BBC: Don't mention the conflict!

    The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman once remarked:

    If [George W.] Bush said that the world was flat, the headline on the news analysis would read 'Shape of Earth: Views Differ'

    It was a pithy summary of how news organisations are now so obsessed with the idea of  "balance" they will give both sides of any argument equal coverage, even if one side is plainly absurd.

    Well it seems the obsession with "balance" has now reached new levels of absurdity.

    As reported in The Guardian, the BBC has decided that the lyrics of a rap tune, performed by one MC Righteous on a music show aimed at urban youth, should be subject to the same editorial considerations as the output of its news programmes.

    Moreover, it seems, the mere mention of the word "Palestine" is so politcally unbalanced, it cannot be uttered on BBC air without some kind of counterweight.

    This was the offending lyric:

     I can still scream 'Free Palestine' for my pride, still pray for peace

    This is how the BBC explains its decision to block out the line:

    "All BBC programmes have a responsibility to be impartial when dealing with controversial subjects and an edit was made to Mic Righteous' freestyle to ensure that impartiality was maintained."

    This is, prima facie, utterly bizarre. All BBC programmes must be impartial?? Has the Beeb just declared a complete end to opinion, to comment, to editorial, to satire, even? 

    I can just see Basil Fawlty tying himself in knots over this.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.