Tuesday 16 July 2013

Not enough Israelis

Mishal Husain is to join Humphrys, Webb, Naughtie, Davis and Sarah on the Today programme. We’ve got a pensioner, a Scot, a gay, a gal and an anti-semite. Can’t categorise Webb, but diversity quotas are probably complete.

Here, nasty nationalists blog a kerfuffle involving some old geezer rebuking Husain’s brats for unruly supermarket behaviour. The rebuke had racist overtones: “Your tribe need to behave like proper English children” That offended Husain deeply, and she made the manager of Waitrose apologise.

Wishing to denigrate Husain, nasty nationalist bloggers referred to her as an ‘autocue reader’ .
 While that rant clearly contained a racist element, and was therefore offensive, the fuss seemed slightly over the top and caused  aforementioned bloggers to describe Husain as ‘super-sensitive’.

Well, she can dish it out, but she can’t take it.  The notorious “interview”, which shows Husain trying to out-Paxo Paxo by using the repetitive-questioning maneuver against Israeli spokesman Gil Hoffman was made all the more offensive by the deeply unpleasant smirk she wore throughout.

To her it was a smirk of victory, which I for one will always picture as I listen to her dulcet tones on radio 4. Written all over the smirk was a kind of misplaced satisfaction, but all her clumsy hectoring showed was that she didn’t think enough Israelis had been killed by what she called home-made contraptions, to justify any kind of fuss, kerfuffle or apology.  

Whoever thought it was a good idea to appoint her can’t be aware of the BBC’s nosediving reputation. It’s the bias, stupid.


  1. There's a spot-on comment at B-BBC from Bodo about this, concerning a discussion between the Guardian journalist/Radio 4 presenter Steve Hewlett, BBC manager Ceri Thomas and the Observer's Miranda Sawyer on 'The Media Show' today.


    "It’s not just in political matters that the BBC is biased. Their reporting in so many other areas is so far removed from everyday life. This afternoon on “The Media Show’ covered the appointment of Mishal Hussein to the Today programme. They said appointment was “an all-round good news story for the BBC”, because firstly she’s a woman and secondly she’s from an ethnic minority. There followed several minutes of smug interview with a senior BBC manager. All so hopelessly wrapped up in the minutiae of metropolitan elite irrelevance it was painful to hear. They all agreed it showed the BBC was in top form, new management was really making its mark, and all the recent BBC problems are being left behind."
    2min 30sec in.

    The presenter, Steve Hewlett, really did describe it as “an all-round good news story for the BBC”. Those were his exact words.

  2. Whilst I too Sue cannot forget her sheer nastiness in 'that interview' her appointment really does show the BBC's inability to see ability beyond a person's category, ie this appointment is good because Hussein is a female and a Muslim. But it equally applies to the BBC's views on Obama. His election was good because he was black (with of course the added bonus he is a Democrat). Just the other day a lefty friend was saying how disappointed she was in Obama - how she had thought it great that a black man had been elected POTUS. 'Fool' I thought, she should have judged the person not just his colour. Same applies to Michal Hussein.

  3. Isn’t it frustrating watching a bully force his victim into a corner, making him appear defensive and evasive by repeatedly coaxing and hectoring him into making a supposedly incriminating admission? The Paxman technique, where an impossible yes/no answer is composed in the form of a trap. Either way, the interviewee is damned and Paxo thinks he has triumphed.

    Michael Howard-haters considered the tactic innovative and refreshing when they saw Paxman’s notorious ‘did you or didn’t you’ performance, but the novelty wore off and it began to look disrespectful to the audience as well as to the interviewee.

    Mishal Husain thought it was a good idea to adopt the Paxman technique with Gil Hoffman. She was so confident that the weight of public opinion was with her that she happily dispensed with civilities and assumed there was no need to show a modicum of respect for “the Israeli”.

    Assuming the dearth of Israeli fatalities was her trump card, she set her trap.

    If only, instead of walking straight into it, Mr. Hoffman had immediately admitted the number of Israeli deaths, and batted back to her the question we’re all asking, namely how many Israelis does she consider must die before they’re legitimately allowed to take precautions or defend themselves?

    Mishal Husain may well be a clever girl with all the requisite journalistic credentials and intelligence, but she lacks impartiality. She’s biased. She is unable to be objective.

    With very few exceptions Muslims are inherently opposed to Israel’s existence and view all Palestinian aggression as ‘resistance.’ Using the unequal numbers game to condemn Israel and downplaying the potential terror of the constant fear of random rockets are overt signs of lack of objectivity. She made no secret of her pro Palestinian agenda. Her appointment might tick certain diversity boxes but it won’t help the BBC’s claim of impartiality.


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