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OfflinePhred
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BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs
    #2195248 - 12/22/03 09:52 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2003583553,00.html

By NIC CECIL
Political Correspondent

BARMY BBC bosses have banned reporters from calling tyrant Saddam Hussein a former dictator.

Instead, staff must refer to the barbaric mass murderer as ?the deposed former President?.

The astonishing edict was seized on by MPs last night as more proof of a Left-wing bias inside the BBC against the Iraqi war.

Labour MP Kevan Jones, of the Commons Defence Select Committee, said: ?This shows the crass naivety of the BBC. Such political correctness will be deeply hurtful to many of our servicemen serving in Iraq.

?It amply demonstrates elements of the BBC have got a clearly anti-war and anti-Government agenda.?

Labour MP Ann Clwyd, who chairs the Indict group which has dossiers on the crimes of Saddam, his sons and henchmen, was astounded at the BBC?s stance.

She said: ?It?s frankly ridiculous. Saddam Hussein is a despot, a murderer and a torturer. He will have to answer charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.?

Tory Party chairman Liam Fox also slammed the Beeb ? which was accused during the war of giving too much weight to Iraqi propaganda.

He said: ?To afford this level of politeness to a tyrant, torturer and murderer is deeply offensive to the Iraqi people.

?It is also an insult to the Coalition forces who have sacrificed so much to liberate Iraq from the evil of Saddam.?

The BBC said the email spelling out the instruction was sent to reporters on its online website, which serves a global audience.

A spokeswoman said: ?This was reiterating existing guidelines to remind BBC News Online journalists of the need to use neutral language.?

Later she said the ban on calling Saddam a dictator did not apply to domestic services.

But a BBC insider said: ?This is our daftest order ever.?



*note -- this is not from The Onion or Scrappleface -- in other words, not a satirical article. The BBC management really did issue such an order, and British MPs really did respond as noted above.


pinky


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Anonymous

Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: Phred]
    #2195270 - 12/22/03 10:10 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

:rolleyes:

They're daft, that's all.

I have two of the Politically Correct Bedtime Storybooks.  This isn't any different.


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OfflineMetaShroom
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: Phred]
    #2195577 - 12/22/03 01:44 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

The BBC is continually facing criticism for it's leftist bias, however it continually receives the same amount of criticism for it's pro-right bias so I guess it has the balance just fine.


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: Phred]
    #2196347 - 12/22/03 08:27 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Im sorry pink but the Sun "newspaper" from which you quote is not classified as a newspaper by anyone who actually lives in the UK and posesses a brain. It is the worst of the tabloids. Rupert Murdochs mouthpiece, which spends as much time publicising his interests as it does presenting its completely biased slant on the world.

Have a read of this article and tell me exactly where the bias lies..what is so wrong with this article?? Admittedly, it is not an applause piece for the war in Iraq but I dont see how it is particularly negative either.

Biased?


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: GazzBut]
    #2196533 - 12/22/03 10:04 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Just thought Id put a link in to the sun as well, just to show what a great news source it is!

I fucking hate the currant bun!


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OfflinePhred
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: GazzBut]
    #2196662 - 12/22/03 11:01 PM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Wait a minute. The Sun made this up out of thin air?

The BBC online website continues to refer to Hussein as "former dictator", then?

The three MPs referred to in the article have all sent messages to the Sun complaining they were misquoted? Or are there even MPs by those names at all?

The "BBC spokeswoman" and the "BBC insider" were either misquoted or non-existent?

Okay then. I guess The Sun makes stuff up. How about The Express?

pinky


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OfflinePhred
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: Phred]
    #2196807 - 12/23/03 12:03 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I did a quick scan of the BBC Word Service website.

It was easy to confirm that before the publication of the Sun's article, BBC reporters were allowed to use the phrase "former dictator" --

Thursday, 18 December, 2003, 12:10 GMT

Hashem Jafar, 52, looks weary when he stares ahead at the number of cars between his and the petrol pumps.

Then he smiles: "The bad dream has disappeared. I feel very happy. I can't even express my feelings."

Mufid Madisaleh says the capture of the former dictator brings hope:

"For some people in Iraq, Saddam is a very big symbol. Now that he's been caught, those people will change their ideas, their minds about Saddam. Saddam will completely disappear."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3330409.stm

But I haven't as yet found an article published after the Sun article appeared which refers to Hussein as "former dictator". For example --

Monday, 22 December, 2003, 15:17 GMT

Several hundred suspected insurgents have been arrested by US-led forces following the capture of the ousted Iraqi leader, Saddam Hussein, a week ago.

