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Busiest job in the world

The BBC has appointed a “Middle East policeman” to oversee its coverage of the region amid mounting allegations of anti-Israeli bias.

Malcolm Balen, a former editor of the Nine O’Clock News, has been recruited in an attempt to improve the corporation’s reporting of the Middle East and its relationship with the main political players. Mr Balen, who left the BBC three years ago, will work full-time with the official title of “senior editorial adviser”.

Another way to describe this is the expression ‘putting a Band-Aid on a gaping wound’. Yeah, that will fix it.

14 comments to Busiest job in the world

  • Johan

    I have no idea how the BBC or other matters function in the UK, but if BBC appoint their own “Middle East policeman” and it’s someone who has worked for the BBC, what ensures that the coverage won’t be as biased as before?

    It’s like asking the State to check on itself, which will of course result in praise rather than criticism.

  • Shawn

    About 18 months ago I stopped watching the BBC “news” service, and I now refuse to do so at all on principle. BBC “news” is little more than a propaganda outlet for the anti-American and anti-Israeli left.

  • R C Dean

    I thought part of the BBC’s problem with Middle Eastern reporting was that it is already too goddamned concerned with its “relationship with the main political players.”

    Now that the US has its very own Middle Eastern country, does that make us one of playaz, and if so will the BBC fawn and truckle to win our favor?

  • EU Delenda Est

    Certainly, the BBC is laughably prejudiced on the ME (and America), but why on earth do they need to spend licence fee money on this supremo? Why not send a clear warning to everyone involved, telling them what the rules are and what the penalties are? Better yet, sack them all. I’ve never heard of a private company that hired an enforcer to make certain the company rules were obeyed. This is crazy.

  • Certainly you’ve heard of private companies hiring enforcers of internal rules. All companies of non-trivial size have a fair number of them. Auditors are just one example.

  • Auditors are just one example

    But one has to be able to trust the auditors to be honest !!

  • Malcolm

    I think this is quite striking news, not because I expect a sudden and dramatic change in the quality of BBC broadcasting, but because the BBC has taken the first step in the twelve-step plan: admitting that there is a problem.

  • John

    Nothing’s changed with this move but it’s interesting that they did anything at all. Looks like Israel withdrawing it’s cooperation had some effect on the beast. Cutting their funding is the best way to get at these guys though. When the travel budgets get reduced and Bill in the next cubicle gets shown the door then the minds will start to switch. As someone said, “nothing focus’ the mind like impending doom”, and nobody deserves a glimpse of doom more than the bigots at mothercorp.

  • Zhombre in Tampa FL

    I’m sure Mr. Balen will have a personal assistant,named Rashid or Aziz or perhaps Tariq, to aid in execution of his herculean task.

  • Malcolm

    The BBC denied that the appointment amounted to an admission that it had “got its coverage wrong” but conceded the corporation was sensitive to criticism.

    I withdraw my earlier comment.

  • addison

    What would the BBC report if an oft-criticized company or government hired an ombudsman from within its own ranks? Would they not roundly chastise them for a conflict of interests?

    …Do as I say, not as I do…

  • veryretired

    The BBC can fawn all they want, but if they start truckling, by Gad, that will be the straw that broke the camel’s back!

    Enough is enough!

  • Susan

    One of the stupidest things I have ever heard. Why don’t they just tell their reporters to report fairly, and fire the ones who don’t? Complete waste of money.

  • EU Delenda Est

    Thank you, Susan. That is what I posted above. Remind the editors of the rules. Those whose prejudices don’t permit them to be unbiased are free to purchase a copy of The Guardian and peruse the public sector want ads.