Archive for the ‘BBC’ Category

Best Analysis of Obama’s Economic Challenges, From The BBC and Peter Morici, Univ of Maryland

November 6, 2008

This is an audio feed from the BBC, Thursday, November 5, 2008. 

The second audio segment features Professor Peter Morici of the University of Maryland, which is an excellent review of the challenges facing President Elect Obama….

Listen:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/mediaselector/check/worldservice/meta/tx/wbr?nbram=1&nbwm=1&size=au&lang=en-ws&bgc=003399&ls=p23&ls=35603

Canned BBC Star Loss is $2 Million Plus After Insulting Sex Talk On the Air

October 31, 2008

LONDON, England (CNN) — The BBC’s highest paid celebrity has lost more than $2 million after being suspended without pay for a series of abusive telephone calls made by himself and another of the broadcaster’s stars.

Jonathan Ross (left) was suspended for 12 weeks Thursday; Russell Brand (right) resigned Wednesday.

Above: Jonathan Ross (left) was suspended for 12 weeks Thursday; Russell Brand (right) resigned Wednesday.

Ross, who the UK’s Press Association reports has a £6 million ($9.7 million) contract with the broadcaster, was suspended from all broadcasting for 12 weeks Thursday after the BBC Trust, the sovereign body of the organization, met to discuss the calls.

“He (Ross) will not be paid by the BBC during this period. The fees that would have been paid will be deducted from his BBC contract,” Mark Thompson, director general of the BBC, said in a statement.

The suspension will cost Ross £1.5 million ($2.43 million). He is now believed to be in Wales with his brother Paul, a fellow broadcaster.

Thompson added: “Jonathan Ross’s contribution to this edition of the Russell Brand show was utterly unacceptable and cannot be allowed to go uncensored or without sanction.”

Earlier Thursday, Lesley Douglas, Controller of BBC Radio 2, 6 Music and Popular Music, stood down from her role and offered a “personal apology to Sachs and his family and to the audience for what has happened,” the BBC said.

The prank calls row has also claimed the scalp of Brand, who resigned Wednesday.

Ross and Brand rang Sachs — who played a Spanish waiter in John Cleese’s 1970s TV comedy “Fawlty Towers” — but when it dawned on them that he was not around, they left a series of messages on the veteran actor’s phone, joking about Brand’s sexual relationship with Sachs’ granddaughter Georgina Baillie, 23.

Read the rest:
http://www.cnn.com/2008/SHOWBIZ/TV/10/31/bbc.stars.
row.radio/index.html?iref=topnews

Naughty Phone Prank Brings Down BBC Stars

October 30, 2008

Even if you make $10Million a year, saying sex talk while broadcasting and insulting others may not work for you….

BBC logo

By Kevin Sullivan
Washington Post Foreign Service
Thursday, October 30, 2008; Page A18

LONDON, Oct. 29 — Junior high-school boys everywhere, listen up: One highly paid BBC personality was forced to quit and another was suspended Wednesday for making a prank phone call using dirty words.

The two radio and TV stars, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, have been subjected to a public flogging all week on TV news and radio talk shows and on the front pages of British newspapers.

British radio and TV personality Russell Brand resigned yesterday after he and colleague Jonathan Ross made an obscene phone call to actor Andrew Sachs that was later aired on Brand's BBC radio program.

Above: British radio and TV personality Russell Brand resigned yesterday after he and colleague Jonathan Ross made an obscene phone call to actor Andrew Sachs that was later aired on Brand’s BBC radio program. (By Matt Cardy — Getty Images) 

The Sun tabloid dismissed Brand and Ross as “sickos.” Prime Minister Gordon Brown took a few minutes away from meetings in Paris on the global financial crisis to reprimand their “inappropriate and unacceptable behavior.”

Brand, who recently starred in the Hollywood film “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” and hosted this year’s MTV Video Music Awards, resigned from his BBC radio program late Wednesday after more than 27,000 people complained.

Ross, who earns almost $10 million a year as a radio and TV host, was suspended and apologized for his “juvenile and thoughtless remarks.” He will remain off the airwaves until top BBC bosses meet later this week. BBC chief Mark Thompson cut short a vacation to return to London to deal with the fallout.

Ofcom, Britain’s broadcasting regulator, is also investigating, and politicians across the spectrum have condemned Brand, Ross and the BBC.

The problems started Oct. 18, when BBC radio aired a show of Brand’s on which Ross and Brand made a phone call to Andrew Sachs, a 78-year-old actor famous for his role on the British TV comedy classic “Fawlty Towers.”

