Below is the response received by a member of the public in reply to his complaint concerning remarks made by Tim Willcox during the BBC’s coverage of the January 11th march in Paris. Others have informed us that they have been sent the exact same reply.
It is worth noting once again that the majority of the millions of people who watched that BBC broadcast do not follow Tim Willcox on Twitter.
One of the problems with the response from BBC Complaints – and with Willcox’s Tweet – is that he was not asking a “poorly phrased question” at all. He in fact interrupted his interviewee to make a statement. And whilst Willcox may indeed have had “no intention of causing offence”, he did just that because the notion he found it so urgent to promote to viewers is based on the antisemitic premise that Jews anywhere in the world hold collective responsibility for the perceived actions of the State of Israel.
If Tim Willcox and the BBC do not understand why his statement – and the thinking behind it – constitutes a problem and why an apology in 140 characters or less repeated in a generic e-mail from BBC Complaints is unsatisfactory, then obviously there are considerably deeper issues here.
Willcox’s Twitter apology does not abrogate the need for an on-air statement from the BBC clarifying the issue to audiences who watched that programme.