Balancing the balance

One thing we constantly whining, unsatisfiable conservatives often complain about is the way that the liberal media fudges the truth or is selective about which part of the truth it includes and which parts it omits.

But there is another clever way that clever leftist news organizations sneak their bias in under our noses. I call it "balancing the balance".

In short, this is what I'm talking about. Occasionally, really, really biased news groups, like the BBC in the UK, for instance, is forced to make an act of contrition after being caught out in yet another egregious example of blatant dishonesty or one-sidedness.

So they'll write a token article in which the views of people like myself are addressed. Not agreed with, mind you, just addressed. It is the journalistic equivalent of a person walking past you and nodding their head at you in a vaguely interested way. It is an acknowledgement that you are present and nothing more.

Of course, the act of doing this is painful to the ideologues who staff the BBC, so what they'll do is find a way to balance this terrible rightward shift in 'perception management' (propaganda). They'll place a link, either in the article itself, or in the sidebar, to a much more helpful article which will set you straight on all of the disquieting facts you might have encountered in the article which mentioned the conservative point of view.

Here's a great example, provided, helpfully, by the BBC:
Dutch MP defies Muslim pressure
By Jane Beresford

What turns a devout young Muslim woman into one of Islam's most outspoken critics?

For the Somali-born Dutch MP Ayaan Hirsi Ali, it was a long journey that started with an arranged marriage.

She sought refuge in the Netherlands on her way to her new husband's home in Canada.

"I wanted a chance at a life where I could shape my own future," she says.

"I knew the risks - being disowned or being shunned by my father and the rest of my family. I took those risks and I don't regret it."

Hirsi Ali describes the anti-US attacks of 11 September 2001 as pivotal to her questioning of Islam.

She remembers the moment when she realised that Mohammed Atta, the leader of the hijackers, had studied the Koran, like her, in the mid-1980s.

She says: "I grabbed the Koran and I started to read what Bin Laden had written and... I put (his) citations next to what is written in the Koran and I realised that, yes, a lot of it is part of my religion and what do I think of that?"
The article continues, and is worth reading. Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a woman whose integrity and courage is unchallengable.

Once you have finished reading the article, take a look at the right-hand sidebar.

See that pretty title "Muslims in Europe: In Depth"? Look at the feature article immediately below it, beside the picture of the fresh, friendly face of the young Muslim lady. "Laptop link-up: A day at the mosque. Find out what it means to be Muslim and what happens at mosques."

When I saw that, I wondered, "Does the BBC have an equivalent "laptop link up" exploring Christianity and/or Judaism?"

As it happens, they don't. But let's move on.

Underneath that link to the laptop extravaganza of Islam (produced courtesy of British BBC ratepayers funds, no doubt) are lots more articles, featuring lots more young, fresh-faced, smiling Muslims talking a lot about intolerance and racism.

That's European intolerance and racism. Not the intolerance that led to Theo van Gogh's death. Not the intolerance which is forcing Ayaan Hirsi Ali to permanently remain under police protection.

On and on and on it goes. Here are the other articles. You can see the point being bludgeoned into us just from the pandering titles themselves. But being a nice guy, I'll read and summarize them for you.

Laptop link-up: A day at the mosque. Find out what it means to be Muslim and what happens at mosques.

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 4

Summary: Mosques are places of deep devotion and spiritual holyness where devoted Imams teach stupid westerners how to be tolerant of a religion that isn't tolerant of them.

Money quote: Susan K Kelly in Blackpool, UK, asks: "Do you feel that you have enriched the life and culture of the indigenous British people?"

Why didn't she just cut to the chase and ask something tough like: "Is it really hard being so wonderful all the time, while being surrounded by stupid infidelic pig Britons?"

The French exchange

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 4

Summary: Two young Islamic men bitch about how awful Europe is to them. Apparently, the British and French born children of Islamic parents are so upset by the racism of Britons and Frenchmen that they need to burn cars to cinders and pack rape white women. The only solution is more money and affirmative action programs.

Money quote: "I'm 21 years old and I studied psychology in one of the few universities based in the suburbs outside Paris. I'm French Egyptian and I have lived in Clichy Sur Bois for more than 10 years.

For the last four weeks the image of the suburb has been changing because of two events which have been considered as unjust. Two young boys died running away from the police and people have expressed anger over this. Some with violence. Two days later, the situation calmed down because people called for calm.

But then one of the mosques in Clichy was attacked, several hundred worshippers were inside at the time praying during the holy month of Ramadan.

