Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Michael Vestey

Long-time Spectator radio critic Michael Vestey died last week. From his obituary in the Telegraph:
Vestey espoused increasingly Right-wing views. In private, and in his column, he reserved his sharpest vitriol for the BBC, and what he viewed as its descent into mediocrity.
One of the good guys, then.

Update. September 1. Rod Liddle on Vestey in this week's Spectator:
...he had worked for the corporation for more than a quarter of a century and had come, in an almost affectionate way, to utterly and completely loathe it. I don’t mean that he loathed everything the BBC produced, or everybody who worked for the institution; he had untrammelled respect for the reporter out in the field, the producer crafting a programme and so on. No, he loathed what he saw as its corporate stupidity, its inverted pyramid of talentless middle managers and ever expanding legion of deathly accountants, its flaccid, thoughtless, self-flagellating, institutionalised left-liberalism, its craven attitude towards political authority and concomitant arrogance towards the people who paid the licence fee, i.e. the listeners. And he wrote about this in The Spectator every week for the ten years after he left the BBC, aggrieved and weary, until his untimely death at 61 last weekend. In return, you have to say, the BBC loathed him too.
The whole piece is available subscription-free in the comments at Biased BBC thanks to commenter SiN.

(Re The Spectator. I agree with the comments here - it's a five-minute read nowadays. D'Ancona's choice of replacement for Vestey will be interesting.)

"Kofi Annan is posturing...

... like a cunt again."

Yup.

I'm heartily sick of whinging fucking Muslims

There - I said it.

Here's yet another example of Muslim-sensitive censorship noted by the Pub Philosopher.

Pakistan & forced marriages

From the Associated Press (via Dhimmi Watch):
Rape features prominently in forced marriages of foreigners, said Helen Feather, head of consular affairs at the British High Commission. Women forced to wed against their will are often raped so they become pregnant, produce children and, in turn, cement themselves in an unwanted family union. Obtaining British nationality is also sought after by the husband in a bid to improve his economic situation...

Khalida Salimi, director of the Pakistani anti-domestic violence NGO Struggle for Change, said her workers have retrieved numerous foreigners, including young boys chained in village homes, who had been married against their will.

"It will take some time to make people understand that parents can't treat their children as commodities," Salimi said. "But in Pakistan, women and children are generally considered as possessions, not people."

Moonbat Mindset

Thomas Gale Moore is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in economics and has taught at Carnegie Institution of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon University), Michigan State University, UCLA, and in the Stanford Business School. He has written numerous peer-reviewed economic articles and several books.
And he's the biggest idiot you'll read today.

Ambulances For Terror

Michelle Malkin's latest Vent highlights the exploitation of ambulances as tools for terror, the MSM's blinkered complicity in such acts, and the blogosphere's exposure of the fraud.

Road rage?

A man called Omeed mows down 14 people in a Jewish neighbourhood of San Francisco. Just another case of road rage? The Mayor says so.

Pastorious is on the case at the Infidel Bloggers Alliance. So is Michelle Malkin.

Update. Not related to the above case, but also from San Francisco. Cop murdered by armed felons - left-wing media blames the cop. Police spokesman responds with righteous anger. Rottweiler Puppy has the video.

Birds of a feather

A publicly-funded news organisation which is biased against Israel? Surely not! From the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Review:
Undoubtedly the media coverage of Israel’s war against Hezbollah could have been greatly improved, with the very honourable exception of The Australian. By a mile, the worst outlet in the electronic sphere was SBS-TV News.
And what in particular has SBS done to earn the title of Australia's "worst outlet"?
SBS-TV News has made extensive use of reports from Lebanon by BBC reporters...
Yup, that would do it.

(I'm gratified to see that my analysis of Orla Guerin's Bint Jbeil report is given as an example.)

MSM - the enemy within

Melanie Phillips -"The media war against Israel":
It is only the blogosphere which is now performing the most elementary disciplines of journalism: to aspire to objectivity, to separate facts from prejudices, to apply basic checks to claims being made by partisans to a conflict, and to be particularly wary of those with a proven track record of lying... the mainstream media must now be regarded as active accessories to the war being waged against the free world and therefore as a fifth column in that world – an enemy within.
Read it all.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Images

A little test. This is the picture of Beirut's unluckiest property owner (aka the Wailing Woman, Flat Fatima etc.) made available to the world via websites such as Yahoo News. How many people can you see in the background?



Now take a look at this original-sized image sent to me by an anonymous emailer (even this one is reduced slightly in quality to fit the constraints of the free hosting site). Click the thumbnail to view:

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.us


Imagine what bloggers would discover if all news images were available at this level of quality.

Saddam & South Park

I really hope this is true:
TOPPLED dictator Saddam Hussein is being tormented in jail – by being forced to watch HIMSELF in South Park.

The evil tyrant is portrayed in the movie version of the cult cartoon as the Devil’s gay lover.

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut was banned in Iraq on its launch in 1999 for showing Saddam as a homosexual.

Government Minister - MPAC talks "load of crap"

Independent:
When Muslim leaders wrote an open letter a fortnight ago suggesting just that, Foreign Office minister Kim Howells and Home Secretary John Reid fell over one another to condemn the comments as "irrational" and " facile".

The Communities minister, Phil Woolas, has taken up the baton at Bolton Wanderers Football Club, dismissing a young Muslim woman's views as "a load of crap".

Woolas, launching the Government's "tackling extremism" roadshow, got into a heated 10-minute discussion with Komal Adris, 27, there on behalf of the Muslim Public Affairs Committee.

"I told him that foreign policy was a real concern of mine," explains Adris. "He suggested I had an extremist view and my concerns were illegitimate. I accused him of patronising me."

Civil servants tried to usher Woolas away - to no avail. The minister snapped: "That's a load of crap," before walking off.
Get in there Phil!

Update
. Recess Monkey notes the anti-semitic response to Woolas in the MPAC comments (hat tip This Scepter'd Isle)

Monday, August 28, 2006

"Why we don't believe you"

A message for the MSM from Townhall.com's Mary Katherine Ham

Pallywood 2 - al Durah

Second Draft on the death of Muhamed al Durah (via Pajamas Media)



(See Second Draft's first Pallywood film here)

Possible new BBC foreign correspondent?

Quick recap.

The Press Gazette on August 24:
(Channel 4’s Alex Thomson) said that "because a lot of journalists are lazy(*)" much of the British public hold the inaccurate perception that Lebanon had been completely destroyed.

He said that from the parts of Southern Lebanon he had seen, 25 to 30 per cent of the buildings had been destroyed or damaged.

He said that journalists had to genuinely say what they were seeing, which often did not fit with the cliché of "nasty, bullyboy Israel/United States smashing the downtrodden Arabs and Muslims".
Alex Thomson reporting from Bint Jbeil, August 14:
"As you can see, the centre of the town destroyed on a really wholesale scale, more so than since the last civilians left here, though it has to be said that on the outskirts, the suburbs - pretty much untouched by the Israeli attack and invasion. Across the valley, the outer areas of town virtually intact."
Orla Guerin reporting from the same street in Bint Jbeil on the same day:
I haven’t seen a single building that isn't damaged in some way. Many have been flattened, many have been singed. This town has really been wiped out.
And now - George Galloway in southern Lebanon on Talk Sport, August 27:
In these villages are scenes that can barely be described by television, never mind by radio, but I’ll do my best. We’re talking about villages where the schools are flattened, where the hospitals have been attacked, where hardly a single dwelling is undamaged by aerial bombardment… In Bint Jbeil, the worst damaged of the southern Lebanese towns, virtually nothing is left standing.
Rumours that Galloway is being lined up as the BBC’s next Middle East correspondent are unconfirmed.


