Tuesday 25 May 2021

What did you make of it?

Or: Mahmoud Zahar opens up!

For the moment the Martin Bashir affair has eclipsed other aspects BBC-watching. Perhaps this too will pass. What did you make of Tim Davie on the Today programme? Justin Webb made him squirm a little, using the Mishal Husain-like air of disapproval rather than robust questioning. I suppose none of us would wish to see another John Humphrys / George Entwistle debacle in which an unintended premature toppling was followed by a bashful “Oopsy! What have I done?”

I don’t want to be mean, so I won’t be, but let’s just say Panorama is no stranger to underhand tactics.  John Sweeney, where are you now?

Anyway, That’s not new, and neither is the BBC’s consistent ‘tone of voice’ disapproval of Israel’s desire to prosper and flourish.  We’ve been writing about it for years and years. Decades.

What did you make of Sky? Sky (UK) and Sky (Australia) are completely different kettles of fish. Our Sky features Mark Austin and Mark Stone. (Journalism has many Marks.) 

Now, Mark Stone has been particularly biased in the pro-Palestinian department, hence the post-conflict wallowing in context-free misery. I do know that the world has an insatiable appetite for misery and pathos and some of the tragic tales from Gaza are truly heartbreaking. Hamas and Islamic Jihad have a hell of a lot to answer for, yet the constant drone of that Israel-bashing ‘tone of voice’  hovers above all his reporting. Israel. Israel. Israel.

Then, guess what? Well, you know what. He gets the coveted interview with that wart-nosed rogue  Mahmoud Zahar. “No, Israel has no right to exist” Zahar declares; no ifs no buts. No way of sweetening that one, Mr Stone! You’d have to have a heart-of-Stone not to…. you know.

The thing is, there are an increasing number of people both here and even more disturbingly, in the United States who couldn’t care less that Hamas's unequivocal intransigence is 'out in the open' because they agree with Zahar. I blame the media; apologists for Hamas and Islamic Jihad, the lot of them.

The BBC is forced to be less overt about it than Sky, but there’s still that ever-present disapproving tone-of-voice, and there’s still Jeremy Bowen, a man with a well-documented grudge against Israel, given free rein to wallow in the context-free emoting they believe the audience demands. The mainstream media keeps quiet about the Islamic elephant in the room. However massive and bloated it gets, it’s there in front of us as plain as the king’s new clothes and just as invisible.


A brilliant article by AYAAN HIRSI ALI How influencers have legitimised anti-Semitism. She doesn’t cite the BBC by name but alludes to the BBC’s now-notorious Tala Hawala embarrassment. As for ‘influencers’, well, according to Justin Webb’s very own introduction this morning,  the BBC is the top influencer in the stratosphere.

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