Again people were angry against the police -and again there was violence

Why is that a money quote? Because it is a fabrication which was obviously not fact-checked by the BBC. There is no record whatsoever of any attack being made on any Mosque in Clichy prior to the mass burnings, or afterward.

The cause of the riot was two Muslim youths who fled from a police ID check and incinerated themselves after illegally entering a power station. Not police brutality, but death by misadventure (and break and enter).

In response, the Muslims of Clichy rose in revolt.

Can you recall the last time non-Muslims killed themselves stupidly, and their fellow non-Muslims revolted?

Sometime around the middle ages, I would think.

The fact was, the death of the kids was an excuse. A pretext. Nothing more.

Muslim voices: Women's views

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 5

Summary: Several young Muslim women bleat about how they are misunderstood, and how they adore the feel of the yoke of Islam being tenderly placed down upon their necks.

Money quote: "Yes I agree with you completely. If you look back over history there are so many Muslim women that were involved in all sorts of businesses and scholarly activities, dating back to the time of the Prophet."

She seems reluctant to cite the name of any.

Perhaps she is referring to the child bride of Muhammed, whom he slept with before she entered her teenage years.

Young Muslims speak

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 6(!)

Summary: Six young Muslims complain about how they are being misportrayed by a cold and unfeeling media, who wish to portray them all as terrorists.

Money quote: "When was the last time Muslims were shown in a positive light on the BBC or another channel?"

Yes, he really said that.

The mystery of 'Sid'

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 1

Summary: What turned an apparently integrated, happy, western-thinking man into a terrorist monster? Western intolerance of Islam, obviously.

Money quote: [On one of the British train bombers] "Khan was, by all accounts, an exceptionally well integrated person. His anglicised name "Sid" was just one symbol of his willingness to take on a British identity."

Yes, they are quite good at seeming "normal".

London attack response praised

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 0

Summary: Yeah, so some Muslims supposedly attacked and killed a bunch of innocent civilians. But we should be far, far more worried about the Europeans who will now turn around and massacre Muslims in the streets.

Money quote: [Paragraph 1 of the article] "So-called faith hate crimes increased sharply after the 7 July attacks, according to a report by the European Monitoring Centre on Racism (EUMC)."

Huh? I know you guys are biased, but introducing an unrelated side issue of which leftists are inordinately fond is pushing things just a little too far.

What do young Muslims think?

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 1

Summary: I know we've had nothing but 'articles' which gave the floor entirely over to Muslims complaining about how awful Europeans are to them, but we thought we'd add another one, just in case you've not been sufficiently browbeaten toward our perspective yet.

Money quote: "Whenever anyone has an issue with Muslims and Islam, I think this: 'Look to the people not the rel igion'. Why? Because God and His Book are flawless. It is us who are imperfect."

Uh huh. Let's take a look at that flawless book, shall we?

"As for those of your women who are guilty of lewdness, call to witness four of you against them. And if they testify (to the truth of the allegation) then confine them to the houses until death take them or (until) Allah appoint for them a way (through new legislation)." (Let adulterous women starve to death. If they're not actually adulterous, find a few women who hate them to say they are).

"And if ye fear that ye will not deal fairly by the orphans, marry of the women, who seem good to you, two or three or four; and if ye fear that ye cannot do justice (to so many) then one (only) or (the captives) that your right hands possess. Thus it is more likely that ye will not do injustice." (Marry as many women as you like, dude.)

"Lo! Those who disbelieve Our revelations, We shall expose them to the Fire. As often as their skins are consumed We shall exchange them for fresh skins that they may taste the torment. Lo! Allah is ever Mighty, Wise." (And kind, too. Don't piss Allah off, non-Muslims. Convert today!)

Londoners can learn from Madrid

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 0

Summary: The title says all you need to know. Allow yourself to get caught up in petty distractions, forget the bombings, it's no big deal. Oh, and withdraw from Iraq and Afghanistan. Fast.

Money quote: "The withdrawal of Spain's troops from Iraq helped a lot of people to feel safer and no longer such a prominent target for international attacks."

Transplant that comment to another time and another war:

"The abandonment of the British Commonwealth/French/Polish alliance, the disbanding of the Home Guard and the scrapping of the British Navy helped a lot of people to feel safer and no longer such a prominent target for German attacks."

Dutch MPs to decide on burqa ban

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: Can't tell.

Summary: The Dutch have lost all of their wonderful European tolerance and are, for some reason, all concerned over "security" and "integration".

