BBC-quotee Seumas Milne whipping up the crowd against Israel

Readers may remember that we recently drew attention to the fact that on its ‘live updates’ page which ran in the Middle East section of the BBC News website during Operation ‘Pillar of Cloud’, the BBC saw fit to promote an article by the Guardian’s Seumas Milne on November 20th 2012. 

As we remarked at the time:

“As you see, the BBC informs readers that:

“The Guardian’s Seamus Milne says in a new article that looking at the timeline of events, Israel is responsible for the military escalation that led to the current conflict.”

Well, seeing as the BBC has been pushing that theme incessantly for the past week at least, it is hardly surprising that it would promote the same kind of selective vision from a fellow bird of a feather. Not surprisingly, Milne’s screed also promotes another favourite BBC trope: ‘it’s all because of the elections’.

But that is not all that Milne’s BBC-endorsed article says. It also condones rocket attacks and other forms of violence against Israeli civilians, glorifies terror and even calls for the further arming of Palestinian militias.”

A few days later, on November 24th, Milne was to be found on the streets of London at a ‘Stop the War Coalition’ rally (the organisers perhaps had been too busy to notice that a cease fire came into effect two days previously) – once more inciting violence against Israeli civilians. 

In case anyone is wondering who the person presenting Milne is, allow us to introduce Mohammed Kozbar. Here he is (second from the right) pictured at the Gaza Legislature building with a delegation from the Muslim Brotherhood-linked ‘charity’ Interpal – which is proscribed by Israel and the United States due to its links to the Hamas-financing ‘Union of Good’. 

Does the BBC’s News website editor still think that the citation of Milne as an ‘authority’ on events in the Middle East represents the kind of balanced, accurate and impartial information to the corporation’s audiences are entitled? 

BBC website promotes Guardian’s Milne

Here is a screenshot of the BBC News website’s live updates page in its Middle East section from Tuesday evening (November 20th).

As you see, the BBC informs readers that:

“The Guardian’s Seamus Milne says in a new article that looking at the timeline of events, Israel is responsible for the military escalation that led to the current conflict.”

Well, seeing as the BBC has been pushing that theme incessantly for the past week at least, it is hardly surprising that it would promote the same kind of selective vision from a fellow bird of a feather. Not surprisingly, Milne’s screed also promotes another favourite BBC trope: ‘it’s all because of the elections’.

But that is not all that Milne’s BBC-endorsed article says. It also condones rocket attacks and other forms of violence against Israeli civilians, glorifies terror and even calls for the further arming of Palestinian militias. 

See commentary on Milne’s article here and here

Did the BBC employee who decided to promote Milne’s article actually read those parts? Did he or she consider that an appropriate message to promote and circulate to the millions of readers of the BBC website?  

It would be very interesting to hear what Steve Herrmann – Editor of the BBC News website – has to say. He surely would not invoke the wriggle-out clause ” The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites“. 

Ofcom Broadcasting Code – Section 2 – Harm and Offence.

BBC Editorial Guidelines – Section 5 - Harm and Offence.

 steve.herrmann@bbc.co.uk