Channel 4 News watch

I'm a fan of C4 News. At its best, it can be offbeat, prepared to offer a different perspective, and at ease with a diverse and multiethnic Britain. This occasional blog, though, will be largely devoted to the matter which grates on some viewers even more than some of Jon Snow's ties: the programme's tendentious reporting of Middle Eastern politics.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Purpose of this blog

As an article on the Guardian's Comment website recently noted, just as our media holds the government to account, there is also a need for someone to hold the media to account. This blog started during tension in the Middle East in June 2006, when I saw a Jon Snow interview in which he heatedly argued that 'The Palestinian people are powerless' to release Corporal Shalit. Well, no, Jon - that was the old dispensation, when terrorist or militant groups were non-state actors whom the Palestinian Authority couldn't, or chose not to, control. Now, the people taking hostages are the armed wing of Hamas, who are themselves the government. In a democracy, which the PA apparently is, we usually work on the basis that the elected government is answerable to its people.

Luckily, it's not just I who found fault with Mr Snow's treatment of the area: Gene at Harry's Place had some issues too, as did many C4 News viewers (audio file).

(This blog will mainly be about correcting factual inaccuracies, rather than taking a wider view on the conflict.)


Blogger morbo said...

Ugh it's the war against liberalism, with a pinch of mccarthyism

12:34 PM  
Anonymous Andy said...

I'm glad you have started this.

I wrote to Jon following his interview with the Israeli Ambassador last week to say I objected strongly to his method of interviewing which consisted of having an answer and attempting to force the interviewee to admit a statement based on this view was true, while drowning out or interuppting any remarkes which did not fit in with it.

I threatened to set up a This is Not Jon Snow weblog if he did not mend his ways.

Later, I found a n article in Spike

in which O'Niell says:

Today it is common for both individuals and states to define their entire view of life and politics through the prism of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. This is clear in commentary circles in America and Europe, where some adopt a pro-Israel posture to indicate that they are pro-Western, pro-military, anti-terrorism and in favour of law’n’order in international affairs, and where others take a pro-Palestinian stance to show they are progressive, liberal, caring and internationalist.

Jon, is so obviously and unashamedly in the second camp and tailored his interview to match his and his similarly-minded friends agenda on the Israel-Palestine Problem.

This is not intelligence broadcasting. The first thing he should have done was a short piece showing the complete history of Gaza, which would show that Egypt (and its associated Arab states)kept the refugees hemmed in in this small territory for proxy war purposes. They certinly didn't want large numbers of politically radicalised paelstinians in Egypt stirring up trouble.

He made no attempt to interview a Hamas spokeperson to ask what did he think the response of the Israelis would be if Hamas entered Israel killing two soldiers and kidnapping a third?

I have posted in to a link to a previous aSpiked piece (30 June 2006) by Brendan O'Neill called, Turning Palestinians into the basket case of the world.

Finally, though I disapprove of Jon's impartiality (i.e. the victimhood agenda) I can't stand the airheaded approach of the likes of Melanie Phillips who refuse to condemn any of Israel's policies or actions at any price.

1:30 PM  
Anonymous Stan Bowles said...

A much needed blog. Snow's interview was a disgrace. The ambassador should have refused to answer any further questions until Snow retracted his statement that the Kassams were "harmless".

Morbo, you cunt, fuck off.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh another, HP sauce blog. More paranoid, semi-literate bile from the HP sauce for the brain numbingly stupid.

2:40 PM  
Blogger jimhancot said...

Good work, I just wrote something about the same thing when I came across this. Keep it up.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Lopakhin said...

anonymous - best double-check your grammar when accusing others of being semi-literate. To others, ta for the good wishes.

2:58 PM  
Anonymous Hugh said...

This reeks of Daniel Pipes' Campus Watch. What's the point of the HP boys getting all defensive about the tag 'British neocons' if they lift this type of bullshit?

HP boys, you're making a big political mistake here - it'll rebound and they'll be a price to pay. Stick to what you know about -ie bashing the SWP. They're more your level.

3:42 PM  
Blogger Gene said...

Interesting warning there, Hugh. Aside from being a reader and commenter, Lopakhin has no connection to Harry's Place. What kind of price will we have to pay if we don't heed your advice, whatever the hell it is?

5:01 PM  
Blogger Duke_of_Chaos said...

