Saturday, 26 December 2015

Turkish Propaganda on the BBC

Screenshot from the BBC News website. It has ads because I'm currently in New Zealand.
I happened upon the BBC News website again today and was immediately hit with this little gem on their homepage: "Erdogan talks man out of suicide". The Turkish President's Christmas PR stunt had been selected as one of the top three stories on the BBC. Now, without some context, this would bewilder most people. Even if it happened as described and wasn't staged for publicity, it doesn't seem newsworthy. What relevance does it have to anyone? This appears to be straight out of Erdogan's propaganda department: a Christmas good will story so we all think "what a lovely guy he is" as he murders journalists and props up Daesh.

To explain, Turkey has been on Santa's naughty list this year. They shot down a Russian jet, killed a few journalists, invaded Iraq, and are accused of buying stolen Syrian oil from Daesh. Nothing out of the ordinary. Unfortunately for journalistic integrity, if Turkey's image is ruined, it reflects badly on NATO, the EU, Turkish President Erdogan, and the Cold War enthusiasts who still appear to rule the Western world. It makes Russia and Assad look like the good guys, and NATO look like they'll let any backwards country join their alliance if it will annoy Russia. In the language of war: counter measures must be deployed!

Now, we know the BBC are pro-establishment and toe the NATO line on just about everything. They fed us the Iraq War propaganda, and they've denigrated all those who've stood in NATO's way down the years (Gaddafi, Assad, Putin, Julian Assange, etc). If anything threatens the established order, it's a target for the BBC hawks. So when they stick "Erdogan talks man out of suicide" on their homepage, lets just say my lack of surprise was the only thing keeping my eyebrows fastened to my head. I mean, was there really such a lack of news that they made this one of their three main stories? Was there really such a lack of positive news about Turkey that this is the slice of Turkish propaganda they decided to serve us up for Christmas dinner? I guess, with it being Christmas, a good-will story always goes down well, right?

Let's be clear: this "news" was selected to serve a purpose; that being to alter people's opinions of the Turkish President in a positive manner to reinforce the current pro-West, anti-Russia narrative desired by NATO. Let's also remind ourselves that the BBC still isn't a source of unbiased news; and frankly, it's getting worse.

Saturday, 6 June 2015

The BBC Is Biased Against Russia

The 2014 Crimean Referendum Ballot.
This blog has often claimed the BBC is biased against Russia, but it hasn't provided many examples. Today, BBC News Bias will provide a blatant example.

Recently, someone told me the Crimean Referendum didn't give the Crimean people a proper choice. They cited a BBC News article called: Crimea referendum: What does the ballot paper say?.

The title sounds clear and straightforward enough. Indeed, if the article stuck to telling readers what was on the ballot with a few appending facts to define terms, it would be a fine example of journalism. Unfortunately, the BBC couldn't resist inserting the opinion of one of their contributors. The opinion is so clearly wrong, semantically and logically, that it highlights their political position.

To begin, the article helpfully explained the 1st option on the referendum ballot, which was to join Russia, followed by the 2nd option, which was "Do you support the restoration of the 1992 Crimean constitution and the status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine?"

What followed was the bizarre opinion that this 2nd option "does not make it clear whether this refers to the original version of the constitution, declaring Crimea an independent state, or the later amended version, in which Crimea was an autonomous republic within Ukraine".

Surely, reading the option again and noting the words "status of Crimea as a part of Ukraine" makes it absolutely clear what it was referring to. How could that ever be interpreted as declaring Crimea independent? It's in plain English!

The intention was to imply the Crimean people had no choice that allowed them to stay in Ukraine. Western nations knew the Crimeans wanted to join Russia, so they did whatever they could to subvert the democratic process that Russia was happy to use to legitimize their takeover. This subversion involved misrepresenting the options on the referendum ballot, and using the media to popularize these myths.

