As was noted here at the time, on January 30th the BBC News website published an article by BBC music reporter Mark Savage titled “Stars urge BBC to ask for Eurovision to be moved out of Israel”.
“The article relates to a letter published – as usual – by the Guardian newspaper the previous day and most of Savage’s report is composed of unqualified quotes from that letter (together with a link to the original) and statements made by the BBC in response.”
The following day – January 31st – BBC Northern Ireland’s BBC Radio Ulster aired a long phone-in item titled “Is the BBC right to take part in Eurovision being held in Tel Aviv, or should the corporation stay away?”.
Savage’s January 30th article was re-promoted with links billed “Stars call for Eurovision to be moved” in three other reports he wrote concerning the Eurovision Song Contest that appeared on the BBC News website during February – see here, here and here.
In March the BBC News website published a report by Anna Margret Bjornsson about the Icelandic entry to the competition which also included a link to Savage’s January 30th article as well as an entire section sub-headed “Targeting Israel”.
“They claim their entry in the competition is a political statement against Israel’s government, even though the song has no reference to Israel. The contest is being held in Tel Aviv because Israel’s Netta Barzilai won it last year. […]
They are bitterly critical of Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians and say it is absurd to allow the country to take part in the contest. […]
Some Icelanders believe Iceland’s public broadcaster should have boycotted the event.”
On April 9th the BBC News website published another report by Mark Savage concerning the participation of Madonna in the main Eurovision event. Readers were told that:
“The singer has a long association with Israel, and launched her MDNA tour in Tel Aviv in 2012.
But an appearance at Eurovision could prove controversial, as other musicians – including Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters – are calling for the contest to be boycotted on human rights grounds.”
In other words, those following Eurovision Song Contest news on the BBC News website over the past three months could hardly have avoided those repeated promotions of the demand for boycott of the event by BDS campaign supporting ‘stars’.
However, when on April 30th a letter denouncing that proposed boycott was published by more than 100 people from the entertainment industry, no coverage was to be found on the BBC News website’s ‘Entertainment and Arts’ page or under the ‘Eurovision Song Contest’ tag.
So much for BBC impartiality.