Wednesday, 21 November 2012

A Matter of Choice



When you‘re on the receiving end of an injustice, each little thing hurts.  The cumulative effect makes you seem bitter and twisted, when you’re really not. You’re human, aren’t you?
Make no mistake there is an injustice going on. It’s the media. It’s as if they have sided with one of the parties in an acrimonious divorce, and they consciously and subconsciously present their protagonist in a favourable light and continually conceal or underplay his flaws. 
The MSM/press show us what they want us to see, hence their obsession with images of dead, starving and hurt children. They know it’s their very own killer weapon. 
At every opportunity they put before us the very things that will elicit sympathy for what happens to be their case. Anyone would choose the most effective and the least demanding method of influencing others if they could get away with it, surely? But that’s not what the BBC is supposed to do. 
That’s not to say that they necessarily lie, but if it suits, they can bank on the certainty that we’ll believe what we want to believe, and by hook or by crook they’ve made sure that what we want to believe are the things they’ve persuaded us to want to believe.
No reporter can be expected to reiterate the entire history of the world each time something happens. We beg for context, but we understand that it’s unreasonable to demand an even-handed all encompassing résumé of events from the year dot that would satisfy everyone. But the selection that is shown is a matter of choice, an editorial decision. If the chooser in my earlier anomaly is acting on behalf of the wife, he’s hardly going to boast about the fact that she’s an alcoholic shrew, when he can simply show that the old man’s a vicious lout.

Each time a tiny thing is omitted, another embellished and yet another is focused upon unfairly, it’s a wound to some, and a boost to others. People, me included, can seem over-sensitive and compulsive in our determination to put our case. 

If the press suddenly chose to do what we expect of them, they would paint personalized, flattering portraits of Israelis in the same flattering manner in which they frequently portray individual Palestinians. 

They could, if they chose, plaster our screens with film clips of the unimaginable abuses of Palestinian children that are shown on Palestinian TV stations, which poison young minds with Jew-hate via cartoon characters whose sole purpose is to glorify martyrdom, and hideous ‘talent shows’ featuring cute, wide-eyed three-year olds proudly demonstrating precocious fluency in antisemitic bile and jihadi rhetoric. If they wanted, they could do that in exactly the same way they plaster our screens with clips of injured children, (with such alacrity that they haven’t time to verify them) and not explaining that they have been put in harms way by their own parents and leaders. 

If the press wanted to, they could show us, with the same emphasis afforded to the inequality of the death toll, the joyous celebrations that erupt whenever a Palestinian has succeeded in killing Israelis, or give due prominence to the unfortunate ‘collaborators with Israel’ who were murdered and dragged through the streets.  Instead, they give credibility to the self-pitying, unverified, ramblings of Israel-hating fanatics without acknowledging who and what they are, while Mark Regev is often derided and treated with disrespect.

Why are the BBC’s speculative and inaccurate analyses of Israel’s’ motives given authenticity by sheer repetition, when their deeply flawed interpretation of the Arab Spring turned out to be so off target? 

Why was the anchorperson on BBC News 24 allowed to say to Col. Richard Kemp during an interview “I know you’re Jewish”, which, as far as I’m aware is not only wrong, but worse, it embraces the insinuation that he was defending Israel merely because he was a Jew, when a similar question is never asked of any of the overtly Muslim, fanatical, antisemitic fantasists they treat with such deferential obsequiousness?

If that appears over the top, over excited, exaggerating unreasonable and biased, so. be. it. It’s because the BBC forces me to be. I’m not impartial and neither is the BBC.

4 comments:

  1. Obviously I agree totally with your deconstruction of the BBC's anti-Israel bias. Can you have a look at a totally different topic - the vote yesterday in which the House of Laity torpedoed women bishops? I was listening to The World at One's reporting this lunchtime, and was - well, not astounded, given the general 'liberal' bias, but still quite shocked that the whole tone was one of 'OMG, this is terrible!' Since 35% of lay Synod members were against the proposal, one would have thought that the BBC could have found someone to explain the issues; but no, it was just assumed that everyone would agree that the Church of England had shot itself in the foot. They interviewed Ben Bradshaw MP, who talked in dire tones about the possibility of forcing the C of E to obey Parliament; they quoted a number of significant voices who predicted the end of the world, roughly speaking - and that was it.

