Linguistic Limitations

Apart from Jeremy Bowen’s pro Palestinian position, his grievance against Israelis, his reliance on Palestinian stringers because of his inability to speak either Hebrew or Arabic, and his lisp, one thing that annoys me about the BBC’s M.E. editor is the difficulty he has with his own language. This morning he chats with Sarah Montague about Obama’s forthcoming speech aimed at embracing the Muslim world. Struggling for a while with “ much looked-forward-to” he eventually found the word that had eluded him – “anticipated.” His vocabulary-light rhetoric is always peppered with “quite franklys” and “if you see what I means,” although I’m not sure he’s ever ventured a “to be Honest”
Anyway, he says that Netanyahu has his hands tied by the religious right, who have got it into their silly little heads that the land belongs to the chosen ones. Obama has the difficult task of convincing these religiously fanatical Jews to accede to Arab demands while overlooking entirely the intransigence, violence and genocidal intentions of his religiously fanatical Islamic brethren.
With next week’s ME visit by the One, ‘going forward’, Jeremy Bowen’s reports on the BBC are being eagerly – “much looked forward to.”

I’ll leave Justin Webb to everyone out there. Over to you.
(Too early for the Today link. Please, someone add it later)

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40 Responses to Linguistic Limitations

  1. Roland Deschain says:

    It was interesting to compare and contrast Justin Webb’s interview on Today with President Obama (please tell us your thoughts, Mr President) just after the 8 o’clock news and James Naughtie’s harrumphing interview with David Cameron just before.

    I think I only caught one interruption by Justin, which was of the helpful kind, reminding Him of something He might wish to add.


  2. Roland Deschain says:
  3. Mailman says:

    I think Israel is in for a tough 4 years under Barry.

    He will throw them under the bus as his need to be loved (by more muslims) far outweighs his need for Israel to survive (not a lot of support there).

    Be interesting to see whether he can out dhimi himself in Egypt and how low he will bow 🙂



  4. hippiepooter says:

    Errm, is a derogatory reference to JB’s lisp a worthy comment?


  5. Tom says:

    hippiepooter said…

    Errm, is a derogatory reference to JB’s lisp a worthy comment?One might reasonably have thought that a speech defect would be a disqualification from becoming a professional broadcaster, as it would be, say, from performing Hamlet at the RSC or being hired to read library books to the blind.

    No doubt this “inclusive” policy has something to do with ticking diversty boxes. Look, we’re not elitist, we hire reporters who can’t even talk properly!


  6. hippiepooter says:

    I have never remotely thought that JB’s lisp is any impediment to him doing his job. Just his bias. I loathe this man’s bias as much as anyone, but making personal digs because of it lacks moral authority in opposing it.

    A Great Lady once said that 99% of the time the right thing to do is the expedient thing to do. What is anyone going to think who comes to this site who is open to persuasion about BBC bias and reads this gratuitous personal dig at JB and your defence of it? Is this site against bias per se, or just left-wing bias, and anything goes against anyone who purveys it?

    For me, the cause against BBC bias is the defence of British democracy. It is a moral cause. It requires moral means, and moral people.


  7. JohnA says:


    Yes, anyone following events knows that Obama is already starting the throw Israel under the bus. Anyone except those who rely on the BBC for their news.

    This applies to a series of policy fronts – starting with the anti-Israel views of some of his top appointees.

    The undermining of Israel is not just on the settlements question, but also at the UN, on properly dealing with the Iran threat, on playing softball with Hisbollah and with Syria, etc. And on the ceseless kowtowing to Arab leaders.

    Anyone can see the pattern developing – except those whose sole news source is the BBC.


  8. Umbongo says:

    If you believe these two US academics (and I don’t) American Jews have only got themselves to blame. Even so, by consistently supporting the Democrats – and the present presidential incumbent in particular – it appears that the majority of US Jews has scored a spectacular own goal vis-a-vis Israel.


  9. sue says:

    thorry I mentioned it.

    Didn’t you fathom that whole the tenor of that post was tongue-in-cheek?

    If not, I apologise.

    To add to that my hair is having revenge in the form of a Susan Boyle tribute day. You’ll be glad to know.


  10. Tom says:


    Criticizing your own hair is completely uncalled for.

