BBC Attacks FOX News
Roger Mosey, head of BBC Television News, attacked FOX News today in this article printed at The Guardian:
Finally, we are never immune from accusations of bias. It goes without saying that there is nothing more sensitive than matters of life and death, and the BBC’s audience response has been massively supportive and understanding about the dilemmas we face in reporting terror. There have been two main exceptions. From a smattering of radical websites comes the argument that we are being hypocritical in mourning the dead of London when we allegedly gloried in civilian deaths in Iraq.
This utterly misrepresents the BBC’s reporting of Iraq, where we have always sought to portray the whole picture of events in that country. The second exception is principally Fox News in the United States. A contributor to Fox said after the London bombings that “the BBC almost operates as a foreign registered agent of Hezbollah and some of the other jihadist groups”. On the Fox website today there is an opinion piece, “How Jane Fonda and the BBC put you in danger”. I am writing this in a building which was bombed by Irish terrorists. My colleagues and I are living in a city recovering from the wounds inflicted last week. If I may leave our customary impartiality aside for a moment, the comments made on Fox News are beneath contempt.
Then there has been a controversy about our use of language – particularly the question of whether the BBC banned the word “terrorist”. There is no ban. It’s true the word is contentious in some contexts on our international services, hence the recommendation that it be employed with care. But we have used and will continue to use the words terror, terrorism and terrorist – as we did in all our flagship bulletins from Thursday.
* * * * *
The opinion piece Mr. Mosey is talking about is Bill O’Reilly’s “Talking Point Memo” from Monday Night’s broadcast:
The anti-Bush press and the people who aid them have greatly succeed in turning the war on terror into a “bash America” fest. You have to hand it to those people. They are effective.
But that was before the London terror attack. Will things change now? Don’t count on it. That’s because media like the BBC won’t stop at spin. While in Ireland, I watched in amazement as a BBC interviewer named Gavin Essler baited an incredibly dim Jane Fonda into putting the worst possible face on her country.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
GAVIN ESSLER, BBC: But is it like the Vietnam days in the sense that — is it even worse than the Vietnam days in some ways— because people around the world don’t think that the Bush administration is telling the truth about why they went to war and what the consequences of war in Iraq might be?
JANE FONDA, ACTRESS: I don’t know about better or worse than Vietnam. Externally, I’m not sure it’s worse than Vietnam. We were being so severely criticized around the world because of the war in Vietnam, which is one of the reasons that it ended, because of world opinion.
But I think that the situation inside the United States right now is worse than then. It’s really scary.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
What is really scary is that millions of people all over the world believe what Miss Fonda is saying. They believe the USA is going through another Vietnam-like upheaval, which is far from the truth.
Most Americans are solidly behind the War on Terror. And even the division on Iraq is based on performance, rather than ideology.
The big problem with all this America bashing is that it makes it almost impossible for the USA to get a fair hearing on terror strategy. We’ve been stigmatized. Anything we do to hunt down the true evil-doers is either suspect or rejected out of hand.
HERE is another video clip that the BBC ran lately with Jane Fonda riding on North Korean tanks in Vietnam. You can tell from the video that she is not feeling very sorry for her previous behavior.
I am not sure what Mr. Mosey means when he says the comments on FOX were beneath contempt. I say the comments they broadcast from Jane Fonda are beneath contempt (whether their building was bombed by Irish terrorists years ago or not)!
When a “contributor to Fox said after the London bombings that ‘the BBC almost operates as a foreign registered agent of Hezbollah and some of the other jihadist groups’,” I don’t see where Mr. Mosey makes his argument that the BBC does not operate this way? Shouldn’t he have to prove this? I am sure that it would be more difficult for him to prove that the BBC does non-biased reporting than it would be for the FOX News contributor to show where the BBC has reported news in a manner favorable to the terrorists!
Update: (Thursday AM) Instapundit is noticing that the BBC is getting some backlash for its terror coverage.
Update 2: (Thursday PM) Bill O’Reilly noted tonight that the BBC used the word terrorist in their reporting today!