BBC Music again covers a BDS story without explaining that campaign’s agenda

On July 12th a link to an article by BBC Music’s Mark Savage appeared on both the Middle East and Entertainment and Arts pages of the BBC News website under the heading “Radiohead continue to defend Israel gig”.

That link leads to an article headlined “Radiohead on Israel gig: “Playing a country isn’t the same as endorsing its government”” which opens:

“Thom Yorke has continued to defend Radiohead’s decision to play a concert in Israel.”

BBC Music has been promoting this story since February when it also amplified (albeit with inaccuracies) the efforts of supporters of the BDS campaign calling themselves ‘Artists for Palestine UK’ – including Roger Waters – to get Radiohead to cancel their upcoming concert in Israel. Fifty-five words of this 642 word report are similarly dedicated to amplification of that group including – once again – a link to its website.

“In April, the group were [sic] petitioned by Artists For Palestine, who asked them to reconsider performing in a country “where a system of apartheid has been imposed on the Palestinian people”.”

A further 54 words describe a “protest” by a small number of BDS campaign supporters in Scotland at a recent Radiohead show.

One hundred and sixty-seven words (26%) of the article and a link are dedicated to amplification of efforts by Ken Loach to persuade Radiohead to cancel their Tel Aviv appearance. That generous exposure is perhaps more comprehensible when seen in the context of the BBC’s decision last month to mark Loach’s birthday with a Tweet and a re-promoted blogpost highlighting his “strong ties to the BBC”.

“On Tuesday, filmmaker Ken Loach wrote an open letter, accusing Radiohead of ignoring “human rights violations”. […]

“None of us want to see them make the mistake of appearing to endorse or cover up Israeli oppression. If they go to Tel Aviv, they may never live it down.”

Loach continued: “I don’t know who is advising Radiohead, but their stubborn refusal to engage with the many critics of their ill-advised concert in Tel Aviv suggests to me that they only want to hear one side – the one that supports apartheid.””

With a total of 276 words assigned to amplification of those protesting Radiohead’s show in Israel and 256 words allotted to a member of the band’s reaction to those calls, the article’s remaining 110 words are devoted to BBC supplied background to the story.

As usual in BBC content relating to this topic, that ‘background’ does not however include an explanation of the BDS campaign’s aims and agenda and Mark Savage does not provide any factual information that would enable audiences to put the unchallenged allegations – such as “human rights violations”, “oppression” and “apartheid” – made by the showcased BDS supporters into their correct context.

“The band have [sic] repeatedly been urged to call off the show as part of a cultural boycott over Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians. […]

Radiohead have performed in Israel eight times – most recently in 2000 – but next week’s show is the first time they’ve visited since the BDS (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions) movement began in 2005.”

As readers may recall, two years ago the BBC claimed that it is not its job to inform audiences what the BDS campaign is actually all about when reporting on related stories. More recently, the BBC has taken to bizarrely describing that campaign to eradicate Jewish self-determination as a “human rights group”.

Clearly though, BBC audiences cannot make up their own minds about Radiohead’s response to calls to join the boycott against Israel if they are not given the full information concerning that boycott campaign’s ultimate aim.

Related Articles:

BBC Music promotes falsehoods and BDS campaign website

Scottish BDS activists who protest Radiohead also promote Holocaust denial (UK Media Watch)

Radiohead’s Thom Yorke responds to Ken Loach’s pro-BDS op-ed in the Indy (UK Media Watch)

BBC Radio 4 provides a stage for anti-Israel activist’s agitprop and defamation 

 

 

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BBC Music promotes falsehoods and BDS campaign website

h/t ML

BBC Music runs a webpage called ‘Music News LIVE’ which can be found on the BBC Music website or accessed via the BBC News website’s ‘Entertainment & Arts’ page.

The February 9th edition of ‘Music News LIVE’ – compiled by Paul Glynn – ran under the headline “Controversy over Radiohead gig in Israel“.

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A similar headline – linking to that page – appeared on the BBC News website’s ‘Entertainment & Arts’ page.

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BBC audiences were told of a fictional “industry boycott” and mythical “industry rules” while a link was provided to a (misspelled) website which is part of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) campaign.bbc-music-radiohead-1 

“Never ones to play by the industry rules, Radiohead have announced plans to play a gig in Tel Aviv, Israel on 19 July.

Many bands have been urged to avoid performing in Israel in protest of the country’s occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The NME notes, however, that guitarist Jonny Greenwood is married to Israeli artist Sharona Katan and recently released a collaborative album with Israeli composer Shye Ben Tzur.

Former Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters last year joined a host of artists in writing an open letter on behalf of Artists for Palenstine UK [sic] urging British DJs The Chemical Brothers to pull out of a show in Israel.

The Radiohead announcement will be viewed by many as controversial – and it has already sparked conjecture online.”

That, of course, is not ‘music news’: it is amplification of a political campaign – which clearly compromises BBC impartiality while the promotion of the link to a site which is part of the BDS campaign fails to meet the corporation’s guidelines on “Online Links to Third Party Websites“.

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