Passive Killing

Thanks to Pounce for drawing my attention to this example of BBC bias.

Six killed in gun battle! Home-owner killed! Politically motivated arrests!
Police raid! Allegations of torture! Zionist Agents!

All of this and more, but wait – Who has done these evil things?

Israel is not in the headline. Why not? Because this time Israel is not the culprit.

There doesn’t seem to be culprit at all.
In fact no-one in particular seems to have murdered anyone. Just Fighting. Fighting is what has killed six Palestinians.

That explains why the headline is not:
Palestinians murder Palestinians in West Bank Gun Battle.”

BBC headline writers have a habit of taking all responsibility away from Palestinians, who just die from ‘fighting’ whereas Israelis “kill militants” and “strike children,” and if any Israelis should die, it’s from Fighting, Rockets, or Explosions. You know, the ones that just happen.

Same Old Same Old

Q. What do you remember about the slap on the wrist given to the BBC by the BBC Trust’s Editorial Standards Committee?

A. Some of the complaints about bias in the Middle east Editor’s reporting were upheld.

All well and good. What has happened since? Has Jeremy Bowen changed? Has he been demoted? Has the reporting become less biased?
The Zionist Federation and the intrepid Jonathan Turner who tussled with the BBC for almost two years over this are not happy.

On April 16th they issued a press release stating exactly why they were not satisfied with the BBC’s response. Or lack thereof.

For example rephrasing of the web article was inadequate and not in accord with the trust’s findings.
The BBC recognises that ” there is no consensus view of history” and that “there are others who have different analysis – which of course they are entitled to.”
But Jeremy Bowen does not refer to the existence of “different analyses” Does he even realise there are any?

The Zionist Federation contends that the BBC’s biased reporting over the years has contributed to overt and covert hostility towards Israel and Jews, which has led to the racist acts against British Jews which they have statistically documented.

Even those who dispute that will wonder why so little has changed, and why Jeremy Bowen is still the BBC’s Middle East editor.

Different Strokes for Different Folks

Honest Reporting links to JJ Goldberg’s article in Columbia Journalism Review where he analyses and compares coverage of the “debunked allegations” of IDF abuses in Gaza. (I use the quotes because I’m quoting.)
He is interested in how the story is framed, and notes differences in the way the American and British press present the subject.

JJ Goldberg acknowledges that the US ‘Jewish lobby’ is a factor that both affects and influences the American Press’s gentler treatment of Israel, but explains that this is understandable, no more sinister than any other pressure from any other organised interest group, and no bad thing. He is asking: What’s wrong with a Jewish lobby? Why shouldn’t Jews have an interest group? The Jews are good guys and valuable to America.

“It’s almost a cliché these days to suggest that the presence of a well-organized Jewish community in America has a lot to do with the way Israel is treated by government and the media. It’s a mistake, though, to note the community’s ability to threaten and overlook its role as a leavening force in the larger culture. Jewish sensibilities help shape America’s sense of humor, U.S. attitudes toward civil rights, and much more. It would be astonishing if American Jews didn’t also influence America’s view of Israel—much as Irish Americans have helped mold attitudes toward Ireland.”

The article shows how the BBC’s Paul Wood seems to represent the British attitude. His reports, in sharp contrast, are blatantly critical of Israel, with emotive images accompanying inflammatory voiceovers, openly disapproving and condemnatory.

It is a fascinating exercise. What particularly interested me was the conclusion that:

“That’s a key difference between American and British coverage of the Middle East. The British Jewish community is well rooted, but it’s smaller—barely one-tenth the size of, say, the British Muslim community.”

It sort of hints that the ‘Muslim lobby’ has been busy influencing and affecting things here. If so, are we to assume that it’s understandable, natural, and quite okay, and we must accept that in Britain we have a culture that regards the phrase “Jewish Lobby” as shorthand for sinister cabal with dastardly intent, and the word Zionist as the embodiment of evil.

In saying this, I could be letting the Beeb off the hook, saying they’re only reflecting our culture.
But are they reflecting, or creating?


So, one day after D-day and the site is still here and I have been closely following your comments. I want to let you know that we will try and follow up all your positive and thoughtful suggestions, wherever this is possible.

There are a few things that I have decided ARE staying on blog – such as the Twitter bar. The reason is that this enables me to post a quick comment which may be on the BBC whenever I hear or see it. If some don’t like this, tough. Furthermore, it may be that the blogger platform is imperfect but trust me there is no such thing as a perfect platform.

