Saturday, August 08, 2015

08-Aug-15: Another BBC moment

We know from experience that when it wants to, the
BBC certainly knows the difference between having and
not having evidence 
The BBC, true to its long tradition of flexibility when it comes to guidelines and red lines, keeps demonstrating how it's not above a little guilt-by-insinuation if there's enough passion in the air.

Here's the key line from the story that leads its news home page at this hour (11:57 pm Saturday night, Jerusalem time):
A Palestinian man whose child was killed in an arson attack blamed on Jewish settlers has died of his injuries.
Blamed? By whom? Have the culprits been found? Charges laid? Is it BBC policy to skip the proof-and-evidence stage when the deaths are of Palestinian Arabs and there are hordes in the street baying for blood?


Anonymous said...

The question is asked about BBC policy. Beyond the BBC, more fundamentally, why is it Israeli policy to jump to the conclusion the attack was committed by Jews? There is no credible evidence available yet, at least not that has been released to the public, no charges have been filed, and on top of this, the press reports that that family who was attacked has been involved in a family feud with another area family. It seems there should be no blame assigned to either entity, the Arabs or the Jews, until there is a real suspect who's been arrested. The rest is deadly gossip that has already led to more terror attacks in revenge for a crime that has not been solved. How can one blame the BBC for carrying on the same libel of which Israel's own government is the originator? The Israeli govt takes the blame for this one, not the BBC.

This Ongoing War said...

We're not going to defend gossip. But how sure are you that Israel has judged and found the culprits to be Israelis? Yes, we're aware of heavy-handed investigations, people being dragged in for questioning, and several arrests. But no one has been charged with the lethal arson attack in Duma as far as we know. And as a government Israel is focused, as it ought to be, on conveying the message that whoever did this awful thing, no matter which direction he, she or they pray if they pray at all, there is a law, there is justice, and there is an investigation. Not only conveying a message but DOING a whole spectrum of tasks some of which are reported and others, presumably, not. That's government, for better and worse.

None of this means Israel as a government has accused anyone even if the atmosphere is heavy with the sounds of a witch-hunt.

The BBC on the other hand has to be measured on a far simpler basis. It tells stories - written, audio, visual. That's it. And it gets measured by the output. What we quoted is the BBC wantonly, carelessly, recklessly, bracketing the two deaths with "an arson attack blamed on Jewish settlers".

That's cheap, tawdry, agenda-driven reporting. They should be called out for it.

If the BBC is "the world's radio station", there's a case for demanding its management lives up to its self-professed responsibility. And no, we don't for a moment imagine they have the professional integrity to do it, but we consumers are entitled to understand that and draw conclusions.

If it's not already obvious, we have personal experience that makes us immune to the BBC's boastfulness.