The December 14th edition of BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine show included an item (from 01:38:30 here) about British resident and former Guantanamo detainee Shaker Aamer who had previously appeared on a BBC Two television programme.
The item included discussion with George Galloway and a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, Col. Richard Kemp, who happened to be speaking from Jerusalem.
On two occasions during the conversation Galloway made gratuitous references to Kemp’s location:
01:44:37 – “That is a libel. It’s defamatory. It’s a deliberate smear and lie and no wonder it’s coming from Jerusalem.”
01:48:13 – “Well I really don’t think we should be putting Shaker Aamer on trial here on the radio; least of all with the prosecutor being in Jerusalem – that well-known torture centre.” [emphasis added]
Presenter Jeremy Vine made no effort to challenge that inaccurate, off-topic and deliberately defamatory statement from a man infamous for his anti-Israel agenda.
Seeing as only recently the BBC Complaints department went out of its way to defend another inaccurate claim from the same interviewee, it may be unrealistic to expect a satisfactory outcome to any complaints made about this programme.
Unfortunately for the BBC’s reputation as a serious, accurate and impartial broadcaster, the precedent set by that obfuscation of its editorial guidelines on accuracy means that it has relegated itself to being the street-corner sandwich-board for the Israel-obsessed Galloway’s opportunistic lies – even when completely different topics are under discussion.
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