[(*) "Lazy" - inaccurate, misleading, biased, lying)]



Previously.

Orla Guerin - Busted.
Orla Update - causing a stir.
They came in their thousands.
Orla.
Orla - a reply of sorts.
Orla Watch.
Support for Guerin?

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Iran opens nuclear reactor

From AP:
KHONDAB, Iran - An Iranian plant that produces heavy water officially went into operation on Saturday, despite U.N. demands that Tehran stop the activity because it can be used to develop a nuclear bomb.
Time for another round of strongly-worded letters, I think.

Licence Fee Song

Big hat-tip to Dave S. for drawing my attention to this wonderfully rude song about the TV licence fee (nsfw).

Another BBC Spot the Difference

PA report via the Guardian:
Some 37 Labour Party members in Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett's constituency of Derby South lashed out as they quit for the Liberal Democrats.

The defectors, predominantly Muslims of Pakistani origin, included Mohammed Rawail Peeno, a Labour Party ward chairman, and Masood Akhta, an ex-city and county councillor.
Independent:
A total of 37 Labour Party members in Derby South, mostly from Pakistani backgrounds, announced that they were switching allegiance to the Liberal Democrats in protest at the Government's failure to push for a ceasefire in Lebanon.
Times:
The Derby South members, who are mostly Muslim and of Pakistani origin, were angry that the Foreign Secretary failed to back a ceasefire when violence erupted in the Middle East. The defectors include a ward chairman and a former city councillor.
ITV News:
The majority of the Derby South defectors, who are joining the Liberal Democrats, are Muslims, former Labour Party ward chairman Mohammed Rawail Peeno said.
Sun:
A total of 37 members are switching their allegiances to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Labour "mishandling" of Israel's conflict with Lebanon.

A "very high proportion" of the members from the Derby South constituency are Muslims, a Liberal Democrat spokesman said
.
And now BBC News:
Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett has suffered defections from her local Labour Party over her handling of the Middle East crisis.

The Liberal Democrats say 37 Labour members in Mrs Beckett's Derby South constituency have defected to them.

The defectors, who include some local Labour Party officials, are angry that the government refused to call for an immediate ceasefire in Lebanon.
"Labour Party officials" - another euphemism to add to "plumber" and "British-born". The BBC's butt-clenching refusal to mention the 'M' word or certain ethnicities really has reached the point of self-parody.

Also, note the use of quotation marks in the Sun report:
A total of 37 members are switching their allegiances to the Liberal Democrats in protest at Labour "mishandling" of Israel's conflict with Lebanon.
And now the BBC, which is usually very happy to throw quotes around words it deems opinion ("terrorist" for example):
Mohammed Rawail Peeno, who was chairman of the Arboretum branch of Derby's Labour Party, said he and the other defectors were protesting against the mishandling of the Lebanon crisis... A local Labour source said the defections were about selections and "over inflated egos", not the Middle East.
Why does over inflated egos get the quote treatment whereas mishandling does not?

Thursday, August 24, 2006

All your fakes are belong to us

Excellence from Jawa Report.



(I don't see the blog that spotted Multiple Home Owner Woman mentioned in the credits though!)

Israel Gets It

Jerusalem Post:
Israel is carefully watching the world's reaction to Iran's continued refusal to suspend uranium enrichment, with some high-level officials arguing it is now clear that when it comes to stopping Iran, Israel "may have to go it alone," The Jerusalem Post has learned.

One senior source said on Tuesday that Iran "flipped the world the bird" by not responding positively to the Western incentive plan to stop uranium enrichment. He expressed frustration that the Russians and Chinese were already saying that Iran's offer of a "new formula" and willingness to enter "serious negotiations" was an opening to keep on talking.

"The Iranians know the world will do nothing," he said. "This is similar to the world's attempts to appease Hitler in the 1930s - they are trying to feed the beast."

He said there was a need to understand that "when push comes to shove," Israel would have to be prepared to "slow down" the Iranian nuclear threat by itself.

Support for Guerin?

Here's the headline in the Press Gazette:
"Channel 4’s Thomson supports BBC’s Guerin over bias claim"
I'm a little surprised it's taken so long for Alex Thomson to make some noises in support of his fellow foreign correspondent. However, read what he says and you'll see that far from disproving my claims against Guerin, he actually confirms them:
Channel Four's Alex Thomson has defended BBC reporter Orla Guerin after a comparison of their news reports on the bombing of a Lebanese town led her to be accused of bias.

A member of this year's independent panel on impartiality at the BBC has told Press Gazette that he believes the BBC has improved its coverage of the Middle East as a result of the panel's report.

Guerin was accused of giving an inaccurate account of the destruction of Bint Jbail initially by bloggers, and later by the Israeli embassy in London, which said it looked as though "the BBC's report contains selectivity".

In a report broadcast on 14 August, Guerin said: "I haven't seen a single building that isn't damaged in some way."

But Thomson's report stated: "It has to be said that on the outskirts, the suburbs — pretty much untouched by the Israeli attack and invasion."

Thomson told Press Gazette: "Poor old BBC. As soon as they say anything about Israel they get a lot of flak.

"There is an incredibly organised Zionist lobby out to see bias in the BBC wherever they perceive it"
And I thought I was just a pisshead with a modem. Apparently not. As you can see I’ve added the quote to my header in case I forget.
Speaking to Press Gazette from the Lebanon/Syria border, Thomson said that when analysing the reports, it was important to be aware of the geography of the town.

He said: "I was very careful to say that there is no doubt that the centre of the town itself, which many people refer to as Bint Jbail, has been comprehensively wiped.

"What Orla said about the town centre is absolutely 100 per cent true. Orla is an extremely experienced and professional correspondent."
But, unlike Thomson, Guerin didn't specify the town centre. She walked the same street as Thomson, along the edge of the damaged area, and saw the same buildings. A few yards from the spot where Thomson pointed out the “intact” housing, Guerin said, “I haven’t seen a single building that isn’t damaged in some way... This town has really been wiped out.”

Following this ‘defence’ of Guerin, Thomson goes on to pull the rug from under her:
However Thomson said that "because a lot of journalists are lazy" much of the British public hold the inaccurate perception that Lebanon had been completely destroyed.

He said that from the parts of Southern Lebanon he had seen, 25 to 30 per cent of the buildings had been destroyed or damaged.

He said that journalists had to genuinely say what they were seeing, which often did not fit with the cliché of "nasty, bullyboy Israel/United States smashing the downtrodden Arabs and Muslims".
This is exactly what Guerin did in her Bint Jbeil report. “I haven’t seen a single building that isn't damaged… This town has really been wiped out… The international community may well ask how Israel can explain all this in the name of fighting Hezbollah.” Lazy (and misleading) journalism to fit the cliché of “nasty bullyboy.”

Far from defending Guerin, Thomson has actually damned her.

