Thursday 8 February 2018

No microcosm

Did you see the fiendishly constructed episode of Steve Pemberton and Reece Shearsmith’s “Inside No. 9”? The plot of ‘Once Removed’ is a souped-up version of the classic theme ‘things are not as they at first appear.’ 

The events preceding the ghastly finale (which we see in the opening minutes) are unveiled bit by bit, in a series of ten-minute re-winds. Each new ten minute vignette shows what had occurred in the previous ten minutes and sheds a different light on the situation; likewise, each subsequent ten minutes sheds light on the previous ten - till at last the bigger picture reveals all. It’s a dark comedy, and I may not have explained it perfectly, so you’d better go and watch it yourself.

This is leading up to a Jeremy Bowen analogy. With Jeremy Bowen, we get the metaphorical opening ten minutes, representing the here and now. That’s it.  We don’t get the previous ten, nor the ten before that. No backstory. We don’t even know what we don’t know, and the opinions  we are laying down along the way are based purely on misinformation.

Given the appetite, one could look elsewhere for the metaphorical previous ten minutes, or the ten, twenty, hundred years before that. And if you’re waiting to hear the backstory from Jeremy Bowen, tough. Tough cheese. The moon will turn blue first.

Jeremy Bowen calls his snapshot “a microcosm of the Israeli Palestine conflict”.
It’s not. A microcosm “encapsulates in miniature the characteristics of something much larger.” Jeremy Bowen does the opposite. He shows us something in miniature, completely misrepresenting the characteristics of the bigger picture.

Unless you’re in the habit of reading comments below older posts, you’ll have missed a couple of belated arrivals below Craig’s post  “Jeremy Bowen is biased.” 
They appear to be from a Palestinian residing in Britain and they illustrate a metaphorical ten minutes before the present day. This person sees things this way, and sadly, he doesn’t know what he doesn’t know because the people who equipped him with only a truncated version of the bigger picture are far worse than Jeremy Bowen.  
The last sentence is very true though. 
“Far more reports, investigations and people would agree with me on this than the picture that you are trying to portray about Israel, so not convincing”
The anti-Zionist British press and MPs who may sincerely think they’re supporting a righteous cause are actually cementing the Palestinians’ intransigence and moving the Middle East further away from a peaceful solution. 

BBC Watch wrote again about the offending Jeremy Bowen report yesterday. The BBC World Service has replayed it on Newshour, complete with factual inaccuracies and omissions.
I don’t see how anyone could claim that the emotive language in Razia Iqbal’s introduction was impartial.
Bowen is so secure in his position that he doesn’t feel the need to comply with the BBC’s editorial guidelines and he dispenses altogether with the prescribed  “Though Israel disputes this”, which should have followed his categorical: “illegal under international law.”

The story he presents seems to be that ‘heavily armed soldiers’ were prowling round the Tamimi house and garden for no other reason than to intimidate and humiliate the family. They’re simply swaggering around, demonstrating their occupation. No backstory. Nothing about the provocation that the family treats as a profession. Not a hint about what brought about the occupation. Nothing about Auntie Ahlam
Picking the most unrepresentative Israeli spokesperson possible as a representative of Israel, and calling him a “Leading right-wing MP  is what?  Balanced? Fair?  I think not. You claim your report is fair and balanced; but Jeremy Bowen, your report is no microcosm.

1 comment:

  1. Bowen is guilty of all of that, but ultimately the responsibility lies with the BBC itself.


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