Friday 7 February 2014

Getting it wrong

We get complaints from both sides. Ergo we must be getting it about right.” says the BBC.

Well. It looks as though they certainly do get complaints from both sides, but that’s not quite the same as getting it about right.

This pdf sets out decisions made by the BBC Editorial Standards Committee. A complaint from Hilary Aked about Jonathan Sacerdoti being misleadingly introducedas  “director of the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy,” “in a way that “gave no clue as to his orientation”  was partially upheld because it “may indeed have contributed to an impression of impartiality”  The appeal upheld one out of two points raised.

According to the website 'Electronic Intifada' Hilary Aked is a London-based freelance writer and researcher, an NCTJ-qualified journalist and a PhD student at the University of Bath researching the pro-Israel lobby in the UK. She has worked in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and also writes for Spinwatch, Ceasefire and Huffington Post.” Does that give a clue as to her orientation? or may it contribute to an impression of impartiality?  Fee fi fo fum; I sense irony. 

Nestling almost side by side with this spurious objection to Jonathan Sacerdoti’s intro (in the light of the countless times fanatical anti-Israel campaigners such as Abdel Bari Atwan are introduced as “Middle East experts”) is a complaint from the other side of the divide. It concerns a report we’ve mentioned here before,   when Claudia Hammond introduced a report on BBC World service about Gaza on a programme Health Check that included several inaccuracies and misleading statements.

The initial adjudication resulted in a mixed bag of “partially uphelds”  “not uphelds” “uphelds”  and a final “upheld with regard to impartiality as a whole”

On appeal - (page  15) it was found that the appropriate amendments to the article had not been made and that the website continues to give a misleading impression.

The anti-Israel lobby’s hair-trigger reaction when anything less than defamatory about Israel slips through the net is beginning to look desperate. I don’t know, but I think things are beginning to stack up against them. Like the behaviour of Hamas, for example. The Times has:(£)


“The discovery of an ancient bronze statue of Apollo should be a cause for celebration among archaeologists and represent a windfall for its finder worth millions of pounds, but there is just one snag: the sculpture, one of a handful to survive from antiquity, cannot be sold, inspected or even exhibited, because it was found in the Gaza Strip
Experts who have seen the 6ft statue called it a “major discovery”and believe that it was forged at some point between the 5th century BC and the second century AD. Unusually the feet are intact and it has retained one of its eyes.It could fetch up to £17 million if sold at auction but the political situation is so fraught it may never be allowed to leave Gaza. It is also unlikely to go on display because Hamas, the political authority holding it regards the anatomically correct nude as both obscene and an idol.
[…] Among the crowd that quickly gathered were members of the al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas who took it away. They were obliged to give it up when the Hamas police force arrived, leading to an armed stand-off that only ended when police officers came to negotiate. The statue is being held in an office run by the Hamas interior ministry at a secret location in Gaza.
[…] Thomas Bauzou, a professor of ancient history at the University of Orleans, France believes that the statue is a major discovery but doubts that it was found in the sea. “The story has been fabricated to hide the real place where the statue was found so they can continue digging,” he said.
[…] He [Muhhamad Ismael Khillah] also suggested that it could be displayed in Gaza. “We will have to cover it in certain places” he said.

Ha ha. You’d have to have a heart of stone etc etc.
You’d think stories like this  and this would have a cumulative effect. And that the outrageous death threats over those cartoons would add up to something.  Someone will put two and two together one of these days. Surely?

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