However, he doesn’t do himself any favours in this next bit:
Thomson added: "That cliché is true in some ways, but what you have to do is use only those examples where it is true, like Qana, such as bombing the Lebanese Red Cross and Israel's refusal to let aid in. You have to point that out."
He really should take a look at EU Referendum and Zombietime.

The rest of the Gazette article deals with a more general defence of the BBC by Stuart Purvis, a member of the governor-appointed panel which earlier this year came to the staggering conclusion that the BBC was biased in favour of Israel. (During the period covering the panel's investigation all BBC journalists knew they were being monitored for a special report.) It comes as no surprise to me to discover that Purvis is happy with the BBC's recent Middle East coverage:
In May, an independent panel investigating the BBC's coverage of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict suggested that a "guiding hand" should be appointed in newsrooms to reduce the potential for bias.

Former editor and chief executive of ITN Stuart Purvis, who sat on the panel, told Press Gazette this week: "From what I see, and I have read a lot of the websites that specialise in anti-BBC stuff, I don't recognise the depth of criticism.

"That's not to say that somebody may not have a point about a particular programme that I didn't see."

Purvis, now a professor at City University, said that many people had noticed attempts by the BBC in its current coverage of the conflict in the Middle East to provide extra context and background — as suggested by the panel.

He said: "Directing people who want to know more to their website has been a definite bonus. To be truthful, I don't think any other British broadcaster can say that they offer anything like that; they simply don't have the depth.

"Competitively ITV News, Channel 4 News and Sky News have all had success on screen.

"But if you take the broader attempts that our panel was concerned with, to try and explain what the hell it is all about, then the ITV and Channel 4 websites don't offer that depth that the BBC does."
Hardly a level playing-field is it?
He added that another positive development to come out of the report was that the "elusiveness of control within the organisation" had been resolved by the BBC's decision to give a more proactive role to Jeremy Bowen as Middle East editor.

Purvis said: "When we looked at coverage a year ago we weren't entirely clear exactly what Jeremy Bowen's role was, other than appearing on the news occasionally.

"Obviously he still has to report to somebody, but I do think they have beefed up the role of Middle East editor, and I think you saw that on screen night after night."
I think we now know what Jeremy Bowen's role is - lead voice in the "Israeli war crimes!" chorus. Bowen is John Pilger's favourite BBC correspondent. 'Nuf said.



BBC: "This is what we do"

BBC bans Motoon - from the radio!

From the Times:
A RADIO comedy show containing a joke about Rolf Harris drawing a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad has been pulled by the BBC because it was deemed too controversial.






BBC: " This is what we do."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This says it all

From the comments at the BBC Editors’ Blog:
At 06:29 AM on 23 Aug 2006, Min wrote:

I live near Seattle, am a former journalist/foreign correspondent. I watch no American network news shows; only the BBC from PBS.Org. It's by far the most balanced coverage available in the English language in the US.

On the Middle East, for print journalism, I'll take Robert Fisk as head and shoulders above everyone else.
A fan of Robert Fisk says the BBC is balanced. Hmmm...

Lord Avebury

Don't know why but this blog post by Lib Dem peer Lord Avebury amused me:
Ping pong disaster, and weight

Just when I had narrowed the gap, JW beat me 2-0 yesterday and 2-1 today, making the score 44-39.

Calculated my body mass index (BMI) today - weight in kilograms (63.6) divided by height in metres (1.725) squared = 21.37. Normal is between 18.5 and 24.9 so I'm almost smack in the middle of the safe range.

Why don't GPs routinely screen their patients by measuring their BMI, and hand them leaflets on the health risks of being overweight if necessary?

Since obesity is caused by excess use of certain ingredients in food like sugar, couldn't those ingredients be made subject to VAT?
Tomorrow's post?
Fluff and nonsense

Harvested 2.97 mg of fluff from my navel today, taking the month’s total to 71.54 mg.

Why don’t we recycle bellybutton lint like we do newspapers and glass and such like? The bin-men could collect it once a month, say, and we could turn it into blankets for Africa or something.

I’m going to write a letter about this.

BBC Lebanon Q&A

The BBC's Martin Asser, famed for his ‘reluctant child next to bomb’ photo, is hosting an online question-and-answer session with residents of the south Lebanese town of Al-Khiyam today. It'll be interesting to see which of the most-recommended questions get asked.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Hezbollah Fauxtography

Oh dear. (Link updated. Includes new picture with Flat Fatima.)

Orla Watch Update

Another Orla email from the BBC via Honest Reporting:
Thank you for your e-mail.

I appreciate that you felt a recent BBC News report from Orla Guerin was biased against Israel.

I should state that Orla Guerin's report on the 14th August from Bint Jbeil in Southern Lebanon made clear at the start that she was reporting on the perspective of Lebanese people returning home in their thousands.

She reported: "I haven't seen a single building that isn't damaged in some way. Many have been flattened. Many have been singed. This town has really been wiped out."

Orla did not say that every building had been wiped out. She was using an impressionistic phrase implying extreme damage which is justified by the scale of what she saw.

Nevertheless, I do acknowledge your concerns and will ensure that your comments on all matters are fully registered and made available to news editors and indeed senior management within the BBC. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC programmes and services and your views will most certainly play a part in this process.

Thank you again for taking the time to contact us.
Got that? "She was using an impressionistic phrase implying extreme damage which is justified by the scale of what she saw."

So she was talking bullshit, but it was justified bullshit.

Who needs facts when you've got the BBC?

Update 2.30pm. I’ve just discovered that last Thursday's Daily Mail had an article about the Bint Jbeil reports from Guerin and Thomson:
The differences were picked up initially by internet bloggers who voiced their criticism of Ms Guerin on the BBC website.

The Israeli Embassy in London also weighed in, saying: 'Unfortunately, we have a long list of concerns relating to the BBC's coverage of the Hezbollah crisis,' said a spokesman.

'With regards to this specific issue, against the background of other TV reports from the same area, it looks as though the BBC's report contains selectivity.

'In this case especially, viewers can judge for themselves whether or not the BBC has portrayed an accurate picture of facts on the ground.'
Indeed.

Now check out what the BBC said in response:
'Anyone who saw the pictures would find it hard to contest the scale of destruction,' said a spokesman.
Anyone who saw just the Orla Guerin footage, and that alone, would find it hard to contest the scale of destruction. In effect the BBC is saying:
“Orla Guerin’s claim that the town was wiped out must be true because it’s all there in a report by Orla Guerin.”
[Stops to bang head against brick wall]

With this logic the BBC could defend its reporters against any accusations:
"Orla Guerin was criticised yesterday for saying that the moon is made of cheese. A BBC spokesman said, 'Orla Guerin’s claim that the moon is made of cheese is supported by evidence in a report from Orla Guerin in which she clearly says the moon is made of cheese.'"
In a recent article titled “Photojournalism in crisis”, David D. Perlmutter of the University of Kansas School of Journalism & Mass Communications discussed the response of media organisations to the recent examples of fauxtography in Lebanon. He concentrates on photographs, but his points are equally valid for all forms of journalistic inaccuracy:
It does not help that certain news organizations have acted like government officials or corporate officers trying to squash a scandal.