What can we take away from this? That the British government and its media cohorts only support democracy when it suits their interests. There are other examples of bias against Russia, such as the coverage that followed the MH17 plane disaster. BBC News Bias will attempt to provide clear evidence for this, and more recent examples, in the coming months.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

BBC Propaganda Technique #6 - Stacking the Deck

When the BBC conducts a debate in which they want a particular side to win, they'll usually bring in an educated, intelligent, erudite, and well-coached speaker to present their argument. For the other side, they'll bring in a raving lunatic who'll shout, interrupt, and lose the debate before he's even started making his point. I call it "stacking the deck".

It was especially evident before the Scottish referendum when the BBC bombarded us with rowdy "Yes" voters who were hand-picked to alienate the public. The BBC wanted Scotland to vote "No", of course, because that's what the British establishment desired.

A further example appeared on Radio 5 today. Ironically, the topic was BBC bias. The BBC didn't want the public to believe they're biased, so they brought in a calm, cogent, and witty speaker to defend the organisation. For the other side, they gave us a lunatic who writes for a blog called `Biased BBC'. The blog is a cacophony of right-wing cliches in which the BBC is blamed for being pro-Labour, anti-Tory, pro-Obama, anti-Israel, pro-environmentalism, anti-firearm, pro-Muslim, anti-Christian, pro-immigration, anti-monarchy, etc. If you were to jot down a list of what it means to be right-wing, you'd find complaints related to all of it there. In essence, the blog's resident nutters blame the BBC for not being as right-wing as they are. They're the kind of people who think the Telegraph and Daily Mail are impartial.

Sure enough, the radio debate went as planned. The blogger, who I won't name, started calling the BBC a Labour propaganda machine that needs to be privatised (because that'd make them more impartial, right?), and said the public are being "extorted" for the license fee. He said the BBC should have "its throat cut", he nailed his partisan, ideological colours to the mast, and he did exactly what they brought him on there to do: alienate the public. The other guest sat back and wiped the floor with him. Here's the stream. The "debate" starts from about 42 minutes in.

I could have named this post "narrowing the debate" because the type of bias this blogger was talking about doesn't exist. The BBC isn't left-wing or right-wing, they're pro-establishment. They wouldn't dream of letting someone on air who claims the BBC promote the domestic and foreign policy of whichever government is in office, the interests of big business, the objectives of the British and American political and aristocratic elite, a two-party system, and the stifling of real democracy. They wouldn't let such a person mention the agreement made with each government's Secretary of State and the more questionable obligations included in the Royal Charter. That would be too close to the truth.

Instead, they gave us an extremist who was so caught up in his rabid, partisan beliefs that he didn't realise he was being used as a tool to perpetuate the illusion that the BBC can only be biased along the `left vs right' political spectrum. If that's the scope of the debate, then the BBC will always win because they'll always be roughly halfway between the two establishment parties (Labour and the Tories). They're simply not biased in that way. And for the BBC, the unsupported waffling of aggrieved, partisan demagogues who instantly discredit themselves because they can't break free of this unhelpful dichotomy, a welcome shadow is cast over what is really in their interest to hide.

Sunday, 10 May 2015

BBC Burying Story About Anti-Tory Protests

After learning about the anti-government protests in London from a post on Google+ last night, I tried to find a news article about it, but, for some reason, the mainstream media weren't reporting it. Were they burying the story?

This morning, there were occasional references to someone who wrote "Tory scum" on a war memorial, and an apparent desire to tar everyone at the protest with the same brush. This seemed a little biased to me. 

So, I decided it was time to do a little digging. My first stop, as ever, was the BBC News website. Lets just say, I wasn't surprised by what I saw... or rather, what I didn't see:

BBC News Bias - via the BBC News Homepage.

Why would the BBC not give their most popular story a prominent place on their homepage? Apparently, their news editors thought anti-Tory protests deserved as little coverage as possible. The only appearance the story makes is near the bottom of the page on their automatic "most popular" system that, unfortunately for the BBC, exposes their intent to bury a story that is very much in the public interest to read.

The motive for burying the story is presumably to protect the establishment from criticism, and to prevent the protests from getting bigger. As a result, it gets prime coverage from this blogger!