The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Court.

So the shaggy dog-stoning story turned out to be out of synch with the actuality. The delight with which the BBC wagged its tail over the story contrasts starkly with their low-profile retraction. Their hasty, nay reckless, promotion of it might have been embarrassing if it had concerned any other topic, but being about Israel, well….. give a dog a bad name.

Why, one might ask, would the BBC go to the trouble of announcing it on news bulletins with obvious glee? Why would it become one of the most popular stories on the BBC website? Simples. In their relentless quest to sanitise Islam and demonise Judaism, all the elements were there. Dog. Stoning. Religion. Jews are as mad as the mad mullahs, with cruelty to animals thrown in for good measure. Nice one.

The retractions are a different story. ‘We’re sorry we fell for it, but it was understandable. We may have been barking up the wrong tree, but we still think it’s possibly true. The Jews deny it, but they would, wouldn’t they.’

Other news organs are more explicit. Even Islam Newsroom dot com.
Many single out the BBC’s ‘mistake’ for special mention.
“The story’s only deficiency is that it comes up short in the being-factually-true department.”

The BBC has been caught with its pants down, but now that Israel is permanently in the dog house, who’s bovvered?

Here’s one I prepared earlier. It concerns another broadcasting malfunction that required a retraction and a teensy weensy apology.
I was in Iona recently and saw that their Abbey is a popular tourist attraction. It reminded me that John Bell of the Iona Community is a regular contributor to Thought For The Day, the Today programme’s daily reminder of goodness and Godliness. I understand that the Iona community supports the BDS campaign, and if that is indeed the case, it ties up with this. (From Wikipedia.)

“He [John Bell] is a frequent broadcaster, and often presents programmes on the BBC, majoring on contemporary religious songs from various parts of the world.

In 2005, the BBC apologised for a broadcast by Bell in which he suggested that a Muslim corporal conscripted into the Israeli army had been jailed for refusing to shoot Palestinian children. The broadcast itself was a fairly innocuous plea for understanding between the two sides with conflicting claims in the Middle East, yet was interpreted by those of one allegiance as an attack. Neither the BBC nor the Israeli military were able to find any evidence supporting the story or the existence of a soldier fitting the description. It was further pointed out that Israeli Arabs are not subject to conscription. Bell acknowledged that parts of his story were incorrect and that the broadcast could have been interpreted by some parties as “furtive racism”, though he countered that “such a conjecture would be completely untrue.”.[1] It was also reported that a spokesman at the Israeli embassy said, “We appreciate that the BBC has apologised; however, it is a pity as the damage is irreparable.[…]”

Muslim! Jailed! Israeli Army! Shooting! Palestinian! Children.!
Good gracious me. whatever next!
Who could ‘those of one allegiance’ possibly be? Oh, how innocuous, this little plea for understanding. Or was that more of a plea for misunderstanding?
Carry on pleading all you like on the BBC John, and should any furtive racism creep in, the BBC will issue a miniscule apology to make it all better.

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25 Responses to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Court.

  1. pounce_uk says:

    Good spot sue,   
    I was having a discussion with friends the otherday and mentioned that if I was found to have cancer and given months to live, i would sell up buy a gun and visit the bBC ,I’d be looking at slotting at least 100 bBC idiots. Thankfully for the bBC I’m as healthy as a butchers dog.  
    Thats how pissed off I am with the bbCs biased reporting which promotes hatred agaisnt non-muslims on a daily basis.


    • TooTrue says:

      Dunno about this. Doctors can be wrong. And what if you have more than one life and you have to pay for your deeds in this one in the next?


  2. My Site (click to edit) says:

    On the BBC Editor’s Blog, where the ‘apology’ is ‘explained’, the only animals I can find is a nest of vipers surrounded by a bunch of market rate weasels.

    At the moment, no one can extract what the claimed checks were that ‘failed’. And given their predeliction for watertight oversight when frozen, rabbit-like, in the spotlight, breath is not being held on that ever being clarified.

    Rather leading one to suspect that there were, in fact, none.

