It is a pretty reliable rule of thumb that people who replace the word “Israel” with the epithet “Israhell” on blogs and social media forums usually turn out to be obsessives – and often nasty antisemites into the bargain.
Take this chap for example:
One might expect that this sort of grossly offensive rhetoric would naturally prompt a reputable media organisation to avoid any sort of association with its creator like the plague.
On January 15th 2013 the BBC ran a Twitter Q&A session with its US State Department correspondent Kim Ghattas, with an edited version of the session published the next day on the BBC News website US & Canada page.
“With Hillary Clinton stepping down as US Secretary of State and John Kerry preparing for confirmation hearings, BBC State Department correspondent Kim Ghattas answered your questions in a live Twitter Q&A on 15 January.
This is an edited version of the session.”
Among the readers’ questions selected for inclusion in this article by BBC editors was one which has nothing to do with the subject under discussion.
And yes – it does come from the same Twitter user above.
Did the BBC editor who selected the questions to be publicized in this Q&A session even bother to check out the obviously propagandist motivations of the questioner? Or was the chance to once again plug this much-touted item - the circumstances of which the BBC has still not bothered to verify - just too much to resist?
Accuracy? Impartiality? Forget it. Seizing the opportunity for repeated promotion of an unverified libel is obviously much more important than those supposed values to BBC editors.