It comes, of course, as no surprise. The Trust exists as a last protective cover for loaded BBC output and establishment interests.
The complaint and appeal in support of the family was not initiated in expectation of any serious investigation or censure of the BBC's Jerusalem bureau. Rather, it was intended to highlight the kind of selective editorial and journalistic agenda which circumvents daily reporting of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.
The Trust's explanatory ruling helps indicate its own part in the closure of this story:
"The Committee also noted the responses of the BBC Executive in which it was stated that the decision not to cover the al-Kurds’ eviction was based on the editorial merit of the story and the resources available at the time.The Trust, in effect, took convenient refuge behind the Executive's editorial remit, thus excusing itself from proper questioning of any editorial decisions and practices.
The Committee also noted that, regarding the different functions of the BBC Trust and Executive, it was the responsibility of the Executive to handle the day-to-day running of the BBC and, therefore, to manage the BBC’s creative and editorial output."
In a separate, still ongoing, complaint, BBC News Online have, again, denied my charges of biased reporting during Israel's 23-day assault on Gaza. And they're still refusing to acknowledge that it was Israel alone which broke the truce, despite multiple evidence documenting pre-planned Israeli aggression and Hamas restraint.
However, they have issued two rather laboured admissions, as contained in this part of the reply:
"However, I would like to revise two aspects of the reply I gave you, largely in the light of the recent Goldstone report on the Israeli assault on Gaza:Behind these tortured concessions lies, I suspect, a deep embarrassment over this particular finding in Goldstone's report. For it completely undermines the BBC's repeated line of a specific attack on Hamas rather than all Palestinians.
We should be saying that Israel says. We often do use this form of wording and were very careful to during the conflict, but we should be doing it all the time
The Goldstone report concluded that Israeli operations "were carefully planned in all their phases as a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population". We’ve reported this widely and will be part of our characterisation of the war in the future. "
While not expecting serious dissemination now of the quote and its characterisation, it's still a useful statement to invoke whenever the standard language of 'Israel's defensive attacks on Hamas' does appear at BBC news outlets.
On which testing note, here's a message just sent in response to BBC Online's latest pronouncements on the matter:
Dear EditorAnother character example of the BBC diluting the language and masking the truth.
Middle East desk,
Your recent letter to me stated:
"The Goldstone report concluded that Israeli operations "were carefully planned in all their phases as a deliberately disproportionate attack designed to punish, humiliate and terrorise a civilian population". We’ve reported this widely and will be part of our characterisation of the war in the future."
Today's Online piece, 'Allies push Israel for Gaza probe' (15 October 2009) notes:
"The Goldstone report accuses Israel of using