    It simply played well to their prejudices so they ran with it.

    Genetic impartiality? Helen, luv, you and you overpaid fellow makeweights are ‘aving a larf at our compelled expense.

    And in some cases, it’s killing people.

    Not in my name.


  3. My Site (click to edit) says:

    RaymondSnoddy Raymond Snoddy On Newswatch this week the very strange case of the dog, the rabbi and the eventual online apology

    Bets on ‘On balance, though, I think we got it about right’?


  4. Demon1001 says:

    I clicked on all the links on the main blog and saw a ridiculously fulsome apology to Muslims because a sports commentater referred to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.  The quality of that apology, for what is after all correct in reality, bears no comparison to the half-hearted apology for the real and disgusting libel against Israel.

    It’s awful how the BBC make so much of this (untrue) story about a dog-stoning when done by Israelis yet almost never mention the actual people stoning that is going on in many countries in the middle east.  It’s not even equating the two as it’s obviously trying to make the dog-stoning as more newsworthy than people stoning and decapitating.

    When I fist came across the dog story I assumed it to be based on truth knowing that there are as religious nuts in the extreme end of Jewry as there is in all religions.  Someone had even raised it as an item attacking Israel on facebook.  I thought what bad PR the Israelis are doing to themselves here.  But when it turns out to be a complete lie and the BBC are so mealy-mouthed about admitting it and not publicly disciplining the perpetrators of this anti-semitic bilge, I am ashamed that I half-believed it myself.  It just shows how dangerous they are when a BBC-sceptic like me can be fooled – it’s no wonder the genuinely gullible are so easily led into anti-Israel (and other anti) positions. 


  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    If nothing else, it’s interesting that the BBC bothered to report a dog being sentenced to death in Israel, but don’t bother reporting when human women and homosexuals are in certain other countries.


  6. john in cheshire says:

    The stoned dog story was explained on Harry’s Place blog, at the beginning of this week. I happened to be reading Yahoo news website and the story was repeated there. I posted a comment, explaining that it was an inaccurate report and pointed people to Harry’s Place for the real story. However, the anti-semitic vitriol that had been spewed up by the other commenters was a revelation in itself. I was literally shocked at the language that was being used to describe Jews. Given that the story had been retracted by the Jewish Newspaper that originally reported the stoning, several days ago, I am thoroughly peed off with the bbc for not bothering to check the details. But as we all know, the pile of filth that is the bbc wouldn’t think that to be their job in life.


  7. cjhartnett says:

    The BBC just make it up these days and are out of control.
    Just as well none of us listen seriously to a single word that they say.
    They hate Israel-so I find myself seeking out Robin Shepherd, Melanie Philips, Denis Me Eoin etc for the truth.
    Israel is a modern miracle, and won`t be going anywhere soon. There is nowhere else to go anyway!
    Since the BBC fears and hates them-they have GOT to be right!
    Reading a lot on Israeli history…to see names like Dyan.Peres, Ben Gurion, Rabin Peres and Netenyahu : then compare them to the pigmies and venal fakes that dare to pronounce Israel…no contest!
    God Bless Israel-and keep on posting Sue etal!


  8. George R says:

    Despite INBBC, more reasons for supporting Israel:

    ‘Daily Telegraph’: see 28 photos and captions here-

    “Israel’s nationwide five-day emergency drill to prepare for missile or chemical attacks”


  9. My Site (click to edit) says:

    CommentatorIntl The Commentator BBC on Jewish dog story: “We failed to make the right checks.” The Commentator did. & called shenanigans immediately:
    Amazing what a £4Bpa budget get one (if funded by compulsion), and er, what others manage on less.
    Noting link is currently a 404 error.


    • NotaSheep says:

      The 404 is a real cop-out there should be an apology at that page. The BBC’s anti-Israel bias shines through again.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yes, what happened to the journalistic standard they use in response to complaints that the BBC should have reported something sooner than they did: that they were waiting for more substantiation before rushing to report a story?


