Monday, June 25, 2007

Deja Vu at the Beeb

The BBC has just conducted another study reaching a conclusion that its reporters are biased, displaying anti-Americanism, partiality towards Islam, and advocating on other pet issues. ("BBC report finds bias within corporation ")

Yes, we've been here before.

Previous slanderous statements against Tony Blair's government about "sexing up" intelligence to justify the decision to go to war in Iraq were thoroughly demolished by two independent inquires in the UK, first by Lord Hutton, ("Davies threatens to sue Campbell for libel"), and then by Lord Butler. ("Biters Bit").

The Lord Hutton report led to the resignation in disgrace of the chairman of the BBC. The Butler report settled once and for all that the infamous sixteen words about Iraq's effort to buy uranium from Africa were "well-founded," and not lies at all. "In the resulting furor, Gavyn Davies, the chairman of the BBC, and Greg Dyke, the BBC director general, along with the journalist responsible for the report, Andrew Gilligan, resigned."

The latest report finds that

"The BBC has failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff."

The report further states,

“There is a tendency to 'group think’ with too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.

"A staff impartiality seminar held last year is also documented in the report, at which executives admitted they would broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but not the Koran, in case Muslims were offended. "

In September 2005 Tony Blair attacked the BBC over its coverage of Hurricane Katrina, which he characterized as "'full of hatred of America' and 'gloating' at the country's plight." ("Blair attacks BBC for 'anti-US bias'"). Even Bill Clinton agreed, attacking the tone of the BBC's coverage of Katrina at a media seminar he was hosting, "He said it had been 'stacked up' to criticise the federal government's slow response."

(Which is nothing, really, to what the American press has done with Katrina, that is to turn it into a myth of racial genocide only slightly worse than Stalin's forced starvation of the Ukraine).

Yet it is the right that is forever being accused of being out of touch with reality, and it was George Bush whom Newseek portrayed on its cover inside a bubble, and called "the most isolated president in modern history." ("Newsweek’s Bush-In-The-Bubble Cover"). As we have been told for six years now, the President listens to no one (except in his worst moments, according to the more bilious and hysterical commentators, to Jesus), and consequently never hears a word that doesn't conform to his own hidebound policies.

On the other hand, we have also been told for six years that a large minority of the President's closest advisers, generals, intelligence chiefs, and foreign policy experts, (a minority that somehow is always "growing"), are soundly contradicting him all day long on every point of policy, but to no avail.

There's a minor historico-critical controversy over whether or not the famous New Yorker movie critic Pauline Kael ever actually said, of the 1972 landslide victory of Richard Nixon, that she was amazed by it, as she didn't know anyone who voted for Nixon. The revisionist version of this remark is that she didn't express amazement at Dick Nixon's election, but merely abstained from commenting on him, replying "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don't know. They're outside my ken. But sometimes when I'm in a theater I can feel them."

I don't see how this version makes her look any better, as the latter comment is a frank admission that she lacked a single personal acquaintance amongst any of the 60% plus of the American electorate who voted for Nixon over George McGovern, (including New York state)--except she felt some kind of bad-vibe shudder when forced to occupy the same movie theater with one. This was the whole point of the jibe: liberals simply don't come outside their cliques to show any interest in the townies or the kitchen help--the great unwashed who are simply outside the ken of the progressives and the know-it-alls.

I really don't think even Bush's most vicious attackers could ever put words in his mouth to the effect that "I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who wants us to withdraw from Iraq, who frets over the US's popularity level abroad, or who thinks my tax cuts are a bad idea. I can just feel them out there."

Nor do the rest of us enjoy the protection of bubbles, as we are absolutely forced to confront, day in and day out, people who disagree, disrespect, and seem vowed to destroy everything that we hold valuable and worth saving.

But I digress. It is the liberal press, of which the BBC, CNN, and the New York Times, are only the most notorious examples, that once again find themselves on the hot seat for showing bias, sympathy for our enemies, and for letting themselves out cheap as spokesmen for our worst enemies. (E.g., Eason Jordan's refusal to report bad news from Saddam's Iraq, the New York Times and the Washington Post providing platforms for Hamas to justify their bloody coup in Gaza, and now the BBC, for the second time since 9/11, being caught out "sexing up" its news coverage of the war on terror to fit in with the personal biases of "too many staff inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.")

It is a tried and true tactic of the Left to always accuse opponents of the very faults and failing with which the Left themselves are most beset, from bigotry to intolerance, and not least with refusal to consider other points of view.

Clearly they're the the ones in a bubble.

So anybody got a pin?

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