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 BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza

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PostSubject: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:10 pm

The British Disasters Emergency Committee which is a coalition of approx 16 major British charities was refused permission by the BBC to broadcast an appeal for humanitarian relief for Gaza. The reason given by the Director General of the BBC, Mark Thompson, was that it might compromise impartiality while the situation was ongoing. There has been a massive outpouring of anger and disgust in Britain over this and a protest is taking place outside the BBC's offices in Portland Place London right at the moment (Sat 2pm). The portest had been planned in advance anyway to protest the unbelievable pro-Israeli bias of the BBC's coverage during the last few weeks - but the decision against the DEC has given the protest extra impetus.

The BBC's decision is catastrophic for the appeal because of the convention that none of the broadcasters will air such appeals unless they all do. Sky is going with the BBC but for the first time ever ITV has broken the rule and has said it will air the appeal. Sky may regret this however as there is now a move afoot to cancel subscriptions to it.

Tony Benn gave a brilliant performance on News 24 this morning and managed to get the appeal read out twice despite protests from the news reader (who didn't try very hard to stop him)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ix5CkWWeSmI

Representatives of the British government have also criticised the BBC over the decision. International Development Secretary Douglas Alexander has asked them to reconsider.

Govt minister Ben Bradshaw, a former BBC correspondent speaking on the BBC's Questions & Answers programme told of Israel's intimidation of reporters - saying that it was well known that Israel puts enormous pressure on the BBC.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 5:26 pm

Channel 4 to air the appeal too:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7848673.stm
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 6:40 pm

The BBC website too is carrying this in several pages:

Quote :
Disasters Emergency Committee Gaza humanitarian appeal:
Launched by UK charities on 22 January to raise money for Gaza aid relief and reconstruction
Participants: Action Aid, British Red Cross, Cafod, Care International, Christian Aid, Concern Worldwide, Help the Aged, Islamic Relief, Merlin, Oxfam, Save the Children, Tearfund, World Vision
Tel: 0370 60 60 900 or go to DEC website

I worked for the BBC for a number of years. There were some honest individuals but by and large the culture was largely unconciously and routinely racist, colonial-minded and unquestioning of the actions of the powerful.

We discussed Channel 4's programme on the reporting of Gaza here. I don't watch much BBC these days, and was shocked afresh by the implicit racism of their approach.

John Snow's Channel 4 programme suggested that in the absence of the BBC and Channel 4's western, "balanced" voice to mediate between us and what is happening, we will "never know what actually happened".

http://machinenation.forumakers.com/world-politics-and-events-f27/hamas-executing-fatah-members-and-collaborationists-in-gaza-t1873-25.htm?highlight=gaza

In "Why the Gaza crisis is so Shocking" - a blog by Alex Klaushofer - rightly describes how the exclusion by the Israelis of foreign journalists from Gaza and consequent reliance on local reporters made the reporting far more forceful and raised a higher level of empathy.

http://www.alertnet.org/db/blogs/40453/2009/00/7-114912-1.htm

Quote :
Partly, it's due to the tone of the media coverage, different from much reporting of other conflicts. The ban by the Israelis on international journalists entering Gaza has had the unexpected effect of bringing Palestinian voices, rather than western commentators, to the fore.

Instead of parachuting a star war journalist into the war zone as they often do in high profile conflicts, media organisations are having to rely on Gazan residents to be their eyes and ears on the ground.

So local businessman Sami Abdel-Shafi has been reporting regularly for Britain's Channel 4 TV news and the Guardian newspaper, while Gaza-based BBC producer Rashdi Abu Alouf has been doing live pieces to camera from al Shafa hospital, which has been receiving many of the casualties.

Sometimes these newly-conscripted reporters appear visibly exhausted, or patently unused to broadcasting. At times their personal suffering enters the story, as in the case of one cameraman whose younger brother was killed while playing on a roof, and who then went on to film the aftermath for transmission.

The resulting media coverage has an unmediated quality which brings the story closer to home. It's crisis reporting with less "professional" detachment and more humanising force.

