Saturday 18 October 2014

...where angels fear to tread

I'll share a secret with you. When you're in the blogging mood you do tend to actively hunt out things that will advance your blogging mission, especially (for the purposes of this blog) things about BBC bias. It keeps momentum going - which, for some reason, matters. 

The temptation then is to post about any half-credible-sounding thing you come across, especially if it's an article published in a prestigious media outlet, like the Times, the Spectator, etc, and then to write a powerfully-worded preface strongly denouncing the BBC on the strength of it. Bingo!

I may have done so myself before.

A case in point: I initially felt tempted to post about an article in the Spectator alleging BBC bias over the Rwandan genocide, but then I read the article closely and alarm bells rang. 

For starters, I thought it sounded far too biased itself. Then another thought struck me: That I've got far too little knowledge about the subject to know if its charges of bias are just ones, or even if the charges really are reasonable ones - other than the fact that the prestigious Spectator chose to publish them. So I decided not to write about it after all.

What's partly changed my mind is a sensible comment posted underneath that Spectator article by Teddy Bear (of Biased BBC: The Forum fame) - a fellow BBC bias blogger exercising his little grey cells and sounding a cautionary note about not just believing everything a BBC critic says just because it has been published on a serious forum about a serious subject. It could be wrong, and the BBC could be innocent of the charges against it after all:
I don’t pretend to know very much about this conflict, and who did what to who and why. As far as BBC bias is concerned, it appears to be their raison d’etre on a host of their agendas whilst taking in as much money for themselves as they can.
However, looking at your personal position I can see that you would have a particular desire for the narrative to go a certain way – rightly or wrongly.
I am put in mind of the Israel/Palestine conflict where both claim bias by the BBC, but it is only where one researches more details that one can see really on which side their bias lies. You seem to present an argument which is akin to the one put by Palestinians, and you fail to present real hard facts to support your case.
After reading your article I did a Google search on the Rwandan Patriotic Front and came across this webpage:
Who was Behind the Rwandan Genocide? The Rwandan Patriotic Front’s Bloody Record and the History of UN Cover-Ups
It suggests a completely different narrative than what you are putting forward, and provides far more evidence than yourself.
The picture the BBC might have put forward could well have been nothing to do with reality, that’s par for them, that doesn’t mean your version is any more valid.
Quite so.

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