The Sound of Breaking Glass

The genre ‘Rap’ (as in music) has a comical air, something to do with Ali G perhaps, and the more seriously it’s taken the more comical it becomes. This opinion is my own and does not represent that of the BBC.
So the BBC’s decision to ban the words “Free” and “Palestine” from the lyrics of rapper Mic Righteous, or muffle them with the sound of breaking glass, would be hilarious, if it wasn’t stupid and almost sinister.

Poor Mic Righteous had to chant:

“I still have the same beliefs
I can scream (broken glass)
Die for my pride still pray for peace,
Still burn a fed for the brutality
They spread over the world.”

However, the Beeb changed its tiny mind.

“The BBC Trust has decided it is not “proportionate or cost-effective” to proceed further with the complaint, but the original decision does not seem proportionate either. Indeed, had the BBC allowed the song to go through uncensored, it probably would not have been remarked upon (after all, it was two words, not a long political diatribe). As it is, this incident sends a very uncomfortable message.”

This arbitrary censoring and arbitrary uncensoring shows what a muddled thing this impartiality lark can be.
It would be a mistake to assume that every pro-Israel blogger automatically approved of this ban, just as it would be wrong to assume that they would support the BBC’s decision not to air the DEC appeal, never mind the ensuing brouhaha. Most people were ambivalent. (Glad they didn’t show it, but sorry the ban made the BBC look even-handed.) It’s not that they didn’t want people to donate to the cause – as if the ban would have stopped them – but they didn’t relish the prospect of more propaganda than necessary being thrust upon us via the BBC.

The BBC is a devious beast. Things like this are used to bolster claims that they don’t take sides, but in the face of the constant barrage of pro-Palestinian material we detail here day-in and day-out that’s patently ridiculous.

H/T Sarah AB from Harry’s Place.

Not Taking Sides

We don’t take sides!” is a cry repeatedly heard from certain biased organisations that operate under banners of impartiality.
On the other hand, the foreign secretary isn’t constrained by such a banner. Nevertheless William Hague says the government isn’t taking sides on the intricacies of Egyptian politics.
We do take sides,” he admitted moments later, “on behalf of democracy!
Democracy must always be entirely for the good, it seems, even if the electorate have been brainwashed from birth into voting for distinctly undemocratic governments, as in the case of ‘democratically elected’ Hamas. Did I catch Hague praising the smooth-running and successful outcome of the elections in Tunisia? By Jove I think I did.
After strongly advocating motherhood and apple pie in Egypt and free and fair elections, preferably overseen by….. someone or other, Hague declaims:
We’ve seen successful elections in Tunisia, a new government is now being formed in Libya, important reforms are taking place in Morocco and Jordan, and so we should remain on the optimistic side of what’s been happening in the Arab Spring, albeit that there are many conflicts and difficulties along the way.
There’s a little test for Libya coming up, isn’t there?” asks Humph alluding to ‘unSaif’ Gaddafi jnr.
Blah blah blah, international standards.” says Hague.
Syria? “ asks Humph.
Ambassador delegate,” mumbles Hague. “pressure!” “Arab League! “Sanctions!” he drones.

Humph is meek and mild today. “What about Iran?” he ventures.
Waffle, waffle, waffle” goes Hague.
We don’t take sides, even in the (hidden) face of such female candidates as Muna Salah, whose manifesto is “Women Are Deficient in Intelligence and Religion, and It Is Not Permissible for Them to Be in Authority” Does Call me Dave know?

Is this ‘sitting on the fence’ malarkey official BBC policy now that florid featured Lord Patten is in charge? Has Humph been told to calm down dear? Only I’ve been looking at a report about Patten’s recent speech in which he is quoted as saying:
”The BBC is unable to conduct investigations into some of the most important stories of the day – including phone hacking – if they could be construed as having a political bias,
Poor old them. Hampered by those pesky impartiality obligations.
As a publicly funded broadcaster whose output is so directly intrusive, there are some areas where we ought to be particularly careful in our journalism or even decline to follow where newspapers or online journalism may properly lead,” Lord Patten said.
Penetrating observation that. Their output certainly is “so directly intrusive,” and that’s why so many people are hoodwinked and influenced by its barely hidden agenda.
Despite the BBC’s tradition of investigative journalism, it could not have paid for the information on MPs’ expenses as the Daily Telegraph did, nor pursued the hacking story at News International as remorselessly as the Guardian campaign did.”
However, as was reported the other day, information ‘the BBC couldn’t be seen to pay for’ can be obtained indirectly, through third parties such as independent programme makers who can conveniently fall on their swords when outed.