    I should stress that, as a (Roman) Catholic, I have no, er, bitch in this fight, but would love to see the BBC acknowledge that the Enlightened Point of View, the one all Islington dinner party guests agree on, is not necessarily the only possible one, even if it's the right one.

    It reminds me of a broadcast (I think on P.M.) a few months back where the BBC wanted to get a discussion going on gay marriage. They were very balanced: they had someone arguing for it, and someone else against it. However, the former was an Anglican bishop of the Look-how-tolerant-I-am school; the latter was an ardent lesbian feminist, who argued that the whole idea of marriage was outmoded and pointless, and that the GLBT community shouldn't bother with it anyway.

    Biased Broadcasting Community...

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  2. Dear Sue Sims,
    Thank you for your comment. I hope you won’t mind knowing that neither Craig nor myself are religious. Obviously we are concerned with unfair reporting by the BBC, so we should be ready, willing and able to tackle anything that fits the bill. At the risk of any opportunism on my part being outed, instead of dealing with your question, like your common or garden M.P., I’m going to show you how I rose to a similar occasion, then I’ll ask Craig if he’ll kindly look into the matter you raise.

    When I wrote for Biased-BBC on a regular basis I often had requests to deal with a particular item, but they usually concerned something I was instinctively sympathetic towards. One exception presented me with an interesting challenge, which I enjoyed tackling on behalf of a cause I didn’t identify with at all. I’m going to reproduce it here for your entertainment. I’m including the link to the original as there were some interesting comments below the line as well. (From the days when it was worth looking at Biased BBC) I entitled the piece.

    “Taken For a Ride.”
    Here’s a strange one. It puts me in an unusual position, and could look as though I’m about to defend religious fundamentalism. That’s not what I’m trying to do.
I had a message from someone who was offended by an item featured in the BBC World Service series “Outlook”.
Before going any further, I ought to provide some context.
In Israel there is a problematic issue that we might recognise. It echoes something that is happening here, although our problem could almost be regarded as the inside-out version of theirs. On the surface ours looks like the negative to their positive – in a purely photographic sense. However, this is a matter of ‘two sides of the same coin’ in an entirely superficial way, which I won’t go into here.
    Our problem concerns British Muslims who have annexed areas in the U.K. such as Tower Hamlets, within which they prefer to abide by their own laws rather than the law of the land. Israel’s problem involves extreme, ‘ultra’ orthodox Jews, some of whom have annexed certain areas…. within which they wish to abide by their own laws etc. etc.
    These situations are part and parcel of difficulties thrown up in pursuing the liberal ideals of a civilized world. How to reconcile differences while embracing principles of diversity and so on. As a secular, non-believing infidel, I find religious dogma hard to understand, let alone defend, so I have to put my prejudices to one side when making this case against the BBC – seemingly on behalf of the ultra orthodox community in Jerusalem.
    They have decided for religious reasons to have their own religious bus service, outwith the public bus service. In the religious buses, women are supposed to sit at the back of the bus, for reasons of modesty. This seems like something from a bygone age, and is a jarring, unattractive aspect of religious practice. However, some would say, it’s their own affair, and if they want it, it’s none of our business. It may be an affront to women’s lib, but it’s hardly a matter of life and death, unlike some of the murderous practices that affect women in Islam. I mean the criminal acts that blight the lives of families that observe a primitive version of the religion of peace.
    (read the rest here)

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  3. Gosh, no, of course I don't mind that you're not religious! As far as the C of E General Synod is concerned, I don't have a dog in that fight at all: I'm Jewish by birth and upbringing, but converted to Catholicism some years ago, and what the C of E choose to do or not do doesn't bother me one way or another. It just struck me (as with the gay marriage 'debate' I referenced) as a good example of typically biased BBC reportage, currently on view on a large scale with the presentation of the Israel/Gaza situation, but apparent in many other fields.

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  4. Hi Sue S.,

    I think you've quite right there. That edition of 'The World at One' did consist of a parade of people (mostly politicians) all putting across a very similar point of view, criticising the Anglican Church for failing to get with the times and for not simply ignoring all those inconvenient, unenlightened lay types. I'm digging into this a bit more, so a post on the subject should be coming soon.

    Radio 4's 'Sunday' has a particular tendency to weight its coverage of issues like women bishops and gay marriage (in favour of supporters of those two things.) I'll be presenting evidence of that too in the not too distant future.

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