Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Catholic church accuses BBC of 'anti-Christian' bias

Britain’s most senior Catholic has accused the BBC of harbouring an institutional bias against “Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular”. Cardinal Keith O’Brien said the BBC’s news coverage is contaminated by “a radically secular and socially liberal mindset”.

The Archbishop of St Andrews and Edinburgh said the corporation’s intolerance of religion is equivalent to its “massive” political bias against the Conservatives in the 1980s.

He also accused the corporation of plotting a “hatchet job” on the Vatican in a documentary about clerical sex abuse on the eve of Pope Benedict XVI’s visit to Britain.

Cardinal O’Brien believes that atheists like Professor Richard Dawkins are given a disproportionate amount of airtime while mainstream Christian views are marginalised.

He is also angered by a 15 per cent slump in religious programming over the past 20 years and believes the broadcaster should appoint a religion editor to address the decline.

He said: “This week the BBC’s director general [Mark Thompson] admitted that the corporation had displayed ‘massive bias’ in its political coverage throughout the 1980s, acknowledging the existence of an institutional political bias.”

“Our detailed research into BBC news coverage of Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular, together with a systematic analysis of output by the Catholic church, has revealed a consistent anti-Christian institutional bias.”

He added that insiders at the BBC had privately admitted that there is a cultural intolerance of Christianity at the corporation. “Senior news managers have admitted to the Catholic church that a radically secular and socially liberal mindset pervades their newsrooms. “This sadly taints BBC news and current affairs coverage of religious issues, particularly matters of Christian beliefs.”

Cardinal O’Brien joined calls by the Church of England for the BBC to appoint a religion editor to spearhead the corporation’s coverage of faith issues.

The Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, Bishop of Manchester and the Church of England’s lead spokesman on communications, made the request last month in a submission to the BBC Trust’s ongoing review of BBC Radio 3, BBC Radio 4 and BBC Radio 7. He wrote: "We see no logical distinction between the genre of arts, science and business (all of which include reflecting and discerning between different opinions and perspectives, and have BBC editors) and that of religion.”

Cardinal O’Brien also voiced fears that the broadcaster will use a forthcoming documentary called Benedict –Trials of a Pope to humiliate the pontiff on the eve of his visit to Britain.

The programme, which charts the clerical child abuse crisis that has dogged the Catholic church, has been made by Mark Dowd, a homosexual former Dominican friar. It will be aired on September 15.

Senior Catholic figures have suggested that the Pope could meet with victims of abuse by Roman Catholic priests when he visits Britain later this month. Cardinal Vincent Nichols told BBC1’ Andrew Marr show yesterday: "The pattern of his last five or six visits has been that he has met victims of abuse. "But the rules are very clear, that is done without any pre-announcement, it is done in private and it is done confidentially, which is quite right and proper so I think we have to wait and see.”

The BBC dismissed Cardinal O’Brien’s criticism of its religious coverage and denied that it had marginalised mainstream religious issues, which it said were placed “at the heart” of its schedule.

A spokeswoman said: “The BBC’s commitment to religious broadcasting is unequivocal. BBC news and current affairs has a dedicated religion correspondent, and works closely with BBC Religion, ensuring topical religious and ethical affairs stories are featured across all BBC networks.”

In response to the Cardinal's attack on the forthcoming documentary by Mr Dowd, she said: "Mark is just one presenter in a range of programming that will include live news and events coverage of the visit itself, and other documentaries across radio and TV."


Some Leftist racists

Using their own standards

Recall that during the 2008 presidential campaign, Barack Obama's candidacy was rocked by YouTube videos of his unhinged, America-denouncing, whitey-condemning, anti-Semitic pastor of 20 years, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. Several Journolist members cried Mayday! and traded e-mails on how to control the damage.

Spencer Ackerman's Huffington Post bio describes his position with The Washington Independent as "senior reporter." This Journolist "journalist" offered this game plan: "If the right forces us all to either defend Wright or tear him down, no matter what we choose, we lose the game they've put upon us. Instead, take one of them -- Fred Barnes, Karl Rove, who cares -- and call them racists." You know, eenie, meenie, minie, moe.

To be fair, some lefties actually want a plausible reason to call someone a racist. So, what makes Beck one?

As we were constantly reminded this past weekend, Beck once called President Obama "a racist" with a "deep-seated hatred for white people, or the white culture."