Then comes the familiar old chestnut:

Patten also used his speech to take a side-swipe at politicians who criticise the BBC over alleged breaches of its impartiality. “We have been attacked from both the left and the right,” he said, pointing out that the frequency with which the broadcaster is accused of political bias justifies its choice to not engage in some vital journalism.”

If only the BBC really did choose not to just engage in some vital journalism, and engaged, instead in all vital journalism, not just the kind that fits in with their bias.

Nick Cohen has: “Over at the Leveson inquiry a smug Lord Patten – there is no other kind — said the BBC could not possibly be biased because left wingers attack it on some occasions and right wingers attack it on others.

By continually using this excuse they’re comparing apples with pears to try and justify the wrong-headed, deeply flawed, smug, superficial conclusion that they invariably bandy about in order to give short shrift to all their critics.
Giving Cohen the benefit of the doubt, I’ll assume it’s just ‘for the sake of argument’ that Cohen is also giving Patten the benefit of the doubt, by continuing oddly, thus:

“The BBC holds the ring, he implied. Uncontaminated by the ideologies of extremists, and possessing indeed no bias or ideology of its own, it speaks for moderation and reason.”

‘Taking the centre ground’, Cohen continues, ‘offers no protection against deranged ideas’ , citing the current vindication of former critics of the euro, once perceived as “crazies”, whereas in the light of the crisis in the eurozone, ‘advocates of moderation and reason’ (in this case the BBC) are revealed as the dangerous utopians.
Personally I can’t see the BBC or Lord Patten as centrists or moderate purveyors of conventional wisdom, but I know what Cohen is getting at. There are, however some perceptive comments below the line.
I would like to know why no-one on the BBC seems to question the government on their apparent complacency over the rise of Islamist parties in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Is that part of the constraints imposed by the impartiality obligation? Or is is part of the constraints imposed by their politically correct, pro Islam, left-leaning consensus, which runs right through the organisation from top to bottom like a stick of rock?

As the BBC’s output is so directly intrusive, is it any wonder that the left is the new centre, and the BBC can claim to be moderate and reasonable?

Mark Mardell Sneers At The US Again

As`part of the BBC’s sensational run-up to the 10th anniversary of 9/11, Mark Mardell speaks to a CIA officer about the use of torture, and whether or not it can ever be justified.

The ideas discussed in the full piece may or may not be of interest to you. I don’t know, and frankly don’t care. What I want to draw your attention to is this statement by Mardell, with which he ends the piece:

Such discussions are the meat and drink of adolescent debating societies, rather than mature democracies – where it is more normal to assume it is very wrong, while very occasionally turning a blind eye if it happens.

It has always intrigued me that when Britain really stood in peril of foreign conquest, when the blitz was killing more people than died on 9/11 night after night, it seems torture was not used.

Perhaps they simply never captured a Nazi senior enough to be worth putting to the question. What is the tipping point?

This is the BBC North America editor giving you his personal opinion that, not only is the US inferior to Britain, but we’re no better than adolescents. This is opinion, not journalsim, and sure as hell not impartiality.

Will any of you trust someone about US issues who so candidly sneers at us?

UPDATE: My thanks to all who have pointed out that Mardell is not only biased and arrogant, but ignorant of his own country’s history as well. His statement, on which his entire case for US inferiority seems to rest, is patently false. A full complaint to the BBC is on the way.

The Bias Of Katty Kay Revealed On MSNBC

A couple days ago, BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of what’s left of BBC World News America, Katty Kay participated in a panel discussion on Chris “Thrill Up My Leg” Matthews’ show on MSNBC. Unlike the BBC, MSNBC has no Charter & Agreement requiring them to provide balance and remain impartial, and the panel is even more weighted to the Left: John Heilmann from New York Magazine, Katty, Helene Cooper from the New York Times, and Time Magazine’s Richard Stengel. The host himself is now infamous for his over-emotional statement on air of devotion to the President, and has spent much of the time since His election viciously attacking any opponent.

Before we get to the video, I have to say that it’s certainly not Katty’s fault that this is a far-Left echo-chamber, or that Matthews has a specific partisan agenda to push and assembled this panel accordingly. But she is responsible for her own words and behavior. Therein lies the danger of being a talking head on these panels. It’s all opinion-mongering, and there’s no escaping that the whole point of appearances like this is to give opinions on stories. Sometimes that’s not a big deal, like when a pundit is asked to predict how things might turn out, or explain a couple of angles a politician might take on something. But that’s not what’s going on this time.

