What’s in a Name

When Melanie Phillips details a specific instance of biased BBC reporting, there’s nothing more to add than to direct B-BBC readers straight there, and to the follow-up piece.

Denis MacEoin is well-known for writing letters defending Israel against defamation, and his letter to the BBC and the reply he received from Tarik Kafala the BBC’s online editor are just worth an extra mention here.
Dr. MacEoin wrote to the BBC to express his alarm and disgust that a ‘Viewpoint’ contribution on the BBC Website gives a platform to someone who regards returning Palestinian ex- prisoners as heroes. Heroes solely because they murdered Israeli civilians. He feels, as many of us do, that this implies tacit approval on the part of the BBC.

Mr Kafala, who “was appointed as Middle East editor of BBC News Online in order to add extra authority to our website” (extra authority to……. Jeremy Bowen?) has form when it comes to answering complaints about the BBC’s coverage of matters M.E, notably relating to Israel. From here, circa 2005

“I emailed the BBC to complain about this outrageous misrepresentation of Judaism. I eventually got an extraordinary reply back, from which this is the key extract, from a Mr Tarik Kafala, the editor of the BBC News website on which I had originally picked up Tim’s report.”

This time Mr. Kafala justifies his editorial decision to publish these quotations because he believes another ‘Viewpoint’ article provides that vital balance. But the article is by someone who disapproves of the prisoner exchange altogether. So on the one hand we have an anti Israel ‘viewpoint’, and on the other hand, or should that be on the same hand, another anti Israel ‘viewpoint’.

I can only assume Mr Kafala thinks balance was achieved because one ‘viewpointee’ was a Palestinian, and the other was an Israeli.

“These two articles were intended to allow and[sic] Israeli and a Palestinian to explain in detail their views and feelings about the prisoner releases. Each article is highly opinionated, personal and partisan. They are both clearly labelled as ‘viewpoints’ ”

But what about the context? Presumably the website is intended to educate and inform people. Who, apart from Israel-bashers, would want to read “how many Palestinians feel about the issue of prisoners in Israeli jails and about the acts of violence carried out by them against Israelis in Israel and the occupied territories.” even though “Such views are widely held by Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza,” without reading, in the same article, or by a link, why they were imprisoned or how they were treated in prison, or to consider these things in comparison to Shalit’s ordeal?
Does the absence of context imply tacit approval? And why is it “important to represent them as a means of explaining the importance of the events we are reporting on the news.” without representing the views of someone who understands the situation from all perspectives, or who is sympathetic towards the dilemma Israel faces when dealing with fanatical Islamists such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad?
As for finding out about “the acts of violence carried out by them against Israelis in Israel and the occupied territories.” I see little or no evidence of that in this web article. The opposite is more the case.
An article by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes represents the Israeli perspective in the BBC’s inimicable fashion. He says:

“However, in the case of Gilad Shalit, it has always been clear that he was alive. His Hamas captors had taken him for the very reason of doing a prisoner swap.
Hamas also knew very well just how much Israel would eventually be willing to pay to get him back.
And that is why, despite the price Israel has now paid, 80% of Israelis are solidly behind this deal.”

Firstly, no, it has not always been clear that he was alive. Hamas’s reasons for kidnapping him were no assurances of that whatsoever. The last prisoner swap hostages were returned in coffins.

Shalit was kept in isolation, with no humanitarian aid at all. And if, as Wingfield-Hayes says, 80% of Israelis really were behind this deal, why didn’t we get a page of their “viewpoints” as well? As “a means of explaining the importance of events we are reporting on the news”, as Tarik Kafala is so keen to justify publishing his ‘heroes’ article.

I don’t want to leap to the conclusion that someone with a name like Tarik Kafala would automatically be prejudiced against Israel. That would make me the same as Richard “I have developed a habit, when confronted by letters to the editor in support of the Israeli government to look at the signature to see if the writer has a Jewish name. If so, I tend not to read it” Ingrams. We mustn’t be hasty. But in my cursory research (Google of course) I couldn’t find anything to justify the BBC’s statement that appointing him as their Middle east editor of BBC news online would bring extra authority to their website. What was his expertise?
It appears that by labelling something ‘viewpoint’ one can get away with publicising any views whatsoever. Any views other than criticising Islam I daresay.


Interesting insight here by B-BBC contributor Alan;

Peter Salmon: The BBC's outlook for Salford is sunny
“BBC loves the idea of a borderless Europe with free movement of people all living in harmony and peace, bringing diversity and sparking exciting, innovative new ideas off each other…..as long as you don’t want possessions or a ‘homeland’…or maybe even a home….wouldn’t it be more efficient to ‘hot house’ and merely temporarily live in any house…ready at an instant to move onto your next exciting project….no ownership, no house chains, no problems…and all forced, sorry ‘facilitated’, by the government…isn’t that reminiscent of a failed ideology that did seem to like borders so much they built a wall and killed you for trying to cross it?
After all it all works…or surely will work, at BBC Salford…..

‘Staff have been given lockers for their personal belongings, and then “hot desk” at different seats as required. But one luxury they are not allowed at their hot–desks is a waste–paper bin. The only bins are near the photocopiers and in the kitchen areas (which, of course, also have recycling hoppers and a receptacle for “lined single–use paper cups”). According to Salmon, the lack of a personal bin “makes people move round a bit more, collaborate a little bit more and get to know their colleagues, learn new things about different ways of working. If people become territorial and defensive about their own space, they tend to work in less efficient ways.”