Brand, 33, had once had a romantic fling with Sachs’s granddaughter. On the prank call, he and Ross left a message on Sachs’s answering machine describing graphically what Brand had gotten up to with the young woman. After they hung up, the two said on air that they might have to make it up to Sachs by breaking into his house and performing a sex act on him.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008
/10/29/AR2008102904436.html

Secretary Negroponte: Secure The Release of At Least One Jailed In Vietnam

January 13, 2008

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
January 13, 2008

In the endless, general discussions of international diplomacy, sometimes, it seems, absolutely nothing is accomplished.

For that reason, we urge U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who travels to Vietnam this week, to make a commitment to free Le Thi Cong Nhan, a young Ho Chi Minh City attorney in a communist Vietnam jail.

Le Thi Cong Nhan in court in Hanoi on 11 May 2007

Ms Nhan is one of the latest activists to be sent to prison bt communist Vietnam.
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In early November, 2006, just before President George W. Bush and other heads of state from around the globe assembled in Hanoi for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit (APEC), Ms Nhan’s apartment was surrounded by communist Vietnam police. Her phones and internet were cut off. She was told she was not allowed to leave her home.

Ms Nhan, she was told, had spoken out against human rights abuses in Vietnam, one crime; and then she used the internet to spread her views, her second crime in Vietnam.

The BBC reported on 16 November 2006, “The move seems to be part of a general attempt to prevent anyone from disrupting the summit.”
Nguyễn Minh Triết and First Lady Trần Thị Kim Chi meet with George W. Bush and Laura Bush at the President's Palace, November 2006.

Nguyễn Minh Triết and First Lady Trần Thị Kim Chi meet with George W. Bush and Laura Bush at the President’s Palace, Hanoi, November 2006, during the APEC summit.
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The BBC also reported, “Miss Cong Nhan’s mother was told by police that her daughter cannot leave her apartment or talk to foreigners until … after the Apec summit has finished.”

Another factor in Ms Nhan house arrest may have been this: she was scheduled to defend a British woman of Vietnamese origin potentially facing the death penalty for drug smuggling.

Despite communist Vietnam’s verbal assurances that it stands for a free and fair judicial system, defense attorneys who take positions contrary to the state’s are often in for at least ridicule and often harassed or imprisoned.

Soon after Vietnam was admitted to the World Trade Organization (WTO), on 6 March, 2007, Ms Nhan was arrested and accused of collaborating with overseas pro-democracy advocates and using the internet to spread her views.

On May 10, Ms. Nhan was tried and found guilty of “spreading propaganda intended to undermine Vietnam’s Communist government.”

About a month later the President of Vietnam, Nguyễn Minh Triết, visited with President Bush in the White House.

At their White House meeting on June 22, 2007, President Bush told Mr. Triết , “In order for relations to grow deeper, it’s important for our friends to have a strong commitment to human rights and freedom and democracy.”

Mr. Triết has shown little or no inkling of a reaction to the President of the United States’ urgings.

Left, Presidents Triết and Bush in the White House.
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Ms Nhan was sentenced to four years in prison by the Hanoi People’s Court.  She was also ordered to serve several years’ house arrest after the completion of her prison sentence.

So, we ask Mr. Negroponte, as the second most senior full-time U.S. diplomat, to commit to seek the immediate freedom of Ms Nhan.  She is a political prisoner among many others. 

If the communist government of Vietnam is serious about its pledges made before and during the APEC summit in 2006, if communist Vietnam is serious about honoring the pledges it made to gain entry into the WTO and if President Triết is serious about his pledges to President Bush when the two met in Washington D.C. in June, 2007, then the release of Ms Nhan would be a delightful, if symbolic, signal that Vietnam truly intends to become a member of the civilized community of nations.

Just today, January 13, 2008, the President of the United States said during his address in Abu Dhabi, “You cannot expect people to believe in the promise of a better future when they are jailed for peacefully petitioning their government.”

The president continued, “And you cannot stand up a modern, confident nation when you do not allow people to voice their legitimate criticisms.”

Words mean nothing unless Vietnam and the United States act upon their words — and their beliefs.

Related:

Vietnam Striving to be Good WTO Participant

China, Vietnam: Global Issues

We encourage all to contact their elected representatives on this and all human rights issues.

More information on how you can let your ideas be known:
http://vietamreview.blogharbor.com:80/blog/_
archives/2008/1/12/3462440.html

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Rich, Good Looking Doesn’t Make You Happy: So Crying on TV Gets Attention?

October 31, 2007

By John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom
November 1, 2007

Heather Mills, who as far as we can tell is wealthy, healthy, good looking and lucky, is divorcing former Beatle great and near-richest guy in the world, Paul McCartney.

