Saturday 18 July 2015

Home Truths

For some (very) strange reason I felt a bit shy about posting this three days ago, but (three days on)....

I saw a comment on another blog the other day (Wednesday), saying: 
Astonishing! Just heard the BBC reporter in Athens (BBC News Channel) actually say, “I think this is the first Left-Wing government to tear gas its own people. It’s usually right-wing governments that do that.” I suspect half a billion former Eastern Bloc citizens might quibble at that. Oh and the people in North Korea. Oh, and China. Then again, in BBC land Tchianamen Square was probably just “creative tank driving.”
That comment got a lot of 'likes', and various follow-up comments joining in by denouncing the "appalling ignorance" of the BBC.

It sounded like damning proof of 'BBC bias in action' to me, so - as an semi-opportunistic blogger about BBC bias - I, naturally, checked it out. 

However, on watching it back, it seemed very clear, from the context, that the BBC reporter in question (the famous Tim Willcox) was talking specifically about Greece. He wasn't making a general statement (or so I heard it).

What he actually said, talking to a Greek blogger, as Greek riot police began charging a crowd of violent anarchists, was:
This would be the first time I think that a left-wing government has actually deployed riot police against demonstrators. It's usually the other way round.
Now, taken out of context, that does sound bad, doesn't it? Left-wing governments (from the old Eastern Bloc to present-day Venezuela) have hardly been shy of employing either riot police or tear gas (and the commenter got the two confused) against "right-wing" protesters. In context, however, it's true about Greece, more or less (as my sense of Greek history tells me),..

...which all goes to show, perhaps, that we bloggers and commenters about BBC bias are, sadly, susceptible to hearing things that we expect to hear rather than what we actually hear (and I do not exempt myself from the possibility of that failing)...

...and that 'Chinese whispers' (however sincerely started), if not checked, can create an unstoppable rumour about BBC bias which simply doesn't stand up to scrutiny...

...which might be all right 'in the sake of the cause'...

...except that the BBC Complaints Department, the BBC's Editorial Complaints Unit and the BBC Trust will have no problem whatsoever in sending complainants packing (and rightly so in this case) and unsympathetic passers-by might possibly think we're all 'coming it'.

1 comment:

  1. Well I documented last night that the BBC News Website headlined that the Marine Killer's actions had "nothing to do with terrorism".

    I think they were a bit worried about that one because they have changed the headline and they have also been pushing a very un-BBC like line on the story referring to the killer having referenced the Koran.


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