Friday, July 06, 2007

Tea Time for Alan Johnston

BBC photoline: "Alan Johnston could enjoy some luxuries after his release - like a nice cup of tea"

It is indeed good news to hear that amongst the many journalists that have been victimized since the hostilities of the Wart on Terror began, at least one, Alan Johnston of the BBC, has survived his ordeal.

But sadly, "news" articles like this one on the BBC today demonstrate why a motive might have existed for a Western reporter to be kidnapped in Gaza in the first place: his "news" organization doesn't display basic respect for the people, culture and society he was based in.

The BBC takes great pride in the fact that from both sides of the Palestine-Israel issue, it is receiving criticism -- as if to say that we must not be biased if both sides are accusing us of bias. But this is paltry logic and a pathetic effort at spin on the part of the BBC in an effort to disguise the obvious: the BBC's coverage of sensitive international issues is insensitive and incomplete and both sides of the issues have noticed it.

"Alan Johnston could enjoy some luxuries after his release - like a nice cup of tea"

For the BBC to publish an image of Johnston having a cup of tea with such a simple but offensive statement under the photo is yet another example of infantile British politics in top form. Sorry to see that Johnston himself willingly took part in such a charade.

You see, tea is only a "luxury" in England, because in the Middle East and Asia it has been a staple drink for centuries. In fact, British style tea -- bitter, mouth-puckering, cold, and topped with unheated milk -- is considered unpalatable in Middle Eastern and Asian countries.

Johnston himself, if he had the sense, would have been able to tell his uninformed colleagues at the BBC (or at least the buffoon who wrote this ridiculous statement) that he had several cups of very luxurious (by British standards) tea with mint and other fine spices every day of his captivity in Gaza. But, alas, he posed for this ridiculous attempt at patriotism and has belittled the courage he displayed during the ordeal.

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