BBC goes the extra mile to pretend that Islam had nothing to do with yesterday’s murder spree in Kenya

We know the facts:  Gunmen invaded a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that is primarily frequented by Westerners.  By the end of the attack, at least 39 people had been murdered and 150 injured.  There may still be hostages.  An African Muslim group called Al-Shabaab announced soon after the attack that this was intended to be a targeted attack against non-Muslims.  Lest anyone be unclear about this concept, it spelled it out:  “Only Kuffar were singled out for this attack. All Muslims inside #Westgate were escorted out by the Mujahideen before beginning the attack.”

Funnily enough, the BBC, which still clings to its reputation as a news service, failed to get Al-Shabaab’s memorandum.  When the inimitable Zombie went to check out the BBC’s coverage, the BBC turned out to have tuned out Islam from its reporting:

The BBC’s lead story this afternoon was almost a study in journalistic malfeasance: an archetypal example of how left-leaning Western journalists will violate their own consciences — and the basic principles of reporting — in their relentless quest to hide the truth.

 Such bias happens every day, and complaints about it happen just as often, but the sheer volume and speed of partisan reporting makes it difficult to highlight a single example. Even so, let’s pause for just a moment and dissect this typical specimen of ideological media spin.

The article under discussion can be found here — at least for now. Since media outlets often delete articles which they later find embarrassing, I can’t guarantee it will be online forever, so to preserve the evidence I took a screenshot, which you can see here.

[snip]

Right off the bat, even in the headline itself, the BBC commits a litany of egregious and inexcusable journalistic errors.

The first and most obvious blunder is the missing subject. Who did what? Well, according the the BBC, an entity called a “shoot-out” committed mass murder in Nairobi. Note how there are no human actors in the headline. It wasn’t people who killed 11, it was an inanimate and leaderless “shoot-out” that killed 11.

This is a basic grammatical snafu which even freshmen journalism students quickly learn to avoid. But not the BBC, apparently.

On a second, more subtle, level, use of the word “shoot-out” implies that there were two equal combatants involved, and that therefore blame can be spread around to everyone. But as we know, it wasn’t at first a “shoot-out” — it was a group of terrorists massacring unarmed non-Muslims. (Only much later, after police arrived, did it devolve into a shoot-out.)

Since the BBC has been one of the world’s leading media outlets for nearly a century, and in previous generations set the global standard for news-writing guidelines, they have absolutely no excuse for writing a headline like that — they can’t claim “We’re new at this kind of thing” or “We’re just bloggers — cut us some slack.” No. The BBC literally wrote the book on how to write proper headlines. And if they write a poor headline like this, it must be on purpose.

I urge you to read Zombie’s entire post, just so you know how the Left lies to people.

To appreciate the scope of its egregiously misleading excuse for journalism, imagine if, when Hitler’s troops invaded Poland, jump-starting WWII, the BBC headline had been “Scattered German Troops Engage Some Polish Citizens In Battle.”

Sending coals to Newcastle

Sadie gave me the heads-up about a new State Department initiative (on your taxpayer dime, of course):

The BBC World Service is to receive a “significant” sum of money from the US government to help combat the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China.

In what the BBC said is the first deal of its kind, an agreement is expected to be signed later this month that will see US state department money – understood to be a low six-figure sum – given to the World Service to invest in developing anti-jamming technology and software.

The funding is also expected to be used to educate people in countries with state censorship in how to circumnavigate the blocking of internet and TV services.

The logistics of this make sense.  As the article goes on to say, the BBC already has a significant presence in these regions.  However, given that the BBC is as anti-American, anti-capitalist, antisemitic, and anti-Israel as the repressive countries in which it is now about to enhance its presence, I can’t help but feel that we, the taxpayers, are being asked to pay to bring coals to Newcastle.

BBC religious program to be headed by a Muslim

Right now, Church of England officials are upset that the BBC’s religious programming department (which is, apparently, a very important department) is going to be headed up by a practicing Muslim.  It is unclear whether he got the position as a result of political correctness or employment mandates, but there he is.  Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we’ll have to wait and see whether Aaqil Ahmed carries out his new assignment with admirable even handedness — or not.  One wonders, though, what recourse there will be if the latter proves to be the case.

And now for something completely different….

You all remember how, at the MTV awards, Russell Brand, a British comedian who was completely unknown to Americans went on a wild anti-Bush rant, with a few jabs at religious people, as well.  If you don’t recall, let me refresh your recollection:

If his aim was to be noticed by America, Russell Brand more than achieved his goal last night as he ranted that President Bush was a “retarded cowboy” while hosting the MTV awards.

The British comedian, who is a virtual unknown in America, left the crème of the music world stunned as he championed Barack Obama, ran down George Bush and made lewd jokes about the Christian pop band Jonas Brothers.

