Monday, January 17, 2005

Aiding and abetting the enemy

In a posting yesterday on the CIA’s prediction that the EU might break-up in 15 years, I ventured the opinion that the European élites had "lost the plot", and were going to collapse under the weight of their ever-larger number of "independent and multi-stakeholder monitoring mechanisms", established to review their ever expanding "proceedings".

Then, I suggested, the people will rise up and do the decent thing. They will put them out of their misery.

My optimistic prognostication was, however, quickly countered by our reader who, in the "comments" section, dismissed my naïvity, stating that the people will not rise up. "They don't even know anything is wrong, thanks to the BBC and the papers."

Our reader may be right, although I hope not, but he has put his finger on a worrying and dangerous phenomenon, particularly in respect of the BBC – a new kind of bias which is much more difficult to detect.

The more obvious kind of bias, which the likes of Biased BBC and Last Night’s BBC News have been diligently reporting, is hard enough to spot, but the "new" technique used by the BBC is simply not to report a subject at all when there is favourable news. Instead, it will only cover unfavourable aspects when they arise.

No more so was this evident than on Saturday 8 January when the BBC managed to do a round-up of all the tsunami disaster area relief efforts, without mentioning the US efforts once, despite a longish piece shot in Banda Aceh where US activities were particularly visible.

That was the day that the USS Bonhomme Richard group, started work in earnest, yet the BBC found time to do a long "puff" on the British frigate HMS Chatham, showing endless footage of matelots clearing rubble.

Not only was this not mentioned but the BBC also omitted the fact that helicopters from the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier group had their biggest aid delivery day, bringing 125,000 pounds of food, water and other supplies to Aceh aboard 15 helicopters.

But this was also the day when, unfortunately, US forces in Iraq accidentally bombed the wrong target in Mosul, killing up to 14 citizens. No reticence here: a gloating BBC could hardly wait to rush in the story, running it as its number two item, pontificating with scarce-concealed glee that this would "reinforce anti-American feeling".

Later, on 14 January, we the saw BBC's Newsnight reporter, Peter Marshall, state, with not a hint of a blush, that:

The Asian tsunami has provided a perfect example of the need for an effective UN under an activist Secretary General. This time Kofi Annan was quick off the mark and America's independent efforts soon looked superfluous.
In perpetrating this lie, however, he was not out on his own. Only on the back of weeks of BBC coverage of the tsunami, ignoring the US efforts and giving endless puffs to the UN, could Marshall have got away with such an outrageous statement. Had the previous coverage been fair and balanced, Marshall would have been laughed out of court.

One of the other more egregious lies perpetrated by the BBC – and also by sections of the print media - is the canard that the extraordinarily generous US response was somehow in response to UN relief co-ordinator Jan Egeland’s claim that the US was being "stingy" but, as we pointed out in this piece, and later the US response was rapid, massive and unconditional, and in fact was set in train within six hours of reports of the tsunami being received.

Our coverage of these events, an in particular the Newsnight report, led to us being linked by a number of sites, not least Tim Blair, National Review and Kim du Toit, and by our new and highly respected friend Diplomad.

This has led to an explosion of "hits" on our site but, even more pleasing, Diplomad has done a coruscating piece on the BBC, bringing in many more aspects than I have mentioned of the dire performance of the BBC.

As my colleague Christopher Booker recently remarked, the BBC has now beome a national disgrace. In many ways, it is more dangerous and more dishonourable than Goebbels’ "Germany calling", the war-time propaganda radio station from Nazi Germany.

At least then it was known to be propaganda whereas the BBC, relying on its past reputation for objectivity and impartiality, is still able to fool many people into thinking that it is still a respectable broadcaster. It is no longer that. Instead, to use the words of Lt Col. Tim Ryan, currently stationed in Iraq, it is "aiding and abetting the enemy" (see also our post on Fallujah).

We are grateful to all the sites which have been pointing this out for so long, to say nothing of Lord Pearson and Global Britain, and for those currently helping us to do likewise. And we apologise to our American friends whom we trust now realise that the BBC does not represent anything other than itself.

Update: Also linked: USS Neverdock.

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