Keep flogging! The horse isn’t quite dead yet.

February 3rd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink

Aaron has stuck a post up on Tabloid Lies. About the beleaguered BBC and that gob-almighty Jon Gaunt.

As Aaron says…

Now exhausted and emasculated, having been poked, beaten and punched by both the left and right, the BBC has to contend with the flabby frame of Jon Gaunt piling on like an over-excitable school-yard bully.

At the end of the day, if the BBC stood up to the bullies, the response would be the equivalent of the ‘you have to do as I say, I pay your wages’.
With the likes of News Corp. and the Daily Mail on it’s back, the BBC can be kept cowering in the corner, trying not to offend anyone, becoming poorer and poorer until it truly becomes not worth keeping.

The BBC needs to realise that it’s very presence is the reason for the vitriol, not its’ output. The sooner it does, the better it will be to answer it’s critics.

Telling it like it is

January 23rd, 2009 § 0 comments § permalink


On February 29 last year the BBC’s website reported deputy defense minister Matan Vilnai threatening a ‘holocaust’ on Gaza. Headlined “Israel warns of Gaza ‘holocaust,’” the story would undergo nine revisions in the next twelve hours. Before the day was over, the headline would read “Gaza militants ‘risking disaster.’” (The story has since been revised again with an exculpatory note added soft-pedalling Vilnai’s comments). An Israeli threatening ‘holocaust’ may be unpalatable to those who routinely invoke its spectre to deflect criticism from the Jewish state’s criminal behaviour. With the ‘holocaust’ reference redacted, the new headline shifted culpability neatly into the hands of ‘Gaza militants’ instead.

One could argue that the BBC’s radical alteration of the story reflects its susceptibility to the kind of inordinate pressure for which the Israel lobby’s well-oiled flak machine is notorious. But, as I will show in subsequent examples, this story is exceptional only insofar as it reported accurately in the first place something that could bear negatively on Israel’s image. The norm is reflexive self-censorship. To establish evidence of the BBC’s journalistic malpractice one often has to do no more than pick a random sample of news related to the Israel-Palestine conflict currently on its website. In a time of conflict BBC’s coverage invariably tends to the Israeli perspective, and nowhere is this reflected more than in the semantics and framing of its reportage. More so than the quantitative bias – which was meticulously established by the Glasgow University Media Group in their study Bad News from Israel – it is the qualitative tilt that obscures the reality of the situation. This is often achieved by engendering a false parity by stretching the notion of journalistic balance to encompass power, culpability and legitimacy as well. The present conflict is no exception.

Read the rest

Related: Beau Bo D’Or – The BBC reinforces the blockade of humanitarian aid to Gaza

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