I’m happy to report that Russell Brand has finally gone just a wee bit too far, and he’s taken a chunk of the BBC down with him.  Here’s the story:

Jonathan Ross is a BBC radio host who pulls in a seven figure a year (in pounds) annual salary.  He had Russell Brand as a guest on his pre-recorded radio show.  Brand was also on the BBC pay roll, earning something in the low six figures (in pounds) annually.

These two boys arranged to have an interview with Andrew Sachs.  For those of you who are not afficienados of classic British comedy from the 1970s, this name may not mean anything to you.  But for anyone who has ever watched Fawlty Towers, you’ll instantly connect him with Manuel, the charmingly incompetent Spanish waiter, who never mastered English.

Andrew Sachs (who escaped Nazi Germany in 1938) is now a 78 year old man and, significantly for this story, a grandfather.  His granddaughter, who is a Goth performer, once dated Russell Brand.

Brand and Ross thought it would be too, too funny, as a sort of preparation for the Sachs interview, to call and leave a series of increasingly obscene messages on Sachs’ answering machine.  The BBC thought the messages were pretty damned funny, and allowed this pre-recorded show to be aired.  Here’s a taste of Brand’s and Ross’ humor:

Brand: I said Andrew Sachs! Look Andrew Sachs I have got respect for you and your lineage and your progeny, never let that be questioned.

Ross: Don’t hint.

Brand: I weren’t hinting! Why did that come across as a hint?

Ross: Because you know what you did.

Brand: That wasn’t a hint.

Ross: He f***ed your granddaughter! [laughter in the studio]

[snip]

Brand: [singing] I’d like to apologise for the terrible attacks, Andrew Sachs, I would like to show contrition to the max, Andrew Sachs. I would like to create world peace, between the yellow, white and blacks, Andrew Sachs, Andrew Sachs. I said something I didn’t have oughta, like I had sex with your granddaughter. But it was consensual and she wasn’t menstrual, it was consensual lovely sex. It was full of respect I sent her a text, I’ve asked her to marry me, Andrew Sachs.

Ross: This has made it worse, you have trivialised the whole incident.

Brand: Hang up, hang up! It’s trivialised it!

[snip]

Ross: No. I’ve got a better idea  -  let’s both put on striped shirts and break into his house, merely to delete the answerphone message  -  let’s see what happens. What could go wrong?

Brand: Nothing. Literally, nothing could go wrong as we smash our way into Andrew Sachs’s house.

Ross: No. No, we break in like cat burglars tonight when he’s in bed.

Brand: ‘Yes, while he sleeps.

Ross: …and go up to the pillow to kiss him to say sorry.
Brand: Kiss him up and down his body apologising, drench him in gin.

Ross: M********e him to say sorry. Make him feel better.

(bursts out laughing)

Brand: ‘So sorry, Andrew Sachs, this will make up for it. Go on finish it, into the palm of my hand. Good girl for uncle daddy, good girl for uncle daddy. (Laughs) There we go, what a show it’s been.

Ross: What’s that noise I hear? Ah, it’s a Sony Award coming your way.

Although Ross, Brand and the BBC standards department clearly thought this was good-humored fun for all, the British public, showing that all decency hasn’t been fully leeched away by a politically correct mindset that forces the abandonment of moral standards, went ballistic.  The BBC was deluged with more than 27,000 angry calls, letters and emails.  The Daily Mail (my favorite British rag) received over 5,500 emails on the subject, with more than 4,000 of them registering complaints.  You can get a taste of that here.

Even the BBC can’t withstand that kind of pressure (and that is a good reminder for those of us contemplating the coming “bipartisan” era of a completely Democratic government that may not be subject to any Republican braking mechanisms, such as filibusters.)  Heads have begun rolling:  Russell Brand has resigned, Jonathan Ross’s job is on the line (and the complaints against him are in full flood), and the BBC has been publicly exposed (again) as a moral vacuum.

But even that’s not the worst of it.  The worst of it is that Sachs’ granddaughter has delivered the ultimate insult:

In a frank interview with The Sun, Miss Baillie described how Brand was a flop in the bedroom, despite his reputation as a lothario.

Revealing that she slept with the star after their ‘lavish’ first date, she said: ‘ I’m not going to go into detail about what happened there although I’m obviously no shrinking violet.

‘I will only say he’s a disappointment in the bedroom considering he has had so much practice’.

She also said that Brand was ‘clean freak’ and would ask her to use mouthwash before she kissed him.

The details of the affair will heap more public humiliation on Brand, who has always been proud of his ladies’ man image.

Remember, folks:  In the entertainment world, you can do drugs (as Brand did), you can get arrested, you can solicit sex from prostitutes, you can insult America, you can have a completely psychotic episode — and you will be the recipient of tearful support from everyone, including Oprah.  But you can’t be bad in bed!  In an industry completely founded on sexuality, the discovery that Brand is a failure in the bedroom is the ultimate ignominy.  He’s through, folks.

How to say “I’m a coward” in 98 words

The director of the BBC has finally admitted that, yes, of course the BBC treats Islam with unusual deference.  Mark Thompson offers a 98 word defense of the BBC’s un-evenhanded approach:

‘My view is that there is a difference between the position of Christianity, which I believe should be central to the BBC’s religion coverage and widely respected and followed.

