Thursday, January 15, 2015

Nabila Ramdani, Tim Willcox, and the BBC

The BBC's Dateline London is a weekly show that features a roundtable discussion, with a moderator-usually Gavin Esler, and four or five journalists (hailing from everywhere, English-speaking being the condition) discussing critical news stories. The appeal of this show is the free-style approach it has on debates between journalists that don't necessarily always share the same opinions, backgrounds, ideologies, or even values. On a single topic, thanks to the limited structure in place, the viewer not only gets acquainted with a new perspective, but is injected with a tad of neuroticism owing to the fact that in real time, interpretations are being reevaluated, adjusted, discovered, and destroyed. It's part-casual, part-coffee-table-ish, part-formal (in the most eccentrically British way). In this show, the journalists, shed their reporter-roles, and freely discuss how they perceive a story. A benefit of this really, is that thoughts that were victims of editor's vetoes, gets revealed.

The conversational chemistry of the panelists, doesn't always mix well. There has been multiple occasions, wherein an episode was disastrously tepid, reactive, disorienting, due to the lack of flow, and vigor, from the selected panelists for that week. On the other hand, there are moments, when you wished the 30 minutes allotted to the weekly show was a full 2 hour spot, just for the sheer vivacity, and quality, of the words endlessly interrupting each other's mouths. 

I used to watch this show religiously, every Sunday, Manila time, I would enjoy it along with my midday snack. Those were the days when I wasn't more informed yet of the things I now know. It is part of the process of learning, the adjustment of tastes. It is an evolutionary inevitability. But on occasion I still passively watch it over lunch. The difference now is I'm irritated by the legitimization of dishonesty, hypocrisy, and myopia. The xenophobia, anti-Semitism, rationalizations, collectivism, and most of all, inaccuracies, embodied within the questions, and the opinions of panelists, is enough to make one nauseous, and worried, over the trajectory of this once venerable institution-the BBC. 

I'm not solely referring to Dateline herein, in totality, is my subject of discontent, and disappointment. That when examined closely, I shouldn't be really surprised, as, if one quits beating around the bush, the BBC is a national institution. However, I still prefer it over many other international outlets, as relatively speaking it is one of the best-if not the best-publicly funded (via the television license levied on every household) news organization in the world. It hasn't totally sunk yet in quality-relative to its competitors. Its documentaries are still awe-inspiring, and an absolute delight to watch. Its news coverage from select anchors and reporters is what is troublesome. 

Do I love the BBC? Yes! Resoundingly! I care about it that's why I worry about its trajectory, and where it's headed. Do I want it privatized? Absolutely! It's the only way it can survive unblemished, and respectable, in a world where the media is becoming more decentralized (a development that's positively amazing). For this venerable cultural institution to survive (just like the NHS) it must be privatized. Or else, it will continue to wither as a result of national considerations via internal squabbles, and political interference. Its independence will continue to be compromised if this trend isn't curtailed as soon as possible. Google NHS weaponization-if you want understanding on this one.

I will provide two concrete worrying symptoms of the BBC's ailment. 

1.) Nabila Ramdani

Why she's constantly invited as a guest is bewildering to me. She has no sense of basic or even fake objectivity. She's more concerned with more privileges granted to the "Algerian victims" of her country than with reality, or journalism.  But because she possess a story and credentials that are simply irresistible to the chattering classes of Europe, she's a star. In an obviously condescending, and patronizing way. She's a favorite among the politically correct crowd in the Anglosphere. This French journalist is addicted to Jews! Talk about Syria? Nabila would respond, "It's Israel's fault." Islamic Fundamentalism? N.'s response, "Israel is fueling the hatred." So it's justified then to attack violently? To harm individuals? To justify coldblooded murder of innocent human beings?

She is a classical Anti-Semite from the Left.  She was interviewed before the marches républicaines in Paris. She said that Netanyahu's presence was "controversial" and questions the seriousness of the affair. She didn't condemn the presence of Turkey's Foreign Minister, nor of Algeria's, the President of the Palestinian Authority, and above all Saudi Arabia's Ambassador. These personalities come from states that are truly oppressive, unfree, atrocious  illiberal, undemocratic, and racist.  Yet, her Anti-Semitism is clouding her judgement. It's impossible that someone who has an educational background from Paris' Diderot-7, and the London School of Economics, isn't aware of these universally acknowledged objective facts. But as I've said, perhaps it is possible in her case, after all she has no sense of proportion, nor objectivity (or civility for that matter).  

2.) Tim Willcox

Another Anti-Semite. He has been defended by his boss in the BBC, as "having no intention of..." We will never know a person's true intention, that's why we have a saying right? Action speaks louder than words. Tim Willcox needs to be relieved of his work from the BBC. Tim Willcox's logic is bizarre, where did the BBC pick up this idiotic bigot?

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