BBC defends airing Taleban interview

#1
On BBC News on Monday they aired in interview by a BBC reporter of a Taleban commander in Afghanistan. I personally found this cavorting with the enemy appalling, let alone giving them a platform on the British state broadcaster to push their anti-British Army propaganda. Would they have done the same thing to the Germans during the war? (Come to think of it, had we ever fought the Soviets this current lot probably would have done...)

The Defence Secretary raised quite valid concerns that what the BBC was engaging in was putting British troops at risk. This is the BBC's response, entitled "hearing both sides":

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theedito...gs/theeditors/2006/07/hearing_both_sides.html

The defence secretary has raised concerns about a BBC interview with a Taleban commander that the Six O'Clock and Ten O'Clock news ran on Monday evening (watch it here).

Des Browne MP has said that broadcasting the Taleban's claims about the nature of the British deployment could cause confusion and might put British troops at risk. BBC News obviously takes the defence secretary's views seriously and we have had extensive debate within the newsroom about the use of video giving the Taleban's views. However we have come to the conclusion that it is an important part of our role to reflect the claims of the Taleban as well as, of course, reporting the views of British ministers, soldiers and officers.

There is a lively debate within the UK about how clear the British mission is. The fact that the Taleban hold the view that the British are there to fight war rather than to reconstruct the country is hardly surprising. For the BBC to report what the Taleban is saying is not the same as the BBC concurring with the Taleban view.

In any significant conflict involving British forces there are often members of the public and the British government who express concerns about the BBC reporting the views of the "enemy". However the BBC's duty of impartiality is especially strong in such conflicts, particularly when there is domestic controversy.

We need to be careful in explaining how interviews or statements with the Taleban are obtained and provide clear explanation to our audiences for why we are reporting those views, but it is entirely legitimate to broadcast such material and we will continue to do so. The BBC believes its impartial reporting of the facts and the views on both sides does not put British troops at risk.



Peter Horrocks is head of TV News
My bold, all other formatting is theirs.

Am I alone in finding reply rather sickening?

As for the last paragraph, I would very much like to find out how "interviews or statements with the Taleban are obtained", especially with regard to how a Western reporter representing the state broadcaster of the country which the Taleban is fighting was able to get so close to a Taleban commander. Was it perhaps because the Taliban knew that they would come out favourably from such an encounter?
 
#2
Didnt the taliban blow up a western alliance commander by disgusing a sucide team as film crew . The bbc film crew have a big 4*4 full of electronic crap usually must be easy to bug :D .One way to target a jdam .
The news clip I want to see is taliban commander wafflying on about beating the brits ,cut to news presenter "that was the late taliban commander who was killed when he led an unsuccesful attack against british forces "
 
#3
woody said:
DThe news clip I want to see is taliban commander wafflying on about beating the brits ,cut to news presenter "that was the late taliban commander who was killed when he led an unsuccesful attack against british forces "
Nah, the BBC would just report that the attack happened and state the number of British casualties, totally ignoring the hundreds or thousands of Taleban casualties, and then link this into a tract about the "quagmire", rising British casualties, increasing Taliban activity, and how we are actually losing...
 
#5
Nah, the BBC would just report that the attack happened and state the number of British casualties, totally ignoring the hundreds or thousands of Taleban casualties, and then link this into a tract about the "quagmire", rising British casualties, increasing Taliban activity, and how we are actually losing...
Which is EXACTLY what they are doing...they report '80 killed' but never mention that 79 are Taliban.....and 1 is an Afghan Army lad.

Disband the BBC now.
 