‘What Christian identity feels like to the broad population is a little bit different to people for whom their religion is also associated with an ethnic identity which has not been fully integrated.

‘There’s no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion, but I don’t want to say that all religions are the same. To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it.’

Right.

Ben Elton, a comedian who took umbrage at the BBC’s oh-so-PC censorship, had a different take on the matter (emphasis mine):

‘I think it all starts with people nodding whenever anybody says, ‘As a person of faith …’,’ he said.

‘And I believe that part of it is due to the genuine fear that the authorities and the community have about provoking the radical elements of Islam,” he said.

‘There’s no doubt about it, the BBC will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass. They might pretend that it’s, you know, something to do with their moral sensibilities, but it isn’t. It’s because they’re scared. I know these people.’

It’s not the story; it’s the story about the story

Honest Reporting captured the first spin that the BBC put on the terrible story of the latest massacre in Israel (a Palestinian versus Israelis, of course) — and, as always, it was Israel who was spun as the brutal aggressor.  Orwell clearly understood something in the British psyche when he wrote 1984 — or, more accurately, he understood how socialism has always recognized that facts are meaningless, and outcomes are everything.

Autres temps, autres moeurs

I watched a pretty good movie last night, that was very pro-military; that showed the Iraqi military as being inefficient; and that showed Iraqis as being unbelievably brutal, both in terms of mob violence and in terms of the military’s and the secret police’s capacity for sadistic torture.  Surprisingly, it was made by the BBC.

Okay, now I’ll let you in on a few secrets to explain this weird anomaly, which has the BBC making a pro-military, anti-Iraqi movie.  It’s all in the timing.  The movie was Bravo Two Zero, and it was made in 1999 about an SAS unit that got trapped behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War, in 1991.  In other words, before fanatical Bush Derangement Syndrome took over the world, it was okay to concede that the Iraqis were capable of gross brutality and that Western military service could be carried out by honorable and humane men.

As it’s based on a true story, it’s a worthwhile movie for the Gitmo, waterboarding and Abu Ghraib crowd to watch, if only to get a sense of perspective.

There was sex, just no rape

The BBC presenter who was charged with rape was acquitted, when the judge concluded that there was no evidence of anything other than rough consensual sex (aided by admitted illegal drug use).  The whole thing is sordid, sordid, sordid, and still stands for the principle I advanced when I first mentioned the trial, which is that the media is every bit as bad as Iowahawk said it is (using tried and true NY Times statistical techniques).

Teaching kids at the BBC

I got intrigued by the BBC children’s website when I read at Power Line how that website described 9/11:

The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al-Qaeda – who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks.

In the past, al-Qaeda leaders have declared a holy war – called a jihad – against the US. As part of this jihad, al-Qaeda members believe attacking US targets is something they should do.

When the attacks happened in 2001, there were a number of US troops in a country called Saudi Arabia, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, said he wanted them to leave.

That’s what children all over the English speaking world are reading if they naively believe that the BBC is a respectable and unbiased news source. Given the fact that the Beeb is anything but unbiased, I decided to check out some other stuff at their website. For example, I thought I’d read the BBC’s answer (for children) to the question “How do Muslims View Other Religions?

The Qur’an describes Christians and Jews as members of the family of Abraham (one of the prophets) and Muslims respect these religions because they believe that they all worship the same God.

Muslims do not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, but that he was one of God’s prophets, just like Muhammad.Bookworm Room › Edit — WordPress

Muslims believe in many of the stories about Jesus that the Christians believe in.

For example, they believe in the virgin birth and that Jesus will come again.

In fact, Jesus is regarded within Islam as a special prophet. His name is in the Qur’an 25 times – more times than Muhammad’s.

Muslims believe that the Qur’an is God’s most recent words and is his final message.

Isn’t that sweetly ecumenical? It seems a little disingenuous, though, when this is what the Muslims are really saying:

Following a lesson on the monotheistic faiths, Saudi Arabian schoolchildren are asked to discuss “With what types of weapons should Muslims arm themselves against the Jews?” That question is part of an official textbook for 8th grade students which also emphasizes that “Jews and Christians were cursed by Allah and turned into apes and pigs,” and that “The hour [the Day of Judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them.”

***

MEMRI reports that “the textbook interprets the conversation between the prophet and his companion as follows: the most important activity is Jihad for the sake of Allah and the convocation of Allah’s religion on this earth.”

By ninth grade, students are ready for “The Promise of the Stone and the Tree” — the story of Abu Hurayra, one of the prophet’s companions who quoted the prophet as saying: “The hour [the Day of Judgment] will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. A Jew will [then] hide behind a rock or a tree, and the rock or tree will call upon the Muslim: ‘O Muslim, O slave of Allah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’ — except for the gharqad tree, for it is one of the trees of the Jews.”