The BBC is under real pressure to back down. This whole episode hopefully will wake people up to the fact that when they watch the BBC they are watching a neutered and deliberately dehumanised version of the news, and this provides a cover for murder.

Here Tim Franks of the BBC acknowledges the power of reporting - a case of a Palestinian doctor whose three daughters were killed in the shelling, and whose Israeili reporter fried tried to help him.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/7846325.stm

The byline was the "humanising" of the Gaza story. Is the suggestion there somehow that without this reporting, the Gazans are seen as not fully and equally human?
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:55 pm

Time and again the BBC have had lines of Israeli spokespeople on their news reports often making flagrantly untrue statements yet going completely unchallenged.

Snow's programme was unselfconsciously revealing. It made explicit so many of the underlying assumptions and attitudes of the reporters - it was pretty shocking and depressing.

There are rumours of some sort of rebellion afoot at the BBC over this - calls for strikes. I've heard from someone who worked there for a long time (now with C4) that it was full of free-masonry - especially among ex RAF people a lot of whom work on the more technical side of things.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:04 pm

Aragon wrote:


Tony Benn gave a brilliant performance on News 24 this morning and managed to get the appeal read out twice despite protests from the news reader (who didn't try very hard to stop him)

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=ix5CkWWeSmI

Well done to him.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 8:07 pm

A poster on another website has put this up:

"I hope I'm wrong about this. Someone please tell me that the following BBC scheduling is pure coincidence (though I know the schedules are planned months and months ahead).

* Last week the BBC showed a five-part dramatisation of the Diary of Anne Frank over five evenings in prime time.

* Today (Saturday) the first two parts are being repeated on BBC2 in a primetime slot, and presumably the rest will follow over the next few days.

* Tonight, also on BBC2, there's a documentary called Paper Clips about the pupils of a school in Tennessee who in 1998 decided to collect one paper clip for each of the 6 million Jews murdered by the Nazis.

* If you go the BBC Homepage you will find the featured programme is "Archive: Witnessing the Holocaust", (the main picture showing Auschwitz), comprising a series of seventeen TV and radio programmes about the concentration camps and the Final Solution.

It isn't a special anniversary about the Holocaust, is it? Why are all these programmes being shown now, and repeated, and all on BBC channels?

Please tell me I'm delusional in suspecting that these have been deliberately scheduled months in advance to be broadcast at exactly this time. "
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:07 pm

Add to that the release of a film about a Jewish partisan, starring James Bond himself...

Like so many of these things (the Israeli ban on foreign journalists for one) this could badly backfire. The parallels between what was done to the European Jews and what is being done to the Palestinians very strong. Its good for us to be reminded about what facism is, all the better to see it coming and combat it.

It is healthy to see an open debate on the BBC coverage. If we had been able to see what has been done to civilians in Afghanistan, it may have come sooner.

Tony did well all right.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:14 pm

cactus flower wrote:
Add to that the release of a film about a Jewish partisan, starring James Bond himself...

Like so many of these things (the Israeli ban on foreign journalists for one) this could badly backfire. The parallels between what was done to the European Jews and what is being done to the Palestinians very strong. Its good for us to be reminded about what facism is, all the better to see it coming and combat it.

It is healthy to see an open debate on the BBC coverage. If we had been able to see what has been done to civilians in Afghanistan, it may have come sooner.

I had that exact same thought about it backfiring too - the similarities are so striking.

But here's another thing we all knew was going on though maybe not quite exactly how:

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90799
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:18 pm

Insanely stupid decision by the BBC. The reasoning is truly baffling (though the scheduling conspiracy theory above is silly), and seems to me to be a product of the most lily-livered type of cowardice. They'd be wise to back down soon, they're making themselves look ridiculous.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:18 pm

The Official Israeli Government Trolling handbook... interesting:

Name Calling
"Creating negative connotations by name calling is done to try and get the audience to reject a person or idea on the basis of negative associations, without allowing a real examination of that person or idea."

Plain Folks
"Pro-Israel activists can use the 'plain folks' technique by speaking as a 'person from the street' whilst supporting Israel."

