Sunday 29 October 2017

Belated catch-up

I kept my eye on the blog while I was out of office. Not a lot, but just enough. Indulge me while I revisit some topics that Craig amply covered in my absence. (Or scroll past)

Number one was the episode of Question Time in which Jacob Rees-Mogg did his own side a disservice by quoting from, of all things, a dodgy article in the Sun. Shame, really, when there were umpteen more reliable sources he might have cited. Name one? Well, I can’t think of one right now. Ask me again some other time.
Accusing the BBC of tagging most positive domestic news stories with ‘despite Brexit’ without having specific examples at your fingertips is to walk into a well-worn trap. Best avoided. J R-M should have known better. No good relying on a faint hope that ‘everyone will know what I mean”, is it? He should have cited something more reliable. This blog for example. “Is the BBC Biased?” is not just any old BBC-bashing site. We are reasonable and fair, and we engage with our critics. (At least Craig does). Still, Jacob R-M  has probably never even ‘eard of us.

Next, HIGNFY. I haven’t watched this programme for ages. The humour is so *Laboured* - but I spotted a clip containing some uncharacteristic quips as described here by Craig. 
After the usual hilarious banter from Hislop and Co. about the discredited MP for Sheffield Hallam,  Jared O’Mara, chairperson Rhod Gilbert (of the annoyingly raspy voice) said: 
“In his comments, Jared O'Mara has been homophobic, xenophobic and sexist. Worst of all, in the eyes of the Labour Party, he doesn't have a bad word to say about Jews.”
The embarrassed gasp from the audience (and the cringing faces of the team) said something about the current labour Party’s “perceived” antisemitism. But what? 
On one level, (the groan/gasp) was because there *is* such a thing as antisemitism in the labour party. 
On another level, they groaned it was because the audience doesn’t think there is any such thing… as per the Chakrabarti report. Let’s call it the Alexei Sayle school of thought 
But on a more subtle, double bluff kind of level, the embarrassment could have been related to a rumour that the only ‘parliamentary’ issue that Mr. O’Mara has properly applied himself to is the anti-Israel / pro Palestinian cause.  So, if this is the case, he does have some bad words to say about Jews after all. However I suppose that’s a bit too convoluted for your average HIGNFY audience.

Now for the story I would have addressed at the time, but for circumstances beyond my control. It is, of course, the BBC’s non-coverage of the Israeli Judo debacle in the UAE. I think there’s more to this story than one might think. 
Do you accept that the BBC is more than averagely interested in sport? (Okay, I concede that most of the media is pretty interested in it too.) Whatevah.
Not only is there massive coverage of sport on the BBC website, but each sport, including Judo, seems to have its own section.  Who knew? Not me - (I do now, of course.)

But about this particular incident, not a squeak. That is, despite the pages and pages of reports covering it on a plethora of platforms; try a simple Google: “Tal Flicker”. It's gone viral.
Most comments I’ve seen praise this young man’s dignity.  Several blame the International Judo Federation, or whatever the body calls itself, for allowing this to happen. 

How ever did 'they' (the IJF / UAE) get away with it? 
I was trying to imagine what the BBC might say to justify ignoring the story altogether. It wasn’t on their sports page. It wasn’t even on their Judo page. 

They might claim that only G.B. results are appropriate for the BBC to report, which I suppose is fair enough. But it wasn’t even reported as a news story.  I mean it was a controversial, unsportsmanlike incident with, dare I say it, ‘racist’ overtones. It wasn’t the only incident of that ilk, either. You’d think it would make one of the BBC’s many spin-off departments. Magazine? Trending? But no. Not a sausage. 

Maybe someone should alert Mike Wendling in case he hasn’t heard.


  1. Anyone who thinks the BBC doesn’t have a very dark editorial agenda should ponder the Judo story the BBC ‘missed’

    1. There's more on that dark editorial agenda which Sue laid out so well here:

  2. Welcome back!

    It's certainly true that, until 24 October when Stephen Pollard and others tweeted a link to Jared O'Mara's They Work For You 'Written Answers' section, that JO'M had only submitted three such questions during his time in Parliament - all on the Israeli/Palestinian cause.

    After those critical tweets went out three more 'written answers' questions went in from him (as if JO'M was trying to cover his tracks) - all on stem cells!

  3. As with all these things, turn it around. What would be the reaction of the BBC if, say, a sportsman from an African country was not allowed to sing an anthem or display a flag at a judo competition in the USA? I suspect it would be treated as a major issue, with attempts to somehow implicate Mr Trump personally.

  4. Guido has now listed 20 BBC "despite Brexit stories"


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