The BBC’s temple of Alice Walker

For those of us with years of familiarity with the BBC under our belts, it is perhaps difficult to envisage any other scenario than the one in which the persona which is Alice Walker is revered by members of that organisation as an almost divine font of unchallengeable sound bite wisdoms.

Indeed, one only has to look at the frequency of Walker’s various BBC appearances to appreciate how many ‘right on’ boxes she ticks for so-called ‘progressives’.

 Lyse Doucet’s March 2013 World Service radio interview with Walker was conducted in reverential tones under the banner of ‘truth’, even when her guest came out with stereotypical racist and sexist remarks about white European women which – had they been uttered by Betty Walker from Bolton in relation to a supposed unsuitability of  African or Asian women for leadership due to some centuries-old collective trauma – would rightly have resulted in wall-to-wall raised eyebrows at the BBC.

In the May 24th 2013 edition of Radio 4’s ‘Desert Island Discs’ Alice Walker selected former BBC presenter and conspiracy theorist David Icke’s off-the-wall tome as her book of choice, with presenter Kirsty Young unable to bat an eyelid and Walker predictably unchallenged by anything which could be called journalism. 

On July 7th 2013 BBC Four aired a one hour film about Walker –  under the title of ‘Beauty in Truth’ – made by MercuryMedia and directed by Pratibha Parmar.

 The programme is available on iPlayer here and for those outside the UK, in the video below.

BBC 4 Alice Walker

Having spent fifty-three puffery-saturated minutes idealising and idolising Walker, her work and her activism,  the pseudo-documentary then turns to the subject of her anti-Israel campaigning – although of course it is not presented in that way.

At 53:23 in the video above, she is asked by a ‘Democracy Now’ presenter:  Walker film 3

“You go in the book from Rwanda to Eastern Congo, to Palestine, Israel. It was your first trip?”

Walker answers: “To Palestine? Yes.” After which the film cuts to images of Walker in the Gaza Strip, with her saying in the voice-over:

“It’s easy to make the connection between the Freedom Rides of fifty years ago to the South that helped to bring down apartheid USA and what is happening there in Palestine with the wall and with the abuse of the Palestinian people. It’s very similar. I mean it’s more intense in Palestine.”

The film then cuts to footage of Walker’s participation in the 2011 flotilla, with her saying:  Walker film 5

“My name is Alice Walker and I am with the US boat to Gaza.”

And:

“This is a fine tradition of going to people who need us, wherever they exist on the planet. This is our responsibility.”

Despite the fact that the BBC’s editorial guidelines – including of course those on accuracy and impartiality – apply to commissioned programmes as well as to BBC-produced content, absolutely no attempt is made in this film to balance Walker’s vicious fictions concerning “Palestine” with facts or to make audiences aware of the significance of the practical consequences of the  ideologies to which she subscribes, such as the boycotting of a language or the Walker film 1collaboration with Hamas and its supporters in the flotilla stunt.

Instead, in this programme as in others, the untouchable Alice Walker is yet again permitted to spout her often offensive opinions as though they were fact, with editorial standards apparently an optional extra for patron deities of the BBC Parthenon. 

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12 comments on “The BBC’s temple of Alice Walker

  1. ” The BBC’s temple of Alice Walker ”

    Firstly the idea that the BBC revere people, implicit in your ” temple ” reference is a little weary ( Saville excluded ) . If you cannot argue with someone you could try saying their admirers are deluded fantasists ,worshipping their ( false ) idols .

    Also the main link didn’t work so I was unable to judge whether or not the “stereotypical racist and sexist remarks about white European women ” were offensive to me . My guess is they would be pretty reasonable remarks.

    ” ..For those of us with years of familiarity with the BBC under our belts ”

    This is an odd thing to say and my guess the writer is not a native Brit . Anyone brought up by the Beeb would be more likely to use terms like ” resource beyond reckoning ” or ” world beating national treasure ” . Don’t get me wrong I love foreigners its just that you have your work cut out if you think you stand a feckin ghostly chance of understanding the loyalties that the Beeb inspires.

