BBC Radio 4′s ‘News Review of the Year’ resurrects dead baby war porn

h/t: JK

On December 30th 2012 BBC Radio 4 broadcast an hour-long programme entitled “News Review of the Year”, presented by Paddy O’Connell. The programme can be heard here for a limited period of time and readers in the UK can also find it on iPlayer

R4 news review

Among the “defining events” chosen by the programme’s producer was the mid-November conflict between Hamas and Israel.

Beginning at 46:33 one hears the presenter start straight off with the theme of moral equivalence as he says: [emphasis added]

“These rockets were recorded being fired from Gaza towards targets in Israel. The two sides have been blaming each other for an escalation that reached new heights after Israel assassinated a Hamas officer they blamed for planning the strikes.”

Once again the BBC is promoting the erroneous notion that the escalation began with the death of Ahmed Jabari, negating the importance of the hundreds of rocket attacks which preceded that event. 

Next comes a short (42 seconds) recording of a BBC report from Ashkelon which – importantly as we will see later on – makes do with describing the effects of terrorist rocket fire from Gaza in terms of “a gaping hole in the roof”.

After that, it is over to Gaza for a 34 second-long recording of Jon Donnison describing a “massive [Israeli] air strike”.

At 48:09 O’Connell is back, casting doubts upon Hamas’ use of the civilian population in Gaza as human shields, even though that was amply documented – sometimes inadvertently – by the BBC’s own reporters in Gaza at the time:

“Israel said it regretted all civilian casualties at home and in Gaza and accused Hamas of hiding weapons amid people’s houses. Jon Donnison returned to ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ to recount what lay behind one civilian death in Gaza. You may well find what follows distressing”.

What follows is an abridged version of Donnison’s November 24th broadcast on ‘From Our Own Correspondent” which lasts two minutes and a half. 

Once again, a stage is given to Donnison’s explicit war pornography which gives graphic descriptions of the dead child. Once again, the unsubstantiated claim that the “Israeli military had bombed his [the child's father's] house” is propagated. Once again, Donnison’s promotion of false civilian casualty figures is aired to millions and once again Donnison’s accusation of inflated casualty figures in Israel is allowed to stand. 

It is not surprising that the BBC has elected to resurrect Donnison’s report yet again after having invested very heavily in its promotion around the time of its broadcast and ever since. The piece is still available on the front page of the ‘Magazine’ section of the BBC News website.

Magazine 2 01

Two days after Donnison’s programme was first aired on November 24th, additional aspects to the story came to light. The BBC has so far failed to clarify why, on November 26th, one of its film crews was present at the funeral of the brother of the baby’s father who was injured in the same incident and was buried wrapped in a Hamas flag. The BBC has also failed to address the subject of the highly problematic interview given by its employee Jihad Masharawi at that funeral to Hamas’ Al Aqsa TV. 

Ahmed Masharawi 1

Instead, the BBC continues to entrench a version of the recent conflict which – like its reporting at the time – is imbalanced, inaccurate and partial. Forty two seconds of coverage of rocket attacks in Israel relate only to damage to property. More than four times that amount of total coverage from Gaza (3 minutes 4 seconds) focuses on blaming Israel for the death of a baby whilst airbrushing out any context and refusing to address the unclarified aspects of the story. 

What impression does this Radio 4 broadcast give its audiences? The answer to that is very clear. As far as the BBC is concerned, the recent conflict (like those in the past and – probably – those in the future) can be boiled down to annoying holes in the roof in Israel and tragic dead babies in Gaza.

The BBC’s dogged promotion of the Omar Masharawi story – and its failure to examine the real circumstances behind it – is indicative of a journalistic culture which seeks to advance a specific narrative by defining a narrow public perceptions of events, rather than reporting the news.  Such a culture cannot fail to further compromise the BBC’s already severely battered reputation. 

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29 comments on “BBC Radio 4′s ‘News Review of the Year’ resurrects dead baby war porn

  1. What struck me in this report was the casual, almost offhand, comments regarding Israeli casualties after the long emotional description of the death of the child as if Donnison realised that he should (at least) pay lip service to ‘balance’ in his report. While sympathising with the death of any civilian one cannot help but be reminded (if that is at all necessary) of the inherent bias in BBC reporting.

    • I cannot understand how Ms Sela can be so cold-hearted and react with hatred to the death of an innocent eleven-month old child.

      May G-D bless Jon Donnison for celebrating the memory of this innocent baby killed in an airstrike, and for reminding everyone that many children died during the November war.

      Donnison upholds Jewish values by calling to protect the lives of defenceless children.