#6
stoatman said:
I would very much like to find out how "interviews or statements with the Taleban are obtained", especially with regard to how a Western reporter representing the state broadcaster of the country which the Taleban is fighting was able to get so close to a Taleban commander.
The correspondent is an Afghan working for the BBC
 
#8
Strait_Jacket said:
stoatman said:
I would very much like to find out how "interviews or statements with the Taleban are obtained", especially with regard to how a Western reporter representing the state broadcaster of the country which the Taleban is fighting was able to get so close to a Taleban commander.
The correspondent is an Afghan working for the BBC
That certainly doesn't make it any better, and brings in the question of the "impartiality" of the reporter if he can move so freely in such circles, and whether British taxpayers money should go to pay such a person.
 
#9
la299uk said:
Don't disban them. Stop the license fee :D they'll go bankrupt within a year.....
Quite -- they would be utterly out of their depth in the free market.
 
#10
Certainly distrurbing, yet hardly new nor surprising - during the Falklands War, the BBC helpfully pointed out that the Argentinian Air Force was dropping its bombs on the Task Force before they were arming (which almost certainly resulted in the deaths of servicemen afterwards), and also announced 2 Paras' intended assault on Goose Green/Darwin.
 
#11
Just to put in a big wooden spoon and stir the pot, but if we have to listen to the daily drivvel, propaganda and half-truths put out by HMG - why not listen to the drivvel, propaganda and half-truths put out by the Taleban? What's the difference?

We are not 'at war' with the Taleban as a nation, HM Armed Forces are being used as pawns in HMG's game of politics. However much we may dislike what the Taleban stands for, they are fighting for their own country - whereas 16AA is fighting for Dear Tony's 'vision'.
 
#12
gallowglass said:
Certainly distrurbing, yet hardly new nor surprising - during the Falklands War, the BBC helpfully pointed out that the Argentinian Air Force was dropping its bombs on the Task Force before they were arming (which almost certainly resulted in the deaths of servicemen afterwards), and also announced 2 Paras' intended assault on Goose Green/Darwin.
But at least they didn't have their man in Buenos Aires interviewing the Argentine commander and presenting his "competing narrative" as equally valid to the British one...
 
#13
stoatman said:
Strait_Jacket said:
stoatman said:
I would very much like to find out how "interviews or statements with the Taleban are obtained", especially with regard to how a Western reporter representing the state broadcaster of the country which the Taleban is fighting was able to get so close to a Taleban commander.
The correspondent is an Afghan working for the BBC
That certainly doesn't make it any better, and brings in the question of the "impartiality" of the reporter if he can move so freely in such circles, and whether British taxpayers money should go to pay such a person.
Agreed the reporter may not be "impartial" but if I was on the ground covering 3 Para's ops I wouldn't be very neutral either. The more of this interview material and the like that is collected, the more potential INT to be gleaned by those who know..Money well spent?
 
#14
As a licence fee payer,I want a bigger say on how this BBC are run.It seems to think that they can do the hell they want with our cash and get away with it. Lord Grade this morning on radio five live stated, that he supported the large salary increases for the top management because we have to recruit the best in TV and radio.Now if this lot are the best then we are in for more of the same shi'te as usual from the BBC.Time to abandon the open cheque book that the BIASED BROACASTING CORPORATION has with licence fee payers and go it alone with the others.
 
#15
merkator said:
We are not 'at war' with the Taleban as a nation, HM Armed Forces are being used as pawns in HMG's game of politics. However much we may dislike what the Taleban stands for, they are fighting for their own country - whereas 16AA is fighting for Dear Tony's 'vision'.
The Nazis were also 'fighting for their country'...

stoatman said:
gallowglass said:
Certainly distrurbing, yet hardly new nor surprising - during the Falklands War, the BBC helpfully pointed out that the Argentinian Air Force was dropping its bombs on the Task Force before they were arming (which almost certainly resulted in the deaths of servicemen afterwards), and also announced 2 Paras' intended assault on Goose Green/Darwin.
But at least they didn't have their man in Buenos Aires interviewing the Argentine commander and presenting his "competing narrative" as equally valid to the British one...
Indeed. I suppose that standards have simply declined a great deal over the past quarter century.
 
