Balen Out?

We may well be one step closer to seeing what’s inside the notorious Balen report, but the appeal process may succeed in dragging it out forever and a day. Whatever happens, the fact that they’ve gone to such lengths to keep it quiet speaks volumes, probably far more than actually revealing what’s in there. It’s been concealed for long enough to have gathered mythical status.

Some say it’s not all that damning of the BBC in any case, and even if it is, people will discredit it as they always do. There are already several outfits monitoring anti-Israel bias such as Honest Reporting, Just Journalism and so on, and they are routinely dismissed as biased by those who don’t like their findings.

Everyone is bound to wonder what’s in a report that has been kept so secret. Protestations that it contains inner workings of BBC procedure and is none of our business just make one think ever more suspicious thoughts. What is going on in this mysterious BBC? It’s not the flipping Magic Circle, is it? Are there secrets that, if let out into the open, will destroy some vital mystique forever and ever? And then, abracadabra, the BBC will wither and die. That’s ridiculous, surely.

Too much water has gone under the bridge now since the Balen report was first prepared. There has been another onslaught of bias since then, so we need another Balen report.

Anyone who has ever been personally involved in an event that gets into the newspapers will know that as soon as it goes into print it appears distorted and acquires handfuls of errors.
Anyone who reads a wonderful book and then sees the film is usually hugely disappointed. Or they may find it okay, but not in the same way as the original. Someone else’s interpretation can’t be anything but someone else’s interpretation.

Jeremy Bowen can make as many Panoramas as he likes. He is a man with a partisan view, and that’s his business. But the BBC must provide balance. It must counteract the damage done by biased reporting by people with a grievance. Because the ‘wrong-is-right’ acceptance of Islamist alien cultural norms together with ever increasing waves of antisemitism are a tinderbox, and like a bush fire, we mustn’t say we didn’t see it coming.

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35 Responses to Balen Out?

  1. deegee says:

    Is the BBC capable of wasting £200,000 and climbing just because …?

    What is plan B if the Balen Report is a whitewash? Even worse, if the report claims that the BBC is favouring Israel over the poor suffering Palestinians?

    Michal Balen may have written the report that BBC culture expected of him. 🙁


  2. ngg says:

    i really fear for the west. the economic crisis and our perverse media are cominf together to turn us into a wholey different thing. antisemetic, hatefilled, and nearly bankrupt, the bbc will push state control all the way to communism if they can and get the public to like it.


  3. Dick the Prick says:

    Very noble of you Sue but i’d prefer for Jeremy Bowen to leave Panorama well alone.

    Why didn’t we get the run down on the elections, a full analysis, a report on the various movers & shakers and how they may interact with each other?

    Considering any fule could do that and it being the only true democracy in a region that has to cope with the various ‘freedom fighters’ on a daily basis – one would have supposed it could have captured a bit of interest.

    Instead we’re lambasted with every man and his dog in the Obamafest but sod all except tersery glances at Israel where we’d get all the opinions and some proper wakko ideas.

    As David mentioned in a previous thread about a stabbing – this is bias of omission in extremis.

    Yeah, war is bad, everyone knows that, but elections are brilliant.

    I only love politics and care about it ONLY because of elections – the four or five years in between are just pillow talk until the main event.

    Bloody pathetic.


  4. Beness says:

    BBC will play for time. It’s a tactic used so that, If/when the report comes out, they can say that it’s old news and their policies on the Middle East has changed since then.
    Then the whole merry go round starts again.


  5. Freakybacon says:

    Can the Balen report possibly be a whitewash? If it were, surely it would be in the public domain by now.

    If there were nothing to hide there would be nothing for the BBC to fear.


  6. George R says:

    I was thinking about the BBC hiding the Balen Report, and how by using licencepayers’ money and magic, the BBC tries to bamboozle us (in our Hawaiian shirts), into concealing the truth from us.

    With apologies to Penn and Teller: ‘Why Magic Works’


  7. martin says:

    Releasing the Balen report might be done but only if Mr Snot is having a really bad day with the economy or something and needs a good diversion story to take the right wing press off his back.


  8. The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

    As a publicly owned entity the inner workings of the BBC should be open to public scrutiny. He who pays the piper and all that.

    I suspect this report will accuse the BBC of nothing. It may mention bias but it will be played down. When the report finally appears it will be ‘so what’ from everyone, except those who expected more.

