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October 23, 2014 / 29 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

The Launch of BBC Watch

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Fans of this blog have often asked why we do not monitor British media institutions other than the Guardian for anti-Israel bias – a query to which we have not had an answer.

Until now.

Recognizing the importance of the BBC in shaping world-wide opinion, a new site, BBC Watch, has been launched which will monitor BBC coverage of Israel and the Middle East.

BBC Watch – a sister project of CiF Watch with the independent support of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) – will provide comprehensive monitoring of the BBC’s coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict in order to ensure adherence to the BBC’s own editorial guidelines.

A few of the more egregious problems at the BBC will be familiar to many CiF Watch readers:

* The BBC demonstrates a disproportionate focus on Israel in relation to other countries in the Middle East – a trend which continued even through the ‘Arab Spring.

* The BBC’s Middle East editor frequently displays an egregious lack of objectivity, portraying Israel in an overwhelmingly negative light and the Palestinians in a positive light.

* The BBC is self-regulating, and has been less than transparent and open to change in response to substantive criticism.

Inspired by CiF Watch’s success in holding the Guardian accountable, BBC Watch will strive to curb the spread of inaccurate or misleading information and distortions at the BBC by fact-checking and providing relevant historical context and complimentary information .

In the case of an organisation as widely viewed, heard and trusted as the BBC, it is vital that misinformation be corrected before it spreads world-wide.

CiF Watch’s Hadar Sela, Managing Editor of the new BBC Watch site, explained the new site’s mission:

Two organisations which formerly monitored BBC output – ‘Just Journalism’ and Trevor Asserson’s ‘BBC Watch’ website – have ceased operations in recent years, exacerbating the need for close and regular monitoring of the world’s most influential broadcaster.”  BBC Watch will seek to build upon and develop the work already done by those organisations in order to continue the monitoring of BBC output on the subject of Israel and to examine the broadcaster’s adherence to its legal obligation to produce accurate and impartial reporting as a service to its funding public.

The BBC’s responsibility, as defined in the Royal Charter, includes the obligation to inform its funders – i.e. the license fee-paying British public.  This obligation is emphasized in the agreement between the BBC and the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:

In developing (and reviewing) the purpose remit for sustaining citizenship and civil society, the [BBC] Trust must, amongst other things, seek to ensure that the BBC gives information about, and increases understanding of, the world through accurate and impartial news, other information, and analysis of current events and ideas.

BBC Watch intends to diligently hold the BBC accountable to this standard.

Visit CifWatch.com.

From the Left or Right, Totalitarianism Must Not Be Excused

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

The competition may be pretty intense, but if I were asked to name the single worst idea in the twentieth century it would be the one adopted by people who believed that the response to totalitarianism was totalitarianism. The twentieth century is littered with these people: those who became fascists because they were fearful of communists, or communists because they were fearful of fascists. Both had reason to fear the other, but both ended by propelling the other and in the process sucking nearly all air out of the decent center ground.

Of course those who took the fascist cause to their heart have not heard the end of it. Even those who played no active part in the horrors of Nazism find themselves rightly excoriated if they ever acted as apologists for, or deniers of, the crimes of that wicked ideology. When Diana Mosley went on the BBC radio program, “Desert Island Discs,” and reminisced about how amusing her friend Adolf Hitler had been, it went down very badly indeed. Alas for her, had she only made the right type of friends on the other side of the totalitarian spectrum she might have gone to her grave a national treasure.

For certainly that is how the news was received in Britain after the death of Eric Hobsbawm on 1st October at the age of 95. A prize-winning and highly decorated historian, Hobsbawm was lauded in death, as in life, by colleagues from academia and the world of left-wing politics. Former Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair released a personal tribute. His predecessor, Neil Kinnock, reminisced about what a guru Hobsbawm had been to him while Kinnock was leader of the Labour party. The current Labour leader, Ed Miliband, himself the son of a famous Marxist, mourned, “An extraordinary historian, a man passionate about his politics and a great friend of my family.”

Britain’s main left-wing newspaper, The Guardian, cleared the front-page and much of its inside pages for the obsequies. An uncritical leader was published by the ordinarily centrist Times, and the BBC altered its broadcast schedule to make room for special programming once the news had been announced. All of which would ordinarily be rather nice to see. There are not very many thinkers, writers or historians who receive such popular acclaim, or are ever credited with practical political influence.

