Less is More

The necessity for brevity in BBC online articles calls for ruthless pruning of irrelevant material. Ditching the detail and binning the background lays bare the priorities and prejudices of the BBC. What’s hot and what’s not; the salient v the superfluous. What’s left unsaid says it all.

Let’s peek beneath the cloak of impartiality to expose the agenda-driven underbelly and unveil the secrets of the subtle but revealing body language of Jon Donnison.
In other words, what you say and what you leave out speaks volumes. The answer my friend is lying on the cutting-room floor.
Democratically elected!
Hamas, for example, is a violent Islamist group, resolutely opposed to Israel’s existence. They were elected to govern Gaza ‘by the people’ “democratically” yet they are officially a terrorist group – the BBC doesn’t know whether to love them or loathe them.
The tangible and subliminal Arabist vibes radiating from the BBC have inspired many Europeans and Westerners to see Palestinians solely as victims, not of their own government’s policies, but of Israel. Some particularly passionate, empathetic individuals are so moved emotionally (and physically) that they cross the globe to participate in ‘the struggle, ’ achieving both celebritydom and martyrdom.
I can I can’t!
Hamas can’t make up its mind whether it can or can’t control breakaway factions that send rockets into Israel, (it can’t) or capture hostages so as to make demands, (it can).
When Italian pro Palestinian activist Vittorio Arrigoni was abducted by Salafist Islamists, but prematurely hanged before the set deadline, Hamas set off in pursuit of those responsible to show who’s boss.
Blame Israel!
Meanwhile, despite the video, Salafists denied that they were involved, and various experts suggested Mossad bumped Arrigoni off before he could participate in the forthcoming anti Israel publicity-stunt flotilla.
Hamas organised a shoot-out, whereupon, as the BBC puts it, two Salafist suspects “died”.
Not Enough Information !
There’s more, but the BBC sticks with:
*a brief summary of the outcome of the siege.
*The abduction, and Hamas’s condemnation of it.
*An endearing quote from Hamas about the humanity of the Palestinian people.
*A brief description of Salafism,
*another brief description of the siege, including
*injuries sustained.
*Another reference to Hamas’s condemnation of Arrigoni’s killing, this time ‘by Jon Donnison in Ramallah’ and
*a reminder that this is the first kidnapping since 2007, indicating that Hamas have shown restraint and been very good well-behaved boys.
Deemed Superfluous!
The BBC evidently decided the following points are irrelevant.
*Hamas are as violent as Salafists who are affiliated with Al-Qaeda.
*“Peace Activism” is the exact opposite of what it says on the tin.
*Arrigoni was a shit-stirring trouble-maker.
*Arrigoni’s girlfriend was, of all things, ”co-ordinator of Israel/Occupied Territories Section” of our old friend Amnesty International.
*Ludicrous conspiracy theories that blame Israel for everything under the sun are rampant in the Arab world.
*Israel desires peace despite being surrounded by hostile Jew-hating neighbouring countries which constantly and deliberately provoke retaliation as an excuse to resume the traditionally devillish tactics of warfare that the international community deems immoral and underhand when practised by other countries, but which said International community blatantly overlooks when employed against Israel by her enemies.

Since the BBC has a habit of reiterating anything that casts Palestinians in a good light and Israelis as liars, the last point deserves reiteration as often and as repetitively as the death toll from Operation Cast Lead.
H/T Pounce

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29 Responses to Less is More

  1. sue says:

    If anyone is bored with the monotony of subject matter and would like to submit a guest-post on another topic, please do. (Email it to me.) The other contrubutors must be asleep. Bless :*
    Meanwhile, I’m carrying on regardless.


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      <pops up over parapet>

      If I may presume to suggest, it’s not really a matter of boredom or monotony (not that I find this blog exhibits any signs of either).

      One of the reasons I find the BBC and other media’s outputs so dire is because of their obsession with filling the 24/7 news maw with anything, no matter what the merits. Or not.

      Here, if there is nothing, so what? Doesn’t happen often, truth be told, and even if a site owner/official poster is away, the community seems to keep it chugging along OK.

      The general thread is a rich seam usually, and if a nugget arrives there it is no biggie to port to its own thread.

      Heck, the £4B national broadcaster is struggling as 90 % of its overpaid, perked and pensioned employees vanish for a last go at the slopes before penning a climate change tirade, so I really wouldn’t beat oneself up too much on what is served up on a free blog.

      <ducks back>


  2. hippiepooter says:

    I read somewhere (I think in the comments here) that Arrigoni was shacked up in Gaza with a bum chum and this was why he got killed?

    When the Arabs start putting out wierd and whacky stories about how it was really the Israelis who killed Arrigoni, you know that the truth is something that is really damaging to them.