      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        what happened to the journalistic standard they use’

        Watertight oversight is highly complex, dependent on many factors: size of dyke, where fingers are currently being stuck elsewhere… it’s not easy on just £4Bpa extorted by compulsion. Uniquely.


    • deegee says:

      Will the ‘journalist’ who failed suffer some form of punishment or reprimand? Perhaps a tongue lashing from his boss Jeremy Bowen?


  10. My Site (click to edit) says:

    BBC Newswatch uses BBC senior management to sum up the BBC (with mostly unintentional irony):

    Really, an episode to preserve, not least for the main weasel from a main weasel being that they didn’t know story was pants because the correction on their original ‘source’ was tucked away and they ‘didn’t notice’.

    A bit like Newswatch then.

    First up, sulky Editor in a blazer doesn’t exactly say they ‘got it about right’, but grasps at a bunch of straws and simply looks like a petulant, arrogant fool. Well, a bigger one.

    Then Helen ‘Hugs’ Boaden tries to claim that ‘lessons have been learned’ (really, luv… still? With a straight face?) and all will be resolved, again, by her writing, again, to her staff, again. Who will ignore her, again. Which is why she gets the market rate big bucks.

    She even tried out the ‘we’re still so trusted’ for size. No, dear, you’re not any more. Frankly, repeating ‘we didn’t check properly’ in succession on two separate, major story howlers in one week is rather damning.

    And finally… just for fun… two peroxide sinks rather make the case not so much for wardrobe balance, but for £96kpa being a smidge OTT for two airheads to read out what one can just as well.

    But Mr. Snoddy’s parting remarks on cloning within the hive were not far off the mark.

    Just wish I was not compelled to fund it all so uniquely.


    • sue says:

      Listener Simon Hughes must have been disappointed with the way his complaint was dealt with.
      Were the points in his email addressed? 
      1) That it was unworthy of the well resourced BBC to publicise any unsubstantiated story without independent verification.

      2) That in this particular case picking up a story which touches on sensitive and complex issues and rushing in with it in the manner they did gave the impression that it was intended to incite racial hatred. (Which it evidently has.)
      The second part of the complaint was hardly explored. Too much of a Pandora’s box.
      Right at the end, Snoddy asks: “Sarah, what overall impression did you think this story, albeit in its many manifestations, has left in peoples’ minds?
      She answered: “I think the majority still believe it.”
      What did the spookily named Steve Herrmann have to say about that? Not a lot, because at that point the subject was over.
      However he had been hanging his head in a shamefaced pose
      throughout, although this might have been his normal posture. And he had quite a bit to say about the first point in defence of the BBC.
      ‘It wasn’t only us’ he offered. ‘Others reported it too. And we weren’t the only ones who failed to spot the retractions that were published in the Hebrew press. (Was he saying that the BBC couldn’t be expected to understand Hebrew?) ‘We should not have published that story,.”

      Snoddy: “The story was there until Wednesday, when you knew it wasn’t true.”

      Was an apology in the offing?
      “There were elements in the story that were true” (So no apology) “There was something about a dog and a court. We took the follow-up step of publishing a brief explanation […..] we did publish a story that the whole thing had been denied.”

      The whole thing had been denied?
      Not quite the same as an apology. Or an admission that it was ludicrous, that they publicised it because they took pleasure in the fact that it made a rabbinical court look as dog-hating, as fanatical, as keen on stonings to death, as superstitous, as an Islamic court, or facing up to the fact that that they’d made a mistake which revealed much more about their ignorance, prejudice, dislike of Israel and their insensitivity, than they will ever own up to.


      • Craig says:

        Yes, the charge Simon Hughes made that the article had been “copied almost word for word from another website” was not really answered by Steve Herrmann, not even when viewer Susan Ehrlich repeated it in different words (“copying and pasting it from other sites”). The BBC website engages in far too much copying and pasting.

        He quibbled over her use of ‘five minutes’ to fact-check the story rather than seriously addressing the issue of verification. “Rightly or wrongly it took us a while to get to the bottom of that,” he said, refusing to straightforwardly admit that it was “wrong” not to have checked the story earlier. The follow-up story and the short Editor’s blogpiece seem to have been entirely forced on the BBC website through the fact-checking of others.

