Just as we were preparing to go to press with our AIM Report on the British media invasion of the U.S., the Washington Post ran a column confirming all of our fears. The March 12 column by David Pitts noted that public radio stations in the Washington, D.C. area are airing many hours of BBC programs, in place of the local programming that was once dominant. Pitts, who wrote for 15 years for the U.S. Information Agency-Voice of America, said that “it is disturbing that a foreign broadcaster has taken such a prominent role in U.S. public radio.”
This is not because it is British. Rather, it’s because BBC World Service Radio “is not funded through the general license fee that pays for BBC domestic radio and television in Britain,” but through a special grant from the British Foreign Office. This is extremely important because it makes the BBC into a propaganda arm of the British government.
The implication of Pitts’ point should be obvious. U.S. law prohibits the U.S. Government-funded Voice of America from being broadcast inside the U.S., because of the fear that the government would propagandize its own citizens. But the British government-funded BBC can be broadcast in the U.S. Why doesn’t this constitute foreign government propagandizing of the American people? And why isn’t this improper or illegal?
The Pitts column noted the BBC’s left-wing, anti-American bias. He said conservatives complained that the BBC operated like the Baghdad Broadcasting Corp. during the Persian Gulf War. Pitts said that careful listeners “may have noted that negative stories about the U.S. presence in Iraq abound on the BBC World Service, while far fewer stories critical of British involvement there are aired. Perhaps that is because the U.S. presence in Iraq is far larger than that of Britain and concentrated in more volatile areas of the country. Or perhaps coverage is connected to the BBC’s funding. In any case, should our local public radio stations be carrying programming of an organization that is funded by the British Foreign Office without also carrying an advisory for listeners?”
BBC will also be coming to America through Al-Jazeera International, the English version of the pro-Arab terrorist satellite channel. David Frost, formerly of the BBC, has joined the new channel, which is set to launch in the U.S. this year.
A group called the United American Committee has announced plans to protest the launching of the channel on April 30 at 12:00 Noon at the new Washington, D.C. offices of Al-Jazeera International at1627 K St., NW.
The group is urging people who can’t make it to the protest to write, call, or fax your cable company and tell them that you will cancel your subscription if they carry Al-Jazeera International.