On 29th March 2012 Roger Mosey_ the BBC Director of London 2012_ posted a short statement on his blog that was part of a speech he had given at Lord’s the same day _ The theme of the passage Mosey pinned up as a blog post was all about the BBC ‘playing fair’ in its broadcasting of London Olympics _ He was emphatic that the BBC wouldn’t be afraid to ‘tell it how it is’_ even when ‘how it is’ wasn’t the same as ‘how it should be’_
Mosey not only promised that the BBC would remain ‘independent’ during the Olympics_ his words conjured up a vaguely nationalistic image of BBC staff ‘standing fast’ against commercial or governmental pressure of the type “we can see in some foreign countries” _ etc _
It was another example of insidious BBC ‘realpolitik’_ the worst kind_ and within a matter of days the words that he’d spoken at Lord’s and written onto his BBC blog turned out to be nothing more than lies _
At the time anti-BBCTrust took the opportunity to post a response on Mosey’s blog_ specifically to delineate and emphasize the promises that were written there _
comment #55 at 07:15 31st Mar 2012 on Mosey’s blog post
your article is duly noted_ as indeed are the promises made therein _
1_ decision-makers should be held to account
2_ voice of the public… should be heard
3_ tell the news story of the London Games fairly and impartially
4_ BBC will be independent in its coverage
5_ BBC will never let our partnerships dictate our journalism
“Commercial interests or government pressure we can see in some foreign countries”???
LOL _ we can see that daily in the UK too!
But it was less than a week after Mosey’s assurances that the first breach of his promises occurred_ when the Conservative Olympics Minister spoke in an interview with the London Evening Standard_ wherein he asked Londoners to ‘shop their neighbour’ if they suspected they were “plotting to disrupt the Olympics” _
Although this was a public statement made by the government minister in charge of the Olympics_ which had the potential to create all manner of social and anti-social ramifications that would all be directly attributable to UK hosting the Olympics (not least the already over-burdened police possibly having to deal with any number of false alarms as neighbours ‘ratted’ on each other) still the BBC didn’t publish one word about it!!
Instead_ on the BBC web-pages devoted to London 2012 a link was posted to the article published by the Evening Standard_ and after 2 days even that link had disappeared _
London Olympics hasn’t even begun yet but BBC directors and management have already started the ‘white-wash’ that is bound to be painted over anything they decided the public doesn’t ‘need to know’ _
Unfortunately BBC white-wash hasn’t only been used on London Olympics in these last weeks _
North of the border the BBC headquarters in Glasgow was briefly occupied by 30 local activists during a protest march in support of 2000 Palestinian prisoners who are presently on hunger-strike _ The activists who occupied the BBC headquarters were demanding to know why such a massive human-interest story was being completely ignored by the UK’s national broadcaster _
According to a local report of the incident the occupiers demanded a meeting with someone from BBC Scotland’s management before they would bring their occupation to a close_ and after 3 hours of negotiation the request was finally granted _
“Four representatives from the ‘We Are All Hana Shalabi’ network met with Ian Small, Head of Public Policy and Corporate Affairs at the BBC for approximately one hour. During the meeting they challenged him over the BBC’s coverage over Palestine and particularly the silence over the recent wave of Palestinian hunger strikers, which were started by Khader Adnan over 3 months ago. The official responded by saying that the BBC aimed its coverage towards a certain demographic of people, namely white collar workers who are over 50 years of age.”
Palestine Solidarity Campaign’s (PSC) BBC watcher_ Amena Saleem_ writing in the online magazine_ electronic intifada quoted Liam O’Hare_ an organiser of the Glasgow protest_ who had been present for the meeting with Director Small _ “He said that the BBC demographic was white-collar and aged over 50. The idea that the BBC aims its coverage towards a certain section of society, when it’s paid for by all licence-fee payers, is a disgrace.”
“The BBC is complicit in the occupation (of Palestinian land) through its silence,” O’Hare continued, “When you see the magnitude of what Palestinian prisoners are prepared to do to challenge Israel’s apartheid, and then look at the media’s blackout of that, you realize its inherent bias.”
Amena Saleem goes on to report that when PSC asked BBC News management why they were happy to report rocket attacks but not a ‘peaceful’ mass hunger strike, the answer was ‘violence makes news’.
“We pointed out that there is plenty of violence at the weekly protests in the West Bank — it comes from the Israeli forces and results in frequent injuries and sometimes death. In fact, we said, violence by Israel’s military, navy and air force and by Israeli settlers in the West Bank is an everyday feature of life for Palestinians — if violence does, in fact, make news, there’s no shortage of it for the BBC in occupied Palestine.”
Amena Saleem’s article
It would be truly interesting to know if Ian Small was really recanting a BBC mantra about ‘white-collar over 50s’ when he spoke to protesters_ or whether he wasn’t just saying the first thing that came into his head! It is difficult to imagine how the BBC could really be broadcasting to only one sector of the English public when there are so many elements of BBC which are specifically aimed at a multi-cultural audience_ and a World Service that broadcasts to diverse countries and cultures in a wealth of languages.
If it was a mantra then that is REAL news that all English licence-fee payers should be very concerned about, regardless of whether they care about the plight of Palestinians or not _ But if Small’s comment wasn’t an expression of BBC policy_ then he is the second BBC director who has been shown up as a liar to the English public in less than a month _
The anti-BBCTrust asserts here that in fact MOSEY AND SMALL ARE BOTH LIARS and that their announcements were made as part of a cover for that new tranche of BBC policies that were brought in under the regime of Mark Thompson_ after the previous Director-General_ Greg Dyke_ had been forced to resign as head of a once truly honest and independent BBC that had focussed public attention onto Prime Minister Blair and his New Labour cronies after they had sold the world the falsehood of WMD (weapons of mass destruction) _
What these incidents point to is something hidden and very possibly malignant at the BBC _ but what the exposure of these incidents points to is that_ not only in England_ but across the web-based international community_ the public are becoming more and more aware of the fact that no-one can believe the BBC _
And that is the REAL legacy Mark Thompson will leave behind him when he finally quits _