  3. OhThisBloodyPC says:

    Simon Mayo on Radio 2 was talking about a government scheme to make the MOT Test a biannual event.

    This would save us all at least fifty quid. Since cars are more robust these days, it wouldn’t put us at risk. On the continent, Mayo conceded, they already have the same road test arrangement.

    But he wasn’t having that. So he found an ‘expert’ who hated the idea. Some nameless bird who edits The Girls Guide to Cars said that saving fifty quid wouldn’t make much difference to the public.

    Then Mayo pulled a masterstroke, He lobbed his guest an easy question. “Do they have more road deaths on the continent?” he asked.

    Yes, they do, came the answer. (She even had the figures to hand, which was convenient). The government’s plans, the Girls Guide editor went on the say, would end up killing 100 more people every day.

    Mayo didn’t question whether Europe had more deaths because of its differing speed limits, camera coverage or drink driving culture.

    Mayo concluded this balanced echange by saying his expert “Really did not like these new government plans.”

    How was she held up as a spokeswoman for the nation? Why is saving fifty quid and a day’s faffing about going to be bad for the UK’s drivers>

    Or was it just the government that Mayo and his guest objected to?

    How did Mayo get his job anyway? Oh yes, that’s right, his mum was a producer at the BBC.


    • 1327 says:

      I wondered how Mayo ever got a job and now I know 🙂

      Seriously though I have family in the motor trade and their trade associations are trying to lobby to prevent this because they know what a money tree the MOT is. No doubt it started with the best of intentions checking only if the vital stuff on a car (brakes , lights etc) work but in recent years it has expanded greatly.


  4. NotaSheep says:

    I rarely disagree with you, Sue, but whaen you say re Hamas that ‘the BBC doesn’t know whether to love them or loathe them’I think you may be mistaken, the BBC love Hamas and will do so right up until the moment when they are replaced by an even more extreme organisation with more hatred of Israel..


    • sue says:

      Yes, you’re quite right.
      (I do realise they don’t literally love or loathe.)
      I mean ‘loathe’ in a politically correct sense in the same way everyone is officially supposed to loathe terrorists – (why else would they go to such length to avoid calling them terrorists – militants are so much more — audacious!)  On the other hand the love, in a metaphorical sense, is more of an admiration for the daring, swashbuckling, balaclava-clad, defiant, misunderstood, freedom fighting, bad-boy, authority-defying, rebellious, audacious, naughty but nice villains they wish they were themselves. 😉
      Just a thought.
      (I seem to need a lot of emoticons recently – I never used to understand what they were for. Blogging. It makes you wierd)


  5. sue says:

    We’re hearing that the rebels in Libya are so encouraged by NATO’s assistance that they’re continuing to fight, despite some conciliatory moves by Gaddafi’s people.
    So much for our justification for our intervention  – which was supposed to be our humanitarian concern for saving lives.
    Jeremy Bowen said that he wanted to ask our government why they had boxed themselves into a corner by declaring that nothing short of regime change would satisfy them. He said that there were other, equally objectionable despots than his favourite Libyan despot, so why are we tolerating them but not him?
    That’s exactly the same question as I’m asking, but my questions are from the opposite perspective. Why, if we’re so offended by Gaddafi,  are we turning a blind eye to Hamas and Hezbollah and downplaying the rise of Islamist political power throughout the Arab world?
    Whereas Jeremy Bowen seems to be saying, why don’t we leave Gaddafi alone, like we leave Hamas, Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood etc etc? Know what I mean ‘arry? as Frank Bruno might say.


  6. sue says:

    Amnesty International has replied to someone who sent a link from Elder of Ziyon’s article about Arrigoni’s girlfriend, an Amnesty worker.
    They think he acted in a deplorable manner by using the tragic death of Mr. Arrigoni etc etc.
    They insist that their sole concern is protection of human rights, and cite a number of their condemnations of Hamas’s conduct to indicate that they don’t single out Israel.
    However as Amnesty partners a number of Israel bashing organisations, their indignant denial looks decidedly disingenuous.


  7. pounce_uk says:

    Nice informative post Sue. Here’s  a litte extra something to add to the list:  
    “Hamas security officials on Sunday named three suspects they were hunting as Binal al Omari, Abdul-Rachmarn el Birizit – a Jordanian national – and Mohammed al Salfiti, himself a Hamas policeman.”  
    I’m suprised the bbC hasn’t mentioned that little snippet. But as you say: “less is more” when it comes to reporting the news at Bush House.


  8. sue says:

    “the British media continues to highlight the alleged ideological chasm between the Salafi-Jihadis apparently responsible for Arrigoni’s murder, and Hamas itself. “ […..]
    “However, there is considerable evidence that many in Hamas share the radical views of these groups, and that Salafists are attracting recruits from Hamas itself.  In line with this, some media coverage is reporting that one of the suspects is alleged to be a Hamas policeman.”