    It can only offer aid and comfort to sexist patriarchs who invented the ‘bad hair day’ in 1977 in order to oppress wimmin.

    Accordingly you have once again violated the hippiepooter canon of political correctness and must wear denim dungarees for a week as a penance.


  11. Mailman says:


    Read an article over at instapundit that made the argument that Barry was out to destroy Netenyahu because a lot of the dems back in power havent forgotten how hard he was to work with under Clinton (and didnt like him making Clinton look like a monkey).

    So it seems that Barry might not actually be too worried about achieving peace in the next couple years but is more concerned with getting rid of the righties now in power in Israel.

    If true, then this is a very REAL problem not only for Israel, but for all those Palestinians that will die in the next couple years because peace was not achieved.



  12. JohnA says:


    Worst case – there could be another full-scale war against Israel – Abdullah of Jordan was virtually giving a 9-month ultimatum. Hisbollah plus Hamas plus Syria plus internal insurrection looks a distict possibility – and THAT is what Obama should be guarding against, not ignoring.

    In Cairo Obama will be hot on apologising for the West, hot on leaning on Israel eg over settlements.

    But he will NOT be hot on saying to the whole Muslim world that refusal to recognise Israel’s right to exist in safety is the main obstacle to peace.


  13. happyuk07 says:

    I think there is more to Obama than meets the eye. He is actually quite pragmatic and hawkish on issues like this.

    His withdrawal from Iraq, for instance, is not so much to appease the anti-war lobby but a means of pressurizing Shiites and Sunnis to sort out their differences, and appears to be working.

    It’s just he is often seen to have it both ways on many issues – withdrawing from Iraq but not completely, negotiating with Iran but with bombing them always an option, pledging to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict but maintaining an Israel-first approach.

    Obama’s willingness to negotiate with the Arab world does not translate into negotatiating with Al-Qaeda leaders.

    Remember 78% of American Jews voted for Obama. Bowen and the BBC in general are merely mesmerized by Obama’s cult of personality and are fairly clueless as to his real policies.


  14. Anonymous says:

    gushing article which ticks al beeb’s boxes.

    “Tall, immaculately dressed and articulate, the man did not fit my image of a fighter. “

    “While Hezbollah calls them martyrs, the US and Britain say they are terrorists. “

    The US banned Hezbollah following a series of kidnappings, hijackings and bombings against the American and Jewish targets in the 1980s.

    “Among the most famous of them was the 1983 attack on the US military barracks, and the 1992 and 1994 bombings of the Israeli embassy and Jewish cultural centre in Buenos Aires.”

    shouldn’t that be infamous ?

    at least the article does clear up the illusion that there is a political wing of hezbollah, separate from the military wing.

    not true says al beeb.

    millband and jeremy bowen – take note.


  15. Mailman says:


    What, in Barry’s past, gives you the impression that he is “pragmatic and hawkish on issues like this”?

    The reality is that his handling of this situation (appeasement of Arabs) will lead to violence and many deaths if he fumbles the ball (and throws Israel under the bus).



  16. JohnA says:

    Negotiation means give and take. Obama’s version so far is to take from Israel eg his demands for instant action over settlements, without simultaneously demanding anything from the Arabs / Palestinians.

    It is a mark of Obama’s arrogance that he thinks he can foist this on a compliant Israel. There is no way Israel will make concessions except in proper negotiations – and the Palestinians are about a hundred miles from any negotiatng table so far.

    Incidentally – did people notice that Pbama was huffing about the West not being able to “hoist” its standards on others. “Foist” was the right word – but Obama is actually a mess of platitudes and verbal gaffes once away from his teleprompter.


  17. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Justin Webb’s interview with his Obamessiah had major BBC bias on display:

    Should you apologize for what Boooosh did?

    Your brilliance will encourage democracy and human rights in the Muslim world, right?

    All these various problematic Muslim countries are simply waiting for the US to finally be reasonable and open the door for them, right?

    Israel’s the main problem with regards to the “Two State Solution”, right?

    Israel’s really the only problem, right?

    Will you impose sanctions on Israel?

    You’re frowning at Iran now because Israel made you, right?