Yes, it’s Greg Palast:

“The BBC won’t let me tell you where I am. Just that we’re doing another investigation following from evidence in Vultures’ Picnic.”

Here’s Palast speaking at the lefty Fighting Bob Fest in September this year:

“This is Wisconsin, this is the place where you had some guy pour a beer on the head of a Republican state senator? No, no, no, that’s all wrong. You can’t do that. That’s just wrong. I’m from New York. If you’re going to pour beer on a Republican, you have to drink it first.”

There’s a possible clue to what Palast may be up to for the BBC on his website. On October 5 he posted an article headlined “Über-Vultures: The Billionaires Who Would Pick Our President” in which he attacks a small group of rich Republican supporters (including, of course, the left’s most-hated rich men – the Koch brothers).

Just before the 2008 election Palast produced a report for Newsnight in which he warned that the Republicans were going to steal the election. You may recall the outcome of that one. In 2006 he warned that the Republicans were going to steal the midterm elections. The Democrats won both houses of Congress and a majority of governorships. Now he’s warning that the GOP will have the presidency bought for them by a cabal of evil billionaires.

Unsurprisingly Palast – along with the rest of his BBC journalist chums – shows little interest in stuff like this:

GOP claims that the Obama administration’s green energy loan guarantee program is mired in cronyism grew on Friday after a company tied to Nancy Pelosi’s brother-in-law got the lion’s share of the final government hand-outs made before Friday’s end of the fiscal year.
The decision to guarantee $737 million comes hard on the heels of the loss of more than $500 million of government money due to the bankruptcy of solar panel company Solyndra…
The Solyndra scandal has cost taxpayers $535 million following the company’s bankruptcy in early September. The company, whose principals have given hundreds of thousands of dollars to Democratic causes is now being investigated by the FBI for fraud.

In an aticle last week about Obama’s fundraising, the LA Times said:

Obama’s campaign will also have support from California’s venture capital and green energy communities, which remain loyal to the president.

Little wonder when the rewards from his administration are so great.

And let’s not forget this information, which I mentioned last week, from the Washington Post:

Obama has brought in more money from employees of banks, hedge funds and other financial service companies than all of the GOP candidates combined, according to a Washington Post analysis of contribution data.

Again of no interest to the BBC.

So even though (or perhaps because) we have a Democrat administration increasingly mired in financial scandal, the BBC has brought back on board Republican-hating activist Greg Palast. It can only mean one thing: the BBC’s 2012 strategy is – once again – to attack the Republican Party. Not that we expected anything different, of course.


Guido had the goods here yesterday and now the Mail today. B-BBC contributor Alan makes some very valid points here..

“The recent ‘BEST’ report, not peer reviewed, on world temperature changes, was cited as evidence by Richard Black that the sceptics are wrong…..and that Phil Jones of the CRU has been proven to be a truthful and honest reporter of facts (despite absolute evidence from the emails and indeed the science itself to the contrary). Now it seems the BEST report and the conclusions drawn by one of its authors were best taken with a pinch of salt. The temperature hasn’t risen for over a decade, there is no proof that warming is the result of man’s activities to any large extent…..North America and Northern Europe have been cooling.

I wonder how Black will get out of this one…..having reported so enthusiastically and uncritically something that he believes rather than taking a professional, objective view? Black aside the BBC are adopting more slippery tactics in persuading us that global warming is having seriously detrimental effects on the world…and it never mentions any benefits.”READ MORE HERE

“The BBC’s ‘FrozenPlanet’ is a stunning and fascinating film presented by the trusted,authoritative and well loved David Attenborough.

The BBC recognise that Attenborough can be a hugely influential figure havingbeen a fixture in most people’s lives for years from childhood onwards….atrusted, ‘fatherly’ figure. To have him hint that global warming is a disasterfor the world will be calculated by the BBC to change our attitudes and supportthe climate change movement.

When Attenborough slips in comments such as ‘this maybe the last time we seethis Arctic wilderness’ or similar statements throughout the programme it isessentially ‘product placement’ by the BBC using a programme about the Arcticto champion its own political agenda in a subtle and devious manner.

What is so clever is that there is no mention of man made causes for climatechange….so you are not alerted to any agenda nor do you then start askingdifficult questions that distract you from the message.

Once the BBC has it fixed in your subconscious that climate change is real andimportantly, harmful, it can move on to nudge you into believing the sole causeis man made emissions of CO2.

Look at Black’s piece on the BEST report….he claims it proves ‘sceptics’ werewrong about denying AGW…..but the report only concludes that temperatureshave risen…it states categorically that there is no proven link to man madecauses.

The sceptics though have never claimed that there has been no rise intemperature …they are ‘sceptical’ of the ‘proofs’ so far provided by somescientists…many of whom seem to be so determined to ‘prove’ AGW that theywill do anything to hide the truth….as shown by the CRU emails and now bythis revelation about one of the BEST author’s activities.

The BBC unfortunately is promoting a lie.”


When you look at this video and then you read this BBC story, you wonder if we are living on the same planet. BBC staff should don Keffiyehs when reading out every story on Israel as the visual cue for what is a patently underlying contempt for Israel and a cloying support for whatever trash the Palestinians put out.


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