      May G-D help Ms Sela’s heart open her heart to love and to children. She must have suffered a lot in her life to come to a point when she insults those who help the grief-stricken parents of a ten-month old child overcome pain and despair at this loss.

  2. Pingback: BBC Radio 4′s ‘News Review of the Year’ resurrects dead baby war porn | Blogs about Israel aggregation

    • Thank G-D there are still honest journalists like Jon Donnison to show us the horror of war.

      All Ms Sela is doing is putting her head in the sand to forget about the unbearable truth: Israel’s airstrikes caused the death of an innocent baby boy who have not even celebrated his first bithday yet, and of at least another 30 children, in November.

      Donnison upholds Jewish values by reminding us that it is our duty to protect the lives of defenceless children, no matter their religion.

  3. Moral equivalence is the last resort of scoundrels. When they support an unsupportable position, make the claim thit it’s just the same as “X”. I’ve noticed no one uses it more than the anti Israel crowd.

    • What is unsupportable is Ms Sela’s anger at a journalist whose only sin is to remind us of the truth – an innocent eleven-month baby boy died in an airstrike on a residential neighbourhood in Gaza.

      Donnison upholds Jewish values by calling to protect the life of defenceless children. Ms Sela betrays these values by attacking those who want to protect children.

  4. The point about Donnison is that IMO, he’s gone native. The people he works with on the ground in Gaza are not merely colleagues but have become friends. He’s not able to separate his private life and feelings from his professional life. It means he’s unable to function as an objective and impassive observer, because he sees his friends are at risk.

    Add to that the very real and threatening presence of Hamas, that in no uncertain terms warns journalists that their liberty and physical welfare may be linked to their reports, and someone like Donnison, who frankly does not work in what we believe to be a professional manner anyway, and so Hamas have co-opted members of the world’s largest news gathering and broadcasting agency, as a mouthpiece for a fundamentalist Islamic fascist terror organisation.

    That his reports are allowed to be broadcast with only minimal revision, demonstrates that the organisation has lost all sense of what it is for, or how it should conduct itself. In past times, someone like Donnison would have been retrained, or shown the door. Today, the corporation is riddled with people, from senior management down, who freely parade their political agendas in the belief that they represent the majority of public opinion.

    However, A. they don’t; B. political agendas should have been left at home, as a condition of service. The BBC Trust is supposed to be there to ensure those conditions of service are maintained, but the trust members, from Patten onwards, have also gone native and now protect the people they are supposed to monitor and correct.

    Only a complete change of management of both the Trust and the Corporation, along with a public restating by new management of exactly what the BBC is for, will begin to win back it’s credibility.

    A corporation that can sweep the activities of one of it’s stars – Jimmy Savile – under the carpet for years if not decades, has lost its moral compass and it shows throughout its activities.

    • I was having a conversation today and something occurred to me which I think might be relevant. A friend of mine is reading a book about the time when the British were running Palestine and the Irgun/Lechi were doing their best to push them out. I made the point that while the British refer to these groups as terrorists, this is not true since they targeted soldiers and not civilians. Also that if you knew other Jews who had survived the horrors of Hitler were being turned away by the British from landing in their own country, it’s not difficult to imagine how those in the Irgun felt about that.

      I thought also about this being the first time that the British, who were so used to ruling whatever nation they decided to dominate, and killing dissenters who opposed them, were now themselves now being pushed around. For the arrogance that they had hitherto felt, this must have been very humiliating.

      I also know that the British were on the side of the Arabs from the get go, and was wondering if the reasons that they prevented Jews from landing in Israel was to keep the Jewish population down, and make it easier for the Arabs to then get rid of them.

      Looking at these events, this seems to have a ‘ring of truth’ about it, and I don’t think the ‘establishment has ever forgiven Israel for taking the ‘Great’ out of Britain.

      I say this because I wonder if there isn’t an intention by this establishment to use the BBC as a means to help bring down Israel, but within ‘civilised’ constraints. We record the anti-Israel reporting, and have to wonder why is the establishment and those in the know allowing them to continue in this way.

      Seems like the answer is because they want it this way too. Perhaps we should consider that in the way we perceive the bias of the BBC.

      • Interesting, Teddy. Of course, the British were also worried about a waning of their influence in the ME, and feared that the Jewish State, once declared, would be a satellite of Stalinist Russia.

        • There is also the factor of Islamic appeasement by our and other Western governments that contribute to this bias, which justifies the terrorists to continue their aggression. I can also surmise that there may well be pay-offs to various individuals in our hierarchy to promote the ‘multicultural’, ‘tolerance’, or whatever other excuses that enable questionable, and clearly one sided agendas to advance. This is then picked up by the left wing mindset as ‘the way to think and do’.

