When BBC Calls, Don’t Expect Love

25 Jul

[Prefatory Note: A slight rethinking of an earlier post, with a different assessment of what to do. Spurning BBC, however much we deplore their bias and malignant spins, is not sensible; we live in this media framed global space, for better and mainly worse, and to spurn it as I earlier proposed is immature posturing. The alternative of being possibly a dissident whisper in the wind is only slightly to be preferred, but as long as we are breathing such noxious media fumes, do we really have a choice?]



When BBC Calls, Should you Answer?


That is, don’t expect love, if you are a certified critic of Israeli policies and practices,  and prepare yourself for rejection.


The siren lure of big time media is partly a romancing of the ego, partly a rare moment to intrude a moment or two of truthfulness into the endless spinning of the Israel’s narrative that stresses its extravagantly humane response to Hamas flurries of rockets and alleged human shield tactics.


Four times in the past week I have received invitations to be a guest on BBC programs dealing with Israel’s military operations in Gaza. Each time the female producer, with charming British intonation, expressed her strong interest in arranging my participation at such and such a time. And each time I agreed, although my presence in a Turkish village with limited Internet access made it logistically awkward to do so, yet far from impossible to make the necessary arrangements, usually with the kind cooperation of a neighbor with superior digital facilities.


Each time I was ready at the appointed hour, and each time I was given a last minute explanation for why my appearance was cancelled—a couple of times I was told that I was a casualty of ‘breaking news,’ and the other two times, there was no embellishment, merely “we apologize, but we have to cancel today’s appearance.” And on each occasion, as if part of how producers are trained, I was told that those in charge of planning the program were eager to have me appear as soon as possible, and that I would hear in a day or so. On the basis of my past experience on the few occasions when such last minute news altered programming, I was shifted to later in the program or rescheduled for the next day. My BBC experience in this respect was ‘terminal’ as in disease.


Needless to say, the phone lines have been quiet since each of these ‘dumping’ incidents. I wonder about this pattern of invitation and cancellation. I am quite sure that these was quite separate programming for each of the invitations with no coordination among them. Was there some master censor at the BBC that reviewed the guest list just prior to the scheduled broadcast, somewhat in the manner that an ethical submarine commander might review the manifest of an enemy passenger ship wartime? Perhaps, BBC was rightly concerned that there might be a faint and ugly stain of balance that would tarnish their unsullied reputation of pro-Israeli partisanship. I will probably be forever reliant on such conjectures unless a BBC Snowden steps out of the shadows of deception and into the sunlight of disclosure.


I feel self-conscious relating this little saga at a time when so many in Gaza are dying and bleeding, and all of us should be grieving. As I write I feel humble, not arrogant. It seems that somewhere buried in these trivial rejections there is occasion for concern that the media claim of objectivity in liberal societies is above all else a sham. That even powerful players such as BBC are secretly captive, and its reportage and commentary qualifies less as news than as Hasbara, at least when it comes to Israel-Palestine.


In any event, my advice to the media savvy, is that if you have caller ID, and you can tell that it is BBC calling, don’t bother answering. I hope I have the good sense to follow my own advice should the phone ever ring again!

But I am not even sure I should prolong such childish pique! How can we turn our backs on the opportunity, however slim, to weigh in for a minute or two on the side of those being so cruelly victimized? So more soberly considered, I hope that I will have the maturity to answer the BBC call, and even keep showing up however many times I am brushed off at the last minute. By the way, I have yet to be put to the test.  Maybe in the interval BBC staffers have been handed a blacklist to avoid the slight tremors of embarrassment associated with last minute cancellations. I am not vain enough to suppose that my earlier post was passed around as a negative guideline on how to avoid inviting the wrong people to appear on news programs dealing with the Middle East.

