Because of accusations of bias at the BBC from peace activists, yesterday’s huge London march began (not for the first time) with speeches in Portland Place directly outside the BBC Broadcasting House.
There, as protesters arrived from all directions in their tens of thousands, various speakers berated the state broadcast company over their pro-Israeli bias, their poor provision of historical context, and the PR and lies coming from Israeli spokespeople that are left unchallenged and uncorrected. For a very fine analysis of how this works (still profoundly pertinent even though recorded in 2011 after Operation Cast Lead), see Greg Philo’s talk at SOAS, that unveiled the “Israel Project”, and the “National Information Directorate” which was set up a year before Cast Lead purely in order to control the international media debate.
With such a visible protest directed at the BBC, you might think that the BBC News website might offer at least some information about it, even if downplaying the accusations, and offering the usual “we try to give a balanced view and did interview a Palestinian once” PR statement.
But, astonishingly, and in utter contempt for the huge number of people who came, the BBC news website carried the following report yesterday evening:
An inexcusable lie by simple omission.
The aerial view of the huge crowd, shot out of a window from the state broadcasting building, also carried a devious description.
Perfectly accurate, I guess, but “gathered near” doesn’t really tell the whole truth, when “an angry crowd gathered outside Broadcasting House” would have been more honest.
People are fed up of the bias, the uncorrected lies, the rewriting of history, and the manipulation of the discourse.
George Galloway has publicly called for people to cancel their licences and refuse to pay the BBC fees.
There’s plenty of information available about how to do this, explaining how limited the BBC Charter actually is in terms of legal retribution, despite their carefully constructed system of harassment and enforcement. The campaign is certainly gathering momentum on social media. It’s certainly worth looking at the information out there about how to do it with impunity. Some would regard it as a moral imperative.