Sunday, 24 June 2018

BBC finds Andrew Marr guilty of breach over claim on Palestinian kids

This Mail report is of interest to me as for once the BBC couldn't circle the wagons to protect one of their own.

'BBC finds Andrew Marr guilty of breach over claim on Palestinian kids

BBC bosses have found Andrew Marr guilty of breaching editorial guidelines with a 'misleading' claim that Israel had killed 'lots of Palestinian kids'.

The Corporation's extraordinary ruling against one of its most senior personalities is almost unprecedented.

It follows a complaint about comments made by the presenter on his flagship Sunday news programme.

During the April 8 edition, Marr concluded a discussion of the Syrian regime's chemical weapons attack on civilians by saying: 'And the Middle East is aflame again.

'I mean there's lots of Palestinian kids being killed further south as well by Israeli forces.' His comments were a reference to clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians in Gaza.

Anti-semitism campaigner Jonathan Sacerdoti complained, writing: 'When talking about a story on the use of chemical weapons in Syria, Andrew Marr for some reason decided to talk about Israel (which was unrelated anyway). He stated there's a lot of Palestinian kids being killed further south by Israeli forces.

'This is completely incorrect and is made up. This was irrelevant to the conversation on Syria… and also actually completely false.'

BBC producers initially tried to defend Marr's comments by pointing to the fact that five 'younger people' had been killed between the beginning of the year and the date of the programme.

They also said several Palestinian children and younger people were killed in the week following the broadcast, but Mr Sacerdoti argued that later events could not be used to justify Mr Marr's comments.

His complaint has been upheld.

Fraser Steel, head of executive complaints at the BBC, wrote to Mr Sacerdoti saying: 'The BBC's guidelines require that output is "well sourced" and "based on sound evidence".

'In the absence of any evidence to support the reference to "lots" of children being killed at the time of transmission, it seems to us to have risked misleading audiences on a material point.

'We therefore propose to uphold this part of your complaint.''

I can see no reporting of the upholding of this complaint on the BBC. But more importantly Andrew Marr should be made to read out that verdict at the beginning and the end of his next BBC show. 

The BBC's anti Israel bias shines through and must be tackled. 

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