Sipping my pint (a Brakspear bitter if you're interested), and mercilessly beating my wife at backgammon, I was inwardly fuming. It wasn't my pint, which was delicious, and it wasn't the taste of winning, which was as sweet as ever. It was the BBC and their reporting of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict that made me fume.
The BBC's report on the conflict consisted of lamenting the loss of Palestinian lives, which was over 300, interviewing a tearful Palestinian mother who had lost two children, and lambasting Israel for their use of force. Their report, in essence, was basically saying that Israel is the big bully with guns who, consumed with blood lust, is needlessly and mindlessly blowing up Palestinian civilians for no apparent reason, apart from perhaps a bad mood and a warped desire to destroy.
I too lament the loss of Palestinian AND Israeli lives. I too am sympathetic with the Palestinian mother who lost two children. And I don't deny that the situation is dire, complex and difficult. But I'm furious with the BBC for flushing objective reporting down the toilet in such shameless idiocy, and instead going for a blatant pro-Palestine report, which will no doubt drive up anti-Israel and pro-Palestine feeling in viewers.
And listen, I am pro-Israel and pro-Palestine. But I'm also in favour of news reporting to be as objective as possible. Sure, nothing reported is truly objective, but I'd like the BBC to at least try, rather than spewing out content akin to the puerile wining of a spoilt three-year-old.
The BBC failed miserably to mention that Hamas and Israel had been observing a six-month ceasefire brokered by the Egyptians. Israel was prepared to resume trade with Gaza if the violence ceased, which it didn't. Even at the quietest period 15 to 20 rockets were still raining down on Israel each month.
The BBC failed to mention that Hamas ended the ceasefire, firing 70 rockets on Israel.
The BBC also failed to mention that Hamas deliberately embeds its fighters and weapons amongst the civilian population, hence the high Palestinian death toll. In fact, one of its own rockets misfired and killed two Palestinian schoolgirls. I didn't hear the BBC mention that in the report.
To be fair on the BBC, maybe the above were covered in other reports which I did not see. But that's the point I suppose, each report should have some objectivity, just a smidgen if you please. Is that too much to ask?