Beck says he regrets what he said. He says he should have referred to and condemned the "black liberation theology" preached by Wright. But only liberals are allowed regrets.

Here is The Glenn Beck Rule: When one recklessly, irresponsibly and with absolutely no basis calls someone a racist, or accuses him or her of racism or of racial insensitivity, or uses incendiary, racially tinged language -- the person who makes the accusation is the racist.

Let's apply The Rule:

Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif.: Then-President George Herbert Walker Bush is "a racist."

Sen. (then-candidate) Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.: Then-President George W. Bush "let people die on rooftops in New Orleans because they were poor and because they were black."

Rep. Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y.: "George (W.) Bush is our Bull Connor," referring to the racist Southern lawman who sicced dogs and turned water hoses on civil rights marchers. Of the GOP, Rangel said, "It's not 'sp--' or 'n-----' anymore; they just say, 'Let's cut taxes.'"

Donna Brazile, Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign manager: The GOP has "a white-boy attitude," which means the GOP "must exclude, denigrate and leave behind."

Rep. (then-state Sen.) Diane Watson, D-Calif., on black affirmative action foe Ward Connerly: "He's married to a white woman. He wants to be white. He wants a colorless society. He has no ethnic pride. He doesn't want to be black."

Then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y.: In a speech in a black Baptist church, she said: "When you look at the way the (then-Republican-controlled) House of Representatives has been run, it has been run like a plantation. And you know what I'm talkin' about."

Director Spike Lee: Then-Sen. Trent Lott is a "card-carrying member" of the Ku Klux Klan; and about his dislike for interracial couples, Lee said, "I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street."

The Rev. Al Sharpton: Falsely accused an assistant district attorney of sexually assaulting a black teenager; called the Central Park Jogger "a whore"; called black then-New York Mayor David Dinkins a "n----- whore"; denounced as "white interlopers" people wishing to do business in Harlem; and, during the deadly Crown Heights affair, said, "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house."

The Rev. Jesse Jackson: Jews are "Hymies," and New York is "Hymie-Town." First he denied saying it. Then came an admission, after that an apology, followed by collective media amnesia.

Any questions?


Victims on the road to 'peace'

by Jeff Jacoby

TALIA AND YITZHAK AMES met as students at Moscow University, as they waited in line one day to register for their classes. They got married in 1985, and had two children by the time they emigrated to Israel in 1991. Four more children followed in the next 19 years, and Talia was nine months pregnant with their seventh when she and Yitzhak were murdered by Palestinian terrorists last week.

The killers ambushed them as they were driving home Tuesday night, heading south on Highway 60 toward Beit Haggai in the Hebron Hills. With Talia and Yitzhak in the car when the killers opened fire were two other residents of Beit Haggai: Avishai Schindler, a newly-married yeshiva student, and Kochava Even-Haim, a nursery school teacher and the mother of an 8-year-old daughter. Kochava's husband Maimon, an emergency-aid volunteer, was one of the first responders to arrive at the scene, unaware that he would find his wife among the dead. All of the victims were shot repeatedly at close range, and the car was riddled with dozens of bullets.

Hamas, a terrorist organization whose charter extols the murder of Jews, promptly claimed responsibility for the massacre, describing it as "part of the repelling operations against the occupation assaults on Gaza Strip and West Bank." In Hamas-controlled Gaza, the bloodshed was celebrated; the news was broadcast from loudspeakers and there was a "victory" rally in the Jebaliya refugee camp. The Palestinian Authority, headed by Fatah's Mahmoud Abbas, issued a tepid statement condemning the Hamas "operation" -- not because the slaughter of innocent civilians is a brutal atrocity, but merely on the tactical grounds that it "contradicts Palestinian interests" by making it more difficult for "the Palestinian leadership to garner international support."

The killings on Highway 60 took place as Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was en route to Washington for a new round of negotiations with the Palestinian Authority. When word of the bloodbath reached him, he could have cancelled the talks and immediately returned home to attend the victims' funerals and focus on restoring security. But he declined to alter his itinerary. "We are committed to peace," his spokesman said. His position didn't change even after a second attack along the same highway Wednesday night, when terrorists opened fire on an Israeli car, wounding a young rabbi and his wife.