    Iran should have nukes, and we’ll monitor them, and they won’t be any more trouble than Japan, right?

    Nothing new here, but the President is smart enough not to take the bait when ol’ Justin was asking Him to condemn Bush or Mubarak or Israel. For now, anyway.


  18. JasonS says:

    On the subject of the BBC’s ongoing bias toward Muslims and against Christians, doesn’t anyone think it disgraceful how the BBC quickly reported the murder of late-term abortion doctor George Tiller in the US – a crime which is now predictably being used as a platform to tar all conservatives and Christians with the “extremist” brush – yet they have yet to report anything about the Muslim terrorist who shot dead a young American soldier at a recruiting center in Little Rock?


  19. Martin says:

    What a joke. The BBC 6PM news gave about 4 minutes to 5 bellies and all the other Labour scum jacking it in. and that included an attack on the Tories and Toenails sticking up ofr McTwat.

    The BBC, trying to ‘move the story on’.


  20. David H says:

    Webb’s interview with Obarmy was a nauseating, bucket-passing spectacle – his head was so far up Obarmy’s arse that he could probably see light at the other end.
    And we pay for this biased rubbish!


  21. Craig says:


    And in the BBC 6PM News headlines (of all places) we got sleazy Keith Vaz saying that Jacqui’s place in history is assured and that she’s been a great home secretary. At which Edna Krabappel would rightly say, “Ha!”


  22. Craig says:

    At one point in his ‘interview’ with Obama, Justin’s highly mobile hands joined together in prayer.
    Who was he worshipping?


  23. Jack Bauer says:

    David H said…
    Webb’s interview with Obarmy was a nauseating, bucket-passing spectacle – his head was so far up Obarmy’s arse that he could probably see light at the other end.

    Nonsense. How could he possibly see light when it’s blocked by the entire White House Press Corpse — plus ABC, NBC and CBS


  24. Anonymous says:

    “Remember 78% of American Jews voted for Obama”

    They always vote for the Democrat. Even if it’s Jimmy Carter.


  25. Martin says:

    ITV, Sky and C4 were scathing of McTwat and the total collapse of his corrupt Government. The BBC? zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Toenails just lives in a different world to the rest of us.


  26. Thomas Rossetti says:

    I found this website after reading Daniel Hannan’s blog in the Telegraph today. This stuff is brilliant! Keep it up.


  27. John Bosworth says:

    So Webb met his hero Barrak Obama and fell in love with the smooth talking “intellectual” all over again.

    Isn’t it amazing how “hope” and “hopeful” were used so many times in the interview and always went unchallenged. Everyone “hopes” for nice people in a happy fluffy world, but that’s not real. But “hopeful” helped Bazza to not answer the questions.

    And at 7’00” there is the most astonishing answer about middle east peace with Obama starting every sentence with the world “if”. Any honest interviewer’s next question should be, “but, Mr President, what if that is not how it pans out?” (That’s a standard BBC question, by the way – except when in the presence of The One)

    So the Webb/Frei axis continues its love affair with Obama and no doubt there’ll be more “Thanks you for talking to us, Mr President” in the years to come. I urge anyone NOT to expect the policies of the Obama administration to be tested in BBC interviews. There’ll be no real probing from the enraptured reporters in the Beeb’s American bureau.

    By the way, today, just for the fun of it, I looked up an old interview which George W Bush gave awful Matt Frei. Here is Bush on the subject of US aid to Africa:

    “…what I care really about is the results of the programmes. I hope by now people have learned that I’m not one of these guys that – really gives a darn about elite opinion. What I really care about is, are we saving lives?”

    Can you imagine the narcissistic Obama saying those words?


  28. Martin says:

    I notice the BBC have added a comment about needing a TV licence to watch BBC news streaming. I wonder long before I get some scummy thug from TV licencing coming up to me in the street if I’m using my laptop and demanding to see my TV licence for my laptop?


  29. Martin says:

    Any chance of a new thread about the current mess over Labour falling apart and the BBC diverting attention please?


  30. Martin says:

    Nick Robinson (Toenails) was up to his usual tricks on the 10PM news. Toenails was claiming that ‘senior Tories’ are not happy with Cameron and that the Tories are being hit in the polls as much as Liebour. Utter lies. On ITV and Sky news McTwat got hammered. The BBC even conveniently had its own poll which said “the public have lost trust in ALL politicians”.

