The BBC programme ‘Hardtalk’ describes itself on its own website thus:
“HARDtalk is the hard-hitting flagship news programme shown on BBC World News and the BBC News channel.
The half hour interview is the result of detailed research and in-depth investigations.
HARDtalk asks the difficult questions and gets behind the stories that make the news – from international political leaders to entertainers; from corporate decision-makers to ordinary individuals facing huge challenges.”
Here is a ‘Hardtalk’ interview with Ghazi Hamad of Hamas from July 2012:
Notably, presenter Zeinab Badawi allows Hamad to speak about the blockade without bringing up the subject of rocket fire at Israeli civilian communities.
When forced by the constraints of ‘impartiality’ to represent the Israeli point of view as Hamad recites his list of Israeli ‘crimes’, Badawi displays palpable ennui which, when interrupted by Hamad fizzles out into an apologetic “I was just trying to give you what they…”.
Badawi asks Hamad about arms smuggling through Rafah, but when he changes the subject to that of the smuggling of food, medicines and building materials, she fails to follow through.
Her final attempt at ‘impartiality’ is a lame “they [Israel] deny that of course” after Hamad states “We are sure that Israel poisoned President Arafat”.
This is not the first time that Ghazi Hamad has appeared on ‘Hardtalk’. Here he is in May 2011 going completely unchallenged by presenter Stephen Sackur when he says that Hamas is ready to “liberate our homeland” and claims that Hamas is not a terrorist organization, not radical and not extremist.
“Hard hitting”? “Difficult questions”?