Comments at the BBC about LGF: On the Politics of Silence

Little Green Footballs has posted an extremely interesting remark from the BBC thread about Little Green Footballs which appeared after the BBC closed down a thread started by someone asking why the BBC didn’t allow links to LGF in their comments, especially since LGF placed among the top 25 blogs in a Forbes Magazine survey. In place of the original remark, which included a link to Forbes’ article, the BBC put:

This posting has been temporarily hidden, because a member of our Moderation Team has referred it to the Hosts for a decision as to whether it contravenes the House rules in some way. We will do everything we can to ensure that a decision is made as quickly as possible.

Comments #12, 14, and 18 were also so “suspended,” presumably because they violated the regulations as well.

This strikes me as akin to the kind of “gag-order” rulings that characterize the French courts in the matter of Charles Enderlin vs. the websites that criticize him.

Shortly before the thread closed, removing LGF from the title, someone posted a long entry that nicely delineates the coming clash of blogosphere and those relics of the MSM that cannot handle the challenge.

Message 27 – posted by whollyinappropriate (U7252466) , 4 Hours Ago

That the BBC does not allow a link to LGF will come as little surprise to those of us familiar with the BBCs output and editorial tone. What has come as a surprise to me, a relative newcomer to the ‘blogosphere’, is the degree to which the news the BBC chooses to present to us is filtered and censored. Whole stories that cause a sensation on the blogosphere and are of undoubted public interest are either mentioned in passing or not mentioned at all by the BBC.

I don’t know how long whollyinappropriate has been paying attention to the blogosphere, but it doesn’t take long to realize what an enormous gap exists between what the MSM will treat, and what one has access to through the blogosphere. This realization will, in coming months and years, continue to undermine the credibility of a MSM used to having a near monopoly on what information (and writers) make it into the “public sphere.” Now cyberspace offers a way round that monopoly, and this at a particularly problematic time for the MSM, caught in a politically correct trap that does not allow them to discuss the most burning issue of the day — imperialist Islam. The growing and monumental process of public awakening to the failings of the MSM in this matter represents a seismic shift that will play out in the coming months and years.

Towards the end of last year I saw a BBC news report on the continuing anarchy in the Paris suburbs with protests by French police against the increasing number of attacks they were coming under. This was around three weeks after the same story first began circulating on the blogs.

And that was the second time around. It already happened a year earlier, right around the time of the Pajamas Media launch. So the BBC is not only slow, it has a very low learning curve.

By now all of us will have familiarised ourselves with the anodyne Mohammed cartoons that provoked such controversy last year – not through the MSM but through the blogosphere. Would any of us know about last years riots in Windsor, the Reuters fauxtography scandal or the home office ordering 12,000 nuclear protection suits for the Met over Christmas if it wasn’t for the blogs? Do you know what one of the main uses of Polonium-210 is? Look it up on the internet because the recent Panorama programme didn’t tell us.

And more recently have you heard about last week’s conference in London hosted by the Mayor where Ken Livingstone was debating with Daniel Pipes on the topic of ‘A World Civilisation or a Clash of Civilisations’? No? Didn’t you hear about it on the BBC? Odd that, particularly since the debate was chaired by the Beebs own Gavin Esler.

Pipes commented on that shortly after the debate. Could the silence have reflected the same dismay that may be behind the BBC’s decision to shut down the thread, that is, that Pipes got as much applause as Livingstone, just as LGF got as many defenders as detractors at the comment thread? Indeed, the balance was beginning to tip: the BBC shut down the discussion after a succession of 9 straight postings in support of LGF.

A similar phenomenon occurred in Israel when John Wolsey’s talk at Herzliya – a hard-headed expression of the Honor Jihad Paradigm (HJP) in that he dismissed the 2-State solution as fantasy — was cut from the Kol Yisrael (Voice of Israel) broadcast. The broadcaster stopped the feed, informing his listeners that he would return to it, if it became worthwhile. Then he ran Amir Peretz’s speech about how close we are to negotiations with the Palestinians — which struck those of us who had heard the previous panel as a joke played on Peretz by the conference organizers — without interruption.

However if you do rely on the BBC for your news coverage you will today know which Archbishop turned down an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother and that a photo of David Beckham slaying a dragon is on display at Disneyworld. You will also no doubt recall the story of motorists caught on CCTV driving into traffic bollards in Manchester and of the pelican that swallowed a pigeon.

It’s hard for me to judge whether that’s not just cherry-picking human interest stuff from a menu that has plenty of news items, or not. I know that French news is astoundingly light-weight, with extensive discussions of vacationers, and weather, and “human interest” of a remarkably banal sort.

