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BBC replies - unbiased impartiality

 
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Deeper analysis of the sort of issues you raise has been and continues to be
covered in our current affairs programmes, such as The World At One and
Today.

don't laugh, it's not supposed to be funny.
andreas
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2004 15:41:44 -0000
From: Richard Sambrook-Internal <richard.sambrook@bbc.co.uk>
Subject: RE: Radio 4 BBC News, 28Dec03: doubts over "Intelligence" - never
PM's honesty.

Dear...

Thank you for your e-mail of 28 December.

BBC news reports the facts in an impartial and unbiased way and that is
the case here. Our political correspondent, Jonathan Beale, described
how Paul Bremer had dismissed Tony Blair's claims about weapons of mass
destruction as a "red herring" but how he was then forced into a u-turn
when he learnt who the remarks had been made by. In his report,
Jonathan Beale described how there had already been some questioning of
Tony Blair's "controversial" claim and that Paul Bremer had now added
his concerns. Our reporter concluded by saying that this would raise
more doubts about the Intelligence on Iraq's weapons programme. It was
not his personal opinion but a conclusion based on the facts. Deeper
analysis of the sort of issues you raise has been and continues to be
covered in our current affairs programmes, such as The World At One and
Today.

Yours sincerely,


Richard Sambrook
Director, BBC News


-----Original Message-----
Sent: 28 December 2003 11:53
To: zzRichard Sambrook-External
Subject: Radio 4 BBC News, 28Dec03: doubts over "Intelligence" - never
PM's honesty.

Dear Mr Sambrook,

In the Radio 4 news this morning (but not the headlines) it was reported
how Paul Bremer "appears to have contradicted Tony Blair's claim" on
those ever elusive WMDs and how he then did a "U-turn" when he was told
that the "red herring" had come from the prime minister.

Your reporter said how this incident throws doubts on the Intelligence
about the Iraq weapons. Such doubts may arise in the mind of this
singular reporter but he is not supposed to let his personal opinions
override his job description of reporting on the reality at large. Let
me offer a more probable consequence, one that appears to be shared by
the majority of the UK population:

This latest incident of 'Intelligence failure' throws yet more doubts on
the veracity of our elected PM. Paul Bremer's - the appointed US leader
in occupied Iraq - "U-turn" clearly demonstrates that he lied (in either
one of his two contradictory statements) alluding to the possibility
that Mr Blair had lied too. Mr Blair by the way, (i feel obliged to
inform you in case you get your news from the BBC) is currently
considered to be the least trusted politician out of a list of 30
according to a year-end poll of 13,000 citizens, (Sunday Herald, 'US
rubbishes Blair's WMD claim', 28 December 2003).

Whatever the government may do (plagiarise and spike outdated
information and pass it for "Intelligence", patently contradict and
change its own rationals, cleverly deceive and outright lie), it is
unthinkable for the BBC to report on the possibility of politically
pliable "Intelligence" or a deceiving government.

How do you expect the BBC to be taken seriously when even the
possibility of the elected government manipulating public opinion on
matters as grave as starting unprovoked war is never raised? Actively
ignoring this line of enquiry is unrepresentative of the reality the BBC
is paid to report and bluntly violates the BBC's own guidelines of
"mirror[ing] the depth and spread of opinion". As a consequence it
stifles democratic debate over UK aggression and makes wars possible
with the predictable human cost that I am sure you'd be distraught to
witness in your home/city/country.


Wishing you a happy new year and that you act to make so for all others
too,
sincerely,

....
andreas
Thu Jan 15, 2004 4:49 pm
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