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« Willie Hutton's fake charity | Main | Fake charities update »
Saturday
Jan242009

Butter in the mouth of the BBC

There's a lot of todo about the BBC's backing off from the idea of holding a fundraising appeal for Gaza. Liberal Conspiracy objects, as does Iain Dale. David Vance reckons it's all done for show anyway.The Beeb's big boss, Mark Thompson, spins the rather unconvincing line that it's because they can't be sure the aid can actually be delivered on the ground. Pull the other one Mark.

It looks to me as if people are missing a trick here. The BBC's BBC's decision has been complicated hugely by the imminent publishing of the judgement by the House of Lords' on the Balen Report into an alleged lack of even-handedness in the corporation's reporting of the conflict in the Middle East over the years. If, as is widely expected, the Lords rule that editorial documents are not covered by the Freedom of Information Act's exemption for data held for journalistic purposes, they will be forced to publish the Balen report in fairly short order. If, as is also expected, the Balen report documents the reality of a systematic BBC bias against Israel, then the implications for the Beeb will be explosive, and it is likely that heads would have to roll.

You can imagine how much worse it will be for the top brass if the BBC has just days before run a fundraising appeal for the people in Gaza.

It may even be that the BBC has had some inkling of the contents of the Lords' judgement and that their behaviour now is actually a case of creating some form of defence - "Look at all the criticism we took for not doing a Gaza appeal! Biased? Us?"

Butter wouldn't melt in their mouths.

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Reader Comments (8)

Good point - either way, BBC motives are mired in self-interest.
Jan 24, 2009 at 8:51 PM | Unregistered CommenterDavid Vance
Could you show a link to the imminent publication of the Balen report?

I followed some of this issue when dipping into certain sites like 'Biased BBC' and others, and it seemed to have been buried or forgotten by even the most vehement critics of the BBC.

You are onto a huge scoop here about the whole future of the BBCs' credibility if (as I suspect) the report turns out to have a negative overall conclusion about the reality of the BBCs vaunted impartiality.
Jan 24, 2009 at 8:58 PM | Unregistered CommenterSteve2
Bishop

You say:

"It may even be that the BBC has had some inkling of the contents of the Lords' judgement ..."

Very shrewd, and it would explain a great deal.
Jan 24, 2009 at 9:04 PM | Unregistered CommenterTonyN
The hearing was in mid-December and judgements are usually delivered in six weeks. At least that was the story I read at the time. There may be a delay because of Christmas intervening.
Jan 24, 2009 at 10:36 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill
You might also be interested in this from EU Referendum:
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2009/01/this-will-not-surprise-you.html

"The Italian newspaper Corriere della Serra Thursday quoted a doctor at Shifa Hospital in Gaza City saying that, despite Hamas and UN claims, most of those killed in Gaza were young men who were members of terror groups.

"The number of deaths was between 500-600...most were young men between 17 and 23 who were recruited into the ranks of Hamas, which sent them to be slaughtered," he said.

Journalist Lorenzo Cremonesi confirmed that only 600 people were killed, and not 1,300 as was widely reported, based on hospital visits and discussions with families of the victims.

"It was strange that the non-governmental organizations, including Western ones, repeated the number without checking, but the truth will come to light in the end," said the doctor."

This is the original article in Corriere della Sera:
http://www.corriere.it/esteri/09_gennaio_21/denuncia_hamas_cremonesi_ac41c6f4-e802-11dd-833f-00144f02aabc.shtml

I don't speak Italian anything like well enough to do a proper translation, but I can see that it's saying what the EU Ref post is (3rd paragraph of the article). The BBC have just been pushing the Hamas propaganda with no questions, so any talk of "impartiality" is laughable, really.
Jan 24, 2009 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJanet
The Balen Report may well be another Hutton Report - one that reaches a conclusion 180 degrees opposite from the evidence it finds.

Key issues to judge how well the BBC is informing the British public about the Israel-Palestine conflict are:
1. Israeli settlements, their extent, and the extent of setter violence against local Palestinians. Why does Israel build them? What is the political purpose of building them? Who's really paying for them? Are they legal?
2. US aid to Israel, its extent when compared with US aid to other countries, or even to poor Americans.

In both cases, the BBC needs to tell us more.
Jan 25, 2009 at 1:45 AM | Unregistered Commentergeorgesdelatour
I think there's another reason for the BBC stance. They want to fuel the libel that the Jews control the media. Look, they're saying, we'd like to help, but we can't because of pressure from the Zionist lobby. They're not saying that, but it's a 'read my lips' situation. It's sickening actually.
Jan 25, 2009 at 9:33 AM | Unregistered CommenterMr Doubt
This is the best take I've seen on the subject so far:

http://newsbiscuit.com/article/hamas-to-broadcast-bbc-license-appeal-488
Feb 3, 2009 at 10:09 PM | Unregistered CommenterJames P

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