Admit mistakes right away. Correct them with as much fanfare and surface area as you devoted to the original image.
The BBC’s response to criticism is very similar to that of government ministers: don’t admit to mistakes, dismiss the accusations, obfuscate, and repeat the original lie with even more conviction. Instead of acknowledging that Alex Thomson’s report disproved Guerin’s exaggerated claim that Israel had wiped out the town, the BBC has re-stated her falsehoods. As Behaimah points out in the comments, the use of ‘impressionistic phrases’ to ‘imply’ a situation is deemed more worthy than actual visual evidence. Why let the facts get in the way of your political agenda, especially when your bosses will back you all the way. Welcome to post-modern news, BBC-style.

Previously.

Orla Guerin - Busted.
Orla Update - causing a stir.
They came in their thousands.
Orla.
Orla - a reply of sorts.
Orla Watch.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Newsnight

Grimer has uploaded a Newsnight piece about the indoctrination of Palestinian children. In two parts, available here.

Is this ethical?

Via USS Neverdock:



He even says the kid didn't want to do it.

Link

Imran Khan: umpire "mini Hitler"

Reuters:
Former Pakistan captain Imran Khan has accused Australian umpire Darrell Hair of acting like a "mini Hitler" and "fundamentalist" following his role in the fourth test debacle against England on Sunday.
Earlier this year Khan claimed that the Mohammed cartoons were worse than the Holocaust, so in the scheme of things Darrell Hair has got off lightly. If Khan had compared him to a Danish cartoonist, that would have been serious.

George Alagiah on multiculturalism

Sri Lankan-born BBC newsreader George Alagiah has had a go at multiculturalism in a new book, currently being serialised in the Daily Mail:
"Multiculturalism was the perfect excuse for those who wanted to ring-fence their communities.

"In continuing to exert control over their communities, these most conservative elements within the immigrant communities could exploit the ample opportunities afforded under multiculturalism - most notably the public funding of difference in the name of diversity...
The radical elements haven't done too badly either.
"We need to re-examine multiculturalism, the policy that has underpinned race relations in this country for the best part of 40 years. We need to accept that a part of the way in which it has been implemented may have delivered something we never envisaged or intended.
I trust he means "we" as in "we of the political and media elites who have been promoting the wonders of multiculturalism for decades", because he's not speaking for those of us who saw through the bullshit years ago. Still, it's nice to see another person slowly coming to his senses.

One third don't trust TV

Telecom Express:
The British public put as much trust in the information they receive from the television as they do in their friends, according to a survey out this week.

The research by Telecom Express, an interactive marketing company, also found that traditional media brands are far more trusted than websites or blogs.

Respondents were asked what percentage of the information they received from various sources they believed to be accurate, true and unbiased.

The most trusted source of information was television, scoring 66 per cent, just as highly as family and friends.
Or put another way, 1/3 of those asked don't trust TV as an information source.
The most marked contrast was between the credibility of established media brands, compared with websites (36 per cent) and blogs (24 per cent).
Telecom Express clients include the BBC, Sky, Channel Five, Guardian, Telegraph, Daily Mail, Times, News of the World, Financial Times, Evening Standard, magazine publisher EMAP and newsagent chain WH Smith.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Unluckiest Property Owner Woman?

Tim Blair, Pamela at Atlas Shrugs, and a few emailers (Tom P was first) think there may have been another sighting of Beirut's unluckiest property owner woman, this time in a Lebanese border village.

The first five images here are definitely her. The small sixth picture is a possible. The seventh photo is the new image taken in Aita al-Shaab, August 19. I don't think it's her. (Click to enlarge)

"Braveheart my ass!"

Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke, visiting the commentary box during a Red Sox game, discover that the first baseman Kevin Youkilis is Jewish, sparking a wonderful tirade against Mel Gibson:
"Where's Mel Gibson now? Where's Mel Gibson now? He's in rehab and Youkilis is at first base!... Braveheart my ass!"
More laughs here than an entire series of The Now Show.

Update Aug 22. The original link went down due to copyright infringement. I've found another, but I doubt it will last long.



(Trouble loading? Try here.)

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Hugh Sykes again

In this week’s From Our Own Correspondent, the BBC’s Hugh Sykes returns to his favourite theme - Katyushas ain’t so bad. (No BBC transcript available but it's the first report if you can bear to listen online).
More than a thousand Lebanese civilians died in this brutal conflict; fewer than one hundred civilians perished in Israeli. Thousands of homes were destroyed in Lebanon; a few dozen were hit by Hezbollah rockets in Israel. And the Hezbollah weapons, despite the presumed generosity of their Iranian benefactors, are hit or miss devices which cannot be accurately guided after they’ve been launched.
Look Hugh, it's like this. Hezbollah endangers Lebanese civilians by using them as cover to fire rockets. Israel provides bomb shelters for its people.

"despite the presumed generosity of their Iranian benefactors" Oh, give me strength.

"Hit or miss devices which cannot be accurately guided" Which makes them more accpetable?

It’s as if the BBC has decided to respond to criticism of its Middle East coverage by saying, “Screw you. Just look how pro-Hezbollah we can be when we really try!

Pro-Hezbollah song on the BBC

On this week's The Now Show (a topical “comedy” series on BBC Radio 4 hosted by, and aimed at, the sort of people who go on Stop The War marches) resident songsmith Mitch Benn offered up a Beach Boys-style paean to Hezbollah. Listen here (mp3, 800k, 1 min 50) or via the website (link above, approx 24 mins into the show). Note the rapturous applause from the Edinburgh audience for this terrorist-praising ditty.

Lyrics:
Everybody in the Lebanon
We’ve got a ceasefire, a ceasefire
Shake off the dust and get your gladdest rags on
It’s a ceasefire, a ceasefire
Come on down we’ll have a street party
In the ceasefire, a ceasefire
Or at least we’ll have a party where the street used to be
Cos it’s ceasefire, a ceasefire
Come on over to what’s left of my place
Have a double in the rubble and get out of your face
And nearly everybody’s dead so there’ll be plenty of space
In the ceee - ease - fire!

Sing Hez-bo-hez-bo-la-la-lah!
Hez-bo-hez-bo-la-la-lah!
Hez-bo-hez-bo-la-la-la-la-la-lah!

Everybody do whatever you please
Cos it’s a ceasefire, a ceasefire
Openly giggle at the Israelis
Cos it’s ceasefire, a ceasefire
Everybody come compare your scars
Cos it’s ceasefire, a ceasefire
We got shrapnel wounds and cholera
But there’s a ceasefire, a ceasefire
Bring your few surviving friends
And tonight we’re gonna party like the fun never ends
Cos you know by Monday morning they’ll be bombing us again
But there’s a ceee - ease - fire!

Sing Hez-bo-hez-bo-la-la-lah!
Hez-bo-hez-bo-la-la-lah!
Hez-bo-hez-bo-la-la-la-la-la-lah!
Of course, it's all in the name of satire so I guess it must be OK.

Would the BBC air an equivalent pro-Israeli song with lyrics about laughing at the Lebanese and partying on down ahead of the next round of Katyusha attacks? I very much doubt it.