And there is, of course, that little problem of Muslims being killed if they convert to another religion, a practice that really doesn’t comport well with the statement that “Muslims respect these [other] religions because they believe that they all worship the same God.” And maybe I’m imagining it, but isn’t the Bible banned in Saudi Arabia, a ban that can be imposed with the death sentence? It seems to me that the BBC isn’t being quite honest with the little kiddies, is it? The BBC should either have been honest in this little segment or, if honesty was political suicide, it shouldn’t have said anything at all. As it is, it came out with what is a pretty blatant lie, and that’s offensive.

UPDATE:  Just a little more on Islamic tolerance for other religions.  Here’s a Palestinian politician calling Jews the brothers of apes and monkeys, and calling for their destruction.  And if you’re inclined to discount this link by saying these expressions may come from Muslims, but they are separate from Islam itself, which by its express terms is more tolerant, that’s not the case.  While everyone focuses on the “Jesus is a prophet,” “Moses is a prophet,” etc., they forget that Islam goes on to say that, while these men are prophets, those who follow their religion are in profound error for not having made the switch to Islam.  And for that error, they are condemned to death or perpetual servitude (see Parts I, II and III of Andrew Bostom’s scholarly analysis of Jewish life under the Turks, going back hundreds of years).  No matter how you spin it, that is not the “respect” or “tolerance” that the BBC would have people — no, make that “children” — believe exists within Islam.  Mark Steyn, as usual, has the most pithy summary of Islamic disdain for all other religions.  A religion must be understood, not only by its words (which are discriminatory enough), but by its acts over the centuries and into the present day, which are equally discriminatory.

Let me just throw in a link about the Taliban and the Buddhas.

Here’s how the story could have been reported

Israel, which has been the victim of endless and destructive rocket attacks originating in Gaza, successfully stopped one before it happened. Taking facts directly from the BBC, this is how I would have reported the Israeli Army’s successful action:

Israel destroys several rocket launchers in Gaza

The Israeli Army reports that it surveillance into Gaza revealed several rocket launchers aimed at a heavily populated industrial zone in Beit Hanoun. Several people were clustered around the rocket launchers, apparently preparing to fire them. The Israeli Army responded by shelling the rocket launchers.

In the last four months, Gazans have launched ten qassam rocket strikes on Israel. The seventy-seven rockets fired over this fourth month period killed two people, wounded several others, and caused significant damage to a factory containing hazardous materials, requiring evacuation.

Palestinian spokespeople announced that three children were killed in the attack. This report has yet to be confirmed.

The Israeli army expressed sorrow for the deaths of the children, but said it held militant groups responsible. “The army regrets terror organisations’ cynical use of children,” an Israeli army spokeswoman said.

In fact, this is how the BBC reported the story, using the same facts, but with a very different emphasis:

Three Palestinian children have been killed after an Israeli tank shell hit northern Gaza, Palestinian doctors say.

Israel’s military confirmed it launched an attack, saying it had targeted people setting up a rocket launcher.

Doctors said two boys aged 10 and 12 died of shrapnel wounds. A 12-year-old girl who was critically injured in the blast died also in hospital.

The Israeli army expressed sorrow for the deaths of the children, but said it held militant groups responsible.

“We identified and fired at several rocket launchers aimed at Israel in the Beit Hanoun industrial zone,” an Israeli army spokeswoman said.

“We also identified several suspicious looking people fiddling with the rocket launchers before we fired. The army regrets terror organisations’ cynical use of children,” she added.

This is what I mean when I talk about spin. The spin one could put on it is that Israel successfully deflected what was shaping up to be the tenth rocket attack on it in just four months. Unfortunately, because the Palestinians place their children in combat areas, both to use them as soldiers and to increase youth casualties for propaganda purposes had, in fact, had children swarming around these rockets, which are also obvious targets.

The alternative, of course, is that the Israeli Army kills children. Then, at the back end, you note that, perhaps, just perhaps, the children were in what could possibly be classified as a combat zone, since they were near weapons about to be fired. An in the really alternative, you don’t even mention that these type of rockets have been fired into Israel unceasingly for years, with increasing numbers of civilian dead and wounded.

Sadly, the second alternative is the type most commonly found in newspapers, especially European newspapers.

By the way, if you’d like to hear the Israeli point of view directly from the horse’s mouth, you can read this article, which points out that Israel believes (as I do) that the launch sites are war zones. I’ll just add that I don’t believe that a humane people cluster their children around weapons and war zones, unless they intend to use those children as soldiers or strategic targets.

UPDATE: More on Palestinian children used as instruments of war.

UPDATE II: Here’s a report from the LA Times identifying in the lede that the children were hanging out near rocket launchers.  It also gives a bit more context for the Israeli actions, by acknowledging the fact that, last month alone, more than 90 rockets were launched into Israel from the same area.

