Breaking News: BBC’s Scottish HQ Occupied

I have just received news from activists that they have occupied the Glasgow offices of the BBC. The backlash against the BBC has been unprecedented. Having first slavishly followed the Israeli propaganda line, the BBC is now denying the collection of much needed aid for the long-suffering denizens of Gaza . This is not a trivial matter: as Tony Benn put it, people will die as a consequence of the BBC’s choices. And this in this case, its choices have been dictated by the Israeli embassy.

Update: Here is press statement from those occupying the BBC’s Scottish headquarters in Glasgow which I would encourage all to forward to their media contacts:

Around 5pm this evening about 50 demonstrators occupied the BBC Scotland headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow in a protest over the failure of the BBC to broadcast the DEC appeal for Gaza. (Photos here)

Scottish Television (based just next door) have refused to cover the story citing a policy not to cover demonstrations at rival media institutions.

Police were called and threats of arrests were made.

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Propaganda shines Bright

Note: In the following guest post Paul de Rooij demolishes the latest propaganda screed from Islamophobic political editor of the New Statesman and all round turd Martin Bright (also see this and this):

The New Statesman used to be a leftie magazine, but it has repositioned itself to be yet another vacuous dubious rag. Some of its left-wing writers have been shed – they are incompatible with the current business plan. For an overview of the magazine’s travails see this article by James Robinson. However, if any proof were needed about the New Statesman’s errant ways, then one only needs to appreciate the magazine’s pro-zionist staff writers who applaud the “war on terror”. BICOM, the zionist hasbara organization in Britain, must be very pleased for having sent Bright on an extended all-paid tour of Israel. The indoctrination paid off and certainly his articles will be featured on BICOM’s website.

Martin Bright’s “The horror comes home” is a rather poor article with contorted logic and with no reference to the relevant context. However, despite the fact that it is a crass propaganda piece with many failings, it might still be useful to analyze it.
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Tony Benn Slams the BBC

Tony Benn slams the BBC’s ill-advised decision not to broadcast a Gaza Charity Appeal. He makes the appeal himself.  And kudos to Benn for his refusal to reduce this to a mere humanitarian issue; as he points out, Hamas is the elected government of the Palestinian people.

BBC’s Shame

BBC is finally feeling the heat. Many were angry at the BBC’s propaganda in the service of a foreign state. And now the corporation has chosen to add insult to injury by refusing to allow a charity appeal for Gaza. This has for the first time led to a wave of protests across the country, which are being covered by foreign media. ITV, Channel 4 and Five have already broken with the BBC and decided to broadcast the appeals. The BBC stands in splendid isolation in its refusal

Some have chosen to register it through letters, others through action. My own contribution in this regard, an article highlighting the most egregious cases of BBC propaganda in its coverage of Gaza which first appeared on Electronic Intifada, Counterpunch, Press Action, and Indymedia, is now being published as a front page feature in the next issue of the excellent Adbusters magazine. Some like Jon below have chosen to approach the BBC directly. Others like Corneilius Crowley are reminding the BBC editors of their duties, and their complicity. The indispensable Media Lens has issued a strong action alert which has generated worldwide condemnation for the BBC’s coverage from all across the world.

I would encourage all to lend their voices to this campaign. I’ve highlighted just a few ways this can be done, you can use your creativity to think of more. Here first is Corneilius Crowley‘s letter followed by Jon’s information leaflet.

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Flat N All That

Matt Taibbi takes on porn-stached New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman’s greenish ways. Taibbi goes positively Gonzo on NYT’s resident clown in this hilarious piece. Not to be missed. (Below I’ve also added Taibbi’s take on Friedman’s last bestseller).

When some time ago a friend of mine told me that Thomas Friedman’s new book, Hot, Flat, and Crowded, was going to be a kind of environmentalist clarion call against American consumerism, I almost died laughing.

Beautiful, I thought. Just when you begin to lose faith in America’s ability to fall for absolutely anything—just when you begin to think we Americans as a race might finally outgrow the lovable credulousness that leads us to fork over our credit card numbers to every half-baked TV pitchman hawking a magic dick-enlarging pill, or a way to make millions on the Internet while sitting at home and pounding doughnuts— along comes Thomas Friedman, porn-stached resident of a positively obscene 11,400 square foot suburban Maryland mega-monstro-mansion and husband to the heir of one of the largest shopping-mall chains in the world, reinventing himself as an oracle of anti-consumerist conservationism.

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The BBC refuses to broadcast Gaza charity appeal

The indispensable Media Lens has an important Rapid Response Media Alert. The BBC has already used your license fees to feed you foreign state propaganda, now it also wants you to be complicit in Israeli crimes. Don’t hesitate to register your protest.

Numerous members of the public have written to us expressing their bewilderment at the violence of Israel’s 22-day attack on Gaza killing upwards of 1,300 people and wounding 4,200. To many witnessing the onslaught on their TV screens (especially Al Jazeera) this appeared to be an act of state sadism.

Israeli forces repeatedly bombed schools (including UN schools), medical centres, hospitals, ambulances, UN buildings, power plants, sewage plants, roads, bridges and civilian homes.

On January 15, Helpdoctors.org reported that Al Quds hospital had been “again the target of bombing”. Some 50 patients, 30 in wheelchairs, fled as the burning hospital was “totally destroyed”.

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Now we’ve all seen through the Israeli government’s excuses

Mark Steel asks the trillion dollar question: ‘If the Hamas rockets are so lethal, why doesn’t Israel swap an F-16 for some?

The worrying part about whether the ceasefire in Gaza can hold together will be whether the international community can stop the flow of arms to the terrorists. Because Israel’s getting their planes and tanks and missiles from somewhere and until this supply is cut off there’s every chance it could start up again.

The disregard for life from these terrorists and their supporters is shocking. For example Thomas Friedman, the New York Times columnist, wrote that the purpose of the Israeli attack must be to “inflict a heavy death toll and heavy pain on the Gaza population”.

Replace “Gaza” with “western”, and that could have been written by al-Qa’ida. Maybe this is the problem: the Israelis are writing their policies by downloading statements from an Islamic Jihad website and just changing the place names. Also, if the Israelis think the Hamas rockets are as lethal as they say, why don’t they swap their F-16 fighters and Apachehelicopters for a few of them?

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