Update. Mitch Benn has a My Space site, where there’s a song about right-wing Americans called “This Ain’t Your Country Any More”:
“We are God’s chosen people
We’re mean, we’re paranoid
We’re stupid and we’re proud”
Sic him, my Yankee friends. And perhaps some Israelis would like to pass on their thoughts, too.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Orla Watch

The Guardian has been following today's goings-on at the BBC Editors' Blog:
Particular criticism has been levelled at BBC correspondent Orla Guerin. Bloggers have compared comments she made in a recent report about the Lebanese town of Bint Jbeil, in which she said it had "really been wiped out", with those of Channel 4's Alex Thomson, who said that even though the centre had been "destroyed on a really wholesale scale", the suburbs had been "pretty much untouched".
Not quite the full story, but at least it's a mention.

And from Richard Littlejohn today:
What if we were to have fought World War II under the same rules which apply to the war on terror?

While V2 rockets rained down on London, the Manchester Guardian would be calling Britain's response "disproportionate" and demanding Bomber Harris be prosecuted for war crimes.

There'd be no internment camps on the Isle of Man. Instead, ministers would meet leaders of the alienated German "community" to hear their demands for a Bank Holiday to commemorate the Fuhrer's birthday and the introduction of Waffen SS patrols in German neighbourhoods.

There would be protests about shooting down Messerschmitt pilots, whose only offence was "flying while German".

As the tanks rolled in to Berlin, Orla Guerin would be filmed standing in Hitler's bunker, tears streaming down her cheeks, complaining about civilian casualties.

Meanwhile, Churchill would be floating around the Caribbean on Dame Vera Lynn's catamaran, We'll Meet Again.

He did say he'd fight them on the beaches.

The Sleeping Giant

In response to the Open Letter to Mr Blair from the British Muslim Community comes an Open Letter to Tony Blair from the Silenced Majority:
So when the Muslim groups talk of Britain's policies being "ammunition to extremists," what they mean is that Britain must suspend all support for Israel and continue as before in the connivance with Arab and Muslim states for the destruction of the Jewish people.

And on this constant threat of the "radicalization" of the Arab and Muslim street, I should remind the Muslim groups, and indeed Muslim countries and communities around the world, of Dryden's warning — "beware the fury of a patient man."

It is the Arab and Muslim "street" that should be worried about the peoples of the West becoming "radicalized" by the incessant provocations and support for the murder and terror inflicted on the Jewish people in particular, and the West in general.

The Arab and Muslim "street" would do well to remember the words of Admiral Yamamoto after the Japanese attack on Pearl Habor: "I fear we have awoken a sleeping giant and have instilled in him a terrible resolve."

– John Campbell
I hope he's right.

Rushdie on Greer

Via Blognor Regis:
"What people don't often say about Germaine Greer is that she is barking mad. She is an idiot."
Heh.

Orla - a reply of sorts from the BBC

Biased BBC commenter Oscar has received the following email (added emphasis mine):
Thank you for your e-mail regarding BBC News.

I understand that you feel the reports, in particular Orla Guerin's reports, are bias (sic) in favour of Hezbollah.

The BBC is committed to coverage of events in the Middle East which is scrupulously impartial, fair, accurate, balanced, independent and covers a wide range of opinion. The BBC does not appoint any reporter or correspondent unless they have the experience and knowledge required. Correspondents such as Orla Guerin have a wealth of experience in broadcasting and have a thorough knowledge of the subject area to which they are reporting. Orla Guerin is working in the most difficult and dangerous of circumstances but, like all BBC correspondents, she will continue to provide coverage which is both balanced and wide-ranging.

Nevertheless, I appreciate that you feel this is not the case and I can assure you that your comments have, consequently, been fully registered on our daily logs. This is an internal document which will be made available to the relevant news departments, along with senior BBC management.

You may wish to visit the BBC News website for full details of events in the Middle East:

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/default.stm

I hope that you will continue to use the BBC as a source of your information on the conflict and may I thank you, once again, for taking the time to contact us with the strength of your views.

Regards

Amy Bennet
BBC Information
Not good enough. We already know that Guerin’s Bint Jbeil report caused a stir in editorial meetings. This reply is little better than the sort of thing one expects from an on-message politican responding to questions from a sneering BBC news anchor. The difference is - we can vote out our politicians.

WTF?!

Burning Our Money reports that the Muslim Council of Britain, a registered charity, has not filed any accounts with the Charities Commission since it was founded in 1997. Furthermore, the taxpayer has funded it to the tune of at least £700,000. Follow the link for more. (Hat tip Charles at Islamophobic)

Bush and Camus

Mr Eugenides notices the BBC's subtle-as-a-brick-in-the-face summary of George Bush's summer reading.

Update. Screencap:

The BBC and Hezbollah

The BBC's Jim Muir on reporting restrictions in Lebanon:
“There have basically been no restrictions on reporting as such - there’s been no pressure in any direction with regard to anything we actually say, indeed very little interaction of any sort. There was however an issue at the beginning of the conflict over the live broadcast of pictures of rockets going out from locations visible from our live camera position. We were visited by Hezbollah representatives and told that by showing the exact location of firing we were endangering civilian lives, and that our equipment would be confiscated.”
So Hezbollah admitted to the BBC that they were firing from civilian areas. Did Muir or any other BBC journalist report this?

Either Muir is playing down Hezbollah's influence over reporters in Lebanon or the terrorists trust the BBC more than other news organisations such as CNN, NBC, CBS and Time:
CNN senior international correspondent Nic Robertson admitted that his anti-Israel report from Beirut on July 18 about civilian casualties in Lebanon was stage-managed from start to finish by Hezbollah. He revealed that his story was heavily influenced by Hezbollah’s "press officer" and that Hezbollah have "very, very sophisticated and slick media operations."

When pressed a few days later about his reporting on the CNN program Reliable Sources, Robertson acknowledged that Hezbollah militants had instructed the CNN camera team where and what to film. Hezbollah "had control of the situation," Robertson said. "They designated the places that we went to, and we certainly didn’t have time to go into the houses or lift up the rubble to see what was underneath."

Robertson added that Hezbollah has "very, very good control over its areas in the south of Beirut. They deny journalists access into those areas. You don’t get in there without their permission. We didn’t have enough time to see if perhaps there was somebody there who was, you know, a taxi driver by day, and a Hezbollah fighter by night."

Yet Reliable Sources, hosted by Washington Post writer Howard Kurtz, is broadcast only on the American version of CNN. So CNN International viewers around the world will not have had the opportunity to learn from CNN’s "Senior international correspondent" that the pictures they saw from Beirut were carefully selected for them by Hezbollah.

Another journalist let the cat out of the bag last week. Writing on his blog while reporting from southern Lebanon, Time contributor Christopher Allbritton, casually mentioned in the middle of a posting: "To the south, along the curve of the coast, Hezbollah is launching Katyushas, but I’m loathe to say too much about them. The Party of God has a copy of every journalist’s passport, and they’ve already hassled a number of us and threatened one."

Robertson is not the only foreign journalist to have misled viewers with selected footage from Beirut. NBC’s Richard Engel, CBS’s Elizabeth Palmer, and a host of European and other networks, were also taken around the damaged areas by Hezbollah minders. Palmer commented on her report that "Hizbullah is also determined that outsiders will only see what it wants them to see."
Still, it's hardly surprising that Hezbollah seems far happier to let the BBC do what it wants when its reporters are coming up with stuff like this.

Orla

Still no response from the BBC on Orla Guerin.