    • ‘ the loyalties that the Beeb inspires’

      You need to get out more. Or try reading the Mail or Telegraph.

      That’s if you can bear to move outside the comfort zone.

  2. “Alice Walker is yet again permitted to spout her often offensive opinions as though they were fact, with editorial standards apparently an optional extra for patron deities of the BBC Parthenon. ”

    Love it.

  3. Did they ask her about the reptilians who are ruling the world too? And what did she said about her eternal love of David icke the expert on the Protocols?
    So the BBC idolizes a well known racist bigot and anti-Semite. Nothing to see here folks – move on…

  4. Can’t see the video. Parmar has slapped a copyright claim on it. Watching an adoring white lady interviewing her heroine Walker about the film, with Parmar in the background.

    Gritting my teeth and going through the whole 27 minutes to see if they touch on Israel-Palestine. They don’t.

    I have no doubt this article accurately describes the BBC’s hero-worship of Walker.

    Gritting my teeth again and listening to Lyse Doucet ‘interview’ Walker. Doucet is so overcome by Walker that all she can do at the end of the interview, with her voice brimming with emotion, is quickly blurt out, “Really good to meet you,” not,”Alice Walker, thanks for talking to us on Newshour,” which would be the standard, professional way to end an interview. Doucet probably burst into tears straight afterwards.

    Doucet has other heroes, notably in the Arab world. She interviewed Iraqi refugees in some Arab country, I forget which, and concluded that interview by saying, in a voice thick with emotion, “The past is another country.”

    Would Doucet ever interview Iraqi Christian refugees, who have been butchered and driven from Iraq in their thousands? Of course not. She has her specific victim groups and that certainly doesn’t include Christians under the yoke of their Arab compatriots or Jewish Israeli victims of Palestinian terror. She represents the very worst of the BBC with its cringing PeeCee.

  5. I wonder if Walker would be at all interested in the fact that black slavery is still practised, even in the 21st century, by Arabs.

    Somehow I can’t imagine her campaigning in Sudan, for example, to try to end it.

  6. While we are criticizing the BBC for their lack of impartiality and anti-Israel bias, let us remember that Jewish organizations have worshiped at the altar of Alice Walker. In New York, the 92nd Street Y whose full name is the 92nd Street Young Men’s and Young Women’s Hebrew Association (YM-YWHA) has had Ms. Walker as a speaker among others that are key supporters of the BDS movement. Is it any wonder that non Jewish organizations promote this claptrap when “our” communal organizations promote the same. The 92nd St. Y isn’t alone in promoting this sort of programming in New York city.

  7. Is it any wonder that non Jewish organizations promote this claptrap when “our” communal organizations promote the same. The 92nd St. Y isn’t alone in promoting this sort of programming in New York city.

    There is no shortage in Jewish communities of ignorant devotees of blinkered PeeCee.

    But even if there were none, that would have no impact at all on non-Jewish organisations wallowing in the same PeeCee. There is no cause-and-effect link here.

  8. Does Alice Walker have a clitoris? If so, she’s lucky.

    http://genderindex.org/country/west-bank-and-gaza

    Palestinian Authority

    The Palestinian Authority is not ranked in the 2012 SIGI due to missing data for one or more SIGI variables. However, the country note below sets out information and data relating to variables where this is available information.

    The Palestinian Authority is ranked 114th out of 187 countries in the 2011 Human Development Index (HDI) with a score of 0.641. The Palestinian Authority is not ranked under the Gender Inequality Index or in the 2011 Global Gender Gap Index.
    Data
    SIGI Value 2012:
    2012
    Discriminatory Family Code:
    Restricted Physical Integrity:
    Son Bias:
    Restricted Resources and Entitlements:
    Restricted Civil Liberties:
    Background:
    Sources:

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