#16
gallowglass said:
The Nazis were also 'fighting for their country'...
Oh very clever... I don't remember the Taleban invading Czechoslovakia, Poland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, ... ... ... and sending their Luftwaffe against Britain. Do I need to go on?

Stoatman said:
I would very much like to find out how "interviews or statements with the Taleban are obtained", especially with regard to how a Western reporter representing the state broadcaster of the country which the Taleban is fighting was able to get so close to a Taleban commander. Was it perhaps because the Taliban knew that they would come out favourably from such an encounter?
Simple really. It's called the 'phone'! A couple of months back, people were claiming the capture of Taleban leader Mullah Dadullah. Some people, mostly americans, were getting all excited about this and coming up with all sorts of invented stories as to how and when (see Tomahawk6 in this forum for examples). Then Mullah Dadullah picked up the 'phone and gave the BBC office in Kabul a call and said he was still alive, well and free. See here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/5000068.stm If the only people you talk to come from the same side, you could get a rather distorted picture. Not so?

It doesn't take a giant leap of understanding to come to the conclusion that the BBC - and other networks - also have his 'phone number too, does it?
 
#17
I am all in favour of this kind of interview. The kind where they were showing clearly they type of radios they were using. Someone must have looked at that!
 
#18
Merkator wrote:

Oh very clever... I don't remember the Taleban invading Czechoslovakia, Poland, Luxembourg, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, ... ... ... and sending their Luftwaffe against Britain. Do I need to go on?

But they trained the terrorist who murdered thousands on 9/11 didn't they? They offered a haven and training facilities for mass murderers. They are the antithesis of everything we hold dear, can you negotiate with them?.... No.... can you reason with them.....No....... would a Taleban run country ever be anything other than a major threat to the safety and security of our people.... No....

So why is the BBC allowing enemy propoganda on our screens, paid for by us? Why did they screen that 7/7 suicide b*stard the day before the anniversary thus doing the enemies job for them? Impartiality is one thing.... taking the side of the enemy is quiet another and used to be called treason when we had a decent legal system.
 
#19
gallowglass said:
merkator said:
We are not 'at war' with the Taleban as a nation, HM Armed Forces are being used as pawns in HMG's game of politics. However much we may dislike what the Taleban stands for, they are fighting for their own country - whereas 16AA is fighting for Dear Tony's 'vision'.
The Nazis were also 'fighting for their country'...

stoatman said:
gallowglass said:
Certainly distrurbing, yet hardly new nor surprising - during the Falklands War, the BBC helpfully pointed out that the Argentinian Air Force was dropping its bombs on the Task Force before they were arming (which almost certainly resulted in the deaths of servicemen afterwards), and also announced 2 Paras' intended assault on Goose Green/Darwin.
But at least they didn't have their man in Buenos Aires interviewing the Argentine commander and presenting his "competing narrative" as equally valid to the British one...
Indeed. I suppose that standards have simply declined a great deal over the past quarter century.
I think this ties in with liberal revisionism of our history that has become the norm in higher education. I read history after getting out and the vehemence with which students are encouraged to be ashamed of our (UK) past is shocking.

The BBC has been staffed by the product of this system and become the Schwerpunkt for commentators bound by a common dislike of British militarism. The appearance of men in uniform is their combat indicator that the evil Government are up to no good, Iraq has cemented the attitude that the military are the armed wing of New Labour - so worthy of attack. What seems biased and undermining to us is perectly balanced and proper to them because of a totally different mindset.

As your previous posts highlight OPSEC is not a BBC specialism.
 
#20
Help, my head is melting.

Half the posts on this site berate the BBC for being political lapdogs of the government (Self loving hipocrates and enemys of the people), crying that they lack balance.

The other half claim that they are giving succour to our enemies and not performing the job of one sided propaganda merchants well enough.

Now I'm well and truly confused.
 

Similar threads

Latest Threads

Top