What exactly is the point of the BBC’s much-publicised new Editors’ Blog? Seems like another waste of licence payers’ money to me.



Further to this, here's a little collection of Orla "They came..." intros (mp3, 30 secs). And just for good measure, here's a recent Fergal Keane one too. It must be module 1 of the BBC's "How to be a Foreign Correspondent" course.

France - true to form

From today's Washington Post editorial:
THROUGHOUT this summer's crisis in relations between Israel and Lebanon, France has been liberal with its advice and admonitions, as befits the major power it claims to be. Now that the time has arrived to assume the responsibility of a major power, however, France appears suddenly bashful. The consequence for the peace deal it helped broker could be calamitous.

During the fighting that began when Hezbollah crossed into Israel to kidnap two soldiers and kill several others, France pressed for Israel to cease its military actions. At one point, it supported Arab demands that Israel withdraw before an international force was in place. Just this week, France's foreign minister was telling Israel to end its blockade of Lebanese ports and airports…

And, U.N. officials were led to believe, France would take a major role in leading and supplying troops to this international force, which would in turn encourage other nations to participate. Asked on the day the resolution was adopted about the deployment of the U.N. force, France's U.N. ambassador said, "I think it can be very swift."

Well, not so swift, it turns out, and possibly not so robust. Now that Israel is withdrawing and Hezbollah fighters are emerging with a swagger, French President Jacques Chirac says he is ready to send only an engineering company of 200 soldiers to join 200 serving in the current, and impotent, U.N. force in Lebanon.
What's the French for "Lying cowardly bastards"?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Holocaust denial cartoons

DFH reader Hershy has emailed to ask if I could point out this simple fact:
"Iran has released those images from their Holocaust denial cartoon comp and not a single Jewish organisation has burnt down an Iranian Embassy."
Happy to oblige, Hershy.

More on Guerin

Honest Reporting on Guerin's Bint Jbeil propaganda. (Hat tip Max)

MSM radicalises Muslims

From the BBC:
A company called Ethnic Focus regularly surveys ethnic minorities and advises public bodies - including the police - about how to communicate with particular communities.

Saber Khan, its research director, says that while digital TV is popular among Asians there are clear differences between the generations.

"Forty per cent of Asians are under 25 and that basically means you are talking about second and third generation people. According to our regular surveys, they are overwhelmingly consumers of mainstream news - mainstream newspapers and TV."

This view is supported by Dr Yunas Samad, a senior lecturer in sociology at Bradford University, who has also studied the relationship between British Pakistanis and the media.

But he says the fact that younger Muslims now watch the mainstream channels doesn't stop them getting radical ideas.

"One of the things we kept trying to ask was 'Where did you get these kinds of views that actually mobilised you?' and they came back and said 'We just watch the TV, we just watch mainstream media'.
You know, like the BBC.

"You people are all the same"

The New York Sun's Daniel Freedman recounts a meeting with Orla Guerin. (Hat tip Daniel Freedman!)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Media Face/True Face

This is good. Dan Sytman has taken an American NPR appearance by the Guardian’s favourite radical Islamist Azzam Tamimi (OK, one of the Guardian’s favourite radical Islamists) and interspersed it with extracts from one of his ranting jihad-demanding speeches. Via LGF (where it’s bit easier to listen to - sorry Dan, but it is.)

Bloggers threatened by thought police

Paul Belien and Inigo Wilson.

Please offer both your support.

Beirut destruction

Look what Lebanese government officials have told the LA Times (via USS Neverdock):
Although roads and bridges have been hit all over the capital, most of the damage in Beirut has been limited to a single square mile of the southern suburbs...
Is that the impression we were given by the MSM? I don't think so.

(And if those leaving comments in support of Orla Guerin's Bint Jbeil report are to be believed, the suburbs don't count anyway. By that reckoning - apart from some roads and bridges - Beirut was completely unscathed.)

"They came in their thousands..."

A couple of weeks ago Glasgow Herald columnist Melanie Reid attacked the cliched, simplistic and exploitative victim journalism employed by BBC reporters in Lebanon. She offered as the prime example “the McGonagall of grief... Fergal Keane, BBC pain and suffering correspondent”. Spot on.

The article inspired this letter on August 3:
I've been thinking for months that the BBC must send correspondents to special courses to be taught that unique, depressing intonation. It also appears mandatory that any incident involving more than three people must start with "They came to . . . " I watched Orla Guerin two nights ago, who has been moved from Iraq to Congo. Despite reporting the inherently good news that Congo was having its first elections in decades, she still managed to depress me. Best of all, as soon as I heard her name, I knew the report would start "They came in their . . . XYZ" and I was not disappointed...

Neil Brownlee, Rodney Street, Edinburgh.
Since then, Guerin has of course moved on to Lebanon. Here, once again, is her wilfully misleading report from August 14. Guess what her opening words are?



(Trouble loading? Try here.)

(This Guerin report is currently today's fifth most-linked news and blog item on You Tube)

BBC's Arabic TV

From the Scotsman:
THE BBC's £19-million-a-year Arabic TV service will launch next autumn with a mission to challenge the dominance of al-Jazeera.

The corporation has begun recruiting senior staff for the operation which will broadcast free 12 hours a day to anyone with satellite or cable TV connection.

Salah Negm, news editor for BBC Arabic Television, said: "We're aiming to be fast, modern in style and outlook; strong on analysis with a wide international perspective.

"It will maintain the BBC values of accuracy, editorial independence, impartiality, while balancing a wide diversity of views."
Will Orla be reporting for it?

Orla Update - Causing A Stir!

Someone posting at a Times Educational Supplement forum has linked to my post about Orla Guerin. One commenter, tamnat5, who says her husband (Mr TN) is a BBC journalist, reports (21st post in the thread, 10:18 this morning):
Mr TN has just told me that the Orla Guerin piece has caused a stir within editorial meetings. Another headache for them all to deal with! I doubt you will have seen it on their audio/video cuttings!
I’m not entirely sure what the last line means, but the rest of it is clear enough.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Welcome to my vision of hell

San Franciscan moonbats celebrating Fidel Castro’s birthday through interpretive dance. (Via Val Pieta, standing in for Michelle Malkin)

Orla Guerin - Busted!

Two reports from Bint Jbeil from yesterday's news, one from Orla Guerin on the BBC (watch the full report here**) and the other from Alex Thomson on Channel 4 News (click here to view. Window Media Player only. 2 mins in.) (Added emphasis mine in all spoken extracts)

First this sequence from Orla Guerin on the BBC (approx 2:30 in).

"We've been walking for a few minutes now. The damage here is absolutely incredible."
Camera pans round to Guerin.

"I haven’t seen a single building that isn't damaged in some way. Many have been flattened, many have been singed. This town has really been wiped out."


And now Alex Thomson on Channel 4 News.

"As you can see, the centre of the town destroyed on a really wholesale scale, more so than since the last civilians left here, though it has to be said that on the outskirts, the suburbs - pretty much untouched by the Israeli attack and invasion."
Cut to a shot across the valley which then pans to the street they're on.

"Across the valley, the outer areas of town virtually intact. The central streets, though, in a pitiful state."
Note the building at end of the street to which we've just panned because we're heading there in a minute.