    Never underestimate the lefts abilty to play games with public money.

    I hope I’m wrong and this report castigates the BBC for what is, after all, pitiful bias. But do we really think it will?


  9. Tom says:


    I doubt if the Balen report, if it is ever published, will provide any crumbs of comfort.

    Today’s BBC reporting on the ME – indeed, the reporting for the past 5??? years is “post Balen”, i.e. benefiting from any recommendations Balen may have made for improvement.

    My guess is that it will have said the BBC’s coverage was too responsive to individual news events – suicide bombings, shootings etc. and needed more big picture context in the form of half-hour Panorama specials from Bowen.

    Apart from that there will be the usual BBC pieties about “the two narratives”. Not much else.

    If there was anything even slightly amazing, it would have leaked by now.

    So why the determined and expensive resistance to publishing it?

    I don’t see why we can’t take the BBC at face value on this – they aren’t so much defending Balen as defending the very useful (to them) principle that ANY document that is connected with journalism is exempt from FoI.


  10. Bryan says:

    I have returned, weary and bloody, from months of battle with the barbarian hordes rampaging through the BBC blogs and holding aloft banners portraying every imaginable anti-Israel slur.

    Much of their rage has been directed against Mark Thompson for daring to appear to be impartial in the conflict by not broadcasting the DEC appeal for aid to Gaza. As they cast about frantically for the worst insult they could possibly hurl at him, having exhausted the terms appalling, despicable, disgusting and cowardly, in a stroke of genius they came up with the firm conclusion, without presenting a shred of evidence to back it up, that the BBC was pro-Israel.

    There could be no accusation more painful for the BBC – the organisation that, with its habitual sins of omission and commission in reporting on this conflict, has turned implacable anti-Israel bias into a fine art while portraying itself as even-handed and impartial.

    Many of my esteemed colleagues on this site will recall the following: So successful has the BBC been in hiding its true motives, that a distinguished panel appointed to review its reporting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict concluded that, while the corporation showed no systematic bias one way or the other, it erred on the side of being pro-Israel:

    And here’s something on Balen, from the Review:

    (Scroll down to no. 17.)

    c) Other Reviews: a number of individuals have also undertaken systematic or more impressionistic exercises monitoring BBC output. These include reviews by Trevor Asserson
    and Yisrael Medad, each concluding that the BBC is biased against Israel. These reports were also read by the Panel and they met both people, informally in Israel in the case of Yisrael Medad;

    d) Balen Report: the Panel was given, in response to a request, an unpublished internal report prepared for BBC Management by Senior Editorial Adviser on the Middle East Malcolm Balen in 2003. This was helpful to us but we say no more about it as it was given to us on confidential terms. A number of its recommendations have been implemented.

    This, along with the strident insistence of the afore-mentioned barbarians, got me thinking:

    Though there are suspicions that Balen sees the BBC as pro-Palestinian, what if Balen concluded, in a much more forceful and unambiguous fashion than that of the review quoted above, that the BBC is in fact pro-Israel?

    The BBC would never live it down.


  11. Beness says:

    Can’t see the Balen report saying that the BBC are pro Israel.
    Thats why they are now back peddling and refused the Gaza appeal on their network. They are trying to point to their imparciality. a bit late in the day for people with long memories, but enough to maybe call off the dogs……… for now.


  12. Cassandra says:

    Oh but David, they will say they ‘never saw it coming’ when the lid blows the very same commissars who moved heaven and earth to cause this mass third world invasion will act surprised and plead ignorance!
    The polititians who did this will escape the punishment they so richly deserve and it makes me sick that they can do this, commit these terrible crimes against their own people and get off scot free. The promary duty of a central government is to protect the people from foreign invasion and slavery, these traitors are selling the whole nation away for personal gain!


  13. JohnA says:


    I am inclined to agree with you – the Balen report may be innocuous, the BBC has been fighting on the general principle of not having its washing done in public – dirty or not dirty.

    But either way, the BBC looks to be on a loser here. If eventually the courts decide not to require publication, all sides will say there is a cover up. If it is required to publish, all sides will say the report is trash, biased or understated.

    Keep stirring the pot, I say.


