Have you ever sat in front of a bowl of salted peanuts at a party? You have one, then another and pretty soon you don’t want any more, but as long as their is one peanut left you just can’t stop eating them. You never have them at home and you aren’t really very hungry but you can’t pass up the opportunity to eat them.
That is what the BBC is like when it comes to Israel. They know their news reports are filled with lies, half-truths and other bull crap (when it comes to Israel BBC stands for Biased Bull Crap). But as long as the Jews have one grain of sand to call their own the BBC can’t pass up the opportunity to deligitimize the Jewish . Such was the 2007 BBC reporting of the 40th anniversary of the Six-Day War. As described by CAMERA in June of 2007
..the BBC’s version of “what happened in the Middle East war of 1967” is marred by omissions, exaggerations, and the outright anti-Israel bias for which the network is known. The piece, in fact, reads more like a list of pro-Arab talking points than an objective overview of the war and its consequences.
…The article refers to the idea that the Israeli David defeated the Arab Goliath as “the myth of the 1967 Middle East war.” In fact, Bowen suggests, the existential fear felt by Israeli civilians existed not because there was any real danger, but rather because Israeli leaders hid from the public their confidence in the country’s position. Israeli generals, Bowen adds, “all knew that the only way that Israel would lose the war would be if the IDF did not turn up.” They “had been training to finish the unfinished business of Israel’s independence war of 1948 for most of their careers.”
It is nothing short of shocking to read this last quote on the Web site of a mainstream media organization, as it absolutely turns reality on its head. It was not Israel, but rather the Arab world which by its own admission had sought to take care of the “unfinished business” it had failed to achieve in 1948 — the destruction of Israel. This view was epitomized by Iraqi president Abdel Rahman Aref, who shortly before the war declared: “The existence of Israel is an error which must be rectified. This is our opportunity to wipe out the ignominy which has been with us since 1948.”
CAMERA did more than just write about the BBC’s bias, they created a brief and presented it to the BBC Trust. The BBC Trust works on behalf of licence fee payers: it ensures the BBC provides high quality output and good value for all UK citizens and it protects the independence of the BBC. In other words the trust is the BBC’s Designated Watchdog.
The trust has finally ruled and thanks to the hard work of CAMERA, the Bias of the BBC was finally outed:
BBC Trust Rules Against Mideast Editor Jeremy Bowen
Boston, MA – The BBC has determined that its Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, had violated the broadcaster’s ethical guidelines calling for impartiality and accuracy. The finding is likely to amplify concerns that BBC news coverage of the Arab-Israeli conflict is largely biased against Israel.
The March 31, 2009 decision by the Editorial Standards Committee (ESC), a unit of the BBC’s top decision-making body, the BBC Trust, comes in response to a formal complaint filed by the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), and a similar complaint filed independently by a member of the U.K.-based Zionist Federation.
CAMERA’s complaint charged that Bowen’s June 4, 2007 article about the Six-Day War and its aftermath was marred by “serious omissions, exaggerations and outright anti-Israel bias.” The detailed complaint came before the ESC after the BBC News Web site and Editorial Complaints Unit defended Bowen’s article.
In response to the ruling, CAMERA Senior Research Analyst Gilead Ini said that while ESC’s willingness to openly fault unethical reporting by Bowen is important and encouraging, it is unclear that the BBC will draw appropriate conclusions from its findings and take concrete steps to combat the broadcaster’s chronically biased reporting. “Acknowledging the glaring problems in this article is a good first step, but it’s only a first step,” he said. “The BBC also needs to consider the wider implications here. Not only did the senior BBC reporter in the Middle East show bias in his reporting, but he also made it clear, while defending his piece before the ESC, that he thinks it’s reasonable to report from the Palestinian perspective and ignore other mainstream narratives.”
Ini feels that the ESC findings and, especially, Bowen’s “outrageously deceptive” attempts to defend his report, explain the journalist’s past biased coverage and cast doubt on his suitability as a BBC reporter and editor. “There’s good reason to be skeptical of Mr. Bowen’s reporting,” he said, “and by extension, the reporting of BBC reporters who are subordinate to him.”
CAMERA is concerned that the ESC, despite having ruled that Bowen’s reporting was not impartial, is apparently not calling on the reporter to be objective in future articles. Its ruling states that it is not necessary for Bowen to have given equal space to different views. “All that was required was a clear statement signposting that there were alternative theses subscribed to by respectable historians.”
This assertion is inconsistent with the BBC’s Editorial Guidelines, Ini argues. “If Jeremy Bowen consistently promotes only one point of view linked to a controversial subject and fails to relay in any real depth other prominent and reasonable views, the result is biased reporting,” he said. “This is true regardless of whether or not Bowen throws in a sentence ‘signposting’ that other views exist.”
The ESC finding that “the article had breached the guideline on impartiality” came after an independent advisor commissioned by the BBC described Bowen’s assessment of the Six-Day War as being “firmly of the ‘New Historian’ kind,” and “unqualified by an acknowledgment that the opposite or ‘mainstream’ opinion might have some weight too.”
The advisor had also consulted with mainstream historian Martin Gilbert and revisionist historian Avi Shlaim, who both agreed that aspects of Bowen’s piece were not accurate.
CAMERA will soon be posting on its website key excerpts from the complaint and the BBC rulings.
CAMERA (the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America), a national non-profit media-monitoring organization headquartered in Boston, works to promote accurate, balanced and complete coverage of Israel and the Middle East. A non-partisan 501(c)3 organization, CAMERA takes no position with regard to American or Israeli politica
l issues or with regard to ultimate solutions to the Arab-Israeli conflict.