January 16, 2004,
Robert Kilroy-Silk, a former Labour MP with great hair, used to be the Oprah of England. For 17 years, he was the host of a popular BBC daytime program that explored the well-lit depths of televised relationships. But overnight, he went from being Oprah who has a job to being Donahue who doesn't. His error, as explained in the Telegraph, was to write a piece for the Sunday Express called "We owe Arabs nothing," accusing Arab states of being uncivilized and murderous, pointing out that they are all despotic and anti-democratic.
The piece ran last April in the same paper without raising comment and, according to the Observer, was apparently reprinted in error. But this time, the piece deleted the word "states" and called Arabs "suicide bombers, limb-amputators, women repressors." Although it was clear that Kilroy-Silk wasn't referring to all Arabs, but to those with terrorism in mind, it was enough to elicit these responses: The Muslim Council of Britain complained to the BBC. The BBC threw him off the air. The Commission for Racial Equality, according to the Guardian, called the police to see if criminal charges could be brought against Kilroy-Silk. Scotland Yard dutifully launched an investigation into allegations of "incitement to racial hatred."
The BBC's media correspondent commented that, "Many people would see it very hard for him to continue with a programme that deals with current affairs matters having made such comments." No kidding, especially when the "many people" are the governors of the BBC and most left-leaning MPs.
According to the Telegraph, some have pointed out that compared to BBC commentator Tom Paulin's suggestion that Jews be "shot dead" and that those who lived in the West Bank were "Nazis" remarks that, as Mark Steyn noted elsewhere in the paper, caused the BBC to fearlessly label Paulin's comments part of his "knockabout style" Kilroy-Silk was pretty moderate. He also didn't have much of a soapbox for his piece; the Express doesn't often run items online and Kilroy-Silk's article wouldn't be available for hatred incitement at all if it weren't for the generosity of the Muslim Council in posting it here as part of their gripe to the BBC.
But accusing the BBC of hypocrisy is unlikely to get Kilroy-Silk off the hook for inciting "hatred" especially since the BBC, since last January 5, has been posting the entire text of Osama bin Laden's latest call for jihad the explicit intention of which, after all, is to "incite hatred" as well as murder, suicide bombing, and limb amputation on its own website, along with the full texts of all other available bin Laden messages.
Meanwhile, according to the "Diary" of Daily Mail columnist Melanie Phillips (with thanks to EURSOC for the link), newspapers such as the Observer are carrying reports of terror cells springing up all over Europe, like a thousand points of darkness. Somebody ought to call the police! On the BBC!
ITEMSDeutsche depression. As Le Monde eported Germany slipping into recession no doubt dragging France along with it Germany's ARD carried a piece announcing serious and severe cutbacks in German defense spending. One more year of this, and France will have to pay for its Euro-army the old-fashioned way: by relying on American taxpayers to pay for European defense.
Chasing the tail. The EU is furious at itself for allowing France and Germany to violate economic stability treaties on a whim, so, according to Le Monde, it's doing the only right thing: It's suing itself. Meanwhile, the IHT reports that France and Germany are at the "bottom of the queue" when it comes to following the laws they pass in Brussels. According to the EU Observer, the latest Eurostat poll shows most EU residents assume the bureaucrats in Belgium are corrupt and that governments are guilty of fraud. One possible explanation: A letter to major European dailies, including the Suddeutsche Zeitung, from French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin telling EUniks that no matter what, they can always "trust France." To do what, exactly, isn't made clear.