Chief US administrator in Iraq, Paul Bremer, said on Monday that intelligence obtained from the capture of the former Iraqi president had aided US attempts to combat the insurgency.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3340841.stm

Probably just a coincidence. No doubt as time goes by one of our UK posters will provide me a link to a BBC article which uses the phrase. Or to a link from a source disproving the Sun's allegations. Guess we'll just have to wait and see.

pinky


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: GazzBut]
    #2197012 - 12/23/03 02:04 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Im sorry pink but the Sun "newspaper" from which you quote is not classified as a newspaper by anyone who actually lives in the UK and posesses a brain. It is the worst of the tabloids. Rupert Murdochs mouthpiece, which spends as much time publicising his interests as it does presenting its completely biased slant on the world.

To clarify the sun for our american friends, it's the National Enquirer without the intelligence.


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: Phred]
    #2197137 - 12/23/03 04:25 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

I have found one article on the bbc where Saddam is referred to as "the deposed former president" which I imagine some Sun hack has read before deciding to fabricate this story. I would then imagine they contacted a few MPs and told them a BBC insider had passed this info on to them, the MPS then provided the juicy little quotes for this story. Lets try and find some credible sources for this somewhere...


Edited by GazzBut (12/23/03 04:32 AM)


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OfflinePhred
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: GazzBut]
    #2197171 - 12/23/03 05:03 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

GazzBut writes:

I have found one article on the bbc where Saddam is referred to as "the deposed former president" which I imagine some Sun hack has read before deciding to fabricate this story.

Geez, I found five or six before I decided to stop looking, but most were datelined prior to Dec 20, so I figured they were irrelevant.

I would then imagine they contacted a few MPs and told them a BBC insider had passed this info on to them, the MPS then provided the juicy little quotes for this story.

Those MPs are going to be hella pissed if they find they've been had. I guess The Sun's reporters don't care if they lose access to politician's reactions by pulling stupid stunts.

Lets try and find some credible sources for this somewhere...

Andrewsullivan.com has the story as well, but he links to the Telegraph, not to the Sun, and it appears he got the link wrong. Rather than linking to the Telegraph's page from Dec 20, it links to the current date (Dec 23 right now). He did quote part of it, though --

From the Daily Telegraph's London Spy column:

"An email has been circulated telling us not to refer to Saddam as a dictator," I'm told. "Instead, we are supposed to describe him as the former leader of Iraq. Apparently, because his presidency was endorsed in a referendum, he was technically elected. Hence the word dictator is banned. It's all rather ridiculous." The Beeb insists that the email merely restates existing guidelines. "We wanted to remind journalists whose work is seen and heard internationally of the need to use neutral language," says a spokesman.

Again, I am unfamiliar with the reputation of the various UK papers. Is The Telegraph of the same ilk as The Sun? Would this be the same Telegraph which has the story about the Kurds capturing and drugging Hussein, then returning him to his spider hole to be rediscovered later?

A UK blogger -- http://rogerlsimon.com/archives/00000557.htm -- also refers to the Telegraph article... no mention of The Sun :

"This has already been discussed all over the UK in many of their papers, not just in the Telegraph. The rather extraordinary Human Rights Advocate Ann Clwyd... a Labour MP by the way... if you don't know who she is, you should... had this to say about the BBC stance: ?It?s frankly ridiculous. Saddam Hussein is a despot, a murderer and a torturer. He will have to answer charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide.? "

So I guess both The Sun and The Telegraph made it up, and fooled some MPs into buying the hoax and looking foolish in public.

Man, journalism in the UK is rough!

pinky


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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: Phred]
    #2197187 - 12/23/03 06:03 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

No verified sources from the BBC tbough. But the telegraph is a much more credible source than the sun, So I admit there may be some truth in it.

But even if it is true i.e "because his presidency was endorsed in a referendum, he was technically elected. Hence the word dictator is banned."

So what? Its called neutrality and professionalism. The BBC tries to be a neutral news source not a source of emotive propaganda.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: GazzBut]
    #2197497 - 12/23/03 11:50 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

The really wierd bit is how when Gaddaffi does something Bush and Blair "approve of" the media refer to him as "statesmanlike"  :lol:


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Offlinest0nedphucker
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Re: BBC criticized by Labour and Conservative MPs [Re: Xlea321]
    #2201756 - 12/26/03 08:06 AM (13 years, 2 months ago)

Funny in what way? Taking into consideration it was Jack Straw who described Gaddaffi's decision to abandon weapons programs as "courageous" and "statesmanlike".

I was unaware our Foreign Secretary was considered part of the media :rolleyes:....


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