Media 23: BBC News – ‘handmaiden to power’?


Media Lens reports that though the BBC’s ‘journalistic failures’ on child abuse rightly led to pressure on senior staff to ‘step aside’, no such action was taken over the BBC’s failure to challenge the truth of US-UK propaganda on Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction which paved the way to war in Iraq and the subsequent occupation at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. As Jeremy Paxman admitted in 2009, he and his media colleagues were ‘hoodwinked’ by propaganda about Iraq.

As many are killed in Gaza, the main BBC headline read: ‘Egypt PM arrives for Gaza mission’

Media Lens:

“The role of BBC News as handmaiden to power is exemplified by its reporting on the latest series of brutal Israeli assaults on Gaza. On the first day of Operation Pillar of Cloud, thirteen people, including three children, were reportedly killed, and about 100 wounded. Israeli forces succeeded in their objective of ‘assassinating’ Hamas military chief Ahmed al-Jabari in a clear act of extrajudicial state execution.

“On November 16, Israel was reported to have hit 150 sites in Gaza the previous night, with 450 strikes in total. And yet the main BBC headline that morning read: ‘Egypt PM arrives for Gaza mission.’

“What would the BBC headline have been if 450 targets in Tel Aviv had been hit by F-16 bombs, drone missiles and artillery?

“A BBC correspondent in Gaza said ‘there are now fears now (sic) of a major escalation of violence’. But the Israeli execution of Ahmed al-Jabari was a major escalation of violence. BBC News reported three Israeli deaths by rockets fired from Gaza with the briefest mention of the earlier deaths of ‘eleven Palestinians – mainly militants but also children’. As ever, there was no explanation of how a Gaza civilian is distinguished from a ‘militant’ ”.

Israeli claim of self-defence rejected

Ali Abunimah is a Palestinian American journalist and co-founder of Electronic Intifada. He referred to the largely unreported timeline of events which emphasises once again how absurd it is for the corporate media to echo the Israeli claim that its violent acts can properly be described as ‘defending itself’:

“How can Israel be defending itself if it is crossing into Gaza, killing children, that when Israeli occupation forces are attacked – and Palestinians have a right to self-defence, they have a right to resist occupation – Israel responds by shelling civilians. I mean who in their right mind would call that “self-defence”?

“Who would call a siege – a six-year long siege where they count the calories of children in Gaza and only allow a drip-feed of food in to meet the minimum calories to avoid starvation – who would call that self-defence? Who would call it self-defence, the fact that Israel shells fishermen on a daily basis?”

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Posted on November 19, 2012, in Government and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.


    It’s almost impossible to understand how anyone can countenance shelling civilian areas- no matter whether or not there are weapons being fired from them, using civilians as ‘cover’. Israel’s civilians do, at least, have ahelters and a pretty good air defence system.
    We do not support violence from either side but the population of the Gaza strip are living in terrible conditions mostly caused by Israel’s embargo.
    We find it incredible that a warmonger, lackey of George Bush and mass-murderer is a ‘peace envoy! Yes, the BBC and ourselves were comprehensively hoodwinked by the weapons of mass destruction myth. We, and the three million anti-war demonstrators were shat upon from a great height!
    It was just another example of cynical political spin- aka- LYING.

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