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Did BBC Panorama fake a documentary?

(22 Posts)
otex Tue 31-Oct-17 19:56:59

Carolinesbeanies Wed 01-Nov-17 03:26:58

Wow. Just wow. My first thoughts though Otex is, Im not sure how many UK citizens care. Its so utterly outrageous, beyond anything seen in Russia, North Korea but we've become so used to lower level propaganda, that even something like this just wont illicit the response it should do. i.e. shutting down the BBC. There will be a those who dismiss it as, well even if its fiction, it could happen, so the fact this may be fiction is irrelevant. There will be those who agree with it being a means to an end. There will be those who wont give it a moments thought, i.e. so what? Its telly. And very very few who understand just what is happening here.

Its grim isnt it. UK 21st century and inaccurate, fabricated, politically driven media is rampant, and even when exposed, will be excused, ignored and dismissed.

ScaryMary81 Wed 01-Nov-17 03:51:51

Agree with PP

sashh Wed 01-Nov-17 04:22:01

Carolinesbeanies Wed 01-Nov-17 10:11:45

Lets see what reply Emily Thornberry MP gets to her letter to the BBC sent a couple of weeks ago Sashh.

The difficulties with your Ofcom links Sashh are these;

"Ofcom does not regulate BBC licence fee funded services in respect of accuracy and impartiality and Ofcom has not undertaken an assessment of the accuracy and/or impartiality of the BBC Programmes in reaching this Decision "

I have attached the Ofcom finding regards RT, that you link too. At no time, did Ofcom investigate the BBC piece.

Secondly, the Ofcom upheld the complaint that RT had used phrases like 'stunning fakery' and 'massive public investigation', were inaccurate and therefore misleading. They were correct.

Im not sure Id describe it as stunning fakery either. Clumsy could perhaps be a better phrase, and absolutely, massive public investigations have not taken place. Quite the opposite.

Coming back to the original BBC piece, when you look for corroboration on anything like this, one area that should be available regards corroboration or not, is the BBCs finances.

Robert Stuart has done just that. However, when FOI requests to the BBC have apparently been refused, and that decision subsequently upheld in further legal challenges, it begs the question, why. Theyre a public broadcaster, funded by the UK tax payer, why block FOI ? Who did the BBC pay in relation to this piece? Surely all doubt would be dismissed if that information was made available?

You also have to ask, who is Robert Stuart? Hes clearly got his teeth into this, why? Whats his motivation to spend 4 years on this, and more importantly, why have the BBC not silenced him? He clearly has no recourse to Ofcom (due to BBC exemption) but what of the flip side of the coin? These are damning accusations against the BBC that if untrue, any credible organisation would have obtained injunctions, financial damages and no end of legal apologies to clear their name?

So in short, in 4 years, why is Robert Stuart in the heart of London presenting his evidence in October 2017, unhindered by any form of injunction or legal redress?

Lets see if Emily Thornberrys letter makes headway.

PS Just on a personal note, I did flick between Skys reporting on the Catalan referendum and the BBCs reporting, on the main news channels that day. At 9:27 am that morning (I checked my posts on here from that time) Sky was indeed reporting rubber bullets, live assaults, and full coverage of events, the BBC were reporting "scuffles" and "occasional jostling". Which channel was misleading me?

Carolinesbeanies Wed 01-Nov-17 10:21:13

There needs to be an addendum to my last post, it appears that from April 2017, Ofcom will indeed regulate the BBC. Lets see now that works out, but judging by Catalonia, Brexit, etc staff havent quite got the memo yet. Watching with interest if this is another ONS tool.

statesman1 Wed 01-Nov-17 21:00:33

It's worth remembering that in light of Robert Stuart's studious investigative work, the TV producer Victor Lewis-Smith requested that he be handed the rushes of Saving Syria's Children. He gave the BBC an ultimatum - either they hand him the rushes to the programme or he would rip up his BBC contract on camera. The BBC refused and Lewis-Smith kept to his word. The BBC are hiding something.

Carolinesbeanies Thu 02-Nov-17 02:23:45

This footage came up as I was having a surf. Not directly linked to the BBC Syria story, but just quite shocking how faking incidents, to then forward for use by news agencies and main stream media is quite a business.

Guy sets explosives in car. Drives off. Car explodes. Civilians then rush into the scene to lie on the floor for them then to be subsequently rescued/aided into ambulance.

Not on the same level as the BBC producing their own, but still an eye opener as to how easily manipulated we are.

Spinflight Sun 05-Nov-17 14:31:35

I wouldn't say it was clumsy Caroline, quite sophisticated in many ways.

