Wednesday, July 30, 2014

LBC responds to my complaint about their war against Israel

I sent a formal complaint to LBC about what I reported here and have received the following response:
Dear Edgar,

Thanks for your email. We always welcome feedback from our listeners.

As a station, LBC seeks to ensure stories are accurately reported and multiple perspectives are aired, especially on controversial issues. In light of the seriousness of what's happening in Israel and Gaza we are also consistently monitoring our programming to ensure it is fair and balanced.

Generally speaking, across the station's output, when a presenter expresses an opinion, our listeners are enthusiastic about wanting to communicate the opposite viewpoint and to participate in a debate - and, typically, we can achieve balance in our coverage of an issue in that way.

During the hour of his show which focussed on the Gaza conflict, James O'Brien asked whether those in support of the Israeli government's action could fairly be described as "radicalised?" His contention was challenged by a number of different callers all of whom were given plenty of time to question and examine the basis of his argument and to advance alternatives.

That said, we are of course very conscious of how the ongoing conflict provokes strong feeling on both sides and will continue to actively encourage a wide range of views to be expressed and heard on air. This is also a message we have re-iterated to our production team.

On your point about our news bulletins, in fact the newsreader said "with both Israel and Palestinian militants blaming each other for the attack." In neither the scripts nor on-air did the words "Israeli militant extremist groups" appear.

Thanks once again for getting in touch and I do hope this goes someway to reassuring you.

Kind regards,

LBC Complaints
And here is my follow-up response:

Dear LBC Complaints

I appreciate that you have taken the time to respond to my specific concerns.

Regarding your response about James O'Brien:  Just because some people phoned in to respond does not make it right that he equated people who support Israel with terrorists. If LBC ever actually considered any of the multitude of evidence to prove that Israel is the moral participant in the Gaza conflict while Hamas is pure evil, then perhaps people like James O'Brien would have realise how irrational his statement was.

Regarding your response to the news reports:  I find this almost bizarre. So the newsreader did not say "Israeli militant extremist groups" repeatedly but she DID say repeatedly "..with both Israel and Palestinian militants blaming each other for the attack". That is just as offensive and misleading as what I recalled. Who exactly are the Israeli militants being referred to? The Israeli Government and the IDF provided proof (subsequently confirmed by an Italian journalist who was there) that it was a Hamas rocket that struck the hospital. Are you claiming that the Israeli government and the IDF are "militants" who are morally equivalent to the terrorist organisation Hamas? And in any case why did LBC never follow up on the story and confirm the evidence?

I invite you to read the report below which not only explains in detail why the LBC reporting is fundamentally flawed, but also the devastating impact such biased anti-Israel coverage is having on British Jews:


Edgar Davidson

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