Increasingly it isn’t going to matter to the likes of Little Green Footballs whether or not the BBC links to them. The more pertinent question, in the not too distant future, is whether Little Green Footballs will allow links to the BBC.

One would hope so. Otherwise LGF would have lost its sense of humor.

The other comments at the site reveal a most interesting mentality among the opponents of LGF. A certain Ozymandias writes:

…it’s a complete joke and everyone knows it. You can ban this kind of stuff, but it just goes underground, we can’t even shut down all of the child porn sites apparantly.

Asked by another to explain what his objections are, O responds more specifically:

It’s braindead right wing nonsense from beginning to end. No sentient being could take it seriously. And you lot have the NERVE to complain about John Pilger.

This strikes me as a fairly good example of the problem with the Left and the MSM today, and I’d be willing to say that, although the problem goes back a lot farther than October 2000, it was then that it became particularly acute, something the reference to Pilger illustrates quite nicely. John Pilger is the posterboy for the Post-Colonial Paradigm (PCP2). Here he writes in response to 9-11 on the theme, “you Yanks got what you deserve,” that recalls the open Schadenfreude of Baudrillard.

If the attacks on America have their source in the Islamic world, who can really be surprised?… [any decent human being – RL]
The attacks on Tuesday come at the end of a long history of betrayal of the Islamic and Arab peoples: the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, the foundation of the state of Israel, four Arab-Israeli wars and 34 years of Israel’s brutal occupation of an Arab nation… [So why not bomb Big Ben? -RL]
It is only a few years ago that the Islamic fundamentalist groups, willing to blow themselves up in Israel and New York, were formed, and only after Israel and the US had rejected outright the hope of a Palestinian state, and justice for a people scarred by imperialism [and that outright refusal came when? at Camp David 2000? -RL]. Their distant voices of rage are now heard; the daily horrors in faraway brutalised places have at last come home.” (The Herald [Glasgow], September 13, 2001).

This kind of thinking can, among other things, justify literally anything Muslim fanatics do as a response to a catalogue of horrors inflicted on them by imperialism. Here’s where I have double trouble: 1) the French and the English have killed far more Muslims than the Israelis or the Americans and betrayed them far more extensively; and 2) what about the people scarred by Islamic imperialism, like Jews and Christians, Kurds, Armenians, and Berbers — shouldn’t they be justified in blowing up the Muslim world? Whatever happened to “an eye for an eye and the whole world will be blind” — or is that just to stop Israeli retaliation?

“Braindead right wing nonsence from beginning to end. No sentient being could take it seriously.” Although this is not the same language that the medieval inquisition used about “heretics,” it represents a modern “democratic” version: excommunicate by ridicule and dismissal. If you want people to take you seriously as a sentient being, do NOT cite LGF.

Another commentator adds the following:

I would expect any decent person to be disgusted by sites like that [LGF], even if they are concerned about Islam.
I can understand the anger after 9/11 (which is when he changed from cycling to the current obsession), but 5 years later ?????

Note how, by dismissing LGF’s response to 9-11, it reduces the content to mere anger, and its continuation now — when the situation with Islam is considerably more alarming — as a peevish obsession. No wonder people — especially Europeans — are so little prepared to think clearly.

So the bien-pensant Left operates in a world where dismissive remarks about LGF are markers of sophistication. But they actually live in a highly brittle world of denial… not only denial of the problems with Islam, which they consistently dismiss as Islamophobia, but denial of the public’s growing desire to know what’s going on with Islam and which the multicultural dogmatists at the BBC are not about to share with them.

Nothing gives us insight into the nature of our current western inability to apprehend what kind of an enemy we face. By defining any hostility to Islam as racism, and therefore as a form of speech that can and should be repressed, we silence the messenger of bad news, and further weaken ourselves. No wonder that, since 9-11, the fortunes of global Jihad have grown by leaps and bounds.

But such an attitude leaves organizations like the BBC in a vulnerable condition. Like left-leaning MSM news outlets in the USA, their audience is shrinking. They still have an enormous inertial strength, including not only the institutional structure and financial support but — still — their reputation and their British accents (which liberal Americans assume means intelligence just as they assume Southern accents means stupidity). But not only has the BBC made significant errors that the public knows about, but their condition is one that relies on the ignorance of a public which now has independent access to that information and a damn good reason to want to know it.