    Perhaps, but we’ve got no trust in the one eyed jock and want him gone. The BBC are dodging the real issue.

    Now on Radio 5 there is some defence of yet another corrupt Labour MP.


  31. Martin says:

    What a shock. Radio 5 have TWO left wing guests on to ‘discuss’ the expenses scandal. Female leftie claims that the Tories have the worst expenses scandals? Really? So which MPs have been involved in the mortgage fraud or the flipping?


  32. David Preiser (USA) says:

    John Bosworth @10:01 PM

    I bet ol’ Justin was so full of enthusiasm for his Obamessiah’s policies and the desire to press his own biased agenda that he didn’t even notice that the President forgot his name.

    “Thank you Sss…….


    thank you very much for….”


  33. Thomas Rossetti says:

    I’m not sure if this is the best place to say this since my comment is about BBC bias in general.

    Living in America, as I now do (I moved to Washington DC in 2008), the whole basis for the BBC seems odd. It just seems inevitable that some sort of bias is going to come out when a corporation doesn’t have to worry about the bottom line.

    It’s true to say that the mainstream media in America has a liberal bias and is heavily favoured towards Obama. NBC, for example, have devoted a whole hour this evening to a documentary about the President. Pandering, one might say, but so what? NBC is a commercial channel: they can do what they want. There are more than enough right-wing channels if one doesn’t like what one sees.

    When the BBC throws softball questions at the president to serve their own political ends, it’s a slightly different matter.


  34. JohnA says:

    Thomas Rossetti

    You sum it up well.

    UK law requires our TV and radio channels to be "balanced" – but the result is that there is no balance on the BBC or on Channel 4 news. We can however avoid watching Channel 4 news, for example – but we are forced to pay for the BBC news even if we don't choose to watch it. That is – we are forced to pay for the biggest news operation in the world, biased on so many core issues.

    All through the election campaign in the US this site noted endless instances of utter bias at the BBC in favour of Obama. Justin Webb's worshipful interview merely adds some icing to the cake.


  35. Mailman says:


    You have the choice of NOT paying Al Beebs tv tax. Im coming up to three and a half years of not paying and not ONCE have I ever got anything more than a letter from the tax people.

    Its a numbers game mate…someone else will also be snapped before you 🙂



  36. hippiepooter says:

    Didn't you fathom that whole the tenor of that post was tongue-in-cheek?

    Sue 11:36 AM, June 02, 2009

    Well, I didn't, and Tom didn't. I was against what appeared to be a gratuitous insult, Tom was all for it.

    You've got nothing to apologise to me for. If the only two people who have commented on your reference to JB's lisp couldn't see you were jesting, maybe noone else could?


  37. hippiepooter says:

    … you have once again violated the hippiepooter canon of political correctness…

    Tom 11:49 AM, June 02, 2009

    How on earth someone who (presumably) purports to be conservative can confuse common decency with a Marxist strategy to subvert democracy is beyond me.

    On a number of occasions I have stuck my neck out in opposing Political Correctness, I somehow doubt you have ever done.

    No doubt you have a good laugh when sat outside a pub and see someone whose lame hobbling along with their walking stick? Maybe the thing you most object to about Goebells is that he was a 'spaz'? Maybe I'm wrong to presume you would purport to be a conservative. Maybe you're one of the BNP supporters who frequent this site?


  38. hippiepooter says:

    Thomas Rossetti wrote:

    "Pandering, one might say, but so what? NBC is a commercial channel:"

    Doesn't NBC claim to be impartial? Fox doesn't, its honest about its bias, and liberal fakes moan about this and moan about their biased channels being called biased.


  39. Mailman says:

    However, if you look at it, Fox is the LEAST biased of all the media outlets simply because it allows pundits from both sides of the political spectrum time on air (without fixing who has opposing views to those held by Fox).

    There is a reason why Fox is considered the most trustworthy news outlet in America. If you cant work that out then that probably says more about your own political views than anything else.



  40. Hettie says:

    Why doesn't the Middle East Editor of the BBC speak at least Arabic? How does he review the local papers, tv news etc?