And of course speaks about the NSA, Snowden, PRISM and much else.
Fresh from his scrimmage with the Murdoch press, Steve Coogan, creator of the comedy classic ‘I’m Alan Partridge’, takes on the casual racism of the BBC’s Top Gear. (via The Guardian)
As a huge fan of Top Gear, I normally regard the presenters’ brand of irreverence as a part of the rough and tumble that goes with having a sense of humour. I’ve been on the show three times and had a go at their celebrity-lap challenge, and I would love to receive a fourth invite. But I think that’s unlikely once they have read this. If, however, it makes the Lads question their behaviour for a second – ambitious, I know – it will be worth it.
I normally remain below the parapet when these frenetic arguments about comedy and taste break out. But this time, I’ve had enough of the regular defence you tend to hear – the tired line that it’s “just a laugh”, a bit of “harmless fun”.
Some of the Lads’ comments again, in case you missed them. “Mexican cars are just going to be lazy, feckless, flatulent, overweight, leaning against a fence asleep looking at a cactus, with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat” (Richard Hammond). Mexican food is “sick with cheese on it” (James May).
Jeremy Clarkson added to the mirth by suggesting that the Mexican ambassador (a certain Eduardo Medina-Mora Icaza) would be so busy sleeping he wouldn’t register any outrage. (He wasn’t and he did.)
OK, guys, I’ve got some great ideas for your next show. Jeremy, why not have James describe some kosher food as looking like “sick with cheese on it”? No? Thought not. Even better, why not describe some Islamic fundamentalists as lazy and feckless?
The following series of talks, on media coverage of Israel, was hosted by Amnesty International, who came under pressure to cancel the event. It was surprising to see reports that the Jewish division of the EDL had shown up at the meeting as I thought they’d been ejected from that noxious organisation for being too extreme. Perhaps they’ll set up there own Israeli Defence League instead: which would probably be more honest, and would cause less confusion about what to call them now.
The concerted Zionist campaign to smear the Middle East Monitor (MEMO) and the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) failed dismally last night as the two groups co-hosted one of their most successful public events to date. The topic up for discussion was “Complicity in Oppression – Does the Media Aid Israel?” The panellists consisted of Prof. Greg Philo who discussed his new book “More Bad News from Israel” (an excellent academic analysis of the media’s skewed coverage of news coming out of Palestine-Israel); Tim Llewellyn, former BBC Middle East correspondent, and Abdel Barri Atwan, expert Palestinian commentator on the Middle East. The discussion was chaired by Victoria Brittain, former associate foreign editor of the Guardian.
Prof. Greg Philo, co-author of Bad News from Israel and More Bad News from Israel
The BBC recently gave Douglas Murray of the neoconservative Center for Social Cohesion a platform to spew his xenophobic bile, but to its dismay, Murray’s lies were quickly demolished by News Statesmen editor Mehdi Hasan in the subsequent debate.
This is what passes for journalism on the BBC. Here is Jody McIntyre, a disabled youth, a wonderful human being, who was assaulted by the police at a student protest. And what does the BBC do? It spends over eight minutes fearlessly interrogating the wheelchair-bound youth with cerebral palsy, prodding him to explain how he invited the attack by ‘provoking’ the police. McIntyre demonstrates that he may be physically impaired, but he is a moral giant. The BBC on the other hand is disabled both morally and ethically.
The disgusting sack of shit conducting the interview is called Ben Brown. Please make sure to register your displeasure: http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/ and please share widely, lest anyone still harbour the belief that the BBC is anything but a state propaganda organ.
UPDATE: Reader Squall has this useful suggestion:
Don’t complain to the BBC. They’re already rejecting complaints about this, and they never agree that they’ve failed to be impartial anyway.
Complain to Ofcom. State that the BBC has broken section 5.1 (Due Impartiality and Due Accuracy in News) of the Broadcasting Code.
by Tom Mills
In August the right-wing pressure group the Tax Payers’ Alliance revealed that the charitable wing of the BBC World Service, the BBC World Service Trust, had received £205,000 under the Foreign Office’s counter-terrorism programme. The money was provided to fund the Trust’s Afghan Woman’s Hour programme, which is broadcast every week in Dari and Pashto. Naturally the Tax Payers’ Alliance took this as evidence of wasteful government expenditure. What it overlooked though is the more worrying fact that a charity closely affiliated to the BBC was knowingly participating in a government propaganda project.
The BBC World Service Trust was set up in 1997 to train journalists and other media workers in the developing world and the former Soviet Union. It launched Afghan Woman’s Hour in January 2005 with the stated intention of empowering Afghan women and promoting their participation in Afghan society. The project was headed by Rachel Ellison, the BBC’s then International Project Director, who received an MBE for her work. Ellison now runs a Corporate Coaching and Media Consultancy with clients including HSBC, the Foreign Office and the investment bank Goldman Sachs which funds business training programmes for Afghan women.
As you know Panorama aired ‘Death in the Med’ this week. Well Jane, I have been in the media game long enough to know that moral depravity and lack of integrity are qualities that are rewarded rather than discouraged in your field of work. With such experience it is impossible for me to take commitments from someone like yourself seriously, and that is why I recorded our conversation clandestinely, a conversation in which you confirmed the agreement that was made between the BBC and myself with yourself and Alys as BBC representatives. In that agreement it was clear that I would agree to the interview if only you included the fact that we let the commandos go. Knowing that was the agreement and anticipating that I was going to confirm it once more after the interview you said;
Well its the point about we didn’t kill the commandos, we had them in… that will be in there don’t worry. (laughing) That’s, that is important for us because obviously they would say they felt their lives were in danger, to which the corollary is, well their lives could have been in danger but we let them go. I think that’s a very strong point.
So, instead of your team honouring its commitment to me, you instead aired a farcical report with multitudes of half-truths, lies, omissions and importantly, Israeli commandos who escaped rather than being set free. Let us be frank Jane, the reason for that is because it is impossible to square the whole angle that we are “terrorists” and extremists” and killers, if we let them go. It just doesn’t fit. So for BBC in this case, when the facts do not work, you lie. In an attempt to justify this, the BBC has written an insulting letter in defence of your fallacious fairytale; this is due to the torrent of complaints that have resulted from Death in the Med.