November 28, 2005

BBC's balancing act

Here's a letter to the Guardian denouncing the disciplining of Barbara Plett by the BBC.
The decision to maintain the disciplinary proceedures against Barbara Plett and even to go as far as to establish a commission of inquiry into the way the BBC covers the Palestine question (BBC bias complaint upheld, November 26) is one of many manifestations of the grotesque phase we have all reached in this troublsome part of the world.

Had it not been for Ms Plett's balanced and informative reports, it would have been difficult to distinguish between the BBC coverage of the occupied territories and that of the Israeli Broadcasting Authority. Ms Platt admirably tried for many months to "balance" a simple imbalanced reality: of Israeli occupation and Palestinian victimisation. The atrocities on the ground - the killing of children and women and the blowing up of houses - warranted an emotional response as it is, and it was only natural that once, and only once, this would show in her reports (as many BBC reporters allowed themselves a show of emotion when reporting the deaths of George Best or Princess Diana). Only outside pressure could have produced such an ill-thought procedure and action.

As for the inquiry commission, one can save taxpayers' money. The cable companies in Israel come now and then under official pressure for allowing free access to international TV news stations. They would like to remove CNN and al-Jazeera. There are no complaints in Israel about Fox news (representing the US neoconservative point of view) and the BBC. The BBC is indeed a pro-Israeli news agency and is going to remain so if its directors silence the professional reporting of Barbara Plett.
Ilan Pappe
Tivon, Israel
There's another letter "balancing" out the first but I don't want to reproduce it here. You'll have to go here. If you want to know what all the fuss about Plett was for then go here or if you want to see more about the BBC's grovelling to the racist war criminals of Israel then go here.

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