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Thread: It's Time to Put the BBC Under the Spotlight and Bring it to Account

  1. #1

    Default It's Time to Put the BBC Under the Spotlight and Bring it to Account

    An excellent summary by British journalist and blogger, Jonathan Cook.

    Panorama, the BBC's flagship investigative current affairs programme is accused of inserting staged footage of victims suffering from a chemical weapons attack falsely blamed on the Syrian government (in fact chemical weapons were used by Turkish Jihadists hoping to widen the conflict and usher in NATO forces openly) into one programme that was designed to publicly pressure the British government to intervene militarily in the Syrian conflict.

    The BBC has done everything in its power to avoid discussing or responding continuing concerns of those who believe it knowingly used staged footage.

    Is the BBC still lying over Syria footage?


    8 March 2017


    Robert Stuart, a tenacious blogger, has been picking away at a scab the BBC would rather leave firmly in place.


    His forensic research concerns an edition of the BBC’s flagship investigative current affairs show Panorama called Saving Syria’s Children. It was broadcast more than three years ago, as many in the media were trying to push the British government into intervening in Syria with bombing raids against the Syrian government – in a move that would effectively have bolstered ISIS and al-Qaeda affiliates in Syria.


    The Panorama programme was one important piece of evidence advanced for such intervention. The footage it included was broadcast in several different formats, and purported to show the victims of a chemical weapons attack by the Syrian military on a school. The BBC reporter for Panorama was Ian Panell.


    From the outset, there were concerns about the authenticity of the footage, as I noted in a piece on my own blog in October 2013.
    But Stuart’s sustained research and questioning of the BBC, and the state broadcaster’s increasing evasions, have given rise to ever greater concerns about the footage. It looks suspiciously like one scene in particular, of people with horrific chemical burns, was staged.


    Rather than confront these concerns and dispell them, the BBC and Pannell have tried a mixture of going to ground, stonewalling and misdirection. That has included trying to remove the footage from both the BBC and social media sites where it had been available.


    Even by the BBC’s current dismal standards, its behaviour has been, on the best view, outrageously arrogant. Remember that the BBC is a publicly funded broadcaster. And yet the corporation appears to think it is not even minimally accountable to the British taxpayers who fund it.


    In a fascinating new development, a leading freelance TV and radio producer Victor Lewis Smith – and one with a rare conscience and backbone – has intervened after viewing the footage.


    He raised troubling questions with the BBC about the Panorama programme and threatened to tear up his contract for a forthcoming radio comedy pilot unless the corporation provided satisfactory answers.


    For the first time, the state broadcaster was flushed out of its hiding hole. First, it tried more misdirection, telling him that Ofcom had reviewed the programme and sided with the BBC. But the Ofcom decision was about an RT investigation into the footage – note that Ofcom has hardly been impartial in its treatment of RT – and not a ruling on the accuracy of the BBC footage’s, which Ofcom admitted it was not in a position to assess.
    When Lewis Smith didn’t roll over, as the BBC clearly expected, the corporation offered up Panorama’s editor, Rachel Jupp. She would talk to Lewis Smith to placate him. But she had second thoughts and cried off. Lewis Smith then upped the stakes by asking for Panorama’s rushes and again threatened to terminate his contract.


    Finally Jupp issued a feeble statement that did nothing to address the concerns Stuart and others have raised.


    The BBC has made clear it isn’t willing to be transparent, open or accountable. British taxpayers wondering whether their money was used by the BBC to support a deception – one designed to bolster the case for a decisive political intervention in an extremely volatile conflict – still have no answers.


    Lewis Smith has torn up his contract and announced his intention to make a crowd-funded feature documentary investigating the Panorama programme. Let’s hope he does so. This could prove to be a vital case study to help the British public and others judge whether the BBC is really there to serve them or to serve the British political elite.
    Source

    No argument. They're there to serve British political elite interests.

    The earlier article by Cook:

    Why was a BBC interview in Syria doctored?


    7 October 2013


    The following two BBC video reports on the victims of the same incident in the Syrian civil war raise very troubling questions about the corporation’s journalistic ethics. The two reports use seemingly identical footage of an interview with a British doctor but the words are different. Her mouth is covered by some kind of medical mask.


