way: As Cockney and Anonymous have already said, this is really about the BBC’s misguided deference to the UN. They are just like the rest of the Leftoid world in that their default position is that only the UN has the moral authority to do whatever, and that we must follow their lead.

    Just yesterday on the World Service they had several Zimbabweans and Africans from neighboring countries saying that this was insane, the UN was useless, somebody has to do something. The BBC ladies would not tolerate that. (More comments on that here.) When one of the callers suggested regime change, Chloe Tilly leapt to the mic (this was audible) and asked, “Are you suggesting a coup?” in the most accusatory tone. This tone was evident any time one of the BBC ladies tried to stop one of the guests from saying that somebody had to do something. The tone was the same one uses when speaking to a puppy that has failed to do its business on the newspaper.

    The other BBC rule, equally enforced in yesterday’s piece as well as every other report, is that the best solution is for African countries to do something, led by South Africa. Now, the African guests yesterday agreed with me and just about everyone here when they said that this was a joke as well.

    Now for the sick bit: The BBC wants the UN to do, well, something. But they also want African nations to do the work on the ground. To the uninformed (or self-deluded), this sounds very nice, and gets around any problems of post-Colonial guilt. However, it is well known that UN troops in Africa who come from African countries are notorious for engaging in child abuse, exploitation of women, and corruption. The BBC always likes to turn a blind eye to this, and I find it unconscionable that they would still advocate sending the same troops in who engaged in some pretty awful abuses in other parts of Africa where we left it to the UN and only African troops.

    Basically, the BBC advocates against removing Mugabe from power, with the lone exception of action from the UN. Sadly, that action is most likely never going to happen, and they know it. Even more sadly, if it did happen, the resulting trauma to the people of Zimbabwe would be infinitely worse than if military action was led by non-African nations.

    Because the BBC is stuck on stupid, they are essentially advocating keeping Mugabe in power. They spoke to several people from Zimbabwe and the environs yesterday, and have done so in two or three other shows in the last week or so. In each case, the majority of Africans say this is insane, somebody has to do something, and the BBC refuses to hear it, sticking with their entrenched position.

    They are not impartial on this issue at all. Mugabe may be bad, but regime change by white people is far, far worse, and out of the question.


  16. Martin says:

    Can I just say I don’t give a flying fig about Zimbabwe? Hey so another African Country has a despot dictator runnig it. What’s new?


  17. Mugwump says:

    I think it’s clear that the BBC has already jumped off the Mugabe bandwagen, but this is nothing more than a tactical retreat. When the dust finally settles, we will be told the fault for everything lies with Western countries for (1) propping up the dictator, and (2) not intervening sooner to restore democracy. Just wait and see.


  18. David Preiser (USA) says:


    Shhh! Don’t encourage them!


  19. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Irony lost on John Simpson:

    There are plenty of people here who do not even know yet that Morgan Tsvangirai has dropped out of the political race.

    That is not entirely surprising. The official media scarcely mentions Mr Tsvangirai or the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) unless they are obliged to.

    The main English-language television news programme at 8pm each evening on the ZBC is an hour-long paean of praise to Mr Mugabe and his past record.

    The programme’s reporting merges imperceptibly with the frequent election advertisements for Mr Mugabe. If anything, the reporters and newscasters praise him more than his own party hacks.



  20. gus says:

    Sit down at your desks LIBTARDS, school is in session.
    The U.N. is the subject.

    The U.N. is the Ultimate wet dream for your average LIBTARD.
    It is a CORRUPT, IMPOTENT, SOCIALIST EXPERIMENT that went very wrong.
    Here’s why LIBTARDS.
    When you give bureaucratic SOCIALIST HACKS, someone else’s money to spread around like socialist Johnny Appleseeds, without accountability to those who gave your the “seeds”, you are asking for trouble.
    The U.N. has long ceased to be anything but a Commie piggy bank.
    And that is why you have wet undies libs. Because you are abject failures, and in the U.N. you have someone else’s money to spend on cause that make you feel good, but do nothing of any consequence.
    Liberals are immoral, and pretend to care about certain things. But they don’t care, unless it includes someone elses cash.


  21. Anonymous says:

    The last sentence from the John Simpson is almost beyond paody

    ”The moral is clear: never underestimate Robert Mugabe’s ferocious determination to stay in power, nor the ability of his political opponents to destroy their own case.”

    I suppose if they’d let themselves to continue being beaten up and murdered the opponents would have strengthened their case?


