In response to Kathy Gyngell: BBC standards stoop to new low with Jihadi John coverage, Ablanche wrote:
Within days of the savage murder of Lee Rigby, Newsnight fielded an “interview” with the murderer’s self described best friend. This interview was in effect just a platform for this individual to put forward unchallenged by his apparently artless and naive interrogator the wholly implausible, indeed ludicrous, narrative that the blood soaked fanatic had been a lovely and kind boy, who had been raped by the Kenyan authorities when arrested on his way to “religious education” in that country and on his return (having been tried in Kenya for terrorist offences) harassed by MI5 who made him into what he now is.
This remarkable and obviously false cover story for a terrorist, who had just murdered a British soldier in the street, was then picked up by the Today programme on the following day when the reliably awful Evan Davis interviewed the Newsnight journalist in tones of maiden aunt outrage, accepting as undeniably true everything said by the “best friend” of the saintly Adebolajo. Davis was especially outraged that the friend had been arrested by anti-terrorist police on the sacred premises of the BBC itself following the interview.
I was so furious I complained. Eventually, as I would not be fobbed off, I was told that there was plenty of “balance” elsewhere in their coverage and they were satisfied the highest standards of journalism were being observed.
Why do they do this? Neutrality between the fire brigade and the fire is not impartial journalism. I find it hard to believe they actually sympathise with the ideology of Islamism but that is what it looks like. Especially as the same leeway is never afforded to those they have anathematised like Israelis, climate change sceptics and Tories, all of whom are openly treated with suspicion and contempt by the very same journalists.