    The first can be watched at:


    www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-24288698


    At about 2 mins, the doctor says the victims have burns that “must be some sort of chemical weapon, I’m not really sure”


    The second can be watched at:


    www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-23892594


    At about 2.20 mins the doctor says the victims’ injuries “must be some sort of, I’m not really sure, maybe napalm, something similar to that”
    It should be possible to discuss this without therefore being accused of questioning or doubting the suffering of the victims of the Syrian civil war, or even of the injuries ascribed to the people shown in the videos. This is an issue, and a vitally important one at that, that concerns the extent to which we can trust media reports coming out of Syria and, more generally, the battlefields of the interminable “war on terror”.


    Why would a British doctor working on the front lines of the Syrian civil war, as severely injured Syrians are pouring through the door of her makeshift hospital, either agree or want to record two different versions of an interview on the tragic events unfolding? Even more to the point, why would the BBC record these two versions of an on-the-spot interview and then broadcast them both, separately, showing identical footage but with the doctor making two different accusations depending on which version you watch?


    I’m racking my brains trying to think what possible answer the BBC could give, and for the life of me I can’t think of a good one.


    Did the doctor change her mind seconds after saying the burns were napalm-like and ask for a second take so she could accuse the Syrian government of using chemical weapons? And, if so, how could the BBC reporter, in good conscience, have allowed himself to be used in that kind of overt way?


    Or, even more disconcertingly, did the BBC reporter ask her to redo the interview. Did she, for example, make the chemical weapons claim in their pre-filmed talk and the reporter asked her to make the claim again on camera? But then, how could she have known the victims were exposed to chemical weapons before they’d arrived and she’d seen them? And why would the reporter want her to give a different assessment to the one she made after she’d actually seen the victims?


    And was this interview really as spontaneous as the BBC portray it as being?


    It is difficult not to feel that we, as viewers, are being played here, either by the doctor or the reporter, or both. And if the BBC has either perpetrated this manipulation or conspired in it on this occasion (and got caught out by making the mistake of broadcasting both versions), how many other times has something similar happened in the BBC’s coverage of Syria, or elsewhere for that matter?


    I have a feeling we will never find out.


    Kudos to the followers of Media Lens who discovered the discrepancy. For their discussion see
    http://members5.boardhost.com/medial...380978198.html


    (h/t Craig Murray)

    Source
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

  2. #2

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    Ah, the BBC. I listen from time to time to the World Service. It has some good stuff when it is not political....but I just heard on the BBC World Service on the topic of the Wikileaks CIA hacking - after presenting the facts pretty neutrally, they had an 'expert' on and asked him some questions. The kicker was when he was asked if people would now be more wary to use their TVs, phones, cars, computers etc....to which he said 'in Received English', "They will soon get used to the fact that in exchange for being able to purchase these products, there is always the possibility they will be monitored".

    Maybe they should change their name to BBFC [British Boiling Frogs Corporation].
    If there is no struggle there is no progress. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” - Frederick Douglass
    "Let me issue and control a nation's money and I care not who writes the laws. - Mayer Rothschild
    "Civil disobedience is not our problem. Our problem is civil obedience! People are obedient in the face of poverty, starvation, stupidity, war, and cruelty. Our problem is that grand thieves are running the country. That's our problem!" - Howard Zinn

  3. #3

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    Yep, for TV drama and matters like that they're usually very good. But when it comes to politics and foreign affairs, the ghouls come out of the cellar and take over. It's that side of the BBC that needs to be reformed and a charter - with legal sanctions - compelling them to report impartially and objectively.

    I don't see that happening anytime soon. But it should. I never watch or listen to the BBC news or current affairs programmes now. Ever. It's just so obviously shaped and propagandized.
    The shadow is a moral problem that challenges the whole ego-personality, for no one can become conscious of the shadow without considerable moral effort. To become conscious of it involves recognizing the dark aspects of the personality as present and real. This act is the essential condition for any kind of self-knowledge.
    Carl Jung - Aion (1951). CW 9, Part II: P.14

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