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Half the story

I must commend the BBC for not allowing the victims of the Bali massacre to be forgotten. Indeed, they have devoted a whole page on their website to the father of one of the young victims; a man who displays far more magnanimity than I could ever muster:

“Directly after the Bali bombing, it became apparent to us that ignorance and mistrust between people of different nations, faiths and backgrounds around the world fosters prejudice and hatred,” Mr Braden said.

Mr Braden said he did not feel hatred for his son’s killers, but sorry that they did not have the education and life Daniel had.

The BBC doubtless felt that Mr.Braden’s thoughts were worth sharing with the world. And they are. But, strangely, no mention whatsoever about the thoughts and feelings of some of the other victims:

Unrepentant Bali survivor Jake Ryan said he was overwhelmed by raw emotion when he loudly abused an alleged bomber in a Denpasar courtroom.

Accompanied by his brother Mitchell, Mr Ryan reacted to Samudra’s religious chants by screaming: “You’re a fucking dog, mate. You’re going to fucking die.”

Clearly Mr.Ryan wasn’t ‘repentant’ enough.

[My thanks to Tim Blair for the link to the article on Mr.Ryan.]

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15 comments to Half the story

  • When Tim Blair first mentioned Jake Ryan’s observations on his site, he mentioned that he would like to buy Jake a beer, and after a few readers suggested they would also like to buy him a beer, a fund was set up via Paypal, and with ver little publicity after three or four days around $US800 had been raised to buy beer for Jake and his football team mates. This tended to suggest that quite a lot of people are angry rather repentent and would think that “You’re going to die, you fuck” is about the right level of sentiment. Someone I know died in the Bali attack. He had just gone out for a beer with a few mates. If that was something that people deserved to die for, this website wouldn’t be around much longer.

    (By the way, in the Bali attack, Jake Ryan lost his right heel, had other people’s bones embedded in his legs and shrapnel pierced his abdomen, and was on crutches for four months. Having this happen would certainly piss me off).

  • G Cooper

    Leaving aside the Alastair Campbell row (my view on which is ‘a pox on both your houses’), the BBC’s news coverage in recent weeks seems to have plumbed fresh depths – almost as if the corporation has finally suffered the sort of collective breakdown which it has long been incubating.

    This Bali story illustrates, perfectly, how any pretence of abiding by traditional news values has now evaporated – and you can add to that yesterday’s hysterical reaction to the news that the alleged Moslem terrorists we so generously exported are shortly to stand trial in the USA. The legal process chosen by the Americans may not be perfect, but it is unlikely to be remotely as prejudicial as BBC Radio 4 was claiming yesterday.

    There was not even a momentary pause to consider the story from any other point of view than that of a confirmed America-hating Guardianista. The ‘British’ aspect was repeatedly (and absurdly) over-stressed, so as to conform to the BBC’s programme of attempting to convince us that the seething cauldron of immigrant Moslem hatred that is present in so many of our cities doesn’t actually exist.

    Similarly, the families’ utter conviction that their lads were innocent of all charges, was treated without an ounce of scepticism. This wasn’t even third rate reporting – it was polemic.

    It was, also, the story the BBC has been waiting for. Casting around for something other than head-shaking reports about how Iraq is turning into a quagmire because the Americans are incompetent (and you don’t need to be a much of a semiotician to extract that message from BBC ‘reports’), here was, they hoped, the final straw that would turn the British public against Bush and his evil countrymen.

    Only, I suspect, they have it quite wrong. By repeatedly stressing how ‘British’ are our would-be Osamas, they may hope to engender a blend of Mr. Braden’s attitude with a general fury at the Americans’ treatment of ‘our boys’. But my guess is that we will soon see collecting boxes in British pubs, so as to save the Americans from having to pay the cost of the rope, should they be found guilty.

    Something needs to be done about the BBC. And soon.

  • I’m a bit isolated from the BBC, out here in exile.

    Anyway, I feel for Mr Ryan, and I hope he gets a chance to meet some of the bombers after their sentence. I just hope it is actually the bombers he meets, for everyone’s sake.

    I couldn’t get through to Tim Blair’s website, but that could be the fault of Hungarian telecom Matav, whose cheery motto “a szavakon tul” means “beyond words”: fairly much how you feel about their service and their prices.

  • Liberty Belle

    G Cooper and others, You say something has to be done, and soon, about the BBC. Have you been to Jonathan Miller’s website bbcresistance?