The BBC in freefall

I used to admire the BBC. It’s role during WWII was stellar. In the 1960s, it brought us Monty Python and other cutting edge, very silly comedies. In the 1970s, it began making a series of marvelous historic dramas, many of which still represent the finest viewing TV has offered. But it’s been downhill lately. Some of us, of course, believe that the BBC is reprehensibly biased in its coverage about Israel, and that it is anti-Semitic and anti-American. You can see my short series of posts cataloging the BBC’s integrity-free conduct here.

But don’t just take my word for it. The BBC itself has acknowledged that it’s a left-wing, biased entity (although it refuses, irrationally, to believe that the bias that permeates it from top to bottom might, just might, leak into its news coverage).

And just the other day, the BBC got into trouble for insulting the Queen (how dare they?!), an insult that proved to be based, not on fact, but on media manipulation. (Hmmm . . . I wonder where they got the idea that media manipulation was a workable tool?)

You’d think the BBC’s travails would have bottomed out about now, but new depths of corruption just keep emerging. The latest report is that the BBC has had to stop phone-in competitions because of rampant institutional dishonesty:

The BBC is to suspend all its phone-in competitions after the Corporation’s Trust expressed concerns about “significant failures of control and compliance”.

An editorial review revealed viewers had been misled in shows including Comic Relief and Children In Need, some of which featured fictitious winners of phone-in competitions.

Mark Thompson, the BBC director-general, said the failures within the corporation and by its suppliers, have “compromised the BBC’s values of accuracy and honesty”.

“There is no excuse for deception,” he said.

“I know the idea of deceiving the public would simply never occur to most people in the BBC.

“It is far better to accept a production problem and make a clean breast to the public than to deceive.”

The Trust said the additional editorial failings showed “further deeply disappointing evidence of insufficient understanding amongst certain staff of the standards of accuracy and honesty expected, and inadequate editorial controls to ensure compliance with those standards.”

It added: “We have made clear that we regard any deception or breach of faith with our audiences as being utterly unacceptable.”

All phone-related competitions on BBC TV and radio will cease from midnight tonight, while interactive and online competitions will be taken down as soon as possible.

(You can read the rest of the story here.)

I wonder if Britain’s famous betting shops are making book on the specific date of the Beeb’s ultimate demise.  If I were a betting woman, I’d put my money on an early date.

Incidentally, it’s worth keeping in mind the rampant bias and dishonesty you see at the Beeb the next time you hear someone trumpeting a renewal of the Fairness Doctrine.  I know that the Left has always loved the BBC:  to them, it’s so pure, uncorrupted by those nasty market forces.  And it’s true, as I noted at the beginning of this post, that the ability to ignore the market meant that the BBC could broadcast wacky, experimental comedy, and that it could create historical costume dramas that appealed to the elite, rather than the masses.  Certainly when I lived in Britain, on the rare occasions I had access to a TV, I was charmed by the complete absence of commercials, and did appreciate that there were certain high quality shows that would not then have found an outlet in America other than taxpayer funded PBS.  There was also a lot of drek on British TV, but I was so delighted by the “British-ness” of it all, that I let it pass.

But those silly comedies and high dramas come at a high price.  Without serious competition, and without the need to respond to the public needs, the BBC has had no restraints on it.  This is quite different from what happened in America, where the free market revealed that Americans were hungry for conservative commentary.  And while it’s true that American network television has hewed to the Left, the nagging fear of the conservative market has kept network TV from becoming quite as biased and unhinged as the BBC.   Insert a Fairness Doctrine, though, and we’ll be BBC’d all over here, with all the bias and corruption that flows from a powerful organization having a stranglehold on the marketplace of ideas.

The Badlands of Gaza

The BBC is worried because one of its reporters has gone missing in Gaza, and some groups have already stepped forward to claim that he’s been kidnapping. This bad news all around. First, I sincerely hope that the reporter is safe and has not been forced to convert. Second, this is one more reminder that reporter’s who don’t toe the Palestinian/jihadist party line to the last jot and tiddle are in danger in the West Bank area. That, in turn, should remind all thinking people to take with a grain of salt any reports that come out of that neck of the woods.

Anyway, let’s just hope that Mr. Johnston is drunk and tackily dressed, rather than in any real danger.

Instant update: Immediately after writing the above, I read that, while the BBC is downplaying Mr. Johnston’s disappearance, the usually very accurate YNET news is saying that he was indeed kidnapped, and has lots of details to support this statement:

Masked Palestinian gunmen kidnapped a BBC reporter from his car in Gaza City on Monday, Palestinian security officials said.The news network said Johnston was from Scotland and has been reporting from Gaza for the past three years.

The man threw a business card on the street that identified him as Alan Johnston of the BBC, officials said. The BBC bureau chief in Jerusalem, Simon Wilson, said his news network had lost contact with Johnston but Wilson could not immediately confirm a kidnapping. Security sources said four gunmen carried out the kidnapping, and that a car was found abandoned near Johnston’s Gaza City apartment. Police found the lease of the rental car, which stated the vehicle was rented to the BBC.