There are then a couple of cut-away segments, one of Red Cross workers collecting a dead body and one of Thomson looking at a child's schoolbook. We then rejoin him at the end of the above street, turning left up the hill. (Note - this is beyond the car to the left of the red arrow above.)

Look familiar? (Click to enlarge):



And just to prove it's the same spot:


'A' is from the long shot of the street in Thomson's film (the one with the red arrow in the image above), 'B' shows Thomson rounding the corner, and 'C' is from the Guerin footage.


Same van, same building. We are at the same place where Guerin said: "We've been walking for a few minutes now. The damage here is absolutely incredible. I haven’t seen a single building that isn't damaged in some way. Many have been flattened, many have been singed. This town has really been wiped out."

But thanks to Alex Thomson's report we now know that Guerin has just walked up the same street as him, the one with the view across the valley to "the outer areas of town virtually intact". At the same time Guerin was saying "This town has really been wiped out", she could look over her cameraman's shoulder and see this:

Guerin is clearly talking rubbish. She wants the viewers to think that the entire town has been destroyed because that fits far better with her anti-Israeli message. She continues:
"The more we walked the worse it got. 7,000 people used to live here. The international community may well ask how Israel can explain all this in the name of fighting Hezbollah."
Let's just hope the international community doesn't rely on Guerin's wilfully misleading reports for evidence.

At times the piece sounds like a political broadcast on behalf of Hezbollah. Here are some more snippets:
Here in the south of Lebanon no-one doubts that Hezbollah won this war... (they) told me that they’d had to live as refugees for a month but Hezbollah had made them proud... In a month of fighting, Israel couldn’t beat Hezbollah - probably not how its ally the United States expected things to turn out. For George Bush this is a bad chapter in the war on terror... To many here and in the Arab world Hezbollah are covered in glory...”
When her team find one of Hezbollah's anti-tank guns mounted on a jeep, she offers no insight into its origins. Was it Iranian? The question doesn't occur to her. She's only interested in the weapon for its symbolic value:
"It’s with weapons like this that Hezbollah did battle against one of the most powerful armies in the world."
Iain Dale thinks the BBC should sack Guerin just on the basis of the lack of objectivity shown in this report. I'm inclined to agree, but this goes beyond mere bias - that's par for the course for the BBC. Here Guerin has knowingly given a false impression of the destruction of Bent Jbeil for the purpose of further demonising Israel in the eyes of the "international community".

Yes she should be fired. The BBC will probably promote her.


Update 9pm. From a David Rowan interview with Orla Guerin in the Evening Standard, December 10, 2003:
"I would only be concerned if it was established that I made a mistake about a matter of fact," she says. "People's subjective perceptions of me I pay no attention to. They will hear what they want to hear. What people are saying is not, 'We want you to be fair and impartial', but, 'We want you to be on our side'. And we're not on anybody's side."
No, fair and impartial will do just fine. This report is neither.

From the same interview:
Even before she has sipped her caffe latte, Guerin has questioned Israel's claim to be a democracy, compared its press freedom with Zimbabwe's, and accused its officials of paranoia.
Oh, and just for the record, she's married to Michael Georgy:"And he's not Palestinian." However, he does work for (ahem) Reuters.

(Also, her name is an anagram of "a ruin ogler". This is not in the Standard interview, though.)

**Further update 10.15pm. The Guerin report is now available at You Tube thanks to Grimer, who is building a great library of BBC stuff (and check out the tags for Guerin).


Update August 16, 11am: "the Orla Guerin piece has caused a stir in editorial meetings". Link.

Update August 22. More updates.

Threats and demands

From the Daily Mail, 'moderate' Muslims using the threat of terror as a bargaining tool:
Muslim leaders summoned to talks with the Government on tackling extremism in their midst called for public holidays to mark their religious festivals.

The Whitehall meeting was set up in response to last week's airline bomb plot discovery.

Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly had prepared an uncompromising message on the need to tackle dangerous radicalism.

But, in what she admitted were 'sharp' exchanges, some senior Muslim figures turned the tables yesterday and made a series of demands which also included the introduction of Sharia law for family matters.

Dr Syed Aziz Pasha, secretary general of the Union of Muslim Organisations of the UK and Ireland, said: 'We told her if you give us religious rights, we will be in a better position to convince young people that they are being treated equally along with other citizens.'

Dr Pasha said Miss Kelly had agreed to look at the proposals, though her spokesman insisted later that she did not favour any legal change which would give 'special treatment' for the Muslim community.

Some of the 30 moderate Muslim leaders at the meeting told Miss Kelly that important days in their two main religious festivals - Ramadan and Eid-ul-Adha - should be made public holidays for followers of the faith.

Sharia law, which is practised in large parts of the Middle East, should also be introduced in Britain, they argued. While it specifies stonings and amputations as routine punishments for crimes, Dr Pasha said he wanted it only for family affairs.
For now anyway. The stonings and amputations can come a bit later.

I'll say it once again - this is not an Islamic country. If there are Muslims who don’t like this fact they should fuck off and live somewhere else, and it’s time our politicians started saying as much.

Passenger Profiling

Monday's Newsnight had a segment on passenger profiling. A couple of quotes...

Muhammad Abdul Bari, secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain: “It’s a form of racism.”

Ali Dizaei from the National Black Police Association: “What you are suggesting is that we should have a new offence in this country called travelling whilst Asian.”

And yet white English men have been subject to profiling for years.

27 June 2006:
Police at Gatwick Airport have stopped 10 known hooligans from travelling to Germany for the World Cup.

Since the start of the tournament on 9 June, Sussex Police have completed 500 spot checks as part of a national campaign to stop offenders travelling.

More than 230 flights have also been checked as part of Operation Jardon.
9 November 2005:
Football hooligans planning to travel to England's match with Argentina in Geneva, Switzerland have been urged to think again by police.

Starting on Thursday, Operation Detergent will target known or potential trouble makers planning to fly from Manchester Airport.
16 August 2005:
Police are mounting a major operation at two London airports in an attempt to stop known or potential troublemakers travelling to an England football game.

Officers will be patrolling Heathrow and City airports ahead of, and in the days after, Wednesday's international friendly match in Denmark.
31 August, 2004:
Police in Manchester will be keeping a close eye on football hooligans who plan to travelling abroad for the World Cup 2006 qualifying matches.

Fans heading to Austria and Poland for the World Cup qualifying rounds face strict security screening.
And you know what? It works.

Monday, August 14, 2006

More from the Chief Fauxtographer

The same building destroyed again and again and again.

Guess which ex-Reuters employee was involved...

Palestinian Justice

As not seen on the BBC - the death of Bassem Malah at Riehl World View.

Flat Fatima

The People's Cube be shoppin'.

More Green Helmet Guy propaganda

Richard North responds to an AP puff-piece on Green Helmet Guy with an in-depth analysis of the images from Qana over at EU Referendum. And he's not messing about:
"...we have spoken to sympathetic Members of Parliament on this side of the pond and are exploring the possibility, in the new Parliamentary session, of a Select Committee inquiry on the way the media have been corrupted, using the Qana incident as a case study, but bringing in the other well-documented evidence of media fraud. We ask our cousins across the Atlantic to do likewise, in the hope that we could perhaps mount a parallel Congressional Committe of Inquiry, examining in depth how the process of newsgathering has become corrupted.