        Herrmann made the point that the BBC’s follow-up story about the denial “did actually make it onto the front page and was there for quite a long time.” That didn’t address the issue of why the original story, which also “made it to the front page and was there for quite a long time”, was given the prominence the BBC  chose to give it. That’s the most worrying aspect of the story, I think – that the BBC pounced on a (false) minor story that made Judaism look bad and banged it, without checking, onto its website homepage and kept it up there for a long time, allowing considerable damage to be done.

        So many people read the original story that many of them will doubtless have thought that the follow-up story (about the denial) was the one they’d already read and shared on Facebook, so not bothered reading it. Moreover, the Editors’ blogpiece should have been a prominent feature on the BBC homepage for several days.

        That point about the correction in the Israeli tabloid being made “in the Hebrew press and we hadn’t spotted that” did sound to me as if Herrmann was using the language issue as another excuse, along with the excuse that an Israeli news website and an international news agency had reported it too. (Two or three wrongs don’t make a right Steve).

        As you say Sue, it was a shame Herrmann wasn’t given time to answer the point about the damage done by the BBC’s mistake. What weasel words would he have found to answer that?


      • TooTrue says:

        Would have liked to have seen that, but can’t get Newswatch here. I have tried to correspond with Herrmann before a few times. He either hands the mail over to a subordinate or just ignores it completely. A subordinate replied when I complained about Sarah Bell cheerleading for the Libdems in Richmond Park and then her article being mostly deleted to hide the evidence with a mealy mouthed “apology” tacked onto it with no info at all on the bias which prompted the deletion. The subordinate refused to accept the final point I made – that the BBC had simply hidden the evidence of their bias.

        I guess the only reason they corresponded with me at all was because they were nervous about having broken the requirement to be even-handed shorty before an election.

        Good for Snoddy anyway for pushing and probing a bit there. In the days when I could still access Newswatch he sometimes got quite adamant about exposing the bias.


  11. deegee says:

    Journalism is about what you report and what you ignore.
    Analysis is about …?

    If one was to ask which famous Israeli could the UK Government pick to honour who would have the least support in Israel it would be hard to top Daniel Barenboim. Conductoor Daniel Barenboim receives honoury knighthood.

    What’s missing? Let’s start with the fact that Barenboim is a controversial figure in Israel. In part for his poliitics – would accepting honoury citizenship of from the people your country is at war with be appreciated in the UK? Israeli law bans citizens from entering the territory. He publicly flouting the laws of his country to play concerts in Gaza.

    In part for alienating a large group of Holocaust survivors by playing Wagner, identified with Hitler, in public concerts.
    What else is missing? The rejection by Hamas of Western classical music should be relevant. 


    • deegee says:

      I’ll give the BBC a pass for not asking these questions in a news report although they are not generally so strict about separating news and commentary about Israel.

      Surely the question must be asked about what was the Government’s motives in honouring such a controversial figure. That normally means a symbolic rejection of that person’s government. Is the Government willing to say this openly?

      Usually isn’t this award given for something that could be said to benefit Britain?


  12. TooTrue says:

    Wouldn’t it be great if there were a way to force the BBC and other propaganda outfits to make their rare retractions as prominent as the original bias.

    They should be required to do it by law.


    • sue says:

      They should. Once the story has been brandished it leaves an unpleasant aftertaste. You can’t unhear something, or unsee it, and once the idea has been implanted in the minds of those who’d like it to be true, it will linger.
      Every major news media outlet in the world ran this story which prompted extreme criticism, not only of the court and the alleged partakers in this horrific event, but of Israelis and Jews in general. It was all re-posted thousands of times on facebook and twitter, and was even the “most read” story on the BBC. This prompted thousands of comments, many of which stated the opinion that dogs are better than Jews.”
      There should have been a a prominent retraction with profuse apologies, and full acknowledgement of the damage this story has done and will probably continue to do for evermore.