Morbo, *are* you one of Callum's mates? Gene, rationing of marshmallows? I've always caught the impression that the more likely one is to say that bloggers are setting themselves up for a world of shite, the more like one is also to accuse them of being irrelevant. Make up your mind. Also, I had thought Lopakhin might be from somewhere east of the Danube, not a British neo-con (although this might be the Venickha effect).

11:41 PM  
Anonymous jimmy said...

it'll rebound and they'll be a price to pay

Jon Snow will appear on Big Brother and pretend to be a gorilla eating a banana. Harry's Place will close down in shame for having provoked such a scene.

11:50 PM  
Blogger J said...

Lopakhin, good job in starting this blog up. I first noticed Snow's bias and unusual obsession with Israel and pointed it out on my blog a good few months back :

I'll add a link to you from my site later on if that's ok with you.

Keep up the good work and good luck.

2:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Do you support the second bombing of the airport and a power plant in Lebanon by the Israelis?

Yes or no will do.

3:13 AM  
Blogger TONY said...


It will be a big comfort to the people being murdered by the Israelis in Lebanon to know that you are 'troubled' by it. Good luck to Jon Snow in continuing to expose the hypocrisy of the real terrorists. Strength to his bow.

3:51 AM  
Blogger Shaggydabbydo said...

Hi Lopakhin,

AFAIK, the Palestinians do not have a state, and as such, have no state actors.


REgs, Shaggy

6:26 AM  
Blogger Benjamin said...

Of course I don't support the kidnapping of the Israelis.

But you might want to work out what a proportionate response is. Apparently bombing power stations (in Gaza and the Lebanon) and an international airport, plus numerous parts of the infrastructure, plus villages, stretching across TWO territories is deemed "proportionate" by some.

What utter nonsense. Not only does this break international law and is clearly barbaric (such as the wholesale slaughter of 50 Lebanese including 17 members of two families in a recent bombing in Lebanon) but its totally daft from a strategic sense.

It shores up support for Hizbollah, undermines moderates in Gaza, and lets Syria and Hizbollah off the hook in Lebanon.

In short: barbaric, illegal and thick.

6:40 AM  
Blogger Tarzan said...

"Proportionate" responses don't work when you're up against fanatics who are more willing to bear sacrifices than you are. What works in those circumstances is deterrence, which is what Israel is trying to restore.

As for civilian casualties, it's worth pointing out that Hamas stores its missiles in civilian areas in the homes of its supporters. If you allow your home to be used as a missile dump, you lose your civilian immunity.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Lopakhin said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:04 AM  
Blogger Lopakhin said...

it's worth pointing out that Hamas stores its missiles in civilian areas in the homes of its supporters.

Seems they're not the only ones to use those kind of tactics.

Taleban fire on British troops from hospital

10:12 AM  
Blogger Duke_of_Chaos said...

As I've said elsewhere, I think that neither the BBC nor C4 are *grossly* biased against Israel. Distastefully at times, but not grossly. To my mind, neither has ever described her specifically as the "Jewish state". The AOL news portal, on the other hand...

12:16 PM  
Blogger greg said...

Here is an email conversation I've had with Jon Snow recently. Impressed he responded, but alas only with the usual leftist moral relativism:

From: Greg
>Sent: 05 July 2006 08:28
>To: Snow, Jon
Subject: Letting the side down

Hey Jon,

Re your interview with its Deputy Ambassador to the UK: Next time leave the anti-Zionism to the Independent and give us the facts. Qassam rockets aren't "pathetic" and Israel didn't "kidnap" the Hamas politicians. Quite how you can equate the IDF's arrests with head-choppings and public executions by the Islamic terrorists with a straight face is beyond me. Oh, hang on a sec, you didn't have a straight face - it was twisted into a snarl of loathing and contempt. Baiting interviewees I assume must make good ratings because it doesn't make good news. So much for integrity, eh?

Quoting "Snow, Jon"

Gregory..this is snarling jon snow! Isarael did indeed kidnap the Hamas officials..check the OED..just as the palestinians kidnapped the unlucky corporal. I'm afraid when you compare like with like..the Qassam rockets ARE pathetic by comparrison with the billiant hardware and deployements by israeli forces..if you don't think so I'm not sure I can was in that regards that I was speaking..that does not reduce the relaity that both sides inflict apalling pain, injury and distress on each other with whatever they have at their disposal. Ask the people of Ashkelon..or gaza city if you don't believe me. Thanks for your email, warmest regards, jon snow

11:52 AM  

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