Fear
"is easily manipulated in a climate that is already steeped in fear by the threat of global terror...Fear can be successfully utilized by pointing out the consequences of terror. Reminding people that Palestinian terrorists have, in the past, operated throughout the world would strengthen this perception of threat."

Bandwagon
"People are hapy to be part of the crowd, and subtle manipulators can play on this desire by emphasizing the large size of ther support...Israeli activists can commission opinion polls amongst groups who favour Israel, and use these to give the impression that Israel is 'the team to support'...to create the impression that Israel is even more popular than it is."
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:22 pm

cactus flower wrote:
The Official Israeli Government Trolling handbook... interesting:

Name Calling
"Creating negative connotations by name calling is done to try and get the audience to reject a person or idea on the basis of negative associations, without allowing a real examination of that person or idea."

Plain Folks
"Pro-Israel activists can use the 'plain folks' technique by speaking as a 'person from the street' whilst supporting Israel."

Fear
"is easily manipulated in a climate that is already steeped in fear by the threat of global terror...Fear can be successfully utilized by pointing out the consequences of terror. Reminding people that Palestinian terrorists have, in the past, operated throughout the world would strengthen this perception of threat."

Bandwagon
"People are hapy to be part of the crowd, and subtle manipulators can play on this desire by emphasizing the large size of ther support...Israeli activists can commission opinion polls amongst groups who favour Israel, and use these to give the impression that Israel is 'the team to support'...to create the impression that Israel is even more popular than it is."

I was looking for this the other day after the Jon Snow documentary, is there a link cactus? I was going to post it over on P.ie, but couldn't find it...
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:27 pm

Its from Aragon's link to Indymedia

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/90799
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:29 pm

Thanks cactus and aragon, tis sorely needed on one P.ie thread now...
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:30 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
Insanely stupid decision by the BBC. The reasoning is truly baffling (though the scheduling conspiracy theory above is silly), and seems to me to be a product of the most lily-livered type of cowardice. They'd be wise to back down soon, they're making themselves look ridiculous.

What 'conspiracy' toxic? These programmes ARE being shown. If we had saturation coverage to this extent of any issue we'd be wondering what on earth was going on. It's silly to pretend this isn't all part of the same ridiculously pro Israeli bias. It happens all the time. When the Iraq war was about to start, there was wall to wall WWII films on the BBC and Sky - Dunkirk spirit and all that stuff. People are incredibly naive about how the media works with governments at times. RTE news is oftentimes more like one of those sermons the priests used to give in the pulpits long ago. In fact there is a good case to be made for saying RTE took over where the priests left off...
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 9:54 pm

They plan schedules months in advance, and commission and film years before sometimes, they'd have had to have been in cahoots with either Mossad or the Israeli government before the original truce was even agreed.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:00 pm

toxic avenger wrote:
They plan schedules months in advance, and commission and film years before sometimes, they'd have had to have been in cahoots with either Mossad or the Israeli government before the original truce was even agreed.

But obviously, they were in league with Mossad, if someone believes in conspiracy theory to that extent. The logical extension of that way of thinking is "How dare the BBC show a dramatisation of the Diary of Anne Frank, you might get four or five people out of sixty million to lose sympathy for the Palestinians through that". Rolling Eyes


Last edited by Ronald Binge on Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:04 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:01 pm

Ronald Binge wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
They plan schedules months in advance, and commission and film years before sometimes, they'd have had to have been in cahoots with either Mossad or the Israeli government before the original truce was even agreed.

But obviously, they were in league with Mossad, if you believe in conspiracy theory to that extent. How dare the BBC show a dramatisation of the Diary of Anne Frank, you might get four or five people out of sixty million to lose sympathy for the Palestinians through that. Rolling Eyes

Well, quite...
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:16 pm

Ronald Binge wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
They plan schedules months in advance, and commission and film years before sometimes, they'd have had to have been in cahoots with either Mossad or the Israeli government before the original truce was even agreed.

