Thursday, August 24, 2006


The BBC almost takes the cake for fobbing off those who take the trouble to complain about its journalistic standards. It seems that this standard form e-mail is being sent off to those who questioned Orla Guerin's report from Southern Lebanon (to which I referred below in my article - The Circus Comes to Town in Southern Lebanon):-

"Thank you for your e-mail.

I appreciate that you felt a recent BBC News report from Orla Guerin was biased against Israel.

I should state that Orla Guerin's report on the 14th August from Bint Jbeil in Southern Lebanon made clear at the start that she was reporting on the perspective of Lebanese people returning home in their thousands.

She reported: "I haven't seen a single building that isn't damaged in some way. Many have been flattened. Many have been singed. This town has really been wiped out."

Orla did not say that every building had been wiped out. She was using an impressionistic phrase implying extreme damage which is justified by the scale of what she saw.

Nevertheless, I do acknowledge your concerns and will ensure that your comments on all matters are fully registered and made available to news editors and indeed senior management within the BBC. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC programmes and services and your views will most certainly play a part in this process.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us."

In other words, Orla Guerin and the BBC are not responsible for reporting on the conflict from any other perspective than the one they choose and you can now buzz off!

I said above "almost takes the cake" because the cake has been well and truly taken by the Melbourne Age communications director Nigel Henham who is quoted in the Australian Jewish News (25 August edition at p3) that his newspaper "stands by its reporting and coverage and the Middle East. Our coverage is accurate, fair and balanced."

He might have added that pigs can fly too!*

[*And I'm sure Age cartoonist Leunig is perfectly capable of providing a reasonable facsimile of that when he's not busy scrawling the sort of pictures that the Iranians would gleefully accept for their antiSemitic cartoon competitions!]


george greenberg said...

G'day Mate
I too left feedback for the BBC on its anti Israel bias & the lies-by-ommission style of its newscoverage of the conflict b/w Israel & Hizbollah - as broadcast on the BBC News shown on Foxtel here in Oz.
I received a similar straight-bat response which neatly avoided addrssing my specific criticisms.
I often ask mysel why this bias ? Is the Islamic Petro Lobby really that powerful? I suppose so ! Even the International Cricket Association HQ has moved from Lords to Dubai ! What next mate ?!
Number 10 moves to Abudahbi?

Anonymous said...

I'm sure Age cartoonist Leunig is perfectly capable of providing a reasonable facsimile of that

I doubt it. Despite his fame, Leunig is not in fact a great cartoonist and could only draw it if the pigs looked like ducks (or perhaps Mr Curly) for these are the only things he can draw.