How the BBC Conducts an Interview

30 12 2015
Marin Alsop

Marin Alsop

It takes an arts interview to reveal the truly parlous state of BBC journalism; to illustrate how deep attitudes run in the organisation.

Razia Iqbal, presenter of World Update on BBC World Service, interviewed Baltimore Symphony Musical Director Marin Alsop – listen here, at 20’40” – on 30th December 2015.

Alsop was speaking about the mentoring programme she had introduced to promote the study of music among Baltimore’s deprived (mainly African-American) community. Alsop’s comments about the success of the programme prompted the following extraordinary and revealing statements from BBC presenter Iqbal:

This would surprise a lot of people for whom Baltimore means the television series The Wire or the Baltimore that people see in real life depicted in our news bulletins of young African-American men being gunned down by the State. I wonder how you reconcile those things in your mind?

Up to that point there had been no political element beyond Alsop’s desire to get more African-American involvement in classical music. Read the rest of this entry »


Assault on the Underground

30 03 2011

Category; Politics, Middle East, Media

What an arresting sight on the Northern Line platform at Leicester Square Underground Station: George Galloway addressing the platform from a poster for Press TV; telling us what ‘they‘ don’t want us to hear.

I wonder if he will tell us about his recent inclusion in a two-part World Service Documentary on Useful Idiots through the ages. This is how the programme defined Useful Idiot, a term which originated with Lenin;

Useful idiots, in a broader sense, refers to Western journalists, travellers and intellectuals who gave their blessing – often with evangelistic fervour – to tyrannies and tyrants, thereby convincing politicians and public that utopias rather than Belsens thrived.

Galloway’s most famous, and craven, display of Useful Idiocy was in the presence of Iraqi tyrant and mass-murderer Saddam Hussein.  He has, more recently, claimed that his words were addressed not to Saddam but to the Iraqi people.

But they were directed straight to Saddam. When quoted, the Arabic is often left out, presumably for reasons of understanding. If the Arabic is included there can be no doubt as to what Galloway was saying: Read the rest of this entry »