Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Blatant Bias Corporation (BBC) News

Via Real Clear Politics…Charles Krauthammer, Mort Kondracke, Fred Barnes and Brit Hume on the Hezbollah War, from Fox News’ Special Report this past Monday (emphasis is mine):

KRAUTHAMMER: One of the reasons the Israelis are reluctant to actually go in, in forces because they may get stuck with an occupation and they had 18 years of that and they don't want it again. What they want to do is to clear it so that the territory is ready to accept, it would have to be -- it couldn't be a U.N. force, that's completely worthless and feckless, as we have seen for the past 30 years. You've had the U.N. in there and they do absolutely nothing. In fact at one point aiding and abetting Hezbollah.

But, if you had a NATO force or E.U. that mike might work, but it would require Israel to attack Hezbollah to such a degree and degrade it that it would be, what you call a permissive environment in which E.U. would go. If Hezbollah is there enforced they are not going to go in.

And the question is, is Israel prepared for the full-scale invasion? It looks as if it's working on a plan, obviously a plan made in advance of doing it all in stages, but that requires time and that's why Rice is over there. She is trying to buy Israel the time. It's a perverse world in which a country is attacked, like Israel, wantonly, openly with aggression, as everybody recognizes and then the world declares that Israel, the country that was aggrieved and victimized is on a clock in defending itself. It wouldn't happen to any other country in the world, but unfortunately it's happening. And I think Rice is being heroic in defending Israel's right to defend itself and to take the time it requires to do it, because it's not going to be a one-day operation, it will require a massive invasion in status which is going to take weeks.

HUME: In a sense, isn't it the case, though, that Hezbollah's military weakness, and the weakness of the Lebanese government, its military, and one might even argue, its people are, in effect, strengths for Hezbollah in that you are going to get a lot of collateral damage because the way they operate, the way they're embedded in the population, the way they're located, the way they hide their weapons all makes that inevitable and that has an effect on world opinion and you do have a disproportion now between the number of Lebanese who are dying and the number of Israelis who are dying. What's the effect of that?

KONDRACKE: Well, look, the publicity, the blood factor here and on TV and the newspapers is all against the Israelis and it's -- there are journalists that were camped out in Tyre or visited Tyre, both the "Washington post" and the "New York Times" and NPR were talking about this family that got hit in a Mercedes while they were fleeing Tyre. And, you know, and the stories were perfectly heart wrenching about a young boy who was, you know, burned over most of his body. The fact is though, that Tyre is the place from whence comes these rockets that are hitting Haifa. So, the Israelis are trying to knock out the rocket installations and they hit civilians in the process.

KRAUTHAMMER: Which disgraceful and the attacks on Israel is that Israel is deliberately trying to minimize civilian casualties on both sides and Hezbollah is deliberately trying to increase civilian casualties on both sides. Terrorizing Israelis, and trying to see that as many Lebanese civilians are hit as Hezbollah hides behind them as a way to demonize Israel.

HUME: So, does that put the international media and the human rights organizations in the position or endangering of becoming dupes?

BARNES: They're abetting the terrorists in this case. Yeah, of course they're dupes, I mean, they're showing what they show is real, but it doesn't reflect truly what's happening there. I mean, you can show some blown out buildings, you can show some bodies, you can tell the story about the people in this Mercedes and obviously those things happen but there's - - the truth is somewhere else.

As I noted elsewhere in the blog, I continue to watch BBC World, a half-hour news show carried by my PBS station, on a daily basis. And I continue to be appalled by the oh-so-obvious slant in the BBC’s reporting. Perhaps I’m overly sensitive (I think not), but the BBC’s reporting is not only anti-Israeli, it’s also blatantly anti-American, as well.

For instance: I heard a reporter state “Israel continues to pound Lebanon with American-made F-16s and American-made smart bombs…” It’s not “pound Hezbollah,” it’s Lebanon. Not with “fighter planes and smart bombs,” but with “American-made” F-16s and smart bombs. Another reporter claimed Israel is executing “America’s agenda,” with the full-force backing of the American government, to wit: destroy Hezbollah, marginalize Syria and humiliate Iran. All in the context of “what the Americans call ‘the war on terror’.” Last night’s newscast featured a segment that ran at least five minutes, longish for a half-hour news program, focusing on civilian casualties and featuring heart-rending footage of wailing Lebanese the callous Brits left behind while they were evacuating British citizens from Tyre. Even while “…there was room on the boat for all.” All? The entire population of Tyre? All of the above is from memory; I’m not aware of the existence of BBC World transcripts to prove my point. Watch the program yourself, if it’s available in your area, and you’ll see what I mean.

The BBC is a quasi-government organ. It’s well past time for some housecleaning at the BBC. If I were Tony Blair I’d initiate a wholesale sacking of BBC editors and some reporters for blatant bias and slanted reporting. It’s probably not possible, I know. Firing any government employee, anywhere, is as difficult as striking a match on a wet cake of soap. But the process needs to begin. We are at war, this isn’t fun and games. Public perception and support of this war and its objectives are important; it’s the ol’ “hearts and minds” thing. While I’m not in favor of replacing the BBC with a Pravda-like government propaganda machine, I am in favor of a neutral news organization that, if it leans in any direction at all, it leans in our direction. As Dubya sez: “You’re either for us, or against us.” The BBC is rooting for the wrong side.


  1. That last statement from Barnes just about says it all. "The truth is somewhere else." No kidding! It is amazing how much I hear siding with Israel, and yet the MSM and the BBC types continuely push us to side with Hezbollah. Why is that? Because it sells better?

    Four years ago when we were in Italy, the BBC was the only English speaking TV we could get. After just a little of their reporting, I would be disgusted with their anti-American views even then.

    Thanks for a great post, Buck. You know me, I don't watch much news (makes me crazy). I tend to read my blogs and some internet news. You always have interesting things to point out.

  2. And thanks for the kind words, Lou!

    The Beeb and I go back quite a ways; it pains me to see what they've become. One of my earliest memories of the BBC is being shushed by my parents in the mid- and late- '50s because they were "listening to the news." That news was the BBC World Service, on my Ol' Man's huge Hallicrafters shortwave radio, while we were stationed in Paris and later Ankara, Turkey. As I got older, say around age 12 or 13, I used to join them in listening. It was a nightly ritual, and it must have looked like a Norman Rockwell illustration. (Really.) We had no TV...


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