  14. George R says:

    More magic and concealment from the BBC in this report:

    “Three questioned by terror police”

    Note the typically misleading headline above; the only reference to ‘terror’ is to link
    terror to ‘police’, not to link terror to ‘three’.

    And the BBC tells us nothing of any political context.

    But this alternative, non-BBC report includes this:

    ‘Nine arrested in Britain on terrorism charges’


    “Local media reports said police were searching five houses in the town of Burnley, about 40 km from Preston.

    “The Lancashire Evening Post said photographs of Friday night’s incident on the highway show two vans surrounded by police vehicles. One van bears an image of the Palestinian flag on its side while the other has signs saying ‘Stop Killing Children’, ‘Free Palestine’, and ‘From Blackburn (UK) to Gaza’.

    “It said the vehicles were travelling to join up with a convoy headed for Gaza.”

    The above information is omitted by the BBC which doesn’t allow possible criticism of supporters of Islamic jihad Hamas.


  15. David S says:

    “But the BBC must provide balance. It must counteract the damage done by biased reporting by people with a grievance.”

    No. This is not the right approach. The BBC and its acolytes would like nothing better than to move the issue into a discussion of “balance” and “objectivity” – the two being apportioned “over time” it will be argued. No, the point is not that the Beeb is biased – it is and always will be due to the people who occupy key positions within the institution and its funding formula that allows the world’s largest media enterprise to operate in a bubble divorced from wider society. The way forward is to strongly, consistently demand the Beeb establish a new system of funding independent of the tax payer. Look, objectivity is not the issue. The Beeb can/will be whatever its staff and supporters want it to be. The key point is it is anachronistic to have an 8 channel state media outlet that thrives like a parasite off the tax payer. This must stop. Keep the argument focused on making the BBC independent of the tax payer – whether it chooses the subscription /ad free approach, or some combination of commercial programming is up to them. But real change will not occur if we allow the Beeb to frame the discussion in terms of bias and objectivity.


  16. George R says:

    Re- 4:34 pm above:

    BBC attempt ‘catch-up, but retain use of its favoured phrase ‘terror police’, rather than anti-terror police:

    “Houses searched by terror police”


  17. Jason says:

    I don’t know why someone at the Beeb doesn’t just leak the damn thing and have done with it.


  18. deegee says:

    I don’t know why someone at the Beeb doesn’t just leak the damn thing and have done with it.
    Jason | 14.02.09 – 6:51 pm

    I suspect very few people at the BBC have access. If a copy could be accessed I would expect it to be password protected within a password protected server and the password changed frequently.

    It would be just too easy to locate the whistle blower.


  19. Ratass Shagged says:

    I doubt the BBC are that organized. I should imagine it’s more than likely there is only one copy sitting in the DG’s safe. Next to same Nazi gold and Lord Lucans teeth.


  20. Bulls**t Detective says:

    Hi Sue, welcome!

    Below is a BBC Blog which explains why the BBC has not released the report. Hopefully this will enlighten your readers. Afterall, it’s better that they are informed before forming opinions:


  21. Jon says:

    Bulls**t Detective | 14.02.09 – 10:17 pm |

    “Below is a BBC Blog which explains why the BBC has not released the report. ”

    So this is the only interpretation then – Why? please explain (in your own words)


  22. deegee says:

    Below is a BBC Blog which explains why the BBC has not released the report.
    Bulls**t Detective | 14.02.09 – 10:17 pm

    The link you provided discusses the Law Lord’s quite technical decision and says nothing about the rationale of the BBC for embargoing the report. It only says, in the most simplistic terms, why the BBC claim they can not be forced to release it.

    From the blog. Yesterday’s Law Lords decision was not about the merits of whether the report should be published. It was about the procedural legal matter of whether the Information Tribunal (which supported publication) has the jurisdiction to rule on such cases, where the Information Commissioner has previously decided that the request was outside the realm of FOI in the first place because it involved information held by the BBC for the purposes of journalism. Material of this kind lies outside the Freedom of Information Act, and the BBC has argued that the Balen Report falls into this category.


  23. The Beebinator says:

    hopefully a lot of beeboid scumbags will have had panic attacks and nervous breakdowns galore upon hearing their Lordships ruling

    absolutely fantastic


  24. fewqwer says:

    Erstwhile B-BBC commenter and committed BBC shill John Reith once said he knew someone who had read the Balen report, and there was nothing in it to get excited about.

