04 April 2009

Scoop Spooks Spineless Beeb Suits

I like that headline because it reminds me of my Oxford joke. It might also be a good one for the breathalyser lot to ask inebriates to tackle: even I can't say it first time round and I coined the bloody thing.

Any road, that cheery geezer up there is Kurt Westergaard, one of the 12 cartoonists commissioned by the Danish Jyllands-Posten newspaper in 2005 to produce caricatures of the Muslim prophet.

But ... Islamic tradition says no image of him should be produced or shown.

Mr Westergaard rightly accuses the BBC of 'appeasing Muslim fanatics' by not showing his first-ever English interview secured by tenacious newshound BBC journo Malcolm Brabant.

This is where I get very grand and professional and actually 'declare an interest': I've met Mr Brabant and admire his work. He is a pro of the old school who fights for a story and, I suspect, edits his material to nigh vanilla toothlessness to fit his pusillanimous masters' demands.

Getting the hard-fought scoop out there is his priority, even if it means bowdlerising an ace story to appease the demoralising ditherings of Broadcasting House.

That said, this sort of story makes my blood boil, as it has time and again since it dawned on me that Britain's once-proud broadcasting service has been reduced to the wimpo disgrace the country deserves.

As a book PR hack supplying authors for interview over many years, I worked closely with stalwarts in both BH and Bush House and it was a joy to brief them and connive how to slide some our dicier stories through.

In those days, management had the cojones for the buck to stop there and the reporters knew their bosses had their backs and would do battle on their behalf in the boardroom.

Today's wet prefects seem more treacherous than any opposition facing the reporters as they actually run the story to ground.

I absolutely believe Mr Westergaard's claim that the corporation's decision not to air his interview with Mr Brabant is because they are petrified of upsetting Muslims extremists.

Thank God I no longer live in an England I'd no longer recognise, with its laughable craven multi-culturalism bending over to speak for anyone but England.

This report should have gone out on BBC World, the BBC News channel, across radio services and on its website.

But the corporation has kept the report under wraps amid claims it is frightened that it will 'inflame' Muslims around the world.

Of course the courageous Mr Westergaard is "disappointed on behalf of the freedom of speech. Every time you are afraid I think you make a step backwards. That is depressing me."

It reminds me of the Bradford police's lickspittle suggestion to a local bookseller that he remove The Satanic Verses from his window lest he stir trouble with the local Muslims.

Westergaard is absolutely right to draw a parallel with countries trying to appease Hitler.

Nail/head interface, Westers:

'If you have an appeasement policy towards the radical Muslims then you are on a very wrong way and you have to start marching backwards.'

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