That it was ineffective, as the vote was lost, would be more worrying to those who orchestrated it.

This sort of thing comes under the clumsy bracket..

In a previous life I helped out with an anti-apartheid report from a camp close to Soweto. Nothing was actually faked ( well apart from scattering some loose change into the rubbish dump so kids could be filmed picking them up looking as though they were searching for food).

The camera filters though had to be changed to make it look overcast and drab, all brightly coloured and jolly clothing or blankets hidden etc etc...

You get the idea.

Some say that Orwell based his Ministry of Truth on the BBC. Others think that doesn't go anywhere near far enough. smile

Pretty clear they've been caught out here.

statesman1 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:05:07

This propaganda is so comical, even the Al-Jazeera host can barely prevent herself from bursting into a fit of laughter:

statesman1 Mon 06-Nov-17 18:09:09

Patrick Cockburn on propaganda in Syria:

Spinflight Mon 06-Nov-17 19:54:32

Syria is a very... modern.. war.

I don't mean that in terms necessarily of the weapons used but in the political realm.

Back in the 90s American's saw their troop's bodies being dragged around the streets of Mogadishu after being captured and Bill Clinton in response changed they way things were done. The film Blackhawk Down is based around the prelude to this.

Rather than uniformed soldiers on the ground things were contracted out to mercenaries. Or contractors as they are known.

Most of Iraq for instance was turned into almost an ex special forces hunting lodge where the contractors were immune from being charged with murder or anything else, so long as they used rifles less than 50 cal in size.

Hence no Hague convention rules on hollow points or other ammo prescribed against in actual war, so long as you were using something less powerful than an anti aircraft cannon it was fine.

Which oddly enough became a bit of a problem, especially when some of them were videotaped shooting up civilian vehicles for fun.

This was mainly paid for by Iraqis, rather than the American government. And the casualties ( sometimes western contractors were pitted against each other) both civilian and ex military were not newsworthy, not reported.

You could describe at least 12 major groups in Syria, all supposedly fighting Al Nusra, ISIS and the official Syrian forces. So with Russia, the USA, Gulf states and many EU states all bringing firepower to bear you'd think it should have been a short affair against poorly equipped forces.

Trouble is that other than the Assad forces, the Russians and the Turks all parties were and are basically mercenaries. You'd get the religiously indoctrinated types, including from here, but the vast majority of combatants worked for a day rate, reportedly and more recently admittedly provided by the Qataris ( and the Saudis, though they haven't actually admitted it, instead blaming the Qataris after they did).

So you'd hear ISIS defeated in x, when all this actually meant was that a bunch of mercs had slotted another bunch of mercs. So ISIS ( or whichever faction) being then short would raise their day rate, contractors would swap sides and so the merry dance continued.

The American's for instance provided $500m to arm and train fighters. Who once armed and trained went to anyone who paid them more. Hilarious scene from a Senate committee where a General has to admit that their half a billion dollars bought them 5 blokes.

Only the Russians with their diabolically clinical logic really found a way around this.

Hence... The propaganda on all sides which tried to paint the conflict as a traditional state on state affair, was always doomed to fail.

Islamic state, no matter how more evil than the last really evil person we deposed Assad was, or is, revelled in their blood thirsty image too much. It was obvious that bombing Assad's forces directly or indirectly helped ISIS.

So who is ISIS if their opponents are mainly mercs? It's the ex Iraqi army that we disbanded over night, who became contractors as no longer employed...

Meanwhile sticky Bill's policy has actually ( bear with me here, it's a stretch but think like a politician) been a great success... You don't hear of British 'contractors' dying out there or previously in Iraq itself. Nor of who funds them. You do hear of radicalised yoofs hotfooting it to Syria, but no-one expects or thinks ex forces types do or did the same.

The whole military contractors thing has grown into rather a large industry, though a murky one you rarely hear anything about.

Syria however is the result.

Spinflight Tue 07-Nov-17 19:55:44

Just read that back and I'm not sure I've really explained what I was initially trying to say..

There's a tradition in propaganda, which also used to exist in military training, which seeks to paint the other side as evil.

So hate training would focus, with a grain of dark humour, on the mythical school bus full of nuns being raped and bayoneted by the Hun or whoever.. Said school bus load is only applicable for mistakes or misfires I believe now.

Which is still a calling card of propagandists the world over.

It relied however on a simple us or them choice, the only good German is a dead German for example. God is on our side, not theirs. You're either with us or against us.

It's fundamentally binary.

