Saturday, May 10, 2008

May 7 ‘Media Critique: “The BBC's Birthday Present to Israel”

HonestReporting’s whine is now about a BBC film that most people can’t even watch (it is only available in the UK).

It’s especially problematic as it was produced by the BBC’s Middle East Editor, Jeremy Bowen. Bowen is one of the best Middle East journalists going around. He’s knowledgeable, experienced, and worst of all from HRs point of view, he’s not susceptible to attack from partisans demanding that his work conform to their particular prejudices.

The events leading up to the creation of the modern-day State of Israel exactly 60 years ago have been examined and re-examined by qualified historians. So why was Jeremy Bowen given the responsibility of producing the BBC's one-hour documentary "The Birth of Israel" broadcast on May 4, 2008?

As usual, you only need to go back one week to see HRs flip-flopping on matters of principle. Today it wants historians, last week it denounced Johann Hari for relying on a historian. For HR it’s all a matter of which one best suits it tastes, and Illan Pappe didn't.

What follows is a HR lesson in history – the way HR would like it reported, which is from the perspective of a strong emotional identificition with Israel. Anything else is bias, of course.

Being the reasonable types they are, HR then emplore it’s readers, most of whom will not have seen the film, to send your considered comments to the BBC Complaints website”. Those considered comments being exactly what HR have just told them to think.

And being the stupid sheep that they are, many probably will.