    Make of that what you will.


  25. The Cattle Prod of Destiny says:

    David S | 14.02.09 – 4:36 pm |
    But real change will not occur if we allow the Beeb to frame the discussion in terms of bias and objectivity.

    True, but it will not change if it becomes independant. The Guardian and Independeant are biased in the same ways yet are commercial entities.

    The only benefit of BBC independance will be not having to pay the licence fee.

    What I want is a BBC that is factual, honest, decent and true – yes, fat chance I know.

    For example. If Israel does bad things I want the BBC to tell me. If the Pallys do bad things likewise. What I don’t want is the BBC to lie to me about Israels actions and to fudge and obfusticate when it comes to Hamas. It’s easy enough for them to do this as plenty of news agencies around the world, even arab ones, seem to manage this better than the BBC!


  26. Gus Haynes says:

    Yes the Guardian and the Independent are left leaning, and so, yes, biased.

    But there are plenty of papers that lean right too, the telegraph, express, mail. They are biased too. No reporting anywhere will be free of some degree of bias. You seem to be suggesting that in the UK we have a lot of left leaning papers, and none on the right. Thats not the case. The problem is often finding a paper thats neither left nor right. The Times can be the bets of the bunch, but I often resort to the BBC or Sky (far less biased than any of the papers which wear their agendas on their sleaves.)


  27. Anonymous says:

    Gus Haynes | 15.02.09 – 11:23 am

    What’s a sleave?


  28. Bulls**t Detective says:

    Degee, read the 2 articles referred to as being previously discussed on that blog:


    and here:


  29. David Preiser (USA) says:

    fewqwer | 15.02.09 – 9:51 am |

    Erstwhile B-BBC commenter and committed BBC shill John Reith once said he knew someone who had read the Balen report, and there was nothing in it to get excited about.

    Make of that what you will.

    I remember that. Wasn’t David Gregory’s defense that there was concern about releasing all kinds of private emails, just on grounds of personal privacy, nothing sinister? Or maybe that it would reveal the very real bias of certain Beeboids, while still exonerating the BBC overall, and that would somehow unfairly hurt somebody’s career? Something like that.


  30. The Northumbrian says:

    Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan, the founder and chief executive officer of a “moderate” Islamic TV station in the USA beheaded his wife a few days ago in the best traditions of Islamic shariah law. I may be jumping the gun, but just wondered if the BBC has reported this yet? I know for sure that the BBC would be falling over itself if say a fundamentalist Christian in the USA carried out a similar atrocity that could somehow be seen to be tied to his religious beliefs.


  31. Jason says:

    The Northumbrian | 16.02.09 – 2:17 am | #

    No the BBC won’t be saying a single word about that delightful development in the world of moderate Islam.

    However, should a white, blue collar resident of Middle America behead his wife you can bet your ass Al-Beeb will be there with bells on.


  32. deegee says:

    Muzzammil “Mo” Hassan, the founder and chief executive officer of a “moderate” Islamic TV station in the USA beheaded his wife a few days ago in the best traditions of Islamic shariah law.
    The Northumbrian | 16.02.09 – 2:17 am

    Moderate/conservative/radical? I always thought beheading was reserved for enemies of Islam.
    Beheading in the Name of Islam

    In Saudi Arabia beheading is the regular form of capital punishment although women were shot until the 1990’s.

    Perhaps the unfortunate Mrs. Hassan was contemplating conversion or perhaps the beheading was coincidental to a domestic dispute? Let’s keep an eye on how the case progresses.


  33. Cockney says:

    Rumour has it that the Balen report fingers the Beeb for ignorance and incompetence rather than bias. Their ME staff just don’t have the intelligence and knowledge to report effectively on the region.

    This might explain the lack of release, as whilst I’m sure they’d be happy to dismiss accusations of bias as the work of frothing right wing extremists their egos would suffer if anyone suggested that they represent less than the pinnacle of journalism.


  34. David Preiser (USA) says:

    CBBC indoctrinating British children:

    BBC caught in Gaza aid avert row

    The BBC is in the middle of a big row after it decided not to show a TV appeal to help people living in Gaza.

    The Gaza Strip was damaged badly in recent fighting between Israel and an armed group called Hamas, and charities want to help people living in Gaza.