Which applied to a conflict as complicated as Syria doesn't fundamentally make sense on any level. Even if the public perception was one of the more old fashioned state versus state conflict the same tricks over previous interventions make people wary and I think public perceptions were of a more complex environment anyway.

Which might make you think that the fairly sophisticated special effects but inherently crude message is an aberration.

Quite the opposite though, it's a script or playbook which has probably been a kneejerk reaction to every conflict or attempt to sway public opinion for hundreds of years.

Carolinesbeanies Wed 08-Nov-17 01:29:17

Youre right Spin, but there is a basic element here too that needs to be considered.
We ask our armed forces to pull a trigger. To do that, we a/have to be totally supportive of them and b/they have to be able to do so on our behalf.
Basic training in most arms of the armed forces, use the 'bad guys' psychology. They have to. Our soldiers are human beings and we ask them to take the ultimate step to protect us. No politics. No reasoning. We demand they pick up arms on our behalf when we are generally too weak to do so ourselves. What I object to, is that our armed forces, in some quaters, are made out to be killers, murderers. That theres something dark in their psyche. There isnt. They are stepping up to do a job, most politicians dont have the balls to do. We have to dehumanise the enemy, if we didnt, no man would be capable of pulling a trigger.

We are right to question our politicians. We are right to question our media, especially as we saw here, its intended to swing a vote for military intervention. But our army should never be put in the dock when its basically a civil service demanded by the peoples of this country, to do as the country demands.

What is ultimately outrageous, is how Blair used his position to manipulate Parliament and subsequently our armed forces. He should be locked up till the end of his days. He sent sons and daughters to die on a lie.

Youre absolutely right about mercenaries. Its indeed big business, but does propaganda make any difference in those circumstances? I would have thought not. Youre paid to find the bastard whose pointing a gun at you.

ChakraLines Wed 08-Nov-17 11:57:24

Definitely FAKE and in parts so badly acted. Look at footage at 2:40 with the young men in the yellow room getting up, dragging themselves around (a bit like 'Thriller') and some looking into the camera but NO AGONY in their faces. And at 2:26, young Ahmed with white goo on him. The shakiness is well done though.

My ex's brother used to be a photojournalist and he said that in a still, without any props or elaboration, you can convey something very different to what is happening. Remember the TV ad in which we see a running man. Is he a thief being pursued or is he running after a thief? The photo within that little square can be mangled to convey all sorts.

The Panorama footage are not stills, but if you're going to fake something you have to do research into how burns victims behave, and this aint it. The doctor from Hand in Hand should be ashamed of herself for participating (if she is actually a doctor).

otex Thu 09-Nov-17 11:36:40

Dr Hallam is certainly a qualified medic, however she absolutely cannot get her story straight about the supposed events of 26 August 2013:

Her colleagues have the same difficulty:

The other doctor in the "napalm" report, Saleyha Ahsan, posted images on Facebook of a captive in Libya in 2011 which possibly breached Geneva Convention provisions, as well as photos in which she poses with armed groups which appeared to include adolescents:

The BBC dismissed these concerns, although Dr Ahsan deleted most of her Facebook photos while the complaint was in process. Just recently, Dr Ahsan seems to have lost her presenting job on the BBC's health series 'Trust me I'm A Doctor'.

ChakraLines Thu 09-Nov-17 12:03:38

Thanks, otex. We in the West continue to be played so well by experts in victimhood and dissimulation, supported by the genuinely gullible as well as those whose real agenda is detrimental to the West.

Spinflight Thu 09-Nov-17 13:40:29

But the BBC chap is a professional journalist and expert on the Middle East!

And the doctor, she's an expert too.

Shame no-one trusts experts anymore huh?

VivaLeBeaver Thu 09-Nov-17 13:58:38

That's worryingly convincing.

ChakraLines Sun 12-Nov-17 21:07:36

For all we know, the journalist behind this piece may be pro-Palestinian (as the BBC is), or wants to horrify the West to spend more in aid in Syria. I think his name is Darren Conway.

Here is a still which did not go to transmission. A smiling napalm victim ..... The experts I speak of are the participants. Just as this country during WW2 invented ingenious ruses to convey something to the enemy that wasn't so, i.e. scores and scores of planes that, from the air, looked operational but were just outlines knocked together, probably made from balsa wood.

otex Sun 12-Nov-17 22:46:30

This is the image of the grinning boy, discussed here

otex Fri 17-Nov-17 22:20:34

Emily Thornberry has now replied, and, perhaps predictably, it appears she's found it too hot a potato:

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