BBC World Service quotes unidentified “some who say”

Here is an interview with MK Dr Einat Wilf and Danny Dayan of the Yesha Council which was broadcast on the BBC World Service’s “Newshour” programme on December 3rd

In the introduction to the item the presenter states:

“There are some who say that Israel made its announcement about building three thousand new housing units in occupied Palestinian territory last Friday in order to escape the predictable international censure, given that Israeli government offices close early on a Friday.”

Of course we are not told who “some” are, or on what basis they “say” what they are reported to have said, or why they apparently failed to notice the rather relevant point that the UN GA vote which preceded the Israeli government’s announcement took place the previous night – and that Thursdays inevitably come before Fridays. 

Was the urge to get in a gratuitous, unsourced, fact-free jibe implying Israeli deviousness just too much to resist?

And here is MK Wilf again, on the BBC World Service’s World Have Your Say programme from November 30th, taking part in a ‘balanced’ debate with no fewer than three Palestinian representatives.

Note presenter Ros Atkins’ erroneous use of the term “pre-67 borders”, together with his failure to correct inaccurate terms such as “apartheid wall” or to challenge historically incorrect statements such as “on only 22% of what is rightly ours”. 

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9 comments on “BBC World Service quotes unidentified “some who say”

  1. Duvidl’s perspective: The reason Dr. Einat Wilf MK has been relegated by the BBC to its World Service radio in the second interview from the television in the previous interview is that Dr. Wilf is far more eminently telegenic than Abbas’s pair of henchmen. Beeboid Ros Atkins doubtless formed the same impression when interviewing Dr. Wilf on TV.

    • This is called “confidentiality of the sources” or “reporter’s privilege” and it is common practice in the press.

      Does Ms Sela hold a press card? Did she graduate from a journalism school?

      How come she’s never heard of reporters’ privilege?

      • Reporters privilege?!
        Nat you must be pretending this – this kind of idiocy simply doesn’t exist in the real world.

  2. This use of the phrase ‘Some Say’ reminds me of the way Top Gear presenters big-up their pet racing driver, The Stig, before he makes one of his silent appearances…. and without proper references to who these ‘some’ are, the subsequent claims are about as credible.

  3. One of the things that struck me is the anchor’s insistence that is the rest of the world says that Israel has it wrong (and I certainly agree that this was a monumentally stupid PR failure by Netanyahu), then it must be so, with the implication that israle should, or must, fall in line with world opinion.

    Now, just for example, I suspect we could line up a vote at the UN that says that the UK has it wrong on any number of issues – the Falklands, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bahrain, etc. and I imagine that the great British public would regard it as pretty cheeky for an Israeli anchor to interrogate two British MPs and tell them they have to take note and do what the “world” says. Specially if the French were opposed to the British position!!

    • Agreed, AKUS. This is evidence of very child-like, wishful thinking as is the continued and regular blurring of the distinction between opinion and fact.

      It’s not so much that these people twist facts but that they fail to make the distinction between what is fact and what is not, and then they go full tilt and foolishly after what makes them feel most comfortable and ties in with their own self-serving biases.

      • AKUS, That’s a ***** comment.

        “It’s not so much that these people twist facts but that they fail to make the distinction between what is fact and what is not, and then they go full tilt and foolishly after what makes them feel most comfortable and ties in with their own self-serving biases.”
        Yes, it’s a downward spiral into bigotry and ignorance.

  4. Along with ‘critics are claiming’ and ‘people are angered’, plus other assorted, vague allusions, after such as Newsnight/28Gate and the raft of inaccurate ‘source-based’ efforts the BBC is still scrambling to ‘move on’ from, the world’s most trusted broadcaster needs to be called on this technique before it gets more out of control than it is already.

    People’s lives depend on news accuracy and credible testimony.

    The BBC neither seeks nor provides these. Too often to be a mistake, and when called on them, reacting so defensively it can only be policy.

  5. “There are some who say” is in the same category as “everybody knows” and “it’s plain to see,” i.e., too often tools of the ignorant and the prejudiced.

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