For all its size and prestige, the BBC is not in an admirable position. Indeed, if you want to know how big guys get knocked off by little guys, watch this one closely. And let’s hope LGF and Pajamas Media et al. chastize the BBC — and initiate a wide-ranging cleaning of those Augean Stables — before the Islamists get to them. After all, the blogosphere is the river that Hercules sought in his fifth labo[u]r. Is the BBC part of the Stables that needs cleaning, or part of the encrusted horse manure that needs to wash downriver? Perhaps the animators of Biased BBC have some opinions.

In the meantime, since the BBC still pretends publicly to fairness and adherence to its rules, let’s hope we get a “rapid” response to the inquiry about whether this post can stand.

UPDATE:
The BBC, in its infinite wisdom has decided to allow the thread, including the opening piece which, somewhat like the Danish Muhammad Cartoons, is anodyne to say the least.

once upon a time links to lgf were banned by the mods.
Clearly, this prestigious recognition by Forbes makes it mainstream. But mainstream enough for the BBC?

Now what on earth got them worked up enough to pull that?

They also allowed comments #14 and 18, but not yet 12. Given the content of the two now revealed, I’m dying to know what is in 12. In any case, it’s hard to know whether to congratulate the BBC for their stiff upper lip in displaying this bland material, or ridicule them for ever having questioned its appropriateness.

Comment #14 reads:

“I think most people are disgusted Sheldon” [noted Ozymandias, who then went on to compare LGF to child porn],
clearly you are wrong given the forbes rating.

Huh? This gets cut, but comparisons of LGF to child porn don’t?

Comment #18 reads:

JLA, I think the issue with linking directly to it is more due to the fact that the laws on defamation/libel work differently in the UK and USA than any form of censure of its political viewpoint.

Alex, I’m not clear as to what point your comment relates but I note a great difference in the way that the USA discusses ongoing trials and declares verdict opinion in broadcast.

I have regularly read LGF, Dhimmi Watch and Jihad Watch for at least five years and their basis is that they will take a public domain report and place their own agenda comments on it.

They were instrumental in exposing the Rathergate memo and did a good job in disseminating the faux photography and staged events in the Hezbollah war against Israel.

I consider them as mainstream newsworthiness as the BBC and Sky. Its just that they have a narrow beam. To paraphrase a relative of mine who used to post here “When I run a toy shop don’t come in and ask for two cod & chips and a sausage in batter”.

I guess that its possible a link to an article could be considered under different defamation and libel laws in the sense that the BBC has caused an article to be published and becomes responsible.

In the same way that if I complain about a post and a moderator considers it is in line with BBC Editorial Policy and can stay then the BBC has transitioned from not being responsible for the content here to a position of becoming responsible by now causing the post to be published by agreeing it meets BBC Editorial Standard, since they had an opportunity to remove it.

I’m a bit confused, since I remember reading some of this post (faux photography scandal — he didn’t get the pun), but not all. In any case what’s interesting about this is that it reflects a similar situation as the one in France. In the results of the third Enderlin trial (I have not yet written about the decision which came January 18), an individual got fined for putting remarks by someone else up at his sight that the court found defammatory. Given the mildness of the remarks — “[MENA] affirms that grave suspicions of disinformation exist where this affair is concerned, and of the role of the personnel of France2…” — and that the website in question also put up Charles Enderlin’s own articles, thus testifying to a willingness to give many people voices, the decision essentially chokes off any serious discussion.

So, relatively speaking, good for the BBC. But how pathetic that this is even an issue.

14 Responses to Comments at the BBC about LGF: On the Politics of Silence

  1. Cynic says:

    That I could be so eloquent.

    This strikes me as akin to the kind of “gag-order”
    That has been one of the big failings of the MSM; to not tolerate another opinion.

    The growing and monumental process of public awakening to the failings of the MSM in this matter represents a seismic shift that will play out in the coming months and years.

    Now if we could only be sure that this will spill over onto the politicians and irrigate their minds somewhat to the vacuous ratings accorded by the MSM’s agenda we might acquire a better legislature.
    Assuming of course that they know which blogs to read :-)

    Thanks.

