25 January 2009

The BBC is not 'impartial', but inhuman

The furore over the BBC's decision not to screen the Disaster Emergency Committee's appeal for humanitarian aid in Gaza is deepening.

The strangest thing about this one is the argument used by the BBC, which seems to me to be pretty flawed. Director-General Mark Thompson says that the BBC would risk reducing public confidence in its impartial coverage of the conflict.

But surely not broadcasting the appeal is as 'partial' a stance as broadcasting it. Not broadcasting it implies that somehow families of the 1,300 casualties - and the many thousands wounded - in Gaza are somehow not worthy of our help. Which would imply that they brought it on themselves - that they are, somehow, the culprits in this war, rather than the victims. (Remember, one hundred times as many Palestinians were killed than Israelis in the conflict).

If this was an appeal for arms for Hamas, I'd understand the BBC's decision. But it's not. It's an appeal by charities for humanitarian aid. In that context, the cause of the humanitarian disaster is quite irrelevant.

By not broadcasting this appeal, the BBC has shown that it is, not impartial, but inhuman - blind to the suffering of thousands. And that's disgusting, and unacceptable, for a public service organisation.

In the end, I can't help thinking that this whole stance is based on a fear of offending the cheap Nazi Daily Mail and Express reading contigent. The same people who complained about the Ross-Brand broadcast last year, despite not having heard the programme. The same kneejerk maniacs who are never far from pulling the strings of public opinion in this wretched country.

F*** the lot of them.

And big props to Channel 4, who are going to screen the appeal. (If I can work out how to use Channel 4's download service I'll watch Jon Snow's Dispatches documentary on Gaza, broadcast last Thursday, which I sadly missed first time round. Also respect to ITV and Five, who are nowhere near as right-on as C4 but have nonetheless agreed to air the appeal - I suppose this means Mark Thompson thinks that ITV, Five and C4's news coverage is biased rubbish? If so, he should say so.

(Sky, of course, "haven't decided" whether to air the appeal yet - but they'll probably turn it down, as they're owned by a dangerous fascist.)

No comments: