On June 25th 2013 the Middle East page of the BBC News website carried yet another item concerning the ‘Arab Idol’ winner Mohammed Assaf – a filmed report about his return to the Gaza Strip, which was also broadcast on BBC television news.
The presenter informs BBC audiences:
“His achievement has even brought the main rival Palestinian factions closer together.”
Does the BBC really believe that is an accurate statement?
The rationale behind the bizarre claim is that:
“He’s managed to get praise from not only Palestinian president Abbas, but also some Hamas officials.”
Oh dear. That sounds more like the level of ‘analysis’ one might find in Heat magazine than that of a publicly-funded national broadcaster which pledges to “remain the standard-setter for international journalism”.
But that wasn’t the end of the BBC’s ‘Arab Idol’ binge. The BBC News website also published a written article on the subject of Assaf’s homecoming on the same day – the seventh item in less than two weeks.
Ironically, at the same time the BBC News website also poses the obviously very pertinent question “Did our brains evolve to foolishly follow celebrities?”.