Saturday, 14 June 2008

BBC's Pro-Israeli Bias by Stephen Lendman

Whilst the main focus of Lendman's article is the BBC's pro-Israeli bias, his overall analysis of the BBC at the begginning of the article seems accurate to me. Pro-government, pro-big business; "a propoganda system for elite interests". Whilst here and there it is possible to find honest investigative reporting on the BBC (for instance Panorama's recent Daylight Robbery by Jane Corbin), such instances are rare.

And Lendman is right to note how little difference there is between the BBC and its Anglo-American corporate counterparts. To my eyes their content seems largely indistinguishable, cetainly in terms of reporting about corporate and governmental corruption. Take (again) the BBC's Daylight Robbery, an incisive television piece about corporate financial corruption in Iraq. The film estimates that some $23billion is unaccounted for, stolen or missing from the massive corporate contracts awarded by the US government to the multinational corporations. It picks out the Halliburton subsidiary Kellogg Brown Root (KBR) as a major benificiary of the missing billions.

Whilst such journalism should be applauded and its like encouraged, we may equally ask the BBC why there was no headline story about it on their website (my search showed there was no accompanying story at all)? Or why such war-profiteering does not make the nightly news when over 1.1million people have today been killed in the cause of the making of those billions?

Global Research, June 13, 2008.

'In its near 86 year history, BBC has a long, unbroken and dubious distinction. Today it's little different from its corporate-run counterparts in America, Britain and throughout the world. In fact, on its tailored for a US BBC America audience, what passes for news matches stride for stride what people here see every day - mind-numbing commercialism, shoddy reporting, pseudo-journalism, celebrity and sports features, and other diverting and distracting non-news that should embarrass correspondents and presenters delivering it. It offends viewers and treats them like mushrooms - well-watered, in the dark, and uninformed about the most important world and national issues affecting their lives and welfare.

That's the idea, of course, and has been since BBC's inception. John Reith was its founder and first general manager. Reassuring the powerful, he set the standard adhered to thereafter: "(You) know (you) can trust us not to be really impartial." BBC never was and never is.

Impartiality has no place on BBC nor does its claim about "honesty, integrity, (and being) free from political influence and commercial pressure." How can it? Its Director-General, Executive Board Chairman, BBC Trust Chairman and senior managers are government-appointed and charged with a singular task - to function as a "propaganda system for elite interests." On all vital issues - war and peace, state and corporate corruption, human rights, social justice, or coverage of the Middle East's longest and most intractable conflict, Westminster and the establishment rest easy. They know BBC is "reliable" - pro-government, pro-business and dismissive of the public trust it disdains. Now more than ever.

This article covers one example among many - BBC's distorted, one-sided support for Israel and its antipathy toward Palestinians. In this respect, it's fully in step with its American and European counterparts - Israeli interests matter; Palestinian ones don't; as long as that holds, conflict resolution is impossible. Therein lies the problem. With its reputation, world reach, and influence, BBC's coverage exacerbates it...'

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