- The BBC: A Biased Propaganda Arm of Anglo-American Power!
by Steven MacMillan, http://journal-neo.org/
Not since Iraq have I seen BBC News working at propaganda strength like this. So glad I’m out of there”
These are the words of the former economics editor of the BBC’s Newsnight show, Paul Mason, relating to the BBC’s coverage of the Scottish independence referendum. The London broadcaster’s biased reporting on Scottish independence is not an isolated incident however, as the BBC has been blatantly warping, misrepresenting and omitting pertinent facts and narratives on numerous issues, from its coverage on Israel to its distortion on Ukraine.
The broadcaster has been widely criticised by many in Scotland and around the world for their “propaganda” campaign in the run up to the referendum in September, leading thousands of people to take to the streets in protest over the lack of journalistic integrity at the BBC. A major episode of this was when the BBC’s political editor, Nick Robinson, censored Alex Salmond’s lengthy response to a question regarding the rumours that the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) would move its headquarters to London if Scotland voted for independence. Despite Salmond’s comprehensive response to the question which gave the BBC seven minutes of video footage to edit for their report, Robinson decided to deceive the public and falsely claim he “didn’t answer” the question. This was part of a wider “propaganda” campaign of injecting fear and uncertainty into the idea of Scotland being an independent nation.
The BBC’s coverage of Scottish independence is just a microcosm of how the organisation operates with regards to many issues around the world, yet many people still give BBC news unmerited credence. This is not to say that there is not some good people within the BBC, however the broadcaster has repeatedly demonstrated that it serves as a propaganda organ of the Anglo-American establishment.
Demonstrators marched outside the BBC’s London headquarters in July of this year in protest over the broadcaster’s pro-Israel bias, condemning their news reports on Tel Aviv’s latest onslaught on Gaza as being “entirely devoid of context and background”. The protest stemmed from a 45,000-strong petition which stated: “We would like to remind the BBC that Gaza is under Israeli occupation and siege…. and that Israel is bombing a refugee population”. It was signed by such distinguished individuals as philosopher and activist Noam Chomsky, and veteran journalist, author and filmmaker John Pilger.
In a 2012 article titled: ‘As Gaza is savaged again, understanding the BBC’s historic role is vital’, Pilger illustrates how the BBC’s reporting can often give an inverted and distorted picture of the situation in Gaza to its viewers:
“This is notably true in the Middle East where the Israeli state has successfully intimidated the BBC into presenting the theft of Palestinian land and the caging, torturing and killing of its people as an intractable “conflict” between equals. Standing in the rubble from an Israeli attack, one BBC journalist went further and referred to “Gaza’s strong culture of martyrdom”. So great is this distortion that young viewers of BBC News have told Glasgow University researchers they are left with the impression that Palestinians are the illegal colonisers of their own country. The current BBC “coverage” of Gaza’s genocidal misery reinforces this…. Understanding the BBC as a pre-eminent state propagandist and censor by omission – more often than not in tune with its right-wing enemies – is on no public agenda and it ought to be.”
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