Today she cried on TV. But at least she had better reasons than Ellen Degeneres who cried because of a repossessed dog.

“Do you fear for your life?” Mills McCartney was asked in a British Broadcasting Corp. television interview.

“Yes I do, yes I do,” she said.

“And you are saying that Paul McCartney does not protect you and your child?”

“I’m afraid not,” Mills McCartney said.

She also appeared earlier in the day on an ITV television morning show, saying she had taken precautions because of death threats.

“I have a box of evidence that’s going to a certain person, should anything happen to me, so if you top me off it’s still going to that person, and the truth will come out,” she said.

“There is so much fear from a certain party of the truth coming out that lots of things have been put out and done, so the police came ’round and said, `You have had serious death threats from an underground movement.'”

On the BBC, she was asked if the tabloid newspapers were at fault.

“It’s the tabloids and a certain party, but it is so extreme and so abusive … I mean, I’ve been called monster, whore, gold digger, fantasist, liar.”

“When you say certain party, do you mean someone from Paul McCartney’s camp?” BBC reporter Maxine Mawhinney asked.

“I’m not allowed to talk about Paul and the court case and all that kind of stuff, because we are in court,” Mills McCartney said.
Photo

“But it is, by clear implication, that’s what you’re saying,” BBC reporter Jon Sopel said.

“I can’t say, because I’d be in contempt of court. But you’re not stupid, that’s all I can say.”
Paul McCartney, 65, declined to respond. “There’s no comment from our side,” said his spokesman, Stuart Bell.

Ellen Degeneres cried during her TV show last week bemoaning the fact that her adopted doggie was repossessed in a dispute with the adoption agency. But Ellen recovered quickly by most accounts.

Ellen’s executive producer Andy Lassner hid in a hollowed out pumpkin for over 35 minutes so that he could surprise Ellen during her show today, Halloween. He is still pulling pumpkin seeds out of his ears, we hear.

And Ellen doesn’t look any worse for wear after the dog-crying jag.

These are people with nothing important going on…..
 

Jimmy Carter says US Tortures; then rips Cheney

October 11, 2007

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. tortures prisoners in violation of international law, former President Jimmy Carter said Wednesday, adding that President Bush makes up his own definition of torture.

“Our country for the first time in my life time has abandoned the basic principle of human rights,” Carter said on CNN. “We’ve said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply to those people in Abu Ghraib prison and Guantanamo, and we’ve said we can torture prisoners and deprive them of an accusation of a crime.”

Related:
Torture? Well Intentioned Hearts Hurting the Nation?

Read the rest:
http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/
0,8599,1670237,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

See a video of Jimmy Carter Interview on the BBC web site.
http://search.bbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/search/results.pl?scope=all&edition=i&q=jimmy+carter&go.x=38&go.y=10

Dragnet, Freedom of the Press, The Facts, and the Mainstream News Media

July 25, 2007

By James Zumwalt
For Peace and Freedom
July 26, 2007

A popular TV program during the 1950s, “Dragnet,” starred actor Jack Webb portraying a no-nonsense police investigator. His investigative technique made popular a line he often used in the show. Interviewing female witnesses who strayed from just sharing factual observations–offering instead unsolicited opinions–Webb, seeking to refocus the interviewee, admonished, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

Jack Webb

Webb’s admonition to provide just the facts is one appropriate to news reporting as well. However, the results of a recent study commissioned by one major international news organization—known for its very liberal bias—show exactly how far it has strayed from this role. And, since the vast majority of those in the media—by their own admission—are cut from the same liberal cloth, it is reasonable to assume what sins the study reveals about this news organization pertain to the majority of those working within the industry.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) hired an external group to evaluate the internal conduct of its organization to assess claims of liberal bias. The findings proved shocking–to the BBC at least. One finding was it had “failed to promote proper debate on major political issues because of the inherent liberal culture of its staff.” The study warned too of pandering to celebrities, allowing them “to hijack the BBC schedule,” and of a tendency for its staff “‘to group think’ with too many inhabiting a shared space and comfort zone.” In addition to revealing BBC’s imbalanced news reporting, the study makes a revelation which should raise concern as to how such reporting contributes to perpetuating worrisome myths, thus failing to alert the public of dangers to its very existence.

The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
BBC logo

The study noted, during a BBC staff impartiality seminar held last year, executives expressed willingness, should the storyline arise, to broadcast images of the Bible being thrown away but would not do so if it were the Koran being trashed. Why? They feared offending Muslims, evidenced by the violent reactions prompted by publishing cartoons of Muhammad and Pope Benedict’s innocent reciting of a quote by a 14th-Century Christian emperor critical of Islam.

