Monday 30 August 2021

No change on the Balen Report front, despite Tim Davie getting involved

Writer and freelance journalist Jan Shure has an interesting piece at the Jewish News section of The Times of Israel concerning the infamous Balen Report into bias as regards the BBC's coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict.

The BBC has spent 17 years and lashings and lashings of licence fee payers' money refusing to release it to the public - or as Jan puts it ''wriggling and weaselling its way out of revealing'' it.

It's been a saga, far longer than most Icelandic ones. 

Jan reports that BBC DG Tim Davie has now, ''very belatedly'', replied to her MP Theresa Villiers's letter about it.

And what did Tim, the So-Far Ineffectual Champion of BBC Impartiality, have to say when he did reply?

Well, to cut a long story short, he stuck to the BBC line - hook, line and sinker. 

Yes, he'd discussed it with the people who'd previously refused to make it public and, yes, they told him it should still be kept under wraps.

So no change whatsoever. Suppression is still the order of the day.

There must be things in that report that very deeply embarrass the BBC. 

Jan now compares their handling of it to the Bashir scandal and hopes Lord Dyson will help.

Her idea is that the BBC's cover-up over Martin Bashir took 26 years to be exposed, so one day the cover-up over the Balen Report will come out too, and Lord Dyson might be the man to help quicken the process.

We'll see. Sue and I have always hoped for a whistle-blower, but given the state of opinion held so widely at the BBC on matters Israeli/Palestininian, we're still not holding our breaths.

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