Unfortunately, whatever Hobsbawm’s skills as a historian – and these are certainly open to question – the ideology to which he subscribed for his entire life was one which if anything outdid even Nazism in the devastation it wrought on our planet. For Hobsbawm was a life-long Marxist and a member of the Communist Party from his schooldays and all the way through. I imagine that if Diana Mosley had been offered the opportunity to acquire and retain Nazi Party membership from 1945 right up until her death, she may well have taken it. But the popular reaction to the fact would not have been joshing. Not so with Hobsbawm. A former Labour Party speech-writer explained that, “His decision never to leave the Communist party was quixotic – prompted by loyalty to old comrades, the way he told it.” A writer in the Times recalled the dead Communist to have been – “a man of deep intellect, humility and charm” – on his only meeting with him; going on to claim that the talent the man had shown had “superseded” the ideology.

I do not see how this could be so. This man’s career was spent whitewashing, minimizing, excusing and stooging for some of the worst crimes in human history. Having been given ample years to recant his views, he resisted the call, instead holding them to the end. The system he supported prevented many people reaching even a quarter of the age he was fortunate enough to live to. But for him human life always took an – at best – secondary importance. The really crucial thing was communist ideology – surely, along with Nazism, the most bankrupt and destructive ideology the world has ever seen? Asked in a BBC television interview in 1994 whether the creation of a communist utopia would be worth the loss of “15, 20 million people,” he replied clearly, “Yes.”

It should not need to be said that this man, with his lifelong actions, teachings and propagation of a disgusting ideology would not have been celebrated had his crime been support of Nazism. Had he joined the Hitler youth voluntarily in 1933 and stayed inside fascist movements until his death; had he denied the Holocaust and said that the death of six million Jews and many millions of others would have been worth it for the achievement of the ideal Nazi state he would have died in ignominy. He would not have been celebrated in his life and he would not have been celebrated after death. Irrespective of any consideration of his works he would not have had plaudits from politicians of any stripe, let alone the leaders of political parties of the right.

And this, forgetting (as people will) the appalling Hobsbawm is the truly, seriously, deeply wrong thing.

Today, the crimes of Nazism are recognized and reviled enough for us to be confident – not wholly confident, but fairly confident – that such crimes will not be allowed to recur. Can the same be confidently said of its twin ideology?

If a Nazi had just died and the main newspapers, the national broadcaster, leading right-wing politicians and others broke out into a wave of mourning, regret and “we shall not see his like” routines, you would worry that this could come back, wouldn’t you? Most of all you would worry that no lessons at all appeared to have been learned. We do not have to imagine the dread of such a scenario, for we have just seen it. And the sight of it should freeze our blood, whether we believe ourselves on the “right” or on the “left.”

Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.

Iran Police Clash with Protesters Outside Tehran’s Central Bank (Video)

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Iranian police has used tear gas against demonstrators who burned tires and garbage cans, the BBC reported on Wednesday. Many were arrested.

Eyewitnesses told the BBC that dozens assembled outside Iran’s central bank in Tehran, urging the bank governor to stand down and chanting anti-government slogans.

The protesters targeted President Ahmadinejad’s government, which they say is mismanaging the economy are unable to avert Iran’s currency crisis.

Over the past week, Iran’s coin, the rial, has sunk to a record low against Western currencies.

Money dealers and bazaar traders were among the demonstrators.

Images posted online show hundreds of people marching towards Iran’s central bank.

Reports say many shops in the central Grand Bazaar were gated down in solidarity with the demonstrators.

Viewers of BBC Persian channel in Iran say the government has been jamming its signal after the Persian-language channel first reported the Tehran protests.

Hundreds of police are reported to have rounded up illegal money changers in Tehran.

According to the BBC, Tehran’s bazaar is the biggest financial ally of the Iranian regime, since it bankrolled the 1979 Islamic revolution.

 

Syrian 400m Hurdler Disqualified after Failing Drug Test

Sunday, August 12th, 2012

Syria’s Olympic 400m hurdler Ghfran Almouhamad has been disqualified from the Olympics after testing positive for methylhexaneamine, according to the BBC.

Almouhamad, 23, finished eighth in the second heat of the first round of the event on 5 August.

Although intended to be used as a nasal decongestant, methylhexaneamine has been marketed as a dietary supplement in combination with caffeine and other ingredients, under trade names such as Geranamine and Floradrene, to be used as a general purpose stimulant.

Almouhamad was just one of four women in the 10-member Syrian team.

It is the seventh positive case reported by the IOC since it started its testing program for the London games on 16 July. She is only the second athlete who competed in the Games who has been sanctioned for doping. The others were caught before competing.