  22. deegee says:

    The BBC has pet projects but I doubt Zimbawe is one of them.
    1) The ‘Left’ hasn’t adopted Zimbawe as a unifying issue, as they have Israel/Palestine and previously Apartheid era South Africa.
    2) There is no Muslim element.
    3) There is no Global Warming element.
    4) There is no American element.
    5) The BBC is essentially not represented in Zimbawe and in any case it’s not a comfortable post.
    6) Zimbawe was formerly British and formerly white-controlled. There are probably a pool of BBC people originating in the area or with relatives. That makes Zimbawe the flavour of the month but doesn’t ensure longevity to the story. Australia, New Zealand etc., come into the same category i.e. more likely to receive coverage than say Chad, Bhutan or Ecuador but not constantly in the news.

    IMHO Mugabe will be ‘reelected’ and the we will hear no more a month after.


  23. Peter says:

    “I think you can all agree that Orla Guerin is completely biased against Israel, part of the BBC’s left wing bla bla bla. So why then was her report last night on the 10 O’Clock News about Zimbabwe, so biased against Mugabe? It was very critical”

    Robert Mugabe is Jewish?


  24. Robin says:

    Danny Finkelstein in the Times has very trenchant observations about John Simpson’s reporting from Harare:


  25. Hugh says:

    Anonymous: The last sentence from the John Simpson is almost beyond paody

    Yes, but you’re forgetting, this isn’t just reporting, this is John Simpson reporting. Hard facts, expert opinion, balance, impartiality – none of these matter. What’s important is that we know what the great man thinks.


  26. Hugh says:

    That piece by Finkelstein (a new recruit to the tiny minority of extremists who seem to have a problem with some BBC reports) is bang on – particularly where he picks up on this paragraph:

    “As for Mr Tsvangirai, he only gets a substantial mention on television when he is being attacked. One rather well-made advertisement lists him with Tony Blair, George W Bush and Gordon Brown as members of the “failures club”.”

    As Finkelstein puts it: “He seems to think Mugabe has been very clever. He hasn’t been. He is a murdering thug.”

    Actually, I suspect the reason Simpson is impressed by this advert is simply that it has a dig at Bush – my enemy’s enemy and all that.


  27. Robin says:

    WatOne today gave Martin Sorrell, the boss of advertising company WPP, an absurdly easy ride over his company’s role in devising the murderous Mugabe’s election advertising camapaign. Sorrell came up with a far-fetched story about not knowing that the woman who ran his Zimbabwe office (clue: surname Mugabe) was not linked to Zanu PF. She was in fact, Mugabe’s niece. So the boss didn’t know that his main Zimbabwe agent was related to the president. How strange! – especially as advertising works on such links.

    He said lugubriously that now that he had been disabused, he was trying to sell the business. Presenter Martha Kearney politely rolled over and accepted the guff.


  28. Robin says:

    There is one too many ‘not’s’ in my previous posting. Ms Mugabe, is, of course, linked to Zanu PF.


  29. gus says:

    Why is it that LIBTARDS never notice murderous dictators. They look the other way as people are murdered, raped and starved.
    Yet Guantanamo and it’s resident terrorists get them turgid?
    Why is that?
    Why are LIBTARDS always on the side of the bad guy?


  30. deegee says:

    I wonder if John Simpson’s reporting is just plain laziness or has he been intimidated?

    Has he interviewed Morgan Tsvangirai?

    Wouldn’t that be Journalism 101?


  31. The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

    Joel | Homepage | 24.06.08 – 11:32 am |
    The report pointed out that his denial that torture went has no real bearing on reality.

    Oh come on kid, you can’t be that naive, how old are you?

    As an experiment imagine David Vance as a cross between Dawn French, Diane Abbott and Ian Paisley. Imagine it. Think. Now every time you think about Mr Vance that image will be somewhere, no matter how deeply hidden, in your subconscious.

    Do you see?

    The same applies to the BBCs lies about McCain. It doesn’t matter how they pass off comments as untrue. Once an accusation is made against someone one does not like then that idea is embeded as part of the schema that one uses to view them.

    So McCain is a liar, he wasn’t tortured. That’s the BBC message.

    Apologies to Mr Vance. You are more of a cross between Ian Paisley and, erm, er, Ulrika? 🙂


  32. gaping maw says:

    “Jason | 24.06.08 – 2:42 pm ”

    i agree – i cant for the life of me understand the fixation on zimbabwe.

    its just yet another tinpot dictatorship – of which there are plenty in the world.

    i guess its down to the BBC’s UN fixation, as David pointed out above.

    if the UN utters some “resolution” , then the BBC follows – as if the UN was some secular version of the Pope.


  33. David Vance says:

    Cattle Prod,

    Given me dislike of both Dr Paisley and my indifference to the not quite so lovely Ulrika, I’ll take that as a compliment.


  34. The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

    Mr Vance
    I thought the smiley gave the game away – apparently not.

    Besides which I have a sneeking admiration for Dr No. At least he, sort of, stuck to his principles – no matter how awful they were. As to the lovelu Ulrika, I prefer to see her as a broken butterfly. I would, but I wouldn’t tell her my real name.

