A strange concept of balance at BBC Radio Ulster

Last week we wrote about the BBC Radio Ulster ‘Sunday Sequence’ programme of May 19th 2013 in which Mairead Maguire was given free rein to promote Assad regime propaganda and antisemitic tropes. 

At least one member of the public who wrote to presenter William Crawley following that broadcast was told by him that ‘balance’ to that particular interview would come in the form of another one with Professor Richard Landes a week later on May 26th and in his introduction to that interview, Crawley makes the same claim.

“You’ll remember last week we interviewed the Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Maguire regarding in particular Syria, but also wider issues in the Middle East. During that interview she spoke about the alleged role of Israel, blaming it and its supporters for contributing to a great deal of the strife in the region. We said we’d focus this week on the other side of that argument where attention is on whether or not the West should be and should have been tougher on the rise of radical fundamentalist regimes which are bitterly opposed to Israel.”

Sunday Sequence 26 5

The interview with Professor Landes can be heard here for a limited period of time and it is also worth listening to the interview immediately following it with Dr Simon Waldman of King’s College London.

However, as interesting as these two interviews are – and even presuming that those listeners who heard Mairead Maguire bothered to tune in again a whole week later to hear “the other side” – they do absolutely nothing to counter the torrent of misinformation and hate speech which Maguire was allowed to promote from a BBC platform. 

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