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You Call This a BBC Response?
Before publishing our in-depth analysis of BBC articles on the Mideast conflict (pdf format), we forwarded an advance copy to the Beeb for a response. We found a quantifiable imbalance between Palestinian and Israeli perspectives quoted, a lack of historical context, and other examples of "soft bias."
They never replied. But the BBC gave a response to the Jewish Chronicle. It was -- unfortunately -- the party line we expected to hear:
A BBC spokeswoman said: "It's not uncommon to hear these sorts of findings from pressure groups but our role is to provide independent reporting and analysis of all perspectives of a story, so our audiences can make sense of what's going on themselves.
"The independent panel set up by our board of governors found no deliberate or systematic bias in the BBC coverage of the Israel-Palestinian conflict."
Does the BBC's shoot-the-messenger approach reflect an inability to refute the points we raised, or just arrogance?
Read HonestReporting's In-Depth Media Analyis of the BBC's coverage and judge for yourself.
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Last night, BBC Four broadcast a "talk" by Bishop Desmond Tutu in which he had invited four (male) guests to dinner, with seemingly differing views, one of them wsa a bishop, another an Islamic scholar,another a professed atheist (with a Moslem name) and the fourth was Ronnie Ksrils who was introduced by Tutu as "of Jewish origin but a strong advocate of the Palestinian cause". So where was the strong advocate of the Jewish right to live in the Land of Israel? Right first time. My view, which I have expressed before, is that the BBC exhibits even worse anti-Israel bias in its current events and documentary broadcasts than it does in its news programming.
I received an almost word for word identical response from the BBC 7 years ago - call it arrogance!
Do they refer to the Balen Report? Why is it not public?
I got a very similar answer from its Canadian cousin (the CBC). Yup, arrogance.
I don't believe it is arrogance. The BBC desperately wants to lead the media fight against Israel but can't admit it because its charter (and therefore its funding and monopoly) demand neutrality.
End the public subsidy of this poison through the Television tax and Foreign Office grants. If the BBC can compete let it take any position it wants. If it can't - good riddance.
Shameful but it reflects on them just as much as their systemic lies distortions and all their aberrations concerning Israel.