22 Responses to “When BBC Calls, Don’t Expect Love”

  1. wingsprd July 25, 2014 at 4:12 am #

    I think you will find the mysterious hand of Israel’s lobbies deeply involved in the media, and all over the world. Take another look at the influence of Hollywood right from decades ago. Israel commits war crimes with impunity and is ignored, or excused, by the west’s media.

  2. Albert July 25, 2014 at 6:08 am #

    Any medium that gets a sizable following, is prey for the master of all media. They get a buy-out offer they cannot refuse, either for physical or financial health reasons. And the public that came to believe to be tuning into an unbiased medium are then temporarily misled into believing, that their previously held views are in error and that those, they came to mistrust, are really nice people, who have their best interest at heart. The lure of big money is hard to resist for most; where principles and integrity do have an upper limit. Such is human nature. And with this in mind, I always look for the source with the most logical conclusions, because red herrings leave a trail of dye, that cannot escape the critical eye.

  3. Gene Schulman July 25, 2014 at 7:35 am #

    Richard, I’m surprised to hear BBC even has you on their invitation list, let alone offering the opportunity to ever speak. Somebody must not have noticed you’re on the “no flight” list 😉

  4. Sergey July 25, 2014 at 10:12 am #

    A very regrettable decision for BBC; it’s mind-boggling just how uncomfortable and fearful the Western media could be with truth when it comes to occupation of Palestine.

    • Richard Falk July 25, 2014 at 9:12 pm #

      Thanks, Sergey, for your always supportive comments. My reaction is
      similar to yours. What is important about such an incident is to learn
      from it, and move on. What are your future plans?

      • Sergey July 28, 2014 at 12:59 am #

        Dear Dr. Falk,

        Thank you for your response. I am sorry I noticed it only now.
        I am going to remain in SB and begin my Ph.D program in history in the fall. I certainly hope to see you in the area!

      • Richard Falk July 28, 2014 at 2:51 am #

        Congratulations, Sergey. It will be good to have you still around in SB. Look forward
        to seeing you when we return in mid-October.

  5. oldguyincolorado July 25, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    Censorship by ANYONE does a great disservice to the truth, no matter how one views the “truth”. The key is to let all sides have their say, even if it becomes a bit emotional, at times. Nothing wrong with a good debate. There is something wrong when only one side has its “say” because that side could be wrong in the overall view of things.
    Usually I do not agree with you, but you are entitled to express your views.

    • Richard Falk July 25, 2014 at 9:14 pm #

      Especially from you, I appreciate your comment, and would say the
      same if you had my experience. Of course, I am not sure it was ‘censorship,’
      although it certainly had that smell..

  6. imleif July 25, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

    I sympathize with your reaction, and it’s scandalous of BBC to take your time and trouble you like this. On the other hand it’s a great pity if you don’t participate another time where you would get on air, because you’re among the most knowledgeable who could cut through the lies. Hopefully you will be on another channel.

  7. Laurie Knightly July 25, 2014 at 4:19 pm #

    Any place we can complain?

  8. rehmat1 July 26, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    Dr. Falk, I bet you know why BBC let you hang dry. If you still have some doubts, you can learn from Israeli-Italian author and broadcaster Rula Jebreal’s recent experience at MSNBC. I bet BBC will never provide a platform to excuse poor tiny Israel playing modern Nazis.


    • Juliet francisco July 27, 2014 at 10:25 am #

      Mr. Falk, first thank you for your support of the truth ….and of course the Palestinians in this difficult time. Do I understand right that most of the media is controlled by Israel and their supporters and Hasbara ??
      I sincerely, hope and wish that you and other people in your position and influence can do more to expose Israel and their manipulation of the media . This will help the Palestinians to get their point across and then let the world judge. Thank you

      • Kata Fisher July 27, 2014 at 12:25 pm #

        I have a reflection bout that what Julia wrote based on this:


        I believe that there is an issue with double-faced and self-contradicting truths to Hamas and Israeli.

        How to bring them individually and corporately to one truth that is not double-faced and self-contradicting?

