Jihad Watch Board Vice President Hugh Fitzgerald examines the dhimmitude of the BBC and PBS:
What will it take for the BBC’s coverage of Islam, the Middle East, and Israel, which are of a piece, to be investigated? A number of powerful people at the BBC effectively have an Islamic agenda. John Simpson, who is deeply anti-American and anti-Israeli, runs the BBC World Service and in turn reports to the Foreign Office — for the World Service is under its control. Does John Simpson’s introduction to Operaton Cyanide, the anti-Israel conspiracy-theory book by Peter Hounam (a one-man anti-Israel investigative unit, who when last heard from had been arrested in Israel as a security risk), the anti-Israel and anti-American head of BBC World Service, continue to get a pass, or to pass unnoticed? Why?
What about the hectoring and sneering that is so palpable a feature of BBC interviews with Israeli guests, or with those defending Israel, or which for that matter is a feature of interviews with those defending American policy in Iraq? And what about the BBC”s use of the Hamas supporter and promoter Azzam Tamimi as an “expert”? His views are frequently aired on the BBC. Or what about the loaded language — “insurgents” in Iraq, “militants” in Israel, never “terrorists”; “occupied Arab lands” for what are “disputed lands” which are legally unallocated portions of the Mandate for Palestine, set up for the express and sole purpose of establishing the Jewish National Home.
Trevor Asserson has published a number of reports on the BBC. Vladimir Bukovsky has that Russian smell-sense (chootyo) for the loaded language and lies in which the BBC, like Pravda of yore, specializes — not about all things, but specifically about anything remotely to do with Islam, Israel, or the Middle East. Bukovsky has started a campaign to end the mandatory payment, the license fee, that is exacted to support the BBC, even from those who cannot stand its coverage. A more sinister thing than this forced tribute, this jizya, which is used to pay for the very coverage one may find deceptive and dangerous, is hard to imagine.
Huw Weldon and Hugh Greene, and many other powerful figures from the BBC”s intelligent past are missed. And even among the Guardian-reading, left-leaning staff, there are those who — outside of the powerful, tight little group of Arab and Muslim staff and their non-Muslim supporters, hirelings, and hangers-on (some motivated by antisemitic animus, a pathology not to be overlooked or poohpoohed) — are aware of this BBC slant and cannot bear it. Do any of them care to reveal what they know, in some tell-it-all revelations about the Islamic equivalent of the Comintern, and its infiltration of the BBC, as of so many other organizations?
It is not up to Blair or Straw to call for a BBC investigation. But others should do it. Donald Watt, Kenneth Minogue, J. B. Kelly, Conor Cruise O’Brien, Bukovsky himself, and others might form a committee, something like the American Committee on the Present Danger, to demand that the BBC”s coverage be investigated — and without the usual “both sides complain, so we must be doing it right” excuse that is so idiotically offered up by both the BBC and by PBS when its only slightly less biased coverage is under attack.
Lord Haw-haws and Tokyo Roses now broadcast conveniently right from Bush House and PBS, untouched and seemingly untouchable. And what is even more maddening, they are being paid by British and American taxpayers, respectively. Sentimentality about a free press misses the point. These organizations are self-contained, immune to criticism or oversight. Who appointed the smarmy Dick Gordon (now moved on to fresh fields and pastures new, thank god), or the self-assured ahd comically ignorant Tom Ashbrook, to their PBS news programs? Was there a poll? Was any audience consulted? Or was it a decision by the very well paid czarette of WBUR, Jane Christo?
Now Christo is gone, forced to resign (see “under a cloud”), but while she ruled the roost at the NPR station in a major American city, who or what gave her the right to decide who will cover the news for the taxpayer-supported, tax-exempt PBS? And what makes John Simpson exempt from investigation? What makes him permanently immune to being called to account for the outrageous coverage he not only permits but encourages at the BBC? Both the BBC and PBS, these “publicly-funded” institutions (the BBC by fiat, the PBS by tax-exempt status, grants, and constant handouts from unwary or innocent listeners), keep pretending that the very fact of this public funding makes them somehow “unbiased.” WBUR keeps telling everyone that it offers a genuine “diversity” of views — sure, it runs all the way from Kerry to Dean and back. And then they keep telling us that all those other, crazy right-wing stations are the ones that are full of lies.