July 21, 2003

Beeb Watch Compare and contrast.

Beeb Watch

Compare and contrast.

Warren Hoge's NYT piece:

"For the BBC, the publicly financed network that sees itself as the world leader in balanced broadcast reporting and analysis, the highly charged case comes at an awkward time. The corporation was already under attack from critics who said it had not been impartial in its coverage of the war in Iraq and the conflict in the Middle East.

In addition to its continuing fight with the government at home, it is derided by right-wing commentators in the United States as "the Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation," and in Israel its correspondents have been officially shunned by the government of Ariel Sharon.

In an appearance before a committee of Parliament last week to discuss the network's annual report, BBC chiefs faced charges of partiality. One Labor member of the panel, Rosemary McKenna, said the network had ceased to "differentiate between straightforward news and editorial comment."

A Beeb "analysis" on their website:

"And if your source talked to you under conditions of anonymity, would you do everything in your power to protect him - including maintaining silence even after he'd identified himself to his bosses and talked, not entirely frankly, to the foreign affairs select committee?" [my emphasis]

Not entirely frankly? Says who? Andrew Gilligan to Peter Preston? And isn't such a contention, given Kelly's tragic death, rather ill timed? Preston, after all, is basically charging that Kelly had been less than thoroughly honest during his commitee testimony.

As the Beeb at least reports elsewhere, the fundamental question now facing that network is whether:

"the two journalists accurately report what Dr Kelly said - even if Dr Kelly himself later denied saying it to the foreign affairs select committee?" Put differently, who did the "sexing up" in this macabre affair?

Posted by Gregory at July 21, 2003 09:09 AM
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