Clearly, if the likes of Associated Press cannot even recognise how corrupt it has become, then there is little hope of internal procedures and inquiries making any improvements. It has come to the stage where external agencies must take a hand.
"
Some journalists, like Tim Ruttens, have recognised the serious implications for their profession, but they are in the minority. Too many follow the Jeremy Bowen line and regard the blogosphere as "background noise" to be "tuned out". Perhaps a Select Committee inquiry will help clear their sanctimonious ears.

Muslim grievances

Max Hastings in the Guardian:
Whatever the truth about last week's frustrated aircraft bomb plot, we cannot doubt that Britain faces a serious and ongoing threat from violent fanatics undeserving of the smallest sympathy. Yet we shall defeat them only when our Muslim community at large perceives that its interests are identified with Britain's polity.
Good grief, and this from a former editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Seems like a good time to re-post this gem from the Phil Hendrie show.



Update. Alison at Making Headlines:
"I for one have had enough. How do I, incidentally, address this grievance I have with them?"

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Sunday papers

Some news and views related to the terror plot from the Sundays.

Observer:
The full extent of the terror threat facing Britain became apparent last night as security sources revealed that 'up to two dozen' terror investigations were operating across the country and that a number of suspects associated with last week's plot to bring down 10 airliners remained at large.

Pakistani intelligence sources alleged that one of the men arrested in connection with the bomb plot had been held following the London terror attack on 7 July last year. British security sources also linked the present investigation to that atrocity, saying the operation that led to Thursday's arrests began days after the 7 July attack. There are also claims that voicemails discovered after the first attack link the two events.
Mail on Sunday:
Terror suspects involved in the plot to bring down passenger jets over the Atlantic posed as relief workers to travel to Al Qaeda training camps in Pakistan.

Key members of the British terror gang are understood to have travelled to the country's lawless border region with Afghanistan to learn bomb-making techniques.
Sunday Times:
SECURITY sources believe that a man arrested in last week’s anti- terror raids in Britain is Al-Qaeda’s leader in this country.

Home Office officials say that one of those arrested is suspected not only of masterminding the foiled plot to bring down up to nine transatlantic airliners, but also of involvement in other planned atrocities over the past few years.

They believe that he was instrumental in sending the ringleader of at least one previous British terror plot for training at a camp in Pakistan last year. He is described by counter-terrorist officials at MI5 as the senior figure in a British terror network involving Kashmiri, north African and Iraqi cells.
Sunday Telegraph:
Prof Anthony Glees, the director of Brunel University's centre for intelligence and security studies, criticised university authorities for ignoring the threat to national security in their midst. "Institutions have not sought to address the problem: they have instead sought to undermine those who have raised the issue," he told this newspaper.

Extremist Muslim groups had been detected at more than 20 institutions, both former polytechnics and long-established universities, over the past 15 years, Prof Glees said...

According to security sources, "several" of the 23 people still in custody over the alleged plot last week are suspected of links to universities, appearing to confirm growing fears that campuses are providing Britain's biggest security threat.
Sunday Times leader comment:
Why is Britain such a breeding ground for these young men, for that is what most of them are? Much can be ascribed to timidity on behalf of the authorities, wedded as they are to a multiculturalism that isolates many young men in ghettos and a reluctance to espouse British values through our schools and institutions. That appeasement was epitomised by the sanctuary offered to extremist Islamic groups in Britain — “Londonistan” — in the pathetic hope that it might offer some form of immunity from violence.
Echoed by Iain Martin in The Telegraph:
The elephant in the room is multiculturalism, which has become almost a religious tenet for much of our governing class.
Nick Cohen:
If they think about fascism at all, the majority of people in rich countries believe it died in the Forties. The idea that people will murder without limit for the impossible dream of an imperial caliphate still makes no sense to them. Within living memory, Europeans murdered without limit in the name of the equally impossible dreams of the 1,000-Year Reich and New Roman Empire, but modern Europeans can't see that the fevers they incubated have infected others.

So they pretend that Islamism doesn't exist or rationalise it as an understandable, if regrettably bloody, critique of Anglo-American foreign policy, as if what we are up against is the armed wing of the Liberal Democrats. I wonder how many explosions it will take to blow their comfort blanket away.
(You can imagine how well that's gone down in the comments.)

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Solidarity

ISRAEL!

Ignore shit like this from the wankers at the BBC and just do what you've got to do.

Another New Blog

Green Helmet Guy and White T-shirt Guy both have them, and now Unluckiest Property Owner Woman has her own blog too.

Hezbollah debriefing

Video of a captured Hezbollah terrorist, involved in the abduction of the two Israeli soldiers a month ago, being questioned by the Israelis.

UN ceasefire resolution

From AP News via the Guardian:
The United Nations Security Council voted unanimously today to approve a resolution aimed at ending the month-long Lebanon crisis.

...authorises the deployment of a 15,000-strong UN peacekeeping force with beefed-up powers working together with 15,000 Lebanese troops in the south of the country...

The resolution authorises the UN force, known by its acronym Unifil, to take "all necessary action" to stop the area it patrols from being using for any kind of hostile activities.

But in a significant concession to the Lebanese it will still have a traditional peacekeeping mandate, under Chapter 6 of the UN charter.

A Chapter 7 mandate, which Israel had wanted, allows troops to use military force to enforce peace.
With no mandate to enforce the peace, UNIFIL is worse than useless.

Israpundit:
Increasing UNIFIL to 15,000 peacekeepers? Sweet!
* 15,000 construction workers who will rebuild infrastructure for Hezbollah.
* 15,000 human shields who will sit in front of Hezbollah rocket launchers
* 15,000 international peacekeepers who will make it impossible for Israel to defend itself
* 15,000 duplicitious bastards who will outright lie about how they filmed - and de facto aided - Hezbollah attackers who crossed a border to kill and kidnap Israeli soldiers.
Yup.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Quickies

Haven't had a chance to blog today but Marc has been very busy, as ever.

A couple of quick mentions - there's another video about fauxtography, and the Beirut woman is now on a poster.

That's it from me tonight.

BBC Links

From an article headlined "Police fears of threat to Muslims" (lest we forget who the real victims are in all this) take a look at the BBC's further reading suggestions:



If only Al-Ghurabaa hadn't been banned they've could've linked there as well.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Vent: Fauxtography

Michelle Malkin's latest, with another mention for yours truly.

BBC Weasels

Bush: "This nation is at war with Islamic fascists."

From the BBC World News main page: President George W Bush says a plot to blow up US-bound airliners shows the US is still at war with extremists.

The blurb on the linked video shows what the President actually said, but someone at the BBC decided to change the wording for the front page. Via Islamophobic, who has the screencap (and you can see that it's not lack of space which forced the change.)

Here's some further examples of BBC weaselling from earlier today.

And... ACTION!

Green Helmet directing cameramen at Qana in a video from German TV's "Zapp", via EU Referendum. I wonder what the Telegraph's Shane Richmond will say now.




This is the second time today that the work of EU Referendum has been vindicated. Remember Richard North's campaign to get British troops better war zone transport? From BBC News:
British troops fighting in Iraq are under-equipped and overstretched, a group of MPs has warned.

The all-party defence committee said the soldiers needed more helicopters and better-protected patrol vehicles to shield them from roadside bombs.