Being economical with the truth is a BBC speciality. After all it views the world through a prism of oh-so-trendy left-wing morality so massaging the truth into something more palatable to its own world perspective is, sadly, a given.
Viewers had another taste of the public broadcaster’s distorted views last night when BBC Two aired an hour-long documentary called Children of the Gaza War presented by chief international correspondent Lyse Doucett. She typified the truism that ‘neutral’ for a BBC reporter is left-of-centre for everyone else – Guardian readers excepted.
Doucett’s report was all pretty anodyne stuff and purported to show the Palestinian conflict through the eyes of children from both sides during and after the 50-day war last summer. Except something got lost in translation. That something was the truth.
Throughout the programme the word “Israelis” was substituted for “Jews” in the on-screen translation of interviews with Palestinian children. In one instance, a Gazan child says the “yahud” are massacring Palestinians. However the subtitles read: “Israel is massacring us”.
There were other examples where Palestinian children were routinely interviewed and used the word ‘yahud’ meaning Jew. BBC translators again insisted on using the word ‘Israelis’ instead.
According to the Jewish Chronicle, the BBC was aware of the translation substitution but the broadcaster chose to defend itself on the grounds of its own interpretation. The Chronicle reports that when challenged, Canada-born Ms Doucet said:
“We talked to people in Gaza, we talked to translators. When [the children] say ‘Jews’, they mean ‘Israelis’.
“We felt it was a better translation of it.”
She added: “We checked this again yesterday.
“We are not trying to cover it up – we took advice on it and that was the advice we were given by translators.”
We will never know who the translators were. Did they have any particular religious or political viewpoints of their own that might have coloured their perspective? Surely they would have known that dubbing the word ‘Israelis’ for ‘Jews’ must represent a profound distortion of the truth as spoken.
Not that the BBC was worried. It was happy to plough on anyway because it has been down this road too many times before. Why, even its own stars have previously admitted to BBC bias so why stop now?
Remember when Nigel Farage was booed and jeered by members of the audience during a BBC general election debate after blaming large-scale immigration for putting pressure on housing and the NHS? He was live with Ed Miliband, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon, Green leader Natalie Bennett and Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood.
The UKIP leader responded after the show by accusing the broadcaster of selecting a “remarkable audience even by the left-wing standards of the BBC”.
Farage was right then and he is still right now.