    He’s a Sunday Times columnist who loathes the BBC and is refusing to pay his “licence” fee. (I use quotes because I can’t understand why you would need a licence to watch TV. It’s not that difficult.) He is prepared to go to prison. His preliminary hearing comes up in Guildford on July 19, when the judge will decide what evidence is admissable. His website, which includes the salaries of the hard lefties who run it – who are no pikers when it comes to awarding themselves a giant ladle of the licence gravy – is most revealing. (BTW, Ann Robinson gets £3m a year of licence payers’ money.) In addition, Miller is incensed that they threaten legal proceedings by post code, targetting sink estates and single mothers, who can least afford it, who need it most to keep their children inside and out of trouble, and who haven’t the educational or financial resources to fight.

    Lastly, he has just put himself forward for appointment as a governor, stating that if appointed, he will work on destroying the BBC from the inside. The man is a hero.

  • debbie

    Exactly what does the BBC think Jake Ryan is “unrepentant” about…Not saying..Oh Thank you for teaching us infidels the error of our ways, I know I shouldnt have been in that nasty pub, drinking a beer which I am legally of age to do…Did he not bend over tand take his punishment from his “moral betters”?. What planet is BBC on?

  • debbie

    Exactly what does the BBC think Jake Ryan is “unrepentant” about…Not saying..Oh Thank you for teaching us infidels the error of our ways, I know I shouldnt have been in that nasty pub, drinking a beer which I am legally of age to do…Did he not bend over tand take his punishment from his “moral betters”?. What planet is BBC on?

  • debbie

    Exactly what does the BBC think Jake Ryan is “unrepentant” about…Not saying..Oh Thank you for teaching us infidels the error of our ways, I know I shouldnt have been in that nasty pub, drinking a beer which I am legally of age to do…Did he not bend over and take his punishment from his “moral betters”?. What planet is BBC on?

  • debbie

    sorry, I guess I leaned to hard on the “send” button.

  • Phil Bradley

    I don’t watch the BBC anymore, but my wife had it on, and I caught an astonishing piece of bias.

    Reporter in Monrovia with film. Reporter says (and I paraphrase) ‘protests today outside US embassy’, then 60 seconds of blah about the civil war and how Liberia is a creation of the USA, and then right at the end ‘the protestors want the USA intervene’, so completely against the whole tone of the report it jarred and stopped me dead.

  • George Peery

    “What planet is BBC on?”

    It’s OK, debbie. That question is certainly worth repeating.

    “What planet is BBC on?”

  • Mike HHH

    And of course Osama Bin Laden didn’t have an opportunity for the “education and life” of the Bali victim.

  • Although they are very different, the utterances of Mr Braden and Mr Ryan are plainly both mechanisms for dealing with serious psychological trauma. Mr Braden is offering the world a shining light of forgiveness, wisdom and understanding. But this is only his method of making sense of an extraordinarily violent and unfair bereavement. His shining light and Mr Ryan’s “raw emotion” are not as far apart as it would seem.

    It is, of course, no good expecting a BBC site editor to understand this, certainly not when a good, liberal “puff” is in the offing.

    He and we should allow the bereaved and the traumatised the space and time to comprehend their loss – and not pay too much attention to what they say.

  • G Cooper

    Thanks to Ms. Belle for the pointer to Martin Bell’s site. I’d heard his name from reports in the Telegraph, but hadn’t realised he had a site.

    The former Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, was also leading a protest against the BBC tax and had a case pending, though I’ve no idea how that turned out.

    I get the feeling that Blair is sufficiently enraged that, should he still be gripping power with his teeth when the next licence renewal comes around, his onetime pal, Greg, might wish he had stamped a little harder on Mr. Gilligan.

    But that’s a big, ‘if’… I like to think the skates are well and truly under Phony Tony’s little feet.

  • Liberty Belle

    G Cooper – “Martin Bell’s site”! Unhand me, suh! (Were you in at the chili last night?)

    Journalist Jonathan Miller is the man behind the licence fee revolt, and bbcresistance.com is his site. Vladimir Bukovsky is involved in this as a secondary player. Miller is doing all the organising and he’s the one whose trial for refusing to pay is scheduled.

    Martin Bell! Ugh!

    On the other hand, I agree that the skates are well under Phony Tony and are rolling toward the sign marked Exit. I can’t wait!

  • G Cooper

    Hmmm.. now why might I have had Martin Bell on the brain this morning?

    I can only plead complete idiocy in my defence, Ms. Belle and… well… how’s this for a confession? I missed my nocturnal tipple on Saturday night.

    My last poor braincell must have been staging a protest, all of its very own…

    And yes, Bell, what a prize creep. I shall hang my head in shame (and make a note to have a drink tonight and ensure this never happens again).