        When Hamas is willing to coexist with Jews then, Hamas Charter is and must be null and void, as well because it is not “The Charter of Allah”, and I repeat: it is not “The Charter of Allah.”

        Israeli as a state are another story with Netanyahu, and their twisted ways of colonial-Zionism, altogether because what they are doing is not valid for the Holy Land. This is why: God did not tell them to pursue the Holy Land territory in the way they did and as they do now.

        They need to commit themselves to some objective truths – whenever this may be possible for them.

    • Francisco July 27, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

      On terrorism and terrorists. [The Stern Gang] “Extremely anti-British, the group repeatedly attacked British personnel in Palestine and even invited aid from the Axis powers.” The Encyclopedia Britannica. The Stern Gang was a Zionist terrorist organization founded in 1940 by Avraham Stern. britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/565756/Stern-Gang

  9. rehmat1 July 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Kata Fisher – It’s not Hamas but Israelis who doesn’t want to co-exist with Arabs. Just look the case of Sayed Kashua,, one of Israel’s top Hebrew writer, author, movie-writer and columnist with daily Ha’aretz. Last Thursday, he threw his towel and left Israel for good to settle in New York. According to Ha’aretz, Kashua made that decision because it finally dawned on him that Israel has been hijacked by extremist Jews who do not want to co-exist with Palestinians and Blacks.

    To find out who really hate Jews – Netanyahu or Hamas – watch a video produced by Melbourne-based Juice Media, entitled “When Netanyahu meets Hamas”, below.


    • Kata Fisher July 27, 2014 at 5:14 pm #

      Dear rehmat1,

      My friend had reflection about this:


      “Please God this goes viral in the hearts and minds of all men and women who wear costumes in the interests of the ‘State’ – and who surrender the conscience at the instruction of the ‘State’. Which is to say the ‘House of Rothschild’ and that dark dream as it casts a long shadow of death across all living souls in Israel and Palestine… Om shanti shanti shanti.”

      It is all about annulment of the works invalid and the “state” of Israel and “Hamas Charter” itself (a literal annulment of these things because people can’t have that and submit to that by their free will of the conscience; it is anti-ecclesiastical even to the law of the conscience.

      Hamas has made its mistake. If they would refuse to fight Israeli (demonstrate same behavior as we see in this report), all together – how would that look like?

      • rehmat1 July 27, 2014 at 8:38 pm #

        Kata Fisher, I know talking to a Self-denying Zionist Jew is like talking to 10-ft thick Wailing Wall.

        The “Hamas Charter” is no better Zionist lie than Ahmadinejad’s calling “wipe Israel off the map”. Israel is not a Jewish state nor most of its leaders are practicing Jews. In fact, the great majority of Israel’s Jewish population has nothing to do with Moses’ Law. They are a bunch of socialists, communists and atheists.

        Now, explain the readers what good it be if Hamas stop armed resistance against the Zionist regime – when Netanyahu said recently: An independent Palestinian state over my dead body.”


      • Kata Fisher July 28, 2014 at 9:24 am #

        Dear rehmat1,

        You said:

        “Kata Fisher, I know talking to a Self-denying Zionist Jew is like talking to 10-ft thick Wailing Wall.”

        What do you mean by this? I do not want to misunderstand you on this.

        You are not giving reference to me as “a Self-denying Zionist Jew?”

        I would not be “a Self-denying Zionist Jew”, and this is why:

        I am Church-Charismatic (specifically, Roman-Catholic- Charismatic) and I am ordained, as well. Yes, this ordination of a woman is scripturally forbidden – it was not, however, in my free will and absolute knowledge by the Scripture that it was – or would be; however, it cannot just be rubbed off like a sticker because it is permanent. Meaning, I am and can be sovereign by Spirit of God (self-governing and not ruled by any will of man, only the will of God). I do know that this is/may be difficult to grasp.

