Saturday 28 February 2015

'Dateline' achieves consensus again

And talking about Dateline London...

The closing discussion was on PM Netanyahu's upcoming speech to the U.S. Congress, at the invitation of Congress. Given the strongly left-liberal composition of the panel, the way the discussion went can probably be predicted.

Roger Cohen (who's sympathetic attitude towards Iran and regular criticisms of the Israeli government perhaps explain the programme's invitation to him to appear) described it as a "deeply divisive" move and "a huge gamble". He also backed President Obama and said that Mr Netanyahu's proposals over Iran would mean (if acted on) that "we're moving down the warpath". 

Maria Margonis criticised the U.S . Republicans and Mr Netanyahu, saying "I  think he was wrong to accept" and that, in contrast, Mr Obama had been "very dignified", "very elegant" about the whole thing.

Ashis Ray said that "there is no better proposal from Mr Netanyahu on the table", that he's only going "to get  the standing ovation", and that a "rapprochement" between the U.S. and Iran would be "good for the world".

Steve Richards agreed, adding that a "rapprochement" between the U.S.and Iran would be "very helpful to Israel as well" in the long run, that "this is a hugely insensitive thing for Congress to do" and that "I don't blame Obama".

You may or may not agree with them, but this is precisely the kind of smoothly-brought-about left-liberal consensus-building that (sometimes) gives Dateline London a bad name (bias-wise). 

Much more attention should have been paid to this week's guest selection, knowing the subject, to ensure the presence of at least one strongly dissenting voice. 


  1. Yep, there is another view: that Israel is a beleaguered beacon of democracy and civilised values in an otherwise benighted region, and so deserves our support, given that all the surrounding states and terrorist groups are working for its demise. There is also the more Machiavellian view that Israel draws fire that would otherwise be trained on us - or if you prefer, is a bone for the dog to chew on.

  2. I once had a bizarre series of exchanges with various levels of the BBC complaint hierarchy regarding Dateline London, which would have inspired Douglas Adams.

    In refusing to address my concerns further, they conjured up 'he who is responsible for booking guests' as one person to comment, and 'he who is responsible for what they, and host, say' as another.

    Thing was, as they were two different folk, they could not possibly communicate on the same thing at once so, conveniently, as far as BBC Complaints was concerned, that was that.

    1. Ah, yes, the Falklands episode.

      The booking policy of Dateline London is erratic, to say the least.

      Talking of Douglas Adams, how about this for a comment on confronting BBC bias (bias being something, as we know, that the BBC is genetically incapable of showing - apparently):

      "The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."


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