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BBC in the news, Thursday

Host Host | 09:57 UK time, Thursday, 26 October 2006

The Sun: Reports that the BBC has been criticised for broadcasting an interview with members of the Taliban. (no link available)

The Guardian: The paper's leader column praises Today programme presenter John Humphrys. (link)


  • 1.
  • At 10:39 AM on 26 Oct 2006,
  • J.G. wrote:

The Guardian praising John Humphrys! Well who would have thought it?

  • 2.
  • At 12:22 PM on 26 Oct 2006,
  • mark sanders wrote:

The interview with the taliban was an absolute disgrace. To give air time to the terrorists who are trying, and sucseeding to kill our troops is unforgivable. This is not balanced reporting this is one upmanship and quite frankly beggars belief. I'm sure the recruiting campaign for future suicide bombers was helped no end by this one eyed report.
I challenge the BBC to stand face to face with parents of the young soldiers risking their lives on a daily basis and expalin themselves. These are soldiers invited by the Afghan government to restore order to the country, who the hell do you think you are undermine that role. I know the challenge will not be taken up as you do not have the moral fibre to be responsible for your actions. Shame on you.

  • 3.
  • At 12:44 PM on 26 Oct 2006,
  • ashley wrote:

As a wife of a service personel living in the extreme conditions of afganistan i'm utterly disgraced at the programme you aired yesterday. How awful it was having to explain to my son that them people arent there to kill daddy!!!!! Further more i hope our brave lads over in afgan wont see that programme. British forces being shown no support from the BBC. Typical nothing suprises me anymore. 7 long months of negotiation for that interview. How much did you have to pay them??? The programme didnt show anything we already didnt know. What a waste of money, time and effort. Utterly disgraced!!!

  • 4.
  • At 01:29 PM on 26 Oct 2006,
  • Jayesh A Patel wrote:

From the White House to the Pentagon to Whitehall they all have learnt fron Vietnam that any free reporting from war zones will undermine public backing for the American war, so all media must be shown to be impartial and independent. This is difficult if your being ferried around by the military. At the moment the poorest in the world are being killed by the richest with no recourse, reminds of the Nazis.

  • 5.
  • At 02:45 PM on 26 Oct 2006,
  • michael g wrote:

although very brave but feel it was a very bad idea putting himself on the line like that but i thought it made great tv we only ever get to hear one side of the arquement.... and from what i see on the programe has swayed me to think this is another american war gone wrong...i am a white british male of no perticular religion i actualy feel sorry for the taliban from what i have seen,i think we and the americans should pull out of there country and let them be they obviously don't want us medling with there way off life and we should respect that,just like this country is not happy they come here and are changing things so maybe we should leave them alone and they leave us alone.... but if after time they start to attack people outside of there country then and only then give aid.... BUT WELL DONE BBC FOR SUCH A GOOD INCITE INTO A TERRIBLE WAR.......

  • 6.
  • At 02:52 PM on 26 Oct 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

"The Guardian praises John Humphrys"
They must be up to something. John Humphrys has not changed.
Perhaps it is the latest vogue of stirring up correspondence. Perhaps the Editor needs help.

  • 7.
  • At 11:00 AM on 27 Oct 2006,
  • P wrote:

My fiance is out in Afghanistan with the British Forces. We are due to get married in May after his 6 month tour.
Although, I believe myself to be a well-educated, informed person able to see all sides of this horrific situation I truly am dumbfounded at the "advert" for the Taleban that the BBC have chosen to broadcast.
Although, like many I, and my fiance, have our doubts as to the sensibility of some of our Government's decisions it does not change the fact that thousands of people in the UK today have children, partners and friends in Afghanistan.
Did we really need the BBC to rub further salt into our already smarting wounds?

  • 8.
  • At 07:30 AM on 29 Oct 2006,
  • Stranded in Babylon wrote:

I think the snide comments made about the Guardian and John Humphrys are undeserved. I heard some of his reports from Basrah (although not the one from Aberfan) and I have no doubt that they were excellent pieces of work; at least one I found truly moving [1].

Within the next couple of days, the Today 'listen again archive' [2] will have been updated to contain all the broadcasts from Basrah. I suggest that, before anyone posts further silly comments, they take the opportunity to actually listen to some of these. The reports from 08.10 on 23 and 25 October 2006 were fine examples of his work.

Additionally, there's a collection of the reports available [3] and a set of comments from people who have actually heard them [4].

I thought the editor, Ceri Thomas, also posted a very good comment about reporting from Basrah once the Multi-National Forces (South) pull out [5].






  • 9.
  • At 03:20 PM on 29 Oct 2006,
  • J Westerman wrote:

Start with the proposition that dealing with the enemy is treason and then justify going behind enemy lines to obtain and publish what the enemy wishes to tell you.
Keep in mind that our young men and women are in mortal combat.
You do not help them by starting a debate. You do everything possible to help them to win.
If you want a debate afterwards that is your privilege.

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