    Harry’s Place.


  9. John Anderson says:

    I don’t like Bill Maher – he is usually a smirking leftie “comedian”/host who laughs a lot at his own jokes.

    But in this discussion he calls out Islam in terms – including the F-word.  It is fun to see the shocked faces of some of the other panellists,  especially the creepy Andrew Sullivan :



    OT – here is another piece of robust TV,  the sort we never get in Britain –  the ex-BBC Martin Bashir,  now on MSNBC,  trying to play the race card with Andrew Breitbart and having it shoved back down his throat :



    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Thanks for that link.  It’s pretty ridiculous for Katty Kay to be telling us that the problem is that there aren’t enough “moderate” Muslim voices speaking out against Islamic murder over insults to Islam when the BBC portrays fundamentalists as moderates all the time.


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      Larks. How I’d love a few more ‘interviews’ like that Bashir one. Outside the comfort zone that he used to inhabit, he was floundering. He had a script he wanted to get through, and once derailed was totally lost. Just once I’d like a confident pol, unashamed of having opinions, show a Paxman or Marr up for the shallow, agenda-led bullies they are.


    • John Horne Tooke says:

      You can tell he was exBBC – he just would not allow the person to speak, constantly talking , repeating short sentences over and over. Arrogance is the BBCs hallmark.

      “The truest characters of ignorance are vanity, and pride and arrogance.”
      Samual Butler


  10. Umbongo says:

    Thanks for the note about the current monotony of the website!  
    OT I note that in its round-up of the paper press this morning Today ignored the screaming main headline on page 1 of the Telegraph (and its lead editorial) about the new EU tax demand.  To be fair, Today did deal with it later (in the post-08:30 “dead-zone” needless to say) and even had Derek Scott on to give Carl Bildt a roasting – so not all bad.  
    Apropos of “roasting” Humphrys gave his usual indignant beggar impersonation while interviewing Chris Grayling concerning benefit fraud: my favourite Humphrys moment was when Grayling (totally unconvincing BTW in respect of his intention to contain fraud) said that to ameliorate the effects on genuine claimants “I intend to do . . ” and Humphrys interjected “not much”: wonderfully unbiased!  Grayling just sat there and took it.


    • John Anderson says:

      Grayling told Humphrys that the Government is introducing a payments-by-results scheme whereby specialist organisations and charities will try to find work for alcoholics,  drug addicts and the obese who currently account for a big chunk of the disability-allowance budget. 

      Payment-by-results means – get the results and we will pay you ?   But not in Humphrys’ book – he seemed incapable of understanding that the Government will not be paying up front,  that the organisations have already committed some £500 million to start the scheme.  Time after time the pathetic Humphrys asked “How can you pay for this if we have no money?”

      Is the man thick ?


      • John Horne Tooke says:

        Is the man thick ?

        No arrogant (=”Having or displaying a sense of overbearing self-worth or self-importance.”)

        Humphreys never listens, he has a script and sticks to it.

        A politician who had a conviction and belived in what they were proposing would make mincemeat out of arrogant BBC “talent”. The trouble is politicians do not have any strong convictions, they too are reading a sript handed down to them from unelected bureaucrats . Listen when either the BBC “reporter” or politician stray from their prepared scripts – you will hear gibberish.


    • sue says:

      So, Umbongo, in view of said monotony, how about it? You always make interesting contributions.
      I was merely acknowledging the fact that I seem to be operating on a single-handed basis at the moment, and that this coincides with a particularly virulent anti Israel moment in time.
      In any case our dear leader approves of keeping the blog fresh, and though monotony is not ideal, it’s better than total stagnation wouldn’t you say?
      I only heard part of the Grayling interview, but his performance sounded as limp as the Damian Green one we heard the other day. What is it with these people?


      • John Anderson says:

        It is a big issue – Cameron is now being headlined saying “Most people ask – why are we paying people to be unemployed (permanently) through their own fault?”  Grayling should have gone in hard – and told Humphrys he should listen to the answers he was repeatedly given.

        Will a BBC interviewer ever ask “Why on earth have you politicians let this ridiculous amount of sponging carry on year after year ?  It is insulting to all the people who work hard,  often just scraping by”.

        Will pigs fly ?


      • Umbongo says:


        By “monotony” I really didn’t mean “boring”.  I should have chosen my words more carefully – my bad!  I was only referring to (your self-admitted) current one-note tune on B-BBC.  Apologies for any upset.