YNET adds that these kidnappings are usually to get something to barter with in internecine feuds between Palestinians, that they happen frequently, and that the reporters are usually released within hours. Yeah, that kind of environment will ensure accurate coverage — not.

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The bad, bad BBC

I hate, loathe, despite, and deeply, deeply disrespect the BBC. So does Peter Glover, but he brings much more depth to his disdain for that institution: he’s British, he knows the facts and, while I am only forced to pay a little bit for the insignificant BBC wannabe in American known as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he has to pay even more for the full blown BBC monster. Read what he has to say here.

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London’s changing face

My husband and I started watching Prime Suspect when it first appeared on American television and liked it enough to keep watching it every time episodes showed up.  It’s a very gritty crime drama (the producers love showing partially decomposed women’s corpses) that follows the unlovable but effective DCI Jane Tennison.  The first episode, back in 1992, focused on her problems with sexism in the Metropolitan Police Department (London).  One later episode that I remember focused on black/white racism (and was made, I think, not long after the 1995 Brixton race riots).  The current cycle, which is on TV right now, so far has substance abuse and father-daughter relationships as its emotional fulcrums.

The show is grimmer than I remember, although it’s always been shot using a slightly darker palette and with a focus on London’s ugly side.  All cities, of course, have ugly sides, but I have to say that the show is almost impressive in its ability to make London look Dante-esque.  What’s struck me particularly about this episode (and I think I would have noticed it in past ones if it had been so obvious) is that this episode shows Londoners as being primarily people of color.  In every shot, more than half the faces outside of the squad room are not white.  I’m too lazy to check out racial statistics for London, so I have no idea whether this reflects real London, poor London, or TV London.  Nevertheless, the racial shift is striking when seen in a show about the place that once used to be the white Anglo capital of the English-speaking world.

Another thing that hit hard about the show was a scene that apparently did nothing to advance the plot (although the next two episodes may reverse that impression).   In it, the parents of a missing girl are waiting in anguish at the police department.  The mother finds herself sitting next to a burly black man, who recognizes her as the parent of that missing girl.  He gives her an inspirational speech about faith and hope, and she turns to him for comfort.  He announces that he will prayer with her, and then launches into a prayer to Allah.  Yup, the good, inspirational guy is a Muslim — not that there’s anything wrong with that.  My hope for the future lies in the hands of good, inspirational Muslims who see theirs as a religion of love, morality and shared humanity.  Nevertheless, in the context of this hard-hitting show, that moment was anomalous, and looked more like pandering than plot device.

Coincidentally, one day after watching this Prime Suspect episode, I got an email from JL (you know who you are), putting me on to a British blog called Reconquista.  One of Reconquista’s bloggers is a numbers guy, and he got very, very curious about (a) the increase in crime during Ramadan and (b) endless reports about Muslim men sexually attacking Muslim and non-Muslim women alike.  Using London, which has an ever-increasing Muslim population, for his numbers, he decided to see whether there was any correlation between Muslims and sex crimes.  His conclusion?

What I have is, if not actual proof, then a whole series of correlations. However, on the basis that if you can’t actually prove something fell out of the back end of a dog, but it looks like it did, smells like it did, feels like it did, and tastes like it did, then it might be best if you didn’t step in it, I’m going to publish what I found. You can make your own minds up. I’ve made mine up, and I wouldn’t want my daughter or nieces living near large numbers of Muslims. I think most reasonable, reasoning, people will agree after reading this.

There’s more, much more than this bottom line conclusion, and I’m not going to give it away by stealing Sir Henry’s thunder and revealing all the juicy parts here.  He’s a charming writer, and meticulous in showing how he arrived at his conclusion that a high Muslim population in a Western community is almost certainly an indicator that women are at greater risk of sexual assault.

I know this sounds silly but there is something almost Karmic in the fact that London, which once sought to impose its rule on as many people of color as it could, is now seeing that imperial worm turning.   Karmic yes, but it’s ironic that this slow motion uprising occur, not when England is at the height of her imperial glory, but long after she’s given up any imperial aspirations.

Exposing the BBC’s moral nakedness

Britain’s Anglican Church seems to be waking up, not just to the terrorists within England’s borders, but to the fifth column as well. Thus, the second most senior Anglican in England has launched a full frontal, no holds barred attack against the BBC for being (a) anti-Christian and (b) afraid of radical Islam. While he was at it, he took a swipe at veils, too:

The Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, has accused the BBC of bias against Christianity and says the broadcaster fears a terrorist backlash if it is critical of Islam.

The archbishop, the second most senior figure in the Church of England’s hierarchy, said Christians took “more knocks” than other faiths at the hands of the BBC.

“They can do to us what they dare not do to the Muslims,” he said. “We are fair game because they can get away with it. We don’t go down there and say, ‘We are going to bomb your place.’ That is not in our nature.”

The Ugandan-born archbishop nevertheless said Christians must be more forceful in promoting their beliefs.

