New BBC R4 ‘Today’ presenter is “home-made contraptions” Husain

Courtesy of the Daily Telegraph we learn that BBC Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme is to have a new presenter in the autumn.

“There have been increasing calls for more female voices on Today, whose male hosts currently outnumber women by four to one. […]

The previous year, its then editor Ceri Thomas faced criticism after suggesting that female journalists did not have a thick enough skin to deal with the programme’s “incredibly difficult” environment.”

Perhaps that explains the choice of Mishal Husain for the position – although thick skinned may not be the appropriate description for a presenter who just last November suggested that not enough Israelis had been killed by “home-made contraptions” fired from the Gaza Strip. In fact, the adjectives which come to mind when watching the way in which Husain conducts the interview below are ‘rude’, ‘condescending’, ‘badgering’ and ‘bullying’.  

Are BBC audiences to understand that those are the qualities which the corporation considers will enhance adherence to editorial guidelines on accuracy and impartiality in its flagship current affairs programme? 

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13 comments on “New BBC R4 ‘Today’ presenter is “home-made contraptions” Husain

  1. That is an appalling interview. Out the window with ‘fair and balanced’ when Israel has to excuse that not more Israelis are being killed.

    Easy to understand why The BBC has promoted her.

  2. Gil Hoffman held his ground well against Husain, as she tried to triumphantly make her little point about the number of Israelis killed by Gaza rockets.

    I’ve no doubt Al Jazeera, biased though it obviously is against Israel, would have conducted a far better interview than that. Then again, it’s hard to imagine how it could have been worse.

    When it comes to reporting on Israel-Palestine, the BBC is starting to resemble a propagandist media outfit in an Islamic dictatorship. And with Husain in control, no doubt Today will go from bad to worse.

  3. That made my blood boil all over again. It was already simmering on hearing on R4 today that Israel, which as we know builds bathroom extensions in disputed territory, is classed with countries such as Iran, Syria, Turkmenistan as a human rights abuser to whom we should not sell arms. In this case, the BBC was merely reporting but I will be astonished if anyone there thinks to query such a pronouncement.

  4. This woman will become one of the presenters of the BBC’s flagship Today news programme, which is reputedly listened to by politicians and opinion formers and serious listeners right across the spectrum. How can the BBC use a journalist whose loyalties are not simply worn on her sleeve but are used to distort facts to suit her prejudices?

    Judging by the interview with Gil Hoffman, when it comes to Israel, Husain employs subjectivity, imbalance and partiality. I suspect her appointment will be a disaster.

  5. I have been a regular listener to the Today programme. No more while this vile creature is a presenter. She is disgusting.

  6. It’s precisely the sort of interview which will have boosted her chances of landing the Today job. She’ll fit in perfectly.

  7. can i just make a little point?
    when it comes to re tweeting the original post, can we have more of a dynamic headline, so that tweeters will want to read the story?
    A Radio 4 presenter that says “more Israelis should have been killed” to me, is outrageous and there are so many people that “hate ” the BBC and the way it is run, this story would take flight on just that headline alone.

  8. I have just listened to the clip of the Gil Hoffman interview. Right at the end he said “Hamas overthrew the rightful Palestinian leadership there”. He knows and she knows that Hamas WAS the rightful Palestinian leadership and Fatah tried to overthrow IT. Yet she didn’t challenge him. She’ll fit in well with the other Today presenters.

  9. But can he imagine what it must have been like for families in Gaza during Cast Lead? I don’t think so.
    Hamas is the elected government and people become extreme under persecution and when their land is stolen.
    I like to see a good argument; I thought all Jews loved to get at the truth of the matter too.

  10. I thought Hoffman got off lightly. She could have been a lot more rigorous and challenging to his statements. When he referred to the terrorist Israelis murdering the Hamas general, he conveniently omitted to mention that the person the Israelis murdered was carrying a peace agreement between Gaza and Israel in his car.
    He also failed to mention that it was Israel that stupidly sponsored Hamas in order to undermine Fatah originally. Their stupidity has blown back in their own faces.
    I will recommend my friends to listen to her broadcasts on the Today programme.

  11. Hopefully Mishal may have some input into the seemingly unrepresentative
    “Thoughts for today” allocated to Lord Sacks.

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