        As to contributing a post – it’s much more difficult than it seems.  I’m an occasional poster on the Mark Wadsworth blog http://markwadsworth.blogspot.com/ .  Finding a subject is relatively easy (and even easier I suspect on B-BBC when BBC bias is so frequent and transparent).  The difficult bit is making the post relatively brief, coherent, interesting and timely (you can see why Richard Black’s blog is so dull and uninformative) .  As usual in this game, it’s far simpler to shout from the sidelines.  Nevertheless, in the enforced idleness of the upcoming bank holidays maybe inspiration will arrive.  Thanks


        • sue says:

          When I started commenting on B-BBC my favourite part was arguing with people who disagreed with me.
          When I was invited (by Ed Thomas) to contribute I assumed I’d have to forego that, but he said I could contribute AND still comment.
          Little did I know then, as you pointed out, that keeping focused, reasonably succinct, topical and  not too boring would be hard.

          On top of that, by sticking your neck out you unintentionally make yourself an object of derision, in a completely different way from the take-it-or-leave-it rough and tumble of the BTL comment department. The brain buzzes confusingly, sometimes I dash off a post or two, othertimes I agonise, let it stew a bit, delete half, turn it inside out before I hit the button. Not necessarily in proportion to their quality/efficacy.

          I like chatting and I prefer bloggers who are accessible rather than aloof.  I’m not a writer, never have been, and I do have ‘another life.’ (Where’s it gone?)
          I wasn’t offended at your comment by the way, but since I mentioned that I feel uneasy about my current predominance on the site, I was disappointed to read Chuffer’s remark on the open thread about swamping B-BBC.
          Specially when the alternative is *nothing*.


  11. deegee says:

    Can we assume when the BBC adds democratically-elected to an organisation that that organisation acts like terrorists?

    According to Freedom House 116 countries are electoral democracies, So why doesn’t the BBCregularly attach the phrase to organisations other than Hamas?  The phrase democratically-elected sounds so odd when applied to another state or group. Or would if the BBC ever used it. It’s a little like occupied in this sense. Palestine is not the only place that arguably is occupied but the BBC and others rarely use it anywhere else.

    I’m not talking about the almost total failure by the BBC to credit Israel’s democracy. Democratically-elected Likud? Democratically-elected Netanyahu Government? There is, however falsely, a debate about the democratic nature of Israel. Some accuse it of being an Apartheid State. Perhaps the BBC would argue that applying it to Israel would somehow be less than neutral.

    So why does the phrase sound so odd for countries and organisations where there is no argument? Democratically-elected Conservative Party? Democratically-elected Cameron Government? Doesn’t ring a bell, does it?

    BTW Just for the record. The Democratically-elected Hamas was sacked by the democratically-elected President Abbas in 2007. Since then both Abbas and Hamas have not stood for re-election and there maximum terms have run out. In any other country this would imply that there was no one democratically elected, at the moment. Could anyone imagine the BBC attaching the label to a Cameron, Bush or even an Obama pulling the same trick? 


  12. cjhartnett says:

    Spot on analysis Sue.
    The BBC continue to remove the context from any news story that needs more than a soundbite.
    Unable to concentrate or listen to any reasoned answer that their Professor Nods of interviewers might get, they perpetually fish for soundbites for the next news bulletin. If it causes trouble for the Tories then so much the better. In fact that is pretty much ALL they seek these days.
    And so to Europe-didn`t their political superstructure want a 5% hike in British payments?
    I`m sure that they said something about it, but it quickly died like a mayfly. Anyone would think that there is no backdrop or history to the EU draining,creaming and stewing its nation states into submission and compliance as they feather their nests in Brussels and elsewhere-unaccounted for,undemocratic and incompetent/corrupt as ever thus.
    But-any background to this demand?…any debate with a Liberal saying that we need to dig deeper-and a UKIP to say the opposite-no,let this one pass until we can get the right people to “set it all in a supportive context”. Jacques or Hermann might be cross with us!


  13. edward bowman says:

    Have you noticed that these days you never hear an Israeli giving their point of view. Have they been banned? You certainly hear lots of Arab voices almost every day, 


    • deegee says:

      It seems most of the Middle East section of the BBC is finally doing what they should be, reporting on the whole Middle East and not obsessively on Israel (not referring to quality here just coverage). Few Israeli voices because few Beeboids in Israel.


  14. George R says:

    For INBBC:

    “Leftists Visit, Hug Mother of Fogel Murderer ”



  15. J J says:

    Hamas are presumably Salafis. Salafism, to put it crudely, is basically the Sunni Islamic equivalent of strict, five solas Protestantism. They indeed are influenced by Western Protestantism and modernist thought as well as certain figures in medieval Islam. Al-quaeda is not affiliated with the Salafism, that is like saying the Baptists are affiliated with the Westboro church; it is the otherway around. Rather Al-quaeda are influenced by a derivative branch of Salafism, that associated with Seyyed Qutb through the intermediary of Saudi Wahabism.