I heard a snippet of the Media Show (about 20 minutes in) yesterday afternoon. I understand the topic was bias in the media with regard to the referendum, or the Scottish Spring as I like to think of it.
One of the guest experts was Greg Philo, (Glasgow Media Group) and, as is his wont, he had to drag the Israel-Palestine issue into it all of a sudden.
He said: “It’s clear the Israelis are ‘on’ a lot more than the Palestinians”
I mean WTF? What-planet-is-he-on?
Now, let’s ask, just for one second, what evidence does Philo (what an apt name) have for that statement? First of all, how many Israelis make regular appearances on T.V?
Mark Regev, Daniel Taub and occasionally Peter Lerner. Danny Danon was on HardTalk the other day. So was Yuval Steinitz. Not Israeli, but “philo-Israel,” Douglas Murray and Melanie Phillips are on quite a few panels. Maureen Lipman?
Then there are some Israeli lefties that are harsh critics of the Israeli government. Gideon Levy, Ilan Pappé and people who write for the Guardian. Mira Bar-Hillel. (Only joking) Is Philo including these?
So how many Palestinians? Well, if not actual Palestinians, there are certainly a fair few pro-Palestinians. (PhiloPalestinians)
Mustafa Barghouti, on at least as many times as Mark Regev during O.P.E. Hanan Ashrawi ditto. Dateline’s top contributor ’arry Batwan, and we saw quite a bit of Manuel Hassassian. Regular guests on programmes like “The Big Questions”: Mehdi Hasan, Mohammad Shafiq, Mo Ansar, Ajmal Masroor, Myriam Francois-Cerrah. All there to have a dig at Israel at the slightest opportunity. Yasser Abed Rabbo, Fawaz Gerges, Chris Gunness, Dr. Mads Gilbert, guests on HardTALK. Regular talking heads: Chris Doyle, George Galloway, Ghada Karmi and Owen Jones, always ready willing and able to propagandise on behalf of Israel’s enemies.
Lucy Winkett, John Bell, with their infamous anti-Israel sentiments, all contribute to religious broadcasting. Sheihk Ibrahim Mogra, Yasmin Alibhai Brown, frequently brought in to speak on behalf of the religion of peace, not to mention dozens of Middle East experts that are never off our screens; last but not least, the BBC’s own staff pro-Palestinian advocates and activists - Jon Donnison, Orla Geurin, Zeinab Badawi and Yolande Knell, Jeremy Bowen and the entire cast list from BBC Watch, and the many regular experts who outweigh by far pro Israel spokespersons on current affairs programmes like Dateline, Newsnight, and don’t forget Greg Philo himself.
I know, I know, I’ve left out hundreds of them. But how can Greg Philo just get away with saying, in passing, in that there are more Israelis ‘on’ than Palestinians?
For your edification, here’s a small transcription of the snippet.
"What about the basic allegation that the “Yes” is being under or mis reported in some ways?"
Greg Philo, sounding like a down-market Will Self with a smigeon of Ken Livingstone, responded:
“Well yes, Salmond was on as far as I can see, as I understand it Salmond and the SNP were on a lot, but the issues were not bein’ discussed. It was being personalised whatever and I mean my own view, I mean I don’t want to comment or not because I haven’t studied it but my own view is that if you said to Alex Salmond “Look we’re not going to have you on so much ” (chuckle) I don’t think he’d be very happy. And I would guess that, I mean it’s very difficult to argue, um prima facie anyway, that someone who’s on such a lot, wall-to-wall, that is in some way puttin’ ‘im down. You know, it’s clear that if you look at the Israel Palestine stuff, it’s clear that the Israelis are on a lot more than the Palestinians, you know, and that fits the map.....it’s..”
"But it hasn’t happened in this case..."
"No. I would have thought, I haven’t counted it, but you don’t get that impression."