New Nominees for Mendacity Awards
The short-list for the next Mendacity Award consists, so far, of Kirsty Wark, Tony Blair, and Howard Jacobson. Each has shown great ability in removing themselves from any kind of attachment to the pursuit of truth.
Kirsty Wark discredited herself greatly while interviewing the First Minster of Scotland on BBC’s Newsnight recently. Not only was the premise of her questioning false, but her whole demeanour was rude and nasty. Kirsty Wark shared a holiday with the previous First Minister, Jack McConnell, and I can only assume her pro-Labour bias is showing in all it’s teeth-bearing glory in this sorry excuse for an interview.
The subsequent “apology” from the BBC does them little credit either. Kirsty Wark should be removed from Scottish political commentary on the supposedly neutral BBC if she cannot keep her prejudices under control.
Tony Blair, meanwhile, used a speech on his farewell tour to attack the media, and the Independent in particular, for it’s “lack of balance”, and for contributing to the sense of cynicism and distrust the public has for politicians. Ha! Of course, this sense of cynicism and distrust is nothing to do with the lies and distortions emanating from these same politicians. Nothing to do with Iraq, or cash-for-questions, or Bernie Ecclestone, or BAE. It’s all the media’s fault! Coming from the man that leads the government that has taken “spin” to unprecedented levels, this is stupefyingly mendacious. To attack the Independent, and not the Sun, Daily Mail, or News of The World frankly beggars belief.
Last, but not least, we have Howard Jacobson. Now I quite often enjoy reading Mr Jacobson’s articles, but a recent piece of his revealed his stunning inability to tell fact from fiction whenever the subject matter is Israel. In a lengthy article in the Independent’s Extra supplement on June 8th, Mr Jacobson spewed forth his views on the vote by UK academics to have a debate, and just a debate, on whether or not to support a call by Palestinian academics to boycott Israeli Universities in protest at Israel’s ongoing crimes against the people of Palestine. Mr Jacobson wrote “it is repugnant to single out one country for your hatred, to hate it beyond reason and against evidence, to deny it understanding – and most odious of all – to seek to silence its voices..”
There are a great many departures from the truth in the article, but lets for the minute, just concentrate on the ones in the above quote. 1. No-one is “singling out” Israel for “hatred”. Many are calling it to task for it’s crimes, and it’s bullying behaviour, which is not to display hatred. As a religious man, I am sure he is aware of the Christian concept of loving the sinner, while hating the sin. 2. Those campaigning for Palestinian rights and dignity are not acting “beyond reason” or “against evidence”. How many UN resolutions and dead Palestinian children consitute proper evidence? 3. The notion that academics in the UK boycotting academic institutions in Israel is “seeking to silence voices” is lame in the extreme. Israel has many voices, and possibly more advocates than most. An academic boycott is a meagre tool, with only limited effect. To listen to Mr Jacobson, you’d think it was something far more violent and totalitarian!
Still, why let the facts get in the way of a good story?