  2. History is littered with the carcasses of people, corporations and civilizations that only wanted to pay attention to the bits of reality that squared with their own world-view. The MSM in the US will adapt (at least, the one that survivor will) when they see their audiences staying away in droves. The hideous injustice of an anachronism like the BBC and (somewhat less so now) PBS is that they are insulated from the public’s thirst from what is really going on by government subsidies and particularly nasty, tenure-like, feudal management organizations.
    I am always reminded of Ken Olsen the founder of Digital Equipment. He was the guy who built that giant international computer company by making smaller, more powerful mainframes and minicomputers and then, in the face of the next wave of microcomputers and distributed computing failed to see the continuation of the trend. He was famously dismissive of PC’s of all kinds, often calling them “toys”. He was on record as saying “There is no reason for any individual to have a computer in his home.” If a true leader and visionary like Olsen who was continuously engaged in a high-stakes, entrepreneurial business could miss the new tide of the computing world, is it any wonder that the sleek, supercilious potentates of the BBC and the earnest, erstwhile, opinion-shapers at PBS have no clue what is bearing down on them?

  3. Eliyahu says:

    my response to Baudrillard’s perversity is to ask whether he knows his own country’s history regarding Islamic/jihadist aggression. I’m not going back to the Merovingian and Carlovingian kings, but only the two hundred years before France’s occupation of Algeria [1830] which shut down jihad piracy from there against European and American shipping in the Mediterranean.

    http://ziontruth.blogspot.com/2006/03/barbary-pirates-were-warriors-for.html

  4. [...] ou lot have the NERVE to complain about John …It’s useful article i think.Link to original article [...]

  5. Sunday Afternoon Links

    Ethanol production damaging the Mexican tortilla business.Iran in Iraq. It’s not news, but watch us go after them…covertly, and at night.Prelapsarian, innocent vs. naive, and pompous language. Shape of Days.The BEEB bans LGF. Augean Stables.Are Amer…

  6. RL says:

    Eliyahu,
    I think you expect too much of the French — like serious self-reflection. these are the people who are for alter-mondialization (multi-cultural globalization) not because they are in favor of it, but because globalization is being carried out under American auspices. if they can’t be the hegemon, they’ll do anything to bring down the dominant force — esp if that “hegemon” doesn’t strike back.

  7. Speaking links to power

    BBC bans links to LGF.

  8. somaking says:

    What the dinosaurs of old media don’t realize is the rate of technological change is accellerating *expoentially*.

    The rate of change itself is growing exponentially. This is a fact. By the time the MSM gets their collective heads out of nether regions, the changes will have happened already.

    But most people can’t fathom what the rapid pace of technology advancement will bring in a short time.

  9. Positively 4th Street says:

    I used to feel adrift in a sea of liberal moonbats while watching the MSM on television. I felt so alone. Upon finding LGF and legions of other common sense sights where people actually understood what was happening in the world, I realised I was far from alone. I’ve also come to realise that the dinos in the MSM know their time is all but over – Go Charles!

  10. This kind of “will we tolerate the merchants” attitude of the dying royalty that is the BBC is the last gasp of the old order. This itself is the cultural marker that the BBC has no real authority (except inertial — well-noted) and every exposure of its duplicitous hypocrisy allows the populace to see them as they really are — impotent. We are the peasants with torches and pitchforks. They are the frightened noblemen crouching in their crumbled castles, feverishly ordering imaginary servants to save them.

  11. BBC Comment #12 says:

    “Message 12 – posted by jLA (U3873142) , 4 Days Ago
    I visit several times daily. Little Green Footballs is mainstream and was responsible for the Rathergate expose.

    Its stable mates Dhimmi Watch and Jihad Watch are also required reading.

    Remember, they have opinions but they are based on facts presented in the news. They don’t make anything up.”

  12. RT says:

    It seems to me that most (95%+) of LGF’s content is a form of link farming – posting links and excerpts from content originators. It would make more sense for people posting on the BBC site to post the original link, wouldn’t it?

    There’s very little material on LGF that’s “original”, apart from the short editorializing on some of the links and the occasional (once every 6 months, maybe) story like the Reuters photos and the Dan Rather memos. Moreover, nobody will take responsibility for the LGF comments section – the site owner disowns them (while doing some moderation), and the commenters themselves are quasi-anonymous. So, where’s the interest in linking to LGF rather than to the source of the original story?

  13. Cynic says:

    So, where’s the interest in linking to LGF rather than to the source of the original story?

    To credit LGF with making the source known?
    LGF does play a part in today’s quest for fact and truth by bringing to our attention posts in other blogs which most probably would have gone unnoticed such as their link to Micahel J, Totten’s blog exposing Hezbollah’s latest attempt in fauxtography:
    Lebanese bloggers Rampurple and Jeha, who both show up at times in my comments section, busted Hezbollah and Michel Aoun for peddling a blatantly doctored photograph on Hezbollah’s An Manar TV channel.

    :-)

  14. Alprazolam. says:

    Alprazolam.

    Alprazolam.

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