A persistent myth of the Arab-Israeli conflict is that Palestinian terrorists kill Jews in order to "disrupt the peace process," and that the best response to terrorism is to persevere with negotiations. That explanation for last week's carnage was repeated everywhere, from the White House ("This brutal attack underscores how far the enemies of peace will go to try to block progress") to Israel's opposition leader Tzipi Livni ("[the terrorists had a] "cold, political motive: to prevent the peace process" to the international media.

But far from opposing a "peace process" meant to push Israel into ever-deeper concessions, retreats, and self-endangerment, terrorists -- whether affiliated with Hamas or with Fatah -- seek to accelerate it. The two Palestinian factions may be at war with each other, but they have always been as one in rejecting Israel's existence as the sovereign state of the Jewish people. So long as they refuse to budge from that position, Israeli-Palestinian peace is impossible.

Yet rather than say so forthrightly, Israeli leaders keep insisting that diplomacy can end the conflict, and that they are prepared to sacrifice greatly for peace. It was once Israel's policy never to bargain with terrorists, and to pursue peace through deterrence and patience and strength. But with the advent of the Oslo Accord, deterrence gave way to appeasement, negotiations, and a yearning for peace at any price. To both Fatah and Hamas, that desperation has made the Jewish state seem weak -- and vulnerable to further pressure. In an opinion survey released last week, 55 percent of Palestinians endorsed anti-Israel violence as "essential" or "desirable," while less than 14 percent called it "unacceptable." "Israel's very pursuit of peace," journalist Evelyn Gordon wrote in Commentary earlier this year, "has spurred its enemies to go for the jugular."

Netanyahu should have walked away from the table after last week's butchery. Instead, he publicly anointed Abbas "my partner for peace" and reasserted his commitment to negotiations. When those negotiations fail, as they inevitably will, the impasse will be blamed on the insufficiency of Israel's concessions. That will further enrage its enemies, some of whom will turn to terror.

And so the peace process proceeds. The victims on Highway 60 were only the latest of Israel's "sacrifices for peace." They are not likely to be the last.


TIME Magazine's Latest Blood Libel About Israel

by Prof. Phyllis Chesler

The September 13, 2010 issue of TIME Magazine arrived yesterday. The cover story is titled "Why Israel Doesn't Care About Peace" and is illustrated by a large Jewish star composed of daisies. Yes, daisies-as in "counting daisies, don't have a care in the world." This is precisely the point of Karl Vick's article. He writes:

Israelis are no longer preoccupied with the matter [of peace with the Palestinians]. They're otherwise engaged: They're making money; they're enjoying the rays of the late summer... they have moved on.

Vick quotes an Israeli real estate agent in Ashdod, one Eli, who tells him: "People are indifferent. They don't care if there's going to be war. They don't care if there's going to be peace. They don't care. They live in the day."

According to Vick, Israelis don't care about peace, peace negotiations, or about the Palestinians because they are simply having too good a time: sunbathing, swimming, caf‚-hopping, profiting from start-up companies, and, according to polls cited by Vick, utterly disconnected from "politics;" indeed Vick suggests that Israelis resemble Californians more than they resemble Egyptians. These are all points which scream: Israel does not fit in; if Israelis were only more impoverished, more indolent, and paradoxically, even more "laid back," they might be recognizable as indigenous to the region, a true part of the Middle East.

These are Vick's thoughts, not mine.

Of course, Jews are the original Palestinians and the most indigenous of the region's inhabitants; yes, there are many impoverished Israelis, both Jews and non-Jews; and, let's not forget that there are even some Israelis who remain permanently on high alert for the next terrorist attack, permanently scarred by the last ones. For a moment, let's forget about all that. Allow me to ask: Why doesn't Vick also point out that Palestinians are leading the high life on the West Bank and in sumptuous villas on both the West Bank and in Gaza; that they, too, are sunbathing, swimming, shopping, dining out, and relaxing at the beach-at least as much as the Islamist thugs who run the lives of Palestinians will allow it?

Vick and his editors at TIME seem to think that showing six photos of Israelis at leisure: blowing smoke on a beach chair, lounging on a beach chair, resting in an army uniform on the beach without a chair, playing with one's baby in a stroller, sitting at a caf‚-are proof that Israelis are engaging in activities which are not admirable, are, in fact, "proof" that they are not suffering but rather, proof that Israelis simply don't care about peace with the Palestinians. And Vick brings in polls as well as expert and person-in-the-street opinions to back up this claim.

