Monday 7 September 2015

The BBC and the Little Dutch Boy

It's all getting a bit overwhelming, isn't it? The BBC's coverage of the migrant crisis, I mean.

The BBC is acting with the energy and ruthless indifference to nuance of a political party during an election campaign at the moment. They seem to be very seriously campaigning, don't they? 

And now they seem to be realising, it appears, that they aren't 'winning the election' (cue a furious rant from Simon McCoy over my use of words there?) they are giving every impression of desperately going into overdrive and sticking their fingers (Dutch-boy-like) into every leaking dike they come across. 

Others have spotted some telling examples of this today, starting with the latest BBC Trending piece by Mike Wendling (idea for a poem: "BBC Trending" half-rhymes with "Mike Wendling"), headlined This viral photo falsely claims to show an IS fighter posing as a refugee.

This is clearly meant as a 'Gotcha!', intended to counter widespread fears that lots of Al Qaeda/Isis/other Islamist nutters are entering Europe along with the other migrants/refugees. 

This refugee is, according to the BBC report, a commander from the nice moderate Free Syrian Army and hates Islamic State, Al Qaeda and Assad. AP reported it thus, and Mike Wendling believes them (on trust).

Unlike this particular senior BBC reporter, however, whenever I think of the nice moderate Free Syrian Army I think of that nice moderate Free Syrian Army commander who ate the heart of a fallen Syrian government soldier. So I'm not quite so reassured as the BBC seems to be by this story as a result.

A second example: The widespread raising of eyebrows that so many of these migrants/refugees carry expensive-looking mobile phone is met by a report from BBC reporter Gavin Lee, headlined The 'vital' role of mobile phones for refugees and migrants

The 'scare marks' around 'vital' there prove to be completely redundant. Gavin's report is unequivocal that mobile phones are vital for the migrants/refugees, and he's not exactly subtle about it either. He asks man called Mohammed: "Tell me about your phone and how essential they are for you to travel."

The BBC isn't doing itself any favours at the moment. It risks seriously alienating a lot of people.


  1. They can't help themselves. They know what they're doing, they know they're going to get hammered for it, but they don't care. Their cause is just, so the gloves are off. Unlike with the 'so-called Islamic State' directive, they don't even need an order from on high to tell them to push the agenda because they all think the same way already. Marr and Landale being only two most recent examples. It's all being duly noted.

    PS: Congrats on the mention in David Keighley's latest excellent write up on this situation. (CW not on your sidebar list?)

    1. Thanks David.

      I keep trying to add CW to the sidebar but Blogger keeps saying: "Could not detect a feed for this URL. Blog posts and update time will not be shown".

      I've just added it anyway, but it's sitting at the bottom of the bloglist, when it should be near the top. And I don't know how to get round that (if there's a way to get round that on Blogger), but I'll keep trying.


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