Thursday, January 29, 2009

On impartiality

The director general of the BBC, Mark Thompson, is still hanging in there, defending his "impartial" ("fair and balanced"?) decision not to broadcast an appeal by a coalition of national charities for humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. The reaction to this blatantly political move continues to build.

My earlier post on this travesty is here, including a link that casts considerable doubt on any pretensions of "impartiality" by Mark Thompson himself. He would appear, in fact, to be somewhat parti pris on Middle East issues. But what about this notion of "impartiality," anyway? Does it have any merit?

Independent columnist Mark Steel points out the patent absurdity of the BBC's position here. I can only observe that the casualties in Gaza, regrettably, did not take place in an impartial manner--indeed, they are inconveniently one-sided. But I would personally have no objection, if this was indeed the deal-breaker, to the distribution of some aid to the families of the 13 Israelis killed, five by "friendly fire."

Impartial comments welcome, as always.

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