Scott Campbell

(from Blithering Bunny)

BBC News 24 says the militants “did their best” to stop the election. (“Best” not a great choice of words, really). 36 people were killed, which is appalling, but is little different than other bad days in Iraq. No rivers of blood. If that’s the terrorists’ “best”, then the terrorists lost.

Overall, BBC News was subdued, and slightly negative, but not particularly bad. Even they couldn’t edit out all the positive comments from the Iraqi people, and the military spokesmen.

There were some odd phrases, though – John Simpson said “Certainly not a victory for the insurgents”.

Well, no John. It wasn’t. I don’t suppose there’s any chance of “A victory for democracy” from you? I mean, do you think was it a draw?

BBC News on the web actually had the headline ‘Iraq election declared “success“‘, which looks positive, until you realize that the BBC isn’t calling it a success, they’re quoting other people who’ve called it a success.

That particular story ends with this plug:

You can watch John Simpson’s Panorama programme on the state of Iraq on BBC One on Sunday 30 January at 2215 GMT and on BBC World television on Saturday 5 February at 0810, 1210 and 2210 GMT.

This’ll be the Panorama program mentioned in the post below this one, then?

(I will applaud Simpson for his bravery, though – at one point he was looking in trouble with some gunmen in Baghdad. I don’t think anyone’s ever doubted the guy has guts. But hey, Fisk got beaten up – does that mean he’s right? If so, he’s denied that there will be a civil war in Iraq, says Tim Blair, who has an Iraq coverage as good as the BBC’s).

Reporter Caroline Hawley said “The Iraqis have spoken, but we don’t know what they said”. Well, we know part of what they said – it was “Up yours, left-wing Western media”.

P.S. “Head-to-Head” featured Melanie Phillips and David Aaronovitch – can’t complain too much about that! Although Sheena MacDonald managed to say “Are we getting too happy-clappy about all this?” Christ. The Iraqis get to vote for the first-time ever, and because her guests are understandably pleased about this, she wonders whether they’re being simple-minded optimistic fools? Don’t we even get one day to be happy about Iraq?

P.P.S. JohnInLondon in comments notes that the BBC was tagging reports with “First elections since Saddam”. There’s a BBC HARDtalk page here with this phrase.

Scott Campbell

(from Blithering Bunny)

Reuters says “BBC apologises for misinterpreting Iraqi death stats”

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) – The BBC apologised on Saturday for erroneously reporting that U.S.-led and Iraqi forces may be responsible for the deaths of 60 percent of Iraqi civilians killed in conflict over the last six months.

The British broadcaster said on Friday in broadcasts and a news statement that its Panorama investigative show would air a report on Sunday citing “confidential” records from Iraq’s health ministry to support the contention.

Iraq’s health minister said the BBC misinterpreted the statistics it had received and had ignored statements from the ministry clarifying the figures.

“Today, the Iraqi Ministry of Health has issued a statement clarifying matters that were the subject of several conversations with the BBC before the report was published, and denying that this conclusion can be drawn from the figures relating to ‘military operations’,” the BBC said in a news statement on Saturday.

“The BBC regrets mistakes in its published and broadcast reports yesterday.”

A BBC spokesman said the statistics would not feature in the Panorama show on Sunday.

Via Slatts.

Scott Campbell

(from Blithering Bunny)

Leftists think asylum’s a huge issue, right? The leftist press went crazy over Michael Howard’s immigration proposals, insisting a storm had been provoked, although most people barely raised an eyebrow. So it stands to reason that when the EU steps in and says that Britain has already handed control of asylum to the EU, this has got to be an even huger story. But guess what? The BBC somehow fails to even mention this. That’s right, it’s a non-story. It’s hard to believe this isn’t deliberate.

All the important decisions for this country are made in back rooms in Brussels. BBC News wants it to stay this way. There’s no need for you little people to go poking your nose in. Shoo! Back to work! Let us handle it!

I’m watching BBC News 24 host a debate on the EU Constitution (ie. a couple of minutes of pointless bickering). Lucy Powell, pro-European, just said that the Euroskeptics are fanatics. If she had more time, no doubt she’d have declared Euroskeptics xenophobic little Englanders.

Scott Campbell (from Blithering Bunny)

Scott Campbell (from Blithering Bunny)
A typical day at the BBC News website:

No entry to Britain: Is the Conservative immigration plan as simple as they say?

Lib Dem plan to help new mothers

Tory expert denies defeatism

Tories accused of ‘desperation’

The Tory stories all have negative headlines. But the headline that concerns the LibDems is presented as an offer to help. Those lovely LibDems. All they want is to be allowed to spread happiness. The story reads like a LibDems’ press release – the only criticism comes right at the end, and that from a Tory, Theresa May.

Ever noticed how the BBC often get Tories to do the negative stuff? That has two effects – it reinforces the image of the Tories as the dour, negative party, and it creates the impression that it’s only the Tories, and not any serious economists or analysts, who are against the proposal in question.