Money quote: "There were six ladies who wore the niqab. I think two or three weeks after the council passed this law, five have dropped it," says Mr Creemers. "One lady is still wearing it but the last step in the procedure will be that she must go to jail."

The husband of the woman who defies the ban is being held in connection with the Madrid bombings.

But the police here are not too happy with the ban. They say it has made relations with the Moroccan community worse and gives young people a reason to resent society."

Resent western society. How dare we forbid those Madrid bombers to keep their wive(s) in servitude!

Islam tests secular Istanbul

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 0

Summary: The Turks are shunning the dreams of Ataturk for the rapture of Islamist regression. But who cares. At least they aren't turning Christian.

Money quote: "Turkey is going to change its regime towards fundamentalism - the debate is whether it is going to be with blood or without."

Judge warns of Iraq 'black hole'

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 0

Summary: A French judge thinks that Iraq is causing more terrorism. It's radical thinking like that which might just take off amongst the leftist intelligensia.

Money quote: "It's quite a black hole sucking up all the elements located in Europe, and pushing them to leave Europe and go to Iraq," Mr Bruguiere said.

Yes, but they aren't in France anymore, are they? Why isn't he happy about that?

Ghettos shackle French Muslims

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 0

Summary: Poor Muslims who never learned to speak or read French can't get jobs, can't afford decent housing and prefer to instead live in packed state-provided slums.

I blame whitey. So does the BBC.

Money quote: "Blighted by bad schools and endemic unemployment, the suburbs are hard to escape."

My heart bleeds. Thank God the white settlers of America didn't have to fight for the land they settled in, and were provided with excellent educational facilities and jobs by the Indians and Spaniards who welcomed them to the new world. They might never have made anything of themselves, otherwise.

Russian Islam goes its own way

Number of smiling young Muslims pictured in the article: 0

Summary: When not slaughtering innocent civilians in theatres or children in schools, the Muslims of Russia are super cool and really secularly minded. Honest.

Money quote: "The country's Muslim community makes up more than 10% of the total population. Demographers predict that by 2020 one out of five Russians will be Muslim. But the question is: How Muslim will they be?"

Be careful, Beeb guy. Your bosses don't like those kinds of "thoughtful" questions.

And at the very end, after this litany of pro-Muslim propaganda?

HAVE YOUR SAY: Are you a Muslim in the UK?

The "have your say" section was just gravy, for me. Every single article above it had been an exercise in slavish adulation of Islam, written almost exclusively by Muslims, and now, at the very end, Muslims were being invited to add MORE of their views to the Muslim views which had been labouriously, repeatedly and UNCRITICALLY parroted by the BBC journalists.

Talk about laying it on thick. Could the page be any more balanced without tipping over leftwards?

So, the final tally? On one page - ostensibly devoted to a woman who is a critic of Islam - we have her views 'balanced' with links to at least a hundred contrary views, put forward by Muslims.

Of course, I could be wrong about this. It could be that, everytime the Beeb hosts an article which portrays Christianity in a bad light, they do the same 'balancing' trick with the sidebar there, too. Let's take a look.

Nope, nope, nope and... nope.

The sidebar in each and every instance is the same. It is crammed full of similarly derogatory stories about Church abuse, people turning away from the faith, or people suing the church.

I could not find one single positive story which clearly sought to portray Christians in a good light.

Here, instead, are the sidebar links provided for the last Christian abuse story:

The BBC's Emma Simpson"There are still many difficult times ahead"
Abuse victim Tom Fulchino"It will be a long process to heal the church"
Father Tom Doyle"The church doesn't exist just for the cardinals and bishops"

Boston cardinal quits
Restoring Boston's faith
Vatican acts
Law's resignation text
Opponents' reaction
Around the world
Suing the Pope
Record award
Hong Kong claims
Irish 'regrets'
South Africa abuse
Church shaken
Pope John Paul II
Cardinal Law
Bishop's view
Abuse ordeal
Can trust in the Church be restored?
See also:
13 Dec 02 Americas
Abuse scandal forces out Boston cardinal
12 Dec 02 Americas
Cardinal 'ordered to testify' over abuse
05 Dec 02 Americas
Boston Church crisis deepens
04 Dec 02 Americas
Files opened on accused priests

If you need those articles summarized, with titles like that, you're an idiot.

The balance is balanced, just the way the BBC like it.

Biased jerks.

This article was cross-posted at The Fall of Jericho

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