    It is a compliment, you see. Of sorts 🙂

    (hint note the smiley)


  35. Reverand T Time says:

    Ditto here in T Time house re the beebs constant recent obsession with Zimbabwe and its on/off election… chances are, and granted i know not one rats ass about the opposition, but even if this other chap got in who pulled out recently, give him a few yrs and he will be slated for lining his pockets with the nations wealth and grimly clinging to power like most African leaders….

    also, John ‘I liberated Kabul’ Simpsons report of late do seem more like the ramblings of a man who is taking his position a bit too seriously… hes a reporter, a journo, whos job it is to get facts, analyse them, then report…. something he seems to sadly neglect of late without delivering them with an air of a messiah.


  36. gus says:

    Why do people pretend that Zimbabwe is having free elections. Why is it so hard for “news” organizations to tell us the news. Mugabe is a criminal. This is not in doubt. Why is it that George Bush is treated one way and real live dictators are treated better?

    Because the BBC and most of the American media is filled with liberal buffoons. Buffoons with a liberal agenda.


  37. Hugh says:

    Compare and contrast:

    US pledges to ignore the result of the Zimbabwe poll and we’re treated to an analysis by Frei concentrating on why this will have absolutely no effect (its because the US has lost its moral authority, of course; if only Sweden was the remaining superpower).

    Elsewhere: ‘UN condemns Zimbabwe poll’ – impact on Mugabe: zero. So has the UN lost its moral authority as well (no laughing at the back)? Well, there’s no analysis unfortunately, but, in fact, the previous article by Frei also answer this question: It was the US’s coalition of the willing in Iraq and Afghanistan that eroded the UN’s authority (otherwise they’d be right in there, as they were in, um, you know, that place, er…) – so it’s America’s fault again. Whodathunkit. Nothing to do with China and Russia after all. Not entirely sure how Frei’s analysis explains Rwanda, but there we go.


  38. BaggieJonathan says:

    Mandela is 90 and not in power.

    He has not been vocal about Mugabe.

    He feels a misguided sense that he should leave such statements to the current ANC (which by the way Zuma is fast doing and he will soon be president of South Africa, it is Mbeki that is the useless clown soon to be ousted who does nothing).

    Behind the scenes Mandela has pushed Mbeki hard only on two issues, AIDS in South Africa (which he succeeded in changing Mbeki’s policy) and Mugabe/Zimbabwe (which he has not).

    But I may point out he asked Mugabe to stand down several years ago, long before many of those who are doing so now.

    Yes he could stand out and speak publicly now, but he has to weigh up if that would be counterproductive.

    In this specific case the criticism of Mandela is harsh.

    Perhaps if some real action against Zimbabwe was taken we might get the desired change:
    Neighbours including South Africa to close borders and cease trading
    Big trading partners to boycott – this includes you China
    Arming the opponents of Mugabe if absolutely needed, sticks won’t defeat guns
    And a bit less hypocrisy, talking up our sanctions whilst Anglo american and Barclays amongst others are putting heavy investment into Zimbabwe.
    Zimbabwe is already in a billionaires hell, only a little will cause such outrage that Mugabe and his cronies will be pushed out from within.


  39. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Hugh | 25.06.08 – 10:08 am |

    Thanks for pointing that out. I just sent in the following comment to the HYS associated with Frei’s article:

    “Has Matt Frei completely lost it? The UN has always been useless, and looked the other way whenever a vicious tyrant got up to no good. I have to listen to Frei and his anti-Bush and anti-Conservative bias far too often on BBC America to tolerate more lying from him The UN has no moral authority because it allows non-democratic totalitarian countries to sit on the Human Rights Council, Oil for Food, Rwanda, Bosnia and Kosovo. Matt Frei just hates Bush, and is an unprofessional broadcaster.”

    It’s Fully Moderated, so it will never see the light of day. But at least some Leftoid at the on-side moderation firm will get annoyed for two seconds.


  40. BaggieJonathan says:

    Don’t bother waiting for the UN to do something about Zimbabwe.

    More chance of hell freezing over or Bin Laden converting to being a Quaker.

    That would be the same useless UN that…
    did nothing to stop the genocide in Rwanda,
    nothing to stop the genocide in Darfur,
    nothing to stop the disasters in Somalia or Sudan,
    and did nothing about countless attrocities, massacres, and famines across sub saharan Africa.

    Most of the time its almost entirely useless, except when it comes to black Africa – then its even worse.


  41. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Are they kidding at the BBC? Is this the best they could find from the HYS on Zimbabwe?

    “MDC stands for Movement for Democratic Change. If the only recourse for the people to change a regime is armed conflict – the next regime will be no better than the last.”

    Matabele, Bulawayo, Zimbabwe

    They may as well have just stuck in one of Mugabe’s campaign slogans instead.

    Featured quote from this article:

    Zimbabwean elections to go ahead