Payers of that compulsory extortionate poll tax called the licence fee, which funds Al Beeb’s activities, have helped to make history!
No doubt the Grand Vizier of the operation, Al Beeb’s Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen, is feeling smug. His own “analyses” of affairs in Egypt and their implications for the wider Middle East continue to be substandard; trotted out for the ten o’clock bulletin by correspondent Lyse Doucet and/or whichever newsreader-cum-reporter happens to have been whisked from London to Cairo for a short stint (Brown...Alagiah...Wilcox...), grey-complexioned Jezza – looking in the harsh glare of the nighttime spotlight like a dyspepsic wraith who’s just as jaundiced as he sounds – provides nothing better in the way of “analysis” than any viewer of average intelligence could do.
And it’s not just me who thinks Jezza’s a woefully prejudiced (against Israel) journalistic mediocrity – just look at the comments on threads on the delectably magnetic Biased BBC website such as these (I promise you that none have been contributed by me):
Jezza’s apprentice, Jon Donnison, seems, by “talking up” a certain Facebook page, to be wanting to help foment a revolution in Gaza
On the weekend, Al Beeb newreader Martine Croxall accepted without demur interviewee Adel Darwish’s claims that there has been no anti-Israel sentiments expressed by those seeking Mubarak’s downfall.
And Clive Myrie, of whom I’d have expected better, since he’s one of Al Beeb’s more searching interviewers,warmly welcomed “Kamal” into the studio – that’s the fraudulently avuncular Kamal Helbawy or, as Al Beeb always bills him, El-Habawy, who knows how to play Western audiences as dexterously as Heifetz played the fiddle – and was soon apparently reassured by the old fellow’s fibs regarding the Muslim Brotherhood and the Peace Treaty.
Al Beeb’s frequent hosting of Helbawy continues despite the BBC's own Andrew Neil, who’d interviewed Helbawy on 3 February, observing on his blog that he was “suspicious” that Helbawy “was painting a misleadingly moderate picture of what the Brotherhood stood for” and that he’s found material which gave a very different side of the story. The Brotherhood’s own proclamations, warned Neil, suggest that it “is not quite the beacon of Western liberalism that our guest would have us believe.” For instance, its manifesto
‘would "bar women and Christians from becoming Egypt's president and establish a board of Muslim clerics to oversee the government, reminiscent of Iran's Islamic state" -- something Kamal El Helbawy denied today (claiming the Brotherhood would be happy with an Egyptian Thatcher as leader!).
The article states that there were a minority of moderates in the Brotherhood who preferred a civic government which respected Islamic principles but that the "hardline trend" had won out. It explains the manifesto was a draft for a Brotherhood political party, which the Mubarak government never allowed to develop. This might explain why our guest claimed the manifesto was never adopted. But there seems little doubt it sums up what the Brotherhood thinks.’Neil, who correctly observes that getting the full measure of the Brotherhood is difficult since most of its material remains untranslated from Arabic, also cites a document
“which suggests the Muslim Brotherhood's attitude toward minorities is not exactly progressive. It reveals that when Alexandria's Administrative Court issued a ruling on April 4, 2006 instructing the Interior Ministry to allow a citizen's identity card to state that the holder was a Baha'i [a religious sect], the Brotherhood reacted with outrage.
In the May 3, 2006 parliamentary debate on the ruling, MB deputies said that the Baha'is were apostates who should be killed. Quoting a hadith attributed to the Prophet Mohammed to support their position, they declared that they would draft a law making Baha'ism a crime and branding the Baha'is apostates. “(http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/dailypolitics/andrewneil/2011/02/more_about_the_muslim_brotherh.html:)
Now, you’d think that Al Beeb – so insufferably “progressive” and politically correct itself in a myriad of ways – would steer clear of the representative of an organisation so unprogressive and unpolitically correct, wouldn’t you? But such is Al Beeb’s agenda, that progressive initiatives by some regimes (and countries) are unavailing, and reactionary policies by some regimes (and countries and – dare I say it – creed) are overlooked.
Look, for example, at this: http://www.robinshepherdonline.com/bbc-highlights-exhibition-of-israeli-war-crimes-in-gaza-by-german-photographer-who-uses-nazi-analogies-with-israel/
and this: http://justjournalism.com/the-wire/bbc-wilders-documentary-relies-on-dubious-sources/
Of course, in view of its agenda, Al Beeb, whose reporters were generous with talk of Mubarak’s “thugs” – perhaps the “thugs” deserved that appellation, but it was a subjective one unworthy of Al Beeb’s obligation to report objectively – never bothered to remind us that in some respects (its outlawing of the horrible and often fatal practice of female genital mutilation, which is in no true way analogous to male circumcision, for example) the regime was progressive and beneficial.