“Hundreds, if not thousands of people think the BBC is pro Israel. And an equal number think the opposite. How on earth do you adjudicate on matters as complicated as that?” asks BBC Newswatch’s Raymond Snoddy.
BBC Trust’s Richard Ayres has been brought in specially to help tell us that on balance the BBC gets it about right.
“It’s extremely difficult! It’s almost impossible for the BBC to do a news report on the M.E. without someone alleging that we are partial on one side or the other,” answers Mr Ayres,
“ sometimes on both” he adds, bafflingly.
(“Dear Sir,” someone has obviously written, “I am outraged by the BBC’s blatant bias against Israel and its blatant bias against the Palestinians” )
If they get complaints like that, no wonder it takes the BBC such a long time to reply.
Enjoy! Can’t wait for the new, speeded up complaints system!
This really is a pathetic show. “We’ve read out a few complaints, therefore we’ve listened.” Baloney. Nothing will change as a result of any of this. Nobody seriously thinks the BBC will, for example, take a step back from spamming the airwaves with footage of grieving families the next time there’s some tragic accident.
As for Israel, how many times have we had this discussion? It’s ridiculous. Volume is not the best indicator of correctness. The only way one can honestly assess real value of the complaints on any issue is to examine a good sample from both sides. Once again the BBC dismisses their responsibility.
If we’re going to play the BBC’s numbers game, then, I have a simple question: How many major newspaper and magazine columnists and MPs have said that the BBC is biased in favor of Israel?
Defenders of the indefensible are welcome to run the numbers by me.
“Complaints” shows are just like news bulletins and current affairs analysis shows. The items are chosen for their variety and “balance”. The rules are simple: no-one ends up with egg on their face and the BBC’s integrity is maintained, but a good time is had by all.
“And that’s all from me for now. Keep the cards and letters rolling in. Next week we’ll have the head of comedy to answer your letters about R4 humour…” ya-da-ya-da-ya-da.”.
There was a show some years ago (“Disgusted Tunbrdige Wells”) which bit hard at the BBC’s heels. It was presented by Derek Robinson, (no relation) a West Country based novelist, journalist and broadcaster. He was so effective at embarrassing the BBC the show was cancelled. Imagine that?
Derek has had an interesting relationship with the BBC hinted at in the biography on his webpage. (http://www.derekrobinson.info/)