Blaming the “chattering classes” for undermining trad-itional Christian culture, he said: “They see themselves as holding the flag for Britain and that Britain is definitely secular and atheist. I want them to have their say but not to lord it over the rest of us.”

***

Dr Sentamu rejected the idea of the Church severing its remaining ties with the state. “People of other faiths say to me that the Church establishment is critical because it is a bulwark against a secularising agenda,” he said.

“The Church of England reminds the nation that in this country the Queen is Defender of the Faith, head of the Commonwealth and head of state.” The Queen, he added, was the “real uniting force” and no politician “could ever rise to her level”.

Dr Sentamu also questioned whether Muslim women were required to wear the veil by the Koran, and argued that those who did should not expect British society to be reordered to accommodate them.

He said Muslim scholars would say three things about the veil. “First, does it conform to norms of decency? Secondly, does it render you more secure? And thirdly, what kind of Islam are you projecting by wearing it?

“I think in the British context it renders you less secure because you stick out and it brings unwelcome attention.

“On the first question (of whether the veil conforms to norms of decency) I don’t think it does conform.”

The archbishop said he never wore a cross when visiting a synagogue or mosque, explaining: “Because I am going into someone else’s home. And I can’t simply say, ‘Take me as I am, whether you like it or not.’

“I think the thing is in British society you can wear what you want, but you can’t expect British society to be reconfigured around you. No minority can expect to impose this on the public or civic life.”

A BBC spokesman declined to comment but referred to a newspaper article by Mark Thompson, the director general, which denied that the BBC was systematically biased against Christianity and in favour of Islam, saying that it did not square with the facts.

Hurrah! I do rather wonder whether Dr. Sentamu’s moral bravery is aided by the fact that he’s not a leeched out, bleached out Brit, but came of age in the vibrant African church.

What international pressure?

In at least 10% of the old Loony Toons cartoons, one of the characters will say to another, “Oh, you naughty, naughty boy.”  As far as I can tell, that’s pretty much been the appeasers’ approach to Iran, with the UN, at Europe’s behest, periodically writing “this time we’re really mad” letters.  Nevertheless, our friends at the BBC would like us to know that we were too mean.  In response to this fearsome pressure, Iran is (gasp!) going forward with its nuclear program:

Iran has reportedly taken another step in its uranium enrichment programme, in defiance of international pressure.

After that opening, I’m barely interested in the rest of the article, which is mostly about the “do they/don’t they” debate raging over whether they have enough stuff actually to build a bomb.  It was enough for me to know that, in BBC land, telling someone not to do something is more than enough explanation for the fact that they went and ahead and did precisely that.  Clearly, the wise minds at the BBC think Iran is nothing more than a rambunctious toddler in the “no” phase, which it will surely outgrow.  We just need to distract it (that’s what all the books say to do about that oppositional toddler in your life).  Maybe it’s time to send the mullahs some skis, with the promise of lessons.  Life amongst the slopes’ glitterati might be just what we need to keep their minds off the bomb.

It’s the spin

I’m a word person. I’m very, very, very verbal and I prefer to get my information through reading. Maybe that’s why I’m so sensitive to, and really obsess about, the nuances news coverage about events in the Middle East.

For example, there’s a BBC story boldly headlined “Palestinians killed in Gaza strip.” At this point, I have no idea whether they died by accident, were murdered at the hands of their fellow Palestinians, or died in combat with Israelis. The next paragraph, which is still bolded, although not in large font, answers the question, the Israelis killed them: “Three Palestinians have been killed by Israeli army fire in the Gaza Strip.” It’s only when I get to the third paragraph that I discover that the Israelis weren’t just firing for fun into Gaza. They were responding to provocation:

The shelling came in response to the launch of missiles across Gaza’s border, which hit the Israeli city of Ashkelon, injuring one person.

The Israeli army says it immediately identified the launch site and targeted the militants.

So, the news story does get to a point, which is that Israel used retaliatory fire aimed at armed combatants hiding amongst civilians only after Palestinians first successfully targeted Israeli civilians.  This type of spin, which abandons chronological coherence in order to make a political point, is so annoying, especially since it manifestly shapes the moral equivalence that poisons that discourse.

The BBC and its pro-Hezbollah agenda

The foiled bomb plot in England is again bringing into stark relief how the BBC manipulates the news to hide the Islamist component behind all the terror attacks worldwide and to focus blame on Israel. The most recent indictment is a Wall Street Journal commentary from William Shawcross, a British writer. As far as I can tell, it’s in the “pay per view” section of the WSJ, since I didn’t see it in the free Opinion Journal section. If you have access, read it. If you don’t, fair use means I can still share with you Shawcross’ major indictment:

It took President Bush to tell the truth to Britain about the alleged massive plot to blow U.S.-bound airliners out of the sky. In his first comment on the apparently foiled attempt, he put it simply: “This was a stark reminder that this nation is at war with Islamic fascists.”