These BBC executives, however, fail to give consideration to the price paid for submitting to such fears. The decision-making guidelines for broadcasting they support result in dishonest reporting, helping to perpetuate dangerous myths. In opting not to broadcast the Koran story, for example, they perpetuate the myth we have nothing to fear from Islamic extremism. Similarly, in opting to broadcast the Bible story, they perpetuate the myth to the Muslim world that non-believers lack moral guidance, giving extremists a rational basis–in their minds–to impose Islam or death upon us. Thus the result in broadcasting one story but not the other would clearly represent a net loss for Western civilization and a net gain for Islamic extremism.

It is not the first time a news organization, out of fear, has failed to publish a story. America’s BBC equivalent, CNN, hid the truth of Saddam Hussein’s acts of brutality and torture before the 2003 US invasion, only later admitting it had consciously done so. Following the 2003 invasion, senior CNN executive Eason Jordan confessed while his news organization was well aware of numerous atrocities committed by Saddam—justifying the dictator’s removal from power—it opted not to report them. To do so, he argued, would have endangered CNN staffers in Iraq. Thus, CNN helped perpetuate the myth prior to 2003 that insufficient grounds for an invasion might exist. While CNN remained silent about Saddam’s widely practiced torture, executions and mutilations of Iraqi citizens, it later would unhesitatingly report stories critical of US troops for what was either mostly a very limited practice of prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib or uncorroborated allegations of it. This result was a net loss for the US prestige and a net gain for Islamic extremism.

While the mainstream news media (MNM) today attempts to portray itself as independent, it is hypocritical in doing so. For example, most of MNM reject the practice of embedding reporters with US units in Iraq today due to concerns the reporters might start to identify with their unit hosts and thus provide biased perspectives. As a result, many reporters in Iraq spend their time inside the highly protected Green Zone in Baghdad, relying on local stringers–with their own biases–to bring them stories to write and file. This they fail to report to the public, while criticizing the US military for paying to have the Iraqi media publish certain stories it has provided. Furthermore, while news organizations historically take no initiative to pressure Islamic extremist groups to release captives, they fail to remain similarly detached when their own journalists are taken captive—as evidenced most recently by BBC’s efforts to win the release of its reporter Alan Johnston in Gaza.

Clearly the majority of news reporters today in the MNM lack the Jack Webb, facts only-approach. Instead, facts are often lost within the opinionated reporting reflected by a news organization’s political slant. It is a journalistic sin to package a story within the wrappings of a news organization’s established bias, but it is an even greater sin to do so by intentionally refusing to report facts to provide news recipients with information necessary for them to make informed decisions about potential dangers to their existence.

At the conclusion of each “Dragnet” program, the announcer said, “The story you have just seen is true. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent.” Unfortunately, with the very liberal slant represented by the MNM today and its failing to relate the true dangers of Islamic extremism, the facts they ignore fail to “protect the innocent.” In doing so, freedom of the press—a right which has played such a significant role in breathing life into democracy—could prove to be a catalyst in causing its death.

Related:
Is All the News Media Going
The Way of NBCs Today Show?

By John E. Carey
June 25, 2007

Today in the world we have these intriguing stories: War in Iraq, Discussions of Genocide in Darfur Being Held in Paris, Iran Trying to Slip Away From U.N. Sanctions, North Korea Preparing to Shut Down its Nuclear Reactor, “Chemical Ali” Sentenced to Death in Iraq, Tony Blair Maybe to Become Catholic and other goodies.

NBCs Today Show started with a California Brush Fire, A Bus Crash, A Murder in Ohio, and Problems with Aspirin. Before the first half hour was completed we had Pretty Blonde Woman (Princess Di and Paris Hilton) and a story on Beaches.

By eight a.m. I’d expect a story on Bar-B-Q, Good Make-Up and Expensive Women’s Shoes.

What is America thinking? Watch the NBC Today Show or anything else in the morning line-up and you’ll know.

The ceaseless, mindless prattle of the “networks” (NBC, ABC, and CBS) created the audience for the “Cable News” phenomena of CNN, Fox News Channel, and MSNBC.

The “Main Stream Media” (The New York Times, The Washington Post, and etc.) created the “Blogger” phenomena.

The bottom line: there is enough news to go around for everyone.

“Now Public” (the liberal leaning, Toronto based “news” web site) is as important to its readers and participants as The Washington Times is to a certain political crowd in America!