But obviously, they were in league with Mossad, if someone believes in conspiracy theory to that extent. The logical extension of that way of thinking is "How dare the BBC show a dramatisation of the Diary of Anne Frank, you might get four or five people out of sixty million to lose sympathy for the Palestinians through that". Rolling Eyes

Shhhhh. Don't ruin a nice conspiracy theory by pointing out that it is demonstrably absurd. geek jocolor

BTW RTÉ and BBC are currently working out their Autumn 2009 schedules and in April will be working out their Christmas one. (In June 1989 while in one studio the counts in that year's general election were taking place, next door the Daniel O'Donnell Christmas Show was being recorded. - I was working at the election coverage and it was a bit strange seeing people in Christmas gear sweating like hell in the corridor behind the studios in a break from the DOD filming. But then on American television Perry Como's Christmas shows were recorded in January for showing 11 months later. That's how long in advance shows are recorded and programme scheduled. They don't decide that week 'oh I know. Lets puts on X because of what's in the news!)

In reality there is no ulterior motive whatsoever behind the showing of the Anne Frank documentary. They decided last summer what was going to be on in January 2009. In fact they probably decided it before Israel and Hamas agreed the original truce whose eventual collapse led to what happened in Gaza.

Re the BBC decision not to show the appeal, it is wrong. As an ad-free zone the BBC rarely accepts appeals on current issues because an appeal gets additional weight by appearing on an ad-free station rather than being lost among tons of ads, and they are always nervous in case an appeal on a current issue could be seen as editorialising and cause difficulties for its journalists covering the story. But in this case they should have allowed it and I expect the decision will be quickly reversed.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:05 pm

I don't want to get mired into the scheduling of issue, which is a matter for speculation one way or the other. The war against Gaza was planned, by admission of the Israelis, at least 5 or 6 months in advance. The attack was timed to coincide with the US presidential interregnum. In the US, the earliest date it could have been was November 2 and the latest November 8.

As I said, I worked for a good few years in the BBC, and I would neither rule it in or out that there may have been some pro-Israeli influence in scheduling. There certainly has been in news coverage.

The "How can we be sure it will get to the right people?" line from the BBC is a horrible case of weasel words well answered by Tony Benn. The charities involved are far more experienced than the BBC in these issues.

So far as I'm concerned, Hamas is the elected government of Gaza and is responsible for the well-being of the people there. The best answer to the BBC is to dig down the back of the sofa and send some money to the address at the top of this thread.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:52 am

Re scheduling of programmes about Anne Frank etc etc at the moment, I'll just point out that this coming Tuesday, 27th January, is Holocaust Memorial Day in the UK.

Introduced by the New Lab. govt, it serves as an occasion to rem. the horrors of Nazi racism (I think the date is in commemoration of the ending of Auschwitz) and is also a chance to reflect on the issue of racism in general. I know that this is so in a number of London schools at any rate. I can guess, but of course cannot be sure, that the BBC scheduled the Anne Frank series to air close to this time in the school schedule.

The BBC has, of course, behaved terribly and completely shot itself in the foot re the DEC appeal. It is under singularly bad management at the moment. However, the spectacle of Wee Dougie, the Labour govt minister, admonishing the BBC for this lapse sickens me. This govt, esp. under Blair and Campbell, beat the BBC into utter submission in '03-05. For Labour to then condemn it for cowardice is farcical and two-faced.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sun Jan 25, 2009 2:06 am

Well that explains the timing.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:15 am

cactus flower wrote:
Well that explains the timing.

Not really. This is not a new commemoration date. It has never before drawn so much supporting television coverage.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:28 am

toxic avenger wrote:
They plan schedules months in advance, and commission and film years before sometimes, they'd have had to have been in cahoots with either Mossad or the Israeli government before the original truce was even agreed.

This war was, at an absolute minimum, planned six months ahead. Israeli spokespeople have openly admitted this - even going so far as to say that there was nothing inconsistent with planning the war unknown to Hammas who in good faith were at the same time negotiating a supposed peace deal with them. Where are people's heads? All of the civil infrastructure was destroyed - plus the homes of the most senior Palestinian government people in Gaza. That sort of strike is impossible to execute without detailed planning ahead.
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sun Jan 25, 2009 4:38 am

Aragon wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
They plan schedules months in advance, and commission and film years before sometimes, they'd have had to have been in cahoots with either Mossad or the Israeli government before the original truce was even agreed.