          The bias is too consistent, purposeful, and directed to be just a simple ‘institutional’ or unconscious bias. The same way we can recognise the trolls here operating as a conscious force to demean or ridicule posts/posters regardless of what is being written.

          • I agreewith you. However it also goes much deeper. More than 1,000 years of persecution has created an all to common undercurrent of Jew hatred in Europe and the nations founded be the European states. So there is a near instinctive reaction it must be the Jews/Israels fault.

          • Quite so and to round out the picture consider similarly over 1000 years of humiliation, oppression, and persecution of Jews under Islamic rule.

    • And it’s not just Hamas. Remember that after 9/11 an Italian film crew captured Palestinians dancing in the streets. After threats, the footage was surpressed.

    • I too second cityca’s appraisal. It will be like cleaning out a horse stable that hasn’t been cleaned for 30 odd years. The stink will remain around for a long time. All the ‘archived manure’ must be thrown out too.

      It could have been so different.

      • You’re right Nobbly, all the hatred and racism must be cleaned out of Israel. We cannot accept people who mock the death of a baby in our midst, they violate Jewish values.

  5. Ethan and MD, I’ll reply to you here as there’s no option from your posts.
    I question the nature or dynamics of what you refer to as Jew hatred.
    There is certainly a Catch 22 involved with regard to Jews. As a minority in whatever nation they reside, they’ve always sought to excel in every field in order to be accepted and wanted – to feel valued. Among people with their own good and balanced self esteem they would have achieved this status. But to those with low self esteem or an inferiority complex this would have given reason for resentment and aversion, and recalling the ‘chosen people’ epithet, twisted it as a reverse form of racism. That is to say, the ‘inferiors’ would think that because the Jews think of themselves as the ‘chosen people’, they (the Jews) must be racist against others, thereby justifying their (the ‘inferiors’) putting them down.

    Of course these dynamics are ones that only a good education within a healthy society can remedy. Given that our society is so unstable for a variety of reasons, with the added factor of the threat of militant Islam complicating issues, I can’t see that it will change any time soon unless it is specifically addressed and confronted, as with every real problem within society.

    Since it appears we can’t rely on our leaders or media to do this, seemingly lacking themselves the necessary understanding, for the time being its only individuals like ourselves that can, as the opportunity presents itself.

    • I can’t really disagree with anything you say. I expect a certain amount of ant- semitism because of this past. What I don’t understand, and will never accept, is the suicidal attitude of the leftist establishment and certain elements of the international Jewish community. If they want to commit suicide, thats their business. But don’t expect me to suicide with them. As for you T.B., I believe any differences we have are more nuance (or perhaps poor wording on my part) than actual substance. I enjoy reading your comments and your replies to mine.

  6. And the feeling is mutual :)
    It wasn’t that I thought we differed, I just wanted to expand on what you wrote in the hope of all of us being able to address it better.

    Regarding what you call the ‘suicidal attitude’ of the left, I agree with you 100%. I believe it seems to them as they’re dealing in the wisest way with the complications they face – at least in the short term.
    1. Militant Islam – appease
    2. Israel/Jews – expendable

    For Jews promoting this viewpoint they simply want to get ‘on side’ with those they feel exert the most power, which clearly is the left at the present time.

    We can be aware of similar dynamics in the build up to WW2, and the way Chamberlain was willing to appease Hitler and the Nazis. The fact that this made the eventual confrontation far more deadly on all sides, and helped empower those we would end up fighting should be the wake up call to those of that mind today. Like they say, those that don’t learn from history are destined to repeat it.

    At least the internet enables us to ‘spread the word’ more effectively than our predecessors would have been able to do back then. Let’s see what we can do ;)

    • Yup; There doesn’t seem to be any differance. I look forward to reading future comments and future discussions.

    • The photo of the BBC staff member crying over his dead baby after he was killed in an airstrike on Gaza went viral. At least the internet enables human rights defenders to ‘spread the word’ on the horror of war and the need to put an end to hostilities.

  7. Death of a baby has to have ‘context’.One of the more interesting statements of 2012! What about the death of a cat? A dog? I suppose we might see a little more compassion or sympathy on these pages if a cuddly little armadillo had bought it!

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    • The lack of compassion of Ms Sela for the death of an innocent baby is chilling, and a sad betrayal of Jewish values.

  8. Pingback: BBC Q&A on US State Department promotes dead baby story from Gaza | BBC Watch

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