Since she’s not actually on the BBC here, and is not performing any BBC-related duty, defenders of the indefensible can claim that she has no obligation to be impartial. All I can do is present this from the BBC’s own rulebook, and let people judge for themselves:

BBC News and Current affairs staff, BBC correspondents on non-staff contracts and freelances known primarily as presenters or reporters on BBC news and current affairs programmes, must remain impartial when speaking publicly or taking part in similar events, such as a public discussion or debate.

Now to the video:

Notice how Matthews misses Perry’s joke and claims this is embracing extremism. The first words out of the New York Magazine guy’s mouth are, “The Republican Party right now is a very ideological party.” And the Democrat Party isn’t? Matthews goes on to disparage Perry, and we can see the tone from the outset. Angry, extremist, mean, ideological. Matthews really piles on, blatantly misrepresenting the message of the movement: “We don’t believe in evolution. We don’t believe in Climate Change.” He says this is the language of the Tea Party. Nods of agreement all round, and no protest at all from Katty Kay. She agrees with the characterization that this is what the Tea Party movement is about. If she thought differently, she would have said something.

This has not and has never been the language of the Tea Party movement. The last two and a half years have been about fiscal responsibility. Katty actually later acknowledges this fact, but only after she says that the movement is all social conservatives. Once again I have to state emphatically for any lurking defenders of the indefensible waiting for a gotcha moment: Of course there are plenty of social conservatives in the movement, and of course these issues concern them. Yes, social conservatives have also tried to jump on the bandwagon and co-opt the movement’s energy for their own ends. But the inspiration, the driving force, the raison d’être of the Tea Party movement is fiscal conservatism and nothing else. Remember – and I sympathize with those who get their information on US issues from the BBC who were kept in the dark about this for months – the whole thing started as an anti-tax movement and grew into an anti-ObamaCare and anti-Socialism/Big-Government movement. Nothing else mattered. No social issues inspired this, none of the hundreds of spontaneous protests around the country were about social issues. It’s simply false to portray the movement and the millions of people supportive of it as social conservatives first and foremost. Yet the BBC Washington correspondent plays right along. For her to go along with it and abet Matthews’ smear is biased behavior, and, I believe, a breach of the BBC’s impartiality guidelines for correspondents.

Since a few genius pundits have been comparing Perry to Reagan, the discussion shifts to that idea. But things are different today than they were in 1980. “There seems to be a meanness of spirit,” Katty opines. Yes, she’s making a distinction between Reagan’s campaign and the rougher tone of today, but she’s also acting as if it’s only the Right which is acting this way. When did Katty ever frown at the President for saying “Punch back twice as hard”, or instructing His supporters to argue with opponents and “get in their face”, or for crying, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”? Never, and she wouldn’t dream of doing so. In fact, she’s pretending here that it never happened. I suppose that’s to be expected, seeing as how the BBC has censored this news, not allowing you to know about it. This is a BBC Washington Correspondent revealing what she thinks about the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party, and it’s exactly as biased as we’ve all been saying about her work for the BBC.

At one point, Katty states that Perry’s joke was actually him being mean, and that the public doesn’t like that sort of thing. Clearly she misses the point, just like the rest of these Leftoids. From nearly the very beginning of the movement, the Mainstream Media and Leftoid blogosphere have tried to characterize Tea Party people as being angry and mean. People here may recall just how many BBC reports on the movement (just click on anything in the Tag Cloud on the right side of this page with “Tea Party” in it, and you’ll see what I mean) focused on “boiling anger”, etc. So this is nothing new. Then there was the racist angle, thankfully absent from this particular discussion. The thing is, many in the movement have taken the approach of humor with it.

For example, the host of one Tea Party event I attended was a black man, who greeted the crowd by saying, “Hello all you racist rednecks!”. Perry is doing the same thing here. And the Leftoids on the panel simply don’t get the joke, as they’re the very people who actually are making the smear which Perry’s playing on. The crowd in the video obviously gets it, but the BBC Washington correspondent very obviously doesn’t.

There’s also the inevitable mention of Katty’s arch-nemesis, Sarah Palin, who is never far from her thoughts. It’s much harder now for Palin to enter the race, apparently. Glad that’s straightened out.

I’ve made a quite a few posts and comments on this blog highlighting the bias of Katty Kay’s reporting and interviewing manner on the BBC. Her personal opinion revealed here in her capacity as a pundit reflects my charges exactly.

Is the BBC Incapable of Impartiality?

We’re not the only ones to have noticed the BBC’s problem with impartiality. Andrew Griffiths MP has written a piece about it in The Commentator. “Is the BBC incapable of impartiality?”
He is particularly concerned with the politically unbalanced panels on Question Time.
Andrew, where have you been all this time? Maybe you should start reading this blog.