This war was, at an absolute minimum, planned six months ahead. Israeli spokespeople have openly admitted this - even going so far as to say that there was nothing inconsistent with planning the war unknown to Hammas who in good faith were at the same time negotiating a supposed peace deal with them. Where are people's heads? All of the civil infrastructure was destroyed - plus the homes of the most senior Palestinian government people in Gaza. That sort of strike is impossible to execute without detailed planning ahead.

With the BBC's foreknowledge? Or with Israelis surreptitiously influencing the early-evening drama schedule six months ahead? I'm aware that the Israelis pull stunts of all sorts, but this is paranoia ad absurdiam... Plus, aren't they a little late?...
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PostSubject: Re: BBC in disgrace over refusal to air appeal for Gaza   Sun Jan 25, 2009 5:35 am

toxic avenger wrote:
Aragon wrote:
toxic avenger wrote:
They plan schedules months in advance, and commission and film years before sometimes, they'd have had to have been in cahoots with either Mossad or the Israeli government before the original truce was even agreed.

This war was, at an absolute minimum, planned six months ahead. Israeli spokespeople have openly admitted this - even going so far as to say that there was nothing inconsistent with planning the war unknown to Hammas who in good faith were at the same time negotiating a supposed peace deal with them. Where are people's heads? All of the civil infrastructure was destroyed - plus the homes of the most senior Palestinian government people in Gaza. That sort of strike is impossible to execute without detailed planning ahead.

With the BBC's foreknowledge? Or with Israelis surreptitiously influencing the early-evening drama schedule six months ahead? I'm aware that the Israelis pull stunts of all sorts, but this is paranoia ad absurdiam... Plus, aren't they a little late?...

Its yet another OTT conspiracy theory, Toxic. Of course wars are planned ahead. Israel would have planned a 'what if' strategy. Hamas would have planned one. Ireland planned a 'what if' strategy in 1968 in case we had to invade Northern Ireland. The UK and US planned a 'what if' strategy in case they had to invade Ireland during the Second World War. The USSR planned 'what if' strategies in case they attacked the US, and the US planned strategies in case they attacked the USSR. The Department of Finance has a 'what if' strategy ready in case we need the IMF, and are ready in case they have to nationalise AIB and Bank of Ireland. Buckingham Palace has a 'what if' strategy in place in place the Queen dies in her sleep tonight. And Áras an Uachtaráin has a 'what if' strategy ready to know how to react if if the Queen dies suddenly. The first 'what if' strategy for the death of Princess Diana was prepared two days after her engagement was announced and the first plans for the Queen Mother's funeral were made in 1923, shortly after her wedding.

It is amazing sometimes how so many people on political websites lack even the most basic understanding of how politics and decision-taking are made. Barack Obama already will have been asked to submit details of how his funeral to be arranged. It is one of the first thing Irish presidents are asked when they take up office. Civil servants already are preparing 'what if' scenarios for the collapse of the government and the formation of a government by Enda Kenny. And they will already be working on scenarios to prepare in case Brian Cowen dies, is assassinated or is deposed in his party. That happens all the time.

So of course Israel prepared in advance for a possible invasion of Gaza. Israel will have been making invasion plans since before they originally left the place. Hamas too will have been planning for everything from an invasion to launching its own attack on Israel. And both will have planned for an Israeli attack on Iran and what that would do to the region. (An attempt last year by Israel to attack Iran's nuclear sites was blocked by the US who threatened to cut off all aid to Israel if they attacked Iran.) But planning something in advance does not mean the plan is going to be executed. 99% of all plans are never used, but you draft them anyway. The decision to invade Gaza was taken by ministers in the Israeli government a couple of days before the attack. Once the order was given the military simply put the pre-prepared plan into action.

But to think that as part of a 'what if' plan someone in Tel Aviv is going to decide to influence what is shown on BBC2 months in advance is silly beyond words. It is conspiracy theorising gone mad.
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