Friday, 26 May 2017

The other Jeremy

It was that episode from Jeremy Bowen today: Our Man in the Middle East, Part 10: The Nearness of Death

It was everything we expected - and more. 

There was him nearly being killed by Israel when his driver was "killed by Israel"; and him nearly being killed by Israel when Israel fired on a UN aid convoy going to help civilians in Lebanon; and Lebanese civilians, including women and children, having "suffered disproportionately at the hands of Israel"; and the Qana "massacre". All Israel's fault. 

Plus he used emotionally-forceful live recordings from all the incidents. And then he used more live recordings to rubbish Israel's version of events. 

All his version of events, of course. 

He also philosophised, in an oh-so-dispassionate-and-wise-sounding way, about the need to break the cycle of violence and revenge by seeing outrages as part of history (even though he didn't seem to be entirely living up to his own advice). 

There was plenty of moral equivalence as well, with Israel being made to sound (at the very least) no better than the rest. 

And he was the conscience-stricken hero of his own self-penned tragedy. 

And he did it all in a calm, thoughtful, award-winning tone of voice. 

I have to say it was a powerful listen, and made Israel sound very bad indeed. 

Goodness knows what the average Radio 4 listener made of it - though I can guess. Even I gulped at times. 

If I were a dictator I'd definitely hire Jeremy Bowen as my chief propagandist. 


  1. I had the misfortune once of seeing a pro PLO demo pass before my eyes in one of our principal cities of learning. I have never seen a more disreputable, disingenuous rabble concentrated in such a relatively small space. I will always support Israel until its surrounding enemies give up their policy of genocide and expulsion.

  2. From past form you would have to conclude that Bowen’s view represents mainstream BBC groupthink. Fake history?

  3. Another downside of having such a massive, self-important and unchallengeable national broadcaster is that otherwise unremarkable journalists and correspondents get elevated to levels of importance and influence way beyond their capability.

    1. This is true. And BBC Blandness is spreading like a plague. Back in the 1950s the BBC had to pick from newspaper hacks who were sometimes eccentric, sometimes entertaining and sometimes wise in their perceptions. Now being PC,being pseudo-empathetic, unchallenging of received wisdom, the right religion, the right gender (or no gender), and the right ethnicity is far more important than having the qualities of a good journalist.