Vick writes that real estate is booming, as is business in general, Israeli "brainiacs" have helped their nation avoid the economic disasters that have plunged Europe and America into a recession. He literally writes this. "Israel avoided the debt traps that dragged the U.S. and Europe into recession. It is known as a start-up nation-second only to the U.S. companies listed on the Nasdaq exchange."

Is Vick aware that, consciously or not, intentionally or not, he is counting on the world's long-held resentment about Jewish creativity, genius, and scientific and economic success-counting on the world's willingness to scapegoat Israel once again for crimes that it has not committed? Or because Jews seem to "know something," maybe they are channeling God directly and thus, the deck is stacked against non-Jews. Vick presents Israel's "success" as somehow unseemly, because it makes other nations look bad. Does he harbor the suspicion that Jewish prosperity has been "stolen" from non-Jews or is he merely advertising that Jewish gold is there, ripe for the taking?

Buried-but really buried-- in Vick's four page cover piece are snippets of true facts: That the Israelis are weary of peace negotiations which never succeed because the Palestinians do not want peace; that Arabs and Palestinians want to destroy the Jewish state and as many Jews as possible.

But Vick fails to convey that negotiations cannot work as long as the ultra-Nazified Arab Islamic propaganda against Jews and Israel continues to turn out children who hate Jews and who become human homicide bombs, snipers, kidnappers, kassam rocket throwers, etc.

Here is what Vick utterly fails to comprehend, namely, that the Israelis are not merely tired, disenchanted, living in la-la land a la southern Californians (hence, the Jewish star made of daisies on the cover). The Israelis are actually showing the entire world how to embrace life, even as they live, trembling, in the shadow of death. They are teaching the world how to "love life more than they fear death." A new and wonderful book A New Shoah. The Untold Story of Israel's Victims of Terrorism by Italian journalist Giulio Meotti, which is not yet out, makes precisely this point.

The Jewish insistence on life may be the key to our survival as a people despite ceaseless persecution. It might be the lesson, the model, for all humanity in an era of genocides, civil wars, torture chambers, tyrannies, and totalitarian regimes. Why is TIME turning things on their head and refusing to recognize the courage and the heroism of Jewish Israelis who choose to live in the moment when the moment is all they have? Against all odds, the Jews simply refuse to give up. As Meotti writes of the numerous victims of terrorism during the ongoing Intifada of 2000, "Israel teaches the world love of life, not in the sense of a banal joie de vivre, but as a solemn celebration."

Meotti begins where I began in early 2004, when I wrote about a new Holocaust in the pages of The Jewish Press, a Holocaust which is now based in Israel. At the time, I was not heard beyond a small circle. I did what Meotti now does in his opening pages. Meotti fully understands that Israel is the "first country ever to experience suicide terrorism on a mass scale: that more than 150 suicide attacks have been carried out plus 500 have been prevented." According to Meotti, there have been "1,723 people (murdered) and 10,000 injured" in Israel. Meotti does what I did: He converts these numbers into the demographic equivalent of attacks on Americans. When I did so there were somewhat fewer people in both categories. Thus, Meotti writes that in American population terms, this means that "74,000 Americans" would have been killed and "400,000 injured."

Vick does not factor this grave reality into his article. Nor does he seem to know how high the Jewish population growth was in the DP camps right after the Holocaust. Can he comprehend that permanently endangered Jews-a people that has survived as a people for nearly six thousand years-the Chosen People-have always chosen life in the moment, have chosen to seize life with both hands, even as they memorialize their dead and make sense of their persecution in a way that illuminates this particular Hell for all humanity?

What Meotti is doing is remembering the lives and the deaths of the Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism during the last decade. I have only read the first few chapters but cannot put it down. These are unknown stories, unnamed victims, whose mortal remains have often evaporated, disintegrated as surely as those Jews who literally went up in smoke during the Nazi Holocaust. His stories are mainly of victims who were unarmed and helpless and who, it turns out, were actually exceptionally kind to others, often to the very Arab Palestinians who shot them down, bludgeoned them to death, or blew them up into unrecognizable bone fragments, drops of blood, perhaps a few teeth.

I look forward to completing Meotti's book. I hope that people more fully understand that TIME Magazine as well as countless other media in the Western world, can no longer be trusted to tell the truth.



Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN (Note that EYE ON BRITAIN has regular posts on the reality of socialized medicine). My Home Pages are here or here or here or Email me (John Ray) here. For readers in China or for times when blogger.com is playing up, there is a mirror of this site here.


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