BBC Admits Bias?

Following the kidnapping of the BBC’s Gaza correspondent Alan Johnston, Tom Gross comments:

Impartial observers have long recognized that Johnston is particularly anti-Israeli in his reporting. But now the BBC has acknowledged his bias too. The BBC website, in an article about their kidnapped correspondent, includes a quote from BBC diplomatic editor Paul Adams confirming that Johnston wasn’t interested in presenting the Israeli side, but it was “his job to bring us day after day reports of the Palestinian predicament.”The Nablus TV news agency also acknowledges this. In a report specially located and translated for this website / email list, it says: “The Palestinian Journalists Syndicate has issued a call to release Johnston as soon as possible, saying Johnston must not be hurt as he is famous for his opinions which are supportive of the Palestinians.”

Confirming this apparent bias, the PA’s new Information Minister, Mustafa Barghouti stated that “We are opposed to the kidnapping of foreign journalists who serve the Palestinian cause.”

BBC BIAS NOTICED ACROSS THE ATLANTIC

Many of the criticisms aimed at the BBC are often repeated against the New York Times. If the paper is publishing the following op-ed from Frank Stewart on plans to launch a BBC Arabic TV service, it can only mean that the BBC’s particular brand of bias is being noticed on the other side of the Atlantic:

If the BBC’s Arabic TV programs resemble its radio programs, then they will be just as anti-Western as anything that comes out of the Gulf, if not more so. They will serve to increase, rather than to diminish, tensions, hostilities and misunderstandings among nations….

The Arabic Service not only shields Arab leaders from criticism but also tends to avoid topics they might find embarrassing: human rights, the role of military and security forces, corruption, discrimination against minorities, censorship, poverty and unemployment. When, from time to time, such topics do arise, they are usually dealt with in the most general terms: there may, for instance, be guarded references to “certain Arab countries.”…

If the BBC models its Arabic television service on its Arabic radio service, yet another anti-Western, antidemocratic channel will find its place on the Arab screen.

Writing in the Times of London, Gerard Baker adds his view of the BBC’s news output:

This is the mindset that sees the effortless superiority, at every turn, of benign collectivism over selfish individualism, exploited worker over unscrupulous capitalist, enlightened European over brutish American, thoughtful atheist over dumb believer, persecuted Arab over callous Israeli; and that believes the West is the perpetrator of just about every ill that has ever befallen the world – from colonialism to global warming….

When the editorial pages of The New York Times accuse the BBC of anti-Western bias it is worth taking notice. It is a little like Osama bin Laden accusing Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of being a bit harsh on the Jews. It suggests that in other, even pretty unlikely, parts of the world, people are waking up to the menace to our values represented by the BBC. The British sadly, seem curiously content to remain in thrall to it.

MARK REGEV INTERVIEWED

During his recent visit to the UK, Israeli Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mark Regev conducted an in-depth interview with the political website 18 Doughty St. Subjects addressed include the Lebanon War and international media coverage of Israel. Watch the full interview by clicking here.

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