He is right, but in the first news reports in Britain yesterday, the words “Islamic” or “Muslim” were hardly mentioned, let alone the dread word “fascist.” Instead the common code-words on television were that the 24 men arrested were “British-born” and “of Pakistani origin.” No mention of their Islamist ideology. Does the BBC think they might turn out to be from Pakistan’s embattled Christian minority? I don’t think so.

In Europe, the truth is so terrible that we are in denial. Perhaps it is understandable. We simply do not know how to deal with the fact that we really are threatened by a vast fifth column, that there are thousands of European-born people, in Britain, in France, in Holland, in Denmark — everywhere — who wish to destroy us. You see this denial in the coverage of Israel’s war against Hezbollah. The deaths in Lebanon are utterly tragic. But if you watched only British television, particularly the BBC, you would be hard-pressed to understand that Israel has been forced into a war for its survival. Last weekend people marched in an anti-Israel march though London carrying banners proclaiming “We are all Hezbollah Now.”

Yes, we in England are all one with a terrorist group that has murdered more Americans than any group save Al Qaeda; we are all one with a terrorist group that is dedicated to wiping out a nation and all its citizens; we are all one with an organization that deliberately targets civilians to achieve its religio-political goals; we are all one with a radical Islamist organization that seeks to impose Sharia law on Lebanon, with all that entails — the total isolation and subjugation of women, the marginalization or death of all non-Muslims, and the death penalty for adultery, listening to music, playing sports, eating ice cream, shaving a beard, falling afoul of the local imam, etc.

This kind of perverted thinking, where happy people parade the streets of London, cheerfully and loudly proclaiming their allegiance to mass murders of the worst kind can occur only when you have a dominant, Leftist, state-controlled media that has perverted the discourse, lied about the facts, and hidden all contrary information. Apparently George Orwell was off by 22 years, but otherwise he got it right.

UPDATE: James Lewis writes compellingly about the worldview the BBC trickles through to its captive audience in Great Britain.

UPDATE II:  Just a little editing detail.  I’m pathetically bad at “s” apostrophes.  My brain knows where they go, but my fingers tend to insert them, or ignore them, on an entirely random basis.  I have removed the inapposite apostrophe from the post’s title, but apologize in advance for all the other misplaced apostrophes you have found and will continue to find.

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On moral equivalence

What’s the big deal, many ask? Hezbollah and Hamas kidnapped some Israeli soldiers, turning them into prisoners, and they’ll readily release these prisoners if Israel, in turn, will release some prisoners it holds. It all sounds so beautifully symmetrical. Except it’s not. The kidnapped Israeli soldiers had done absolutely nothing beyond being soldiers, which is a matter of status, not acts. How about the acts of those Israeli prisoners? Well, the BBC describes one Hezbollah prisoner as follows: “[Amir] Qantar . . . attacked a block of flats in Nahariha in 1979, killing a father and his daughter.” How marvelously clinical. Here are a few more details, from the victims’ wife and mother:

It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border.

Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer.

As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat.

They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. “This is just like what happened to my mother,” I thought.

As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her. [Emphasis mine.]

Only people who have broken free of any type of moral anchor could find equivalence in the nature of these “prisoners.”

Hat tip: Best of the Web Today

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Just who is getting killed out there?

Even the propaganda organs can only be taken so far before the reporters realize they’re being played for total fools. How else to explain the fact that the BBC has acknowledged that some of the bodies in Lebanon belong to terrorists, not “innocent” civilians:

The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) has admitted that many of the victims of Israeli retaliation in Lebanon are terrorists and not innocent civilians. A BBC reporter said he saw Hizbullah terrorists using a private home and added, “It is difficult to quantify who is a terrorist and who is a civilian.”

Media reports have emphasized that Israeli air strikes have killed more than 350 Lebanese civilians, prompting accusations that the IDF is carrying out “collective punishment” on the country.

Hat tip:  Gerry Charlotte Phelps

Being obvious about it

It would seem to me that, if you’re colluding with bad guys, you’d prefer that this collusion be low key — and the bad guys would prefer it to, so that it wouldn’t look as if you’re in their camp for PR purposes.  Somehow this basic fact about allegiances and publicity seems to have eluded the Palestinians.  How else to explain this from the Mideast Dispatch:

THE BBC OFFICE WAS SPARED

Wrongly believing that the British government colluded with Israel on Tuesday, Palestinian militants attacked many British targets. Among these, the offices of the British Council were burned down, and an HSBC bank was ransacked. In their usual intimidatory way, they also targeted journalists, briefly seizing two French reporters and a South Korean one. Armed gunmen also raided the offices of the German TV station ARD, shooting in the air. But what is interesting is that the BBC is housed in the same building as ARD in Gaza, and yet the Palestinian militant groups – who are much better organized and more sophisticated in their choice of targets than some in the media would have us believe – deliberately did not enter the BBC offices.

It seems that even on a day of widespread attacks on western targets in Gaza and the West Bank, the Palestinian gunmen know who their friends are.

The BBC has long been the best friend that radicals in the Middle East have ever had, but need they make it so obvious?

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