BBC continues ‘Arab Idol’ binge

On June 25th 2013 the Middle East page of the BBC News website carried yet another item concerning the ‘Arab Idol’ winner Mohammed Assaf – a filmed report about his return to the Gaza Strip, which was also broadcast on BBC television news. 

Assaf Rafah

The presenter informs BBC audiences:

“His achievement has even brought the main rival Palestinian factions closer together.”

Does the BBC really believe that is an accurate statement?

The rationale behind the bizarre claim is that:

“He’s managed to get praise from not only Palestinian president Abbas, but also some Hamas officials.”

Oh dear. That sounds more like the level of ‘analysis’ one might find in Heat magazine than that of a publicly-funded national broadcaster which pledges to “remain the standard-setter for international journalism”. 

But that wasn’t the end of the BBC’s ‘Arab Idol’ binge. The BBC News website also published a written article on the subject of Assaf’s homecoming on the same day – the seventh item in less than two weeks.

Ironically, at the same time the BBC News website also poses the obviously very pertinent question “Did our brains evolve to foolishly follow celebrities?”. 

Assaf Rafah 2

Related articles:

Groundwork and maintenance on BBC’s ‘From Our Own Correspondent’

Four ‘Arab Idol’ reports in one day by BBC’s Knell

8 comments on “BBC continues ‘Arab Idol’ binge

  1. Any success that Arabs see as success and improves their self-esteem is a life saver for everyone and may later on lead to more significant successes. African Americans and others have suffered from a sense of inadequacy that is being overcome by athletic and entertainment successes. In time, their notion of success may expand to other fields. Meanwhile, in the arab world, religious leaders may outlaw these types of success as corrupting to Islamic values and make the social-religious conflict bloodier and worse.

  2. A miserable humourless and unworthy article. The boy got the vote for political reasons . What a shock… its not as if Dana did that .No one wanted to poke the Brits in the eye. She won the Eurovision song contest because of the brilliance of the song.

    All kinds of everything…it could have been penned by Shakespeare and arranged by Mozart

    • Rosco so your ‘theory’ is that Dana won the Eurovision Song contest because they didn’t want a Brit to win?
      Interesting theory, except for one small fact.
      Dana was born in Islington in London.
      So to stop the Brits they voted for a Brit.

      • My mistake there is me thinking she won it for the Irish republic. I didn’t realise she won it for Islington!

  3. I can understand BBCWatch taking issue with the BBC when it is judged to be unfairly critical of Israel/Israelis. This mean-spirited condemnation of the corporation for having identified something innocent and heart-warming in the Palestinian world is however utterly contemptible.

    The guy can sing, loves his country and is in turn loved by many of its people. If you can’t say anything good about that better to say nothing.

    • ‘Identification’ is one thing. Yarking on about it over and over again and crediting it with polictical significance it clearly does not have is something else, which to me seems somewhat OTT (i.e. starry-eyed gushing) coming from a supposedly reputable broadcaster in an unrelated country situated 4000-ish miles away from the affected people!
      It’s like reading something from a ‘Hello’ magagazine (Ramallah issue) report!

  4. Pingback: More BBC coverage of Middle East reality TV | BBC Watch

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