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Blair should thank BBC/UK media for its pro-war bias

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Lettter-to-Ed sent to variety of national mainstream news outlets including a few of the 'pops' :


- So Greg Dyke resigns(was resigned) not because of the BBC's totally unprofessional well-documented and catalogued pro-war bias and imbalance? Sorry? He did not resign because he had allowed the BBC to become a virtual instrument of the state - a cipher for US-UK pro-Iraq-war propaganda as evidenced by the following(and much more besides):

1) at least 2 reputable studies by Media Tenor and another by Cardiff University concluding that the BBC devoted only 2% of its coverage to anti-war views- even less than the worst-performing US news network ABC at 7%.

2) the failure of the BBC to broadcast in the run-up to thew war or for 8 months thereafter the crucial February 2001 TV footage in which Colin Powell states unequivocally that(quote):
"Iraq has developed no significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction".
Why was this footage not broadcast in the Powell v. Blix prequel to the war? Undoubtedly because it would have severely, or entirely, undermined the Bush-Blair case for war and incurred the wrath and revenge of the Bush-Blair media hit-squads.

3) why did Newsnight in particular allow itself to become a virtual open door for neoconservative propagandists and pro-war "think tanks" - especially for the likes of Richard Perle, Project for the New American Century, American Enterprise Institute, The Heritage Foundation?

4) why was the BBC's terrestrial schedule(BBC2) interrupted for over an hour of grandstanding coverage of
a) the toppling of Saddam's statue and
b) his eventual arrest
c) World Cup rugby squad flag-waving parade
- yet there was no interruption at all for live terrestrial BBC/BBC2 coverage of the unprecedented record-breaking February 15th anti-Iraq war protests in Britain and around the world?

5) the constant back-to-back intermingling in news bulletins of reports about Iraq with reports about Al Qaida which inevitably and - all the evidence suggests - deliberately blurred the distinction between the two very separate issues of Saddam Hussein and Al Qaida terrorism. In other words the two issues - Iraq and Al Qaida - thus 'usefully' became even more indistinguishable and inextricably linked(consciously and subconsciously) than they otherwise already were in the minds of many if not most viewers and listeners.

6) the BBC's part in the UK media's diversionary and deceitful campaign of Francophobia/blaming the French in the run-up to the Iraq war and thereafter. Assisting the Government in its efforts to exploit and manipulate traditional British anti-French sentiment in order to confuse and convert the anti-war majority into support for the war.

- Instead of now asking how the BBC can "maintain" its high standards of independence and integrity, media commentators and politicians should move beyond their collective state of denial and complicity and ask how the corporation can *regain* the independence and objectivity that it - and they - have so haplessly squandered over the past year or so.
The UK media as a whole might begin by looking at and learning from the fine example set by so much of the world's non-English-language press, in particular the now fully vindicated French and German media.
Fri Jan 30, 2004 8:30 pm
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