        You say this: “The ‘Hamas Charter’ is no better Zionist lie than Ahmadinejad’s calling ‘wipe Israel off the map. ‘ ”

        What do you mean by this? I do not understand your argument.

        You write:

        “Israel is not a Jewish state nor most of its leaders are practicing Jews. In fact, the great majority of Israel’s Jewish population has nothing to do with Moses’ Law. They are a bunch of socialists, communists and atheists.”

        My statement about that is this:

        This argument is invalid (null and void) based on Systematic Theology/Doctrine of Faith/s & point in time.

        Meaning: Israel is Jewish Kingdom regardless what their non-believing majority is doing! This is a fact.

        Israel is Jewish Kingdom just as any of Middle East Islamic Monarchy’s/Kingdoms are/is Islamic Kingdom/s regardless of their non-believing majority is doing! This is a fact.

        It is Jewish Kingdom—the Holy Land is, and this is why: It is perpetually under spiritual authority of the Old Testament and Household of David (descendants of King David). This is a fact.

        Meaning this: the smallest fraction of Jews in Holy Land (even one single person who is descendent of King David) makes Holy Land Jewish Kingdom based on spiritual authority that is vested in that ONE single person! This is a fact.

        Based on the vested spiritual authority in that ONE-/ single person you are and/or may not be accountable to give a reference to Holy Land as “Jewish Kingdom.” That is, not Islamic Kingdom – or any lay-person’s wishes. Otherwise, you are confused believer and/or non-believer — atheist that is ruled by any of ideas without substance! This is a fact. This is objective truth, in fact.

        Otherwise, mine and yours objective truth does not correlate; that is, either I or you are lay-person.

        You write:

        ”Now, explain the readers what good it be if Hamas stop armed resistance against the Zionist regime – when Netanyahu said recently: An independent Palestinian state over my dead body. ‘”
        You write: “…what good it be if Hamas stop armed resistance against the Zionist regime…?.”

        What is “Palestine state” in Holy Land? Let me ask you that? What exactly it is or would be? For sure it can be allowed to be! Yes, it sure can be – but what would be the consequence?

        Let me tell you this: I am not bewitched & bewitching to tell you what the future is and should be – read yours Holy Books and see what it will be. However, which one, right – do we read Old Testament- or do we read New Testament – or do we read Holy Quran?

        Yes, go on read & interpret any of them on your own/own-will-power and that without consequence–right?

        I say this: let is not mock God and this is why:

        Has not God given so much to the broken off from Old Testament Faith Israelites (contemporarily Muslims under Islam) almost entire Middle East Land’s and Abrahamic tribes- wives that are grafting in seed of Sara & Rachel, the rebellious even under prophesy in Church age?

        However, as soon as they have a line of prophets they abuse & kill them and/or lock them up! Am I wrong?

        This is what God has not given to Israelites under Islam that are broken off from Old Testament /the Olive Tree itself: God has not given them Holy Land under spiritual authority of Islam/Holy Quran. He just has not, and will not.

        However, to King David’s descendent under Holy Testament – a Jew somewhere in Holy Land and outside the Holy Land God has given Holy Land under Old Testament: Jewish Kingdom. This is a fact.

        Please, do not misunderstand me. In fact, I do request that I am not misunderstood about these things. And this is why: I am not in some irrational claims – people are under Ecclesiastical Laws & realities of that. This is a fact.

  10. Kata Fisher August 1, 2014 at 3:52 pm #


    This is illegal negligence / separation of disabled children / siblings. International law should protect children from such horrific consequences.


  1. BBC: ‘No to Israel’s critic’ | Rehmat's World - July 27, 2014

    […] self-hating American Jewish professor Richard Falk (Princeton University) posted his recent experience with the British government-owned broadcasting corporation BBC over his scheduled interview […]

  2. TRANSCEND MEDIA SERVICE » When BBC Calls, Don’t Answer - July 28, 2014

    […] Go to Original – richardfalk.wordpress.com […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: