BBC flouts its own editorial guidelines with Iran talks interviewees

As the P5+1 talks with Iran dragged on and overshot their deadline last week in Lausanne, consumers of the mainstream media often found themselves reading or hearing content largely devoid of actual useful information produced by large numbers of attending journalists with nothing significant to report – and the BBC was no exception.Trita Parsi Doucet art

Among the pre-announcement reports offered to BBC audiences was an article by Lyse Doucet which appeared on the BBC News website on March 30th under the title “Sense of history as Iran nuclear talks go to the wire“. In that report readers were presented with the views of representatives from the International Crisis Group and the National Iranian American Council (NIAC) without any attempt being made to clarify to audiences the agendas of those organisations.

“Some Iranians reach back to another history and look to turn its page in the gilded halls of Lausanne’s Beau-Rivage Palace hotel.

“From 1813 on, Iran’s interaction with world powers has largely been one of continuous defeats,” says Trita Parsi, founder and president of the Washington-based National Iranian American Council.

“This could be the first time in 200 years that, without a war, Iran would emerge from a conflict without losing.”

Mr Parsi argues that Iran’s hardliners who remain deeply suspicious of the West, including Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei, could find ways to hail it as their success.” […]

“Iran and the West will not become best friends,” points out Reza Marashi, research director at the National Iranian American Council. “But they will move from enemies to rivals, with the possibility of resolving issues through diplomats.”

The BBC World Service radio programme ‘Newsday’ also interviewed Trita Parsi – again with no attempt made to provide listeners with the necessary background information about his organization which would enable them to put his assessment of the topic into context.Trita Parsi pics Lausanne

As we know, the BBC’s editorial guidelines on impartiality state:

“We should not automatically assume that contributors from other organisations (such as academics, journalists, researchers and representatives of charities) are unbiased and we may need to make it clear to the audience when contributors are associated with a particular viewpoint, if it is not apparent from their contribution or from the context in which their contribution is made.”

It would therefore have been appropriate and relevant to inform BBC audiences that the National Iranian American Council – headed by Trita Parsi – is regarded by some as a lobbying organization for the Iranian regime

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7 comments on “BBC flouts its own editorial guidelines with Iran talks interviewees

  1. Just think, if Israel hadn’t been so deceitful about it’s own Nuclear development they could have been included in the talks instead of trying to eavesdrop. You have to smile … don’t you?

    • From yesterday’s post:

      Brown Noses – The Opera
      A Duvidl Pessach Spectacular Production

      Following the show-stopping opening number, “Brown-Finger” (see ante on 2 April), Duvidl continues with this Lion’s Gate-storming follow-up number
      http://www.sixdaywar.org/content/reunificationjerusalem.asp

      to the tune of “White Christmas” (hat tip: Bing Crosby)

      Mike’s dreaming of Jew-free J’rus’lem,
      Ebola-rot’s set in his brain.
      Verbal diarrhoea dribblin’,
      And schizoid scribblin’
      He’s flushed sanity down the drain.

      Mike’s dreaming that there’s no Israel.
      With every Jew-hate scribbled word.
      That verbal diarrhoea is quite absurd.
      He just can’t excrete a solid turd.

      DS Al Coda

    • “Just think, if Israel hadn’t been so deceitful about it’s own Nuclear development…”

      HOW, ‘deceitful’? Identify the ‘deceit’ please. Merely refusing to state their nuke development is not deceit. As a tiny country protecting her independence, Israel maintained a practiced ambiguity concerning that development. Nobody ever had any doubts about it, but the vagueness attached to it was good for the WORLD, and everybody in it. Now that Mr Obama’s personal pique, however, has led him to order the release of the info, Israel may have to take the Bomb out of the basement and mount it on the roof.

      I doubt that you’ll like that better. . . .

      “… they could have been included in the talks instead of trying to eavesdrop.”

      If you truly really believe the P5+1 would’ve EVER let Israel in on those talks under ANY circumstances, then I’ve got some choice Arizona beachfront property to sell you for cheap — and if you’ll pay in cash (silver bullion would be nice), I’ll throw in the Golden Gate Bridge for free.

      “You have to smile … don’t you?”

      I rather doubt that you’re smiling.

      • I “truly believe” that Israel would have been included as a signatory to the NPT, which they would have been if they’d been truthful.

        Always smiling.

        • “I ‘truly believe’ that Israel would have been included as a signatory to the NPT…”

          — And your ‘belief’ is based on WHAT???

          “… which they would have been if they’d been truthful.”

          — When & where have the Israelis not been truthful? There’s nothing ‘untruthful’ about a policy of maintaining silence in the matter.

          Untruthfulness would have consisted of saying one thing while doing another.

          “Always smiling.”

          — Aye, so you say.

  2. Martha provides us with the best example of double speak on behalf of Israel…. deceit is swapped with ambiguity. In regard to the possession of a nuclear weapon ambiguity does not cut it and is an insult to intelligence. It is not open to varying interpretations. This deceit is and will always be the root of all the misery in the region and the world at large. J F Kenney was insightful.

  3. “If we take a horse’s tail and call it a leg, how many legs will the horse then have?
    The correct answer is four.
    You see, you can CALL a horse tail a leg, but that does not MAKE it a leg.”

    — Abraham Lincoln

    Deceit is deliberate misrepresentation of what one knows (or believes) to be fact.

    Ambiguity is not deceit — howsoever much you might like to call it so.

    “In regard to the possession of a nuclear weapon ambiguity does not cut it …”

    Oh? — Why not?

    “…and is an insult to intelligence.”

    How so?

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