    BBC bosses say showing the advert would make it look like the BBC is taking sides in the Middle East.

    The charities want the advert to run so they can get lots of aid for Gaza. Some other TV channels are showing the ad.

    How bad is it in Gaza, do you ask?

    DEC, which represents more than a dozen aid agencies, is asking for money to buy food, medicine and blankets following the Israeli assault on Gaza.

    At least 1,300 Palestinians were killed, nearly a third of them children, and 5,500 injured in the Israeli operation, which began on 27 December, Palestinian medical sources in Gaza say.

    Israel says that it acted to stop members of Hamas targeting Israeli towns with rockets.

    Thirteen Israelis, including three civilians, have been killed, the Israeli army says.

    Contrast the figures given to children to incite anti-Israel sentiment with this:

    World duped by Hamas death count

    While the Palestinian Center for Human Rights, whose death toll figures have been widely cited, reports that 895 Gaza civilians were killed in the fighting, amounting to more than two-thirds of all fatalities, the IDF figures shown to the Post on Sunday put the civilian death toll at no higher than a third of the total.

    Well they would say that, wouldn’t they? But the Palestinian sources are treated as honest at the BBC.

    Basing its work on the official Palestinian death toll of 1,338, Levi said the CLA had now identified more than 1,200 of the Palestinian fatalities. Its 200-page report lists their names, their official Palestinian Authority identity numbers, the circumstances in which they were killed and, where appropriate, the terrorist group with which they were affiliated.

    BBC audiences might expect only a handful.

    The CLA said 580 of these 1,200 had been conclusively “incriminated” as members of Hamas and other terrorist groups.

    Another 300 of the 1,200 – women, children aged 15 and younger and men over the age of 65 – had been categorized as noncombatants, the CLA said.

    So the bit from CBBC about “nearly a third of them children” is pure propaganda, unhesitatingly told to children, in order to get a point across. What other “false positives” could there be?

    Counted among the women, however, were female terrorists, including at least two women who tried to blow themselves up next to forces from the Givati and Paratroopers’ Brigades. Also classed as noncombatants were the wives and children of Nizar Rayyan, a Hamas military commander who refused to allow his family to leave his home even after he was warned by Israel that it would be bombed.

    The 320 names yet to be classified are all men; the IDF has yet complete its identification work in these cases, but estimates that two-thirds of them were terror operatives.

    The CLA gave the Post the names of several fatalities who it said had been classified by the Palestinians as “medics,” but who it stated were Hamas fighters, including Anas Naim, the nephew of Hamas Health Minister Bassem Naim, who was killed during clashes with the IDF on January 4 in the Sheikh Ajlin neighborhood of Gaza City.

    Following the clashes, the Palestinian press reported that Naim was killed and that he was a medic with the Palestinian Red Crescent. The Gaza CLA, however, produced photographs of Naim posing holding a rocket-propelled grenade launcher and a Kalashnikov assault rifle that had been posted on a Hamas Web site.

    The children of license fee payers have a right to honest reporting, even at the Newsround level.


  35. Nature says:

    On 06.02.09 I sent a complaint to the BBC about an interview of Sarah Montague and Mark Regev on BBC radio 4 on 06.02.09. What I find more alarming is Robert’s Wright (BBC complaints) response on 17.02.09 to my initial complaint, to which I responded again on 18.02.09.

    Here is all the correspondence. It is long but it is worth reading.

    My initial complaint submitted to the BBC on 06.02.09:

    I was listening to the morning news show on Friday, 06.02.09 on BBC radio 4 at about 8:40am. An interview was held with Mark Regev, the Israeli spokesman and Sarah Montague. As a listener I was horrified to hear the hate and the revolt in Sarah Montague’s voice toward mark Regev. She blatantly rejected his claim that Hamas was responsible to the collapse of the ceasefire, by saying “this is simply not true” this is a blunt and unprofessional statement of a journalist who do not accept the turns of events in Israel and tries to vilify the Israelis for the their reaction to Hamas terror attacks. I do not recall any journalists interviewing Hamas terrorists on BBC rejecting any of Hamas claims whether they hateful or fabricated, however, Sarah Montague did not have a problem claiming that Mark Regev was simply lying. Furthermore, this journalist had a silence too long in a sentence when she was trying to find her words to describe Hamas militants, this was almost to imply that she was trying avoiding calling Hamas as freedom fighters. She had to think hard until she was able to pronounce “Hamas militants”. I have grave concern of this horrible journalistic misconduct to show a biased and a blatant hate toward an interviewee, and I call for her resignation. This is too serious for just an apology.