American judoka Nick Delpopolo was expelled after testing positive for marijuana during competition, which he said he unintentionally consumed in something he ate.

The Olympic Story that Wasn’t News

Tuesday, July 31st, 2012

If you buy into the concept that news is not news unless it is covered by the major media players, than I guess the fact that the Lebanese judo team refused to practice next to the Israeli team until the Olympic organizers erected barriers to divide the room and place the Israelis out of sight…wasn’t news.

After all, a quick review of CNN and the New York Times came up with nothing about this story. That’s right – the search turned up nothing.

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Guess it wasn’t news enough after all, no one was massacred other than the Olympic spirit.

BBC, on the other hand, did choose to cover the story – in typical BBC fashion. You have to hand it to them – I can’t help but wonder how long it took them to come up with a headlines that would imply somehow that the Israelis are to blame.

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There you go, “Israeli Olympic team says Lebanese judo fighters refuse to train next to them.” One would think that the Olympic officials would have gone over to the Lebanese to confirm this before spending time and effort erecting a screen between them. And one has to wonder why the Israelis went over to the Olympic officials to act as agents of the Lebanese.

Logically, one would assume that the Lebanese went to the Olympic officials. Judging by the incredible bravery of the Olympic officials in caving in to every demand of the Arab nations – not wanting to insult them by honoring the murdered ISRAELI athletes, etc. etc. – one would assume they quickly built the demanded screens based on the Lebanese request. So what exactly did the Israelis do in this?…Ah yes, perhaps they were the ones who refused to remain silent at having, yet again, Arabs murder the Olympic spirit.

That’s right – thankfully, no Israeli lives have been lost at the Olympics, but the Olympic spirit took another beating as the Olympic officials gave in and allowed this apartheid wall to be built. No wait, that isn’t quite accurate – they didn’t ALLOW it to be built…they built it.

So, once again – BBC can’t take all the glory in the shame. This one must be shared jointly – with CNN and the New York Times for not covering the story at all, and with the Olympic organizers who once again caved in to the twisted logic that allows the Palestinians to say holding a moment of silence for the Israelis murdered by Palestinian terrorists is racism but building a wall between the Lebanese and the Israelis is acceptable.

Olympic spirit? Brotherhood of sports? Unity among nations? What a farce!

International Olympic Committee to BBC: Fix Jerusalem

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

The International Olympic Committee has contacted the management of the BBC on Monday, and requested that they correct their listing of Jerusalem to say, Jerusalem – Capital of Israel. This came at the request of Alex Giladi, the Israeli representative on the Olympic Committee.

 

In a response to an official complaint written by Mark Regev of the Prime Minister’s office, the BBC said they won’t write that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, but would be willing to say that Jerusalem is the seat of the Israeli government.

Too Little, Too Late: Parliament Grills BBC Chief on Belittling Fogel Murders

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

The British Broadcasting Corporation “got it wrong” in its reporting of the massacre of the Fogel family by Palestinians in the West Bank village of Itamar, the broadcaster’s outgoing director-general said at a parliamentary committee hearing.

In March 2011, Arabs entered the Fogels’ home and murdered Udi, 36, Ruth, 35, and their children, Yoav, 11, Elad, 4, and Hadas, who was 3 months old. Another daughter, who was outside of the house at the time of the killings, came home and discovered the bodies.

Two Arab men were each sentenced to five consecutive life sentences for the Fogels’ murders.

Mark Thompson of the BBC made the admission June 19 while being quizzed by Conservative member of parliament Louise Mensch, according to the London Jewish Chronicle.

In complaining about the light coverage of the event on BBC radio and television programs, the newspaper reported that Mensch said, “I only found out, after the event, from an American blog, called ‘Dead Jews is no news,’ and the more I went into it, the more shocked I was. There was a feeling that the BBC just didn’t care and that if a settler had opened the home of a Palestinian family, slit the throat of their children, that the BBC would have covered that.”

Thompson, according to the Jewish Chronicle, responded that the story occurred during a “very busy news period,” including the fighting in Libya and the tsunami in Japan and that “news editors were under a lot of pressure.”

He reportedly added, “Having said that, it was certainly an atrocity which should have been covered across our news bulletins that day… But I do want to say, to all our audience, including our Jewish and Israeli audiences here and around the world, we do want to make sure we are fair and impartial. We made a mistake in this instance.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/too-little-too-late-parliament-grills-bbc-chief-on-belittling-fogel-murders/2012/06/24/

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