Some people have commented regarding the siting of A Tangled Web and All Seeing Eye at the top of this site. I would simply point out the huge behind the scenes work that Geoff from the Eye makes to this site (Ever wondered who makes the weekly Question Time session run smoothly) and just like ATW he also picks up on BBC related issues – so both blogs are staying, linked here – to be augmented with others. The broader blogroll will also develop. This is WORK IN PROGRESS – but progress it is. So my thanks to all who come here – hope the shock of the new is now wearing off – and from tomorrow on I only want to talk about the lousy BBC and the bias it exudes. Hope you agree!


Anyone catch the Andrew Marr show this morning? Amazingly pro-Labour with Postie Johnson and luvvie Patrick Stewart bigging up Prudence. Johnson was on to slap down the Blears mutiny, of course. Meanwhile Marr himself commented that Labour had to be given credit for what they have already done for the Gurkhas.

And as an extra treat, Nicky Campbell’s “The Big Question” is debating should we be ASHAMED of our role in Iraq? Saddamite supporters in the audience. Total contempt for the British army. Universal agreement that the war was wrong because we were “lied” to and that weapons of mass destruction did not exist. No one too bothered about Saddam’s genocide. George Carey claims we brought terrorism into Iraq.

For further multiculti fun he also has a Druid on!

The look of this site might alter, the BBC agenda is fixed in aspic.

You’re Fired

“Trust is the foundation of the BBC. Audiences are at the heart of everything we do. We take pride in delivering quality. We respect each other. We are honest. We are impartial.”

The BBC Values, from the back of BBC Radio Devon presenter Graham Danton’s electronic entry card into the BBC building.

SUNDAY afternoon radio presenter Graham Danton has been abruptly sacked by the BBC after more than 20 years, leaving his loyal listeners confused at the lack of explanation.

In today’s Western Morning News there’s an article by Mr. Danton in which he reveals more. He begins by quoting Orwell’s “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”

He feels his sacking was really because he “Highlighted uncomfortable topics”
“Every presenter has to obey the policy of BBC compliance. In effect, it means no presenter is fully trusted any more.”

Hosting a phone-in programme “two hours of never knowing what topic was coming next while having to play Devil’s Advocate, just me and a young lad who put the calls through to my desk”
“Now ( since Ross and Brand) it’s controlled by a producer… you go on air only if it’s approved by the producer…. some people say they’ll speak about the previous topic, be accepted, then speak their minds about something else……….. Little red warning triangles used to appear on my telephone screen……

“Since last autumn, a few minutes before my programme went on air a senior member of staff would question me as to what I was going to talk about… that time I was forbidden to talk about:

  • politics
  • crime
  • immigration
  • religion (on a Sunday)
  • the EU
  • Islam
  • health matters
  • even cats (would offend cat lovers)

“Since I left school in 1948 I have had eight employers…..the only one I am ashamed to have worked for is the BBC.”

His electronic entry card was deleted within two hours of his dismissal.

Further fallout

It’s been hard to avoid comment about the Beeb’s bias in the national press lately, but this article by novelist DJ Taylor on the Beeb’s US election coverage is worth flagging up:

While everybody in the room – party cheerleaders excepted – clearly wanted Obama to win, those in charge were doing a very good impression of studied neutrality. It was all a far cry from recent British general elections, where the anti-Conservative bias of certain BBC pundits… has been so flagrant as to make you wonder exactly how they got away with it… There is no great mystery, of course, behind this sudden excess of timidity. In the wake of the Brand/Ross disaster the corporation is simply terrified of offending anybody.

Worth mentioning, too, that Taylor’s a member of the Labour party, and this is from the left-leaning Independent.

And, sticking with leftist newspapers sticking it to the Beeb over the last couple of days, here’s Sue Carroll in the Mirror on Ed Stourton’s description of the Queen mother as a “ghastly old bigot”:

When the Queen Mother died, Ed Stourton condemned a tabloid newspaper for publishing details of her last moments, claiming the publication was “quite comfortable in the gutter”… Would his book about political correctness have made news without him shopping the nation’s favourite gran? In a word No.

Welcome to the gutter, Ed.

“The BBC was meant to be politically neutral, but …”

Alex Deane, former aide to David Cameron, at the Social Affairs Unit blog, on a little vignette in a Telegraph Joan Bakewell interview.

(For post-diluvian readers, Joan Bakewell was the Kirsty Wark of her late-Sixties to mid-Eighties day, popping up all over the BBC either as presenter or pundit. Famously described by Frank Muir as ‘the thinking man’s crumpet’).