    BBC response from Robert Wright on 17.02.09:

    Dear XXXX (Nature)

    Thank you for your e-mail regarding Radio 4.

    I was sorry to learn that you feel the BBC reports of the conflict in Gaza aren’t impartial.

    The BBC is committed to due impartiality and across our programming we have tried to explain how the current situation in the Middle East started and has since developed. We have also given air-time to representatives from across the political spectrum and our correspondents are equally vigorous in their questioning of interviewees regardless of whether they are Israeli or Palestinian.

    While the BBC agrees that political figures and others in positions of responsibility should be given the opportunity both to explain their thinking on matters of public concern and answer criticisms of it, the job of interviewers is to put the questions likely to be in the minds of listeners and to look for answers. Our interviewers’ intention is always to ensure that their contributions are kept as relevant and useful as possible. The interviewer’s job is to put the questions likely to be in the minds of viewers and to look for answers. Many interviewees and politicians in particular, are very adept at evading questions and following their own agenda when replying. It is part of a professional interviewer’s role to ensure that they are reminded, when appropriate, of the original question or pressed on points that are of particular public interest.

    We have reported the casualty figures from both sides: the fact is, however, that there have been many more Palestinian deaths than Israeli. We have also explained clearly and frequently that Israel sees this conflict as a necessary defensive action because of the rocket attacks it has faced for many years. It is for the audience, not the BBC, to judge whether, in its view, the action is justified.

    The aim of our news reports is to provide the information across our programming in order to enable viewers and listeners to make up their own minds; to show the reality of a situation and provide the forum for debate, giving full opportunity for all viewpoints to be heard. We are satisfied that this has been the case in respect of our reporting of the Middle East.

    Nevertheless, I recognise you may continue to hold a different opinion about the BBC’s impartiality. Please be assured that all of your comments have been registered on our daily feedback log, this is a daily report of audience feedback that’s circulated to many BBC staff, including members of the BBC Executive Board, channel controllers and other senior managers.

    Thank you for taking the time to contact the BBC.


    Robert Wright
    BBC Complaints


    My new response to Robert Wright (BBC Complaints) on 18.02.09:

    Dear Robert Wright

    Thank you for taking the time to response to my initial complaint about the integrity of the interview Sarah Montague conducted with Mark Regev on 06.02.09, which was only partially answered. Your response did not explain however why as an “impartial” interviewer Sarah Montague had a clear revolt and anger in her voice toward Mark Regev. This incident was not only picked by myself but was largely discussed on the Biased BBC website, as well.

    I however would like to point out to a much more disturbing claim presented in your reply. You write: “We have reported the casualty figures from both sides: the fact is, however, that there have been many more Palestinian deaths than Israeli”. I find this statement to be particularly disturbing as it implies that the BBC disputes the classification of Hamas as terror organisation (by the EU, Israel and the USA). As it now has come to light, one thirds of deaths were of Hamas terrorists, one third were of Arab Palestinians affiliated with Hamas terrorists, and unfortunately one third were indeed Arab Palestinian civilians who paid the price of being used as human shield by Hamas. By writing “there have been many more Palestinian deaths than Israeli” you do not distinguish between the two thirds of the deaths to be attributed to terrorists who are in fact a legitimate target. The journalistic coverage of the death of Hamas terrorists should be equalled to the coverage on BBC of Al Qaeda terrorists deaths when is then considered to be a success and a positive progress. However, when you write “Palestinian deaths” without the specification of who actually were the dead it signifies the fact that the BBC defies the classification of Hamas as terror organisation- it actually implies that the BBC is masking Hamas terrorist deaths as Arab Palestinian deaths. This clearly demonstrates that the BBC has its own political agenda, in breach of partiality, which is most alarming.

    I will finish with another quote from your response “The aim of our news reports is to provide the information across our programming in order to enable viewers and listeners to make up their own minds” if this was the case, why is then the BBC paid £200,000 from the tax payer money in 2007 to suppress the release of Balen report damming the BBC coverage of the Israeli – Arab Palestinian conflict as a constitutionally biased against Israel?