BBC ‘Set to Cause Enormous Problems’

Wednesday's Example of Media Bias   —   Posted on November 15, 2006

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-Read the excerpt below from James Taranto's "Best of the Web" post at opinionjournal.com from Sept. 21st.
-Read "Types of Media Bias" in the right column. Then answer the questions.

“The BBC has obtained evidence that Israelis have been giving military training to Kurds in northern Iraq,” according to an online piece by Magdi Abdelhadi, the Beeb’s [BBC’s] “Arab affairs analyst”:

A report on the BBC TV programme Newsnight showed Israeli experts in northern Iraq, drilling Kurdish militias in shooting techniques….

The revelation is set to cause enormous problems for the Kurds, not only in Iraq but also in the wider region.

Israel is seen as an enemy of Arabs and Muslims, both inside Iraq and elsewhere in Arab and Muslim countries.

Kurdish politicians will most likely come under pressure to explain what their semi-autonomous government has been up to….

The news will most probably increase tension between the Kurds and Iraq’s Arab population, both Sunnis and Shias, reinforcing fears that the Kurds are pursuing a secessionist agenda.

This would be a serious blow to efforts for national reconciliation at a time when hundreds of Iraqis are killed every month in inter-communal violence.

Iraq’s neighbours, too, will be outraged.

Iran and Syria, which have long accused the Kurds of allowing the Israelis to operate on Iraqi territory, will most likely demand an explanation from the government in Baghdad. . . .

The BBC report will be like the smoking gun the Arab media has spent years looking for.

The New York Sun’s Daniel Freedman, noting that “BBC reports need often to be taken with a block of salt,” says that even if true, he doesn’t “see what the big deal is. The Kurds have been victimized and betrayed by almost everyone. We’d be happy that Israel is teaching them how to protect themselves.”

Here’s the big deal: The BBC is announcing that its reporting “is set to cause serious problems for the Kurds,” will deal “a serious blow to efforts for national reconciliation” in Iraq, and “will be like the smoking gun the Arab media has spent years looking for.”

It certainly sounds to us as though the BBC, far from merely reporting the facts, is pandering to Arab anti-Semitism and making an active effort to promote discord in Iraq and retribution against the long-persecuted Kurds. Such despicable behavior doesn’t deserve the label “journalism.”

Click here to view the original posting, 2nd item down, under “BBC ‘Set to Cause Enormous Problems,'” at OpinionJournal.com.

Questions

Do you agree with his assertion that the BBC is pandering to Arab anti-Semitism and making an active effort to promote discord in Iraq and retribution against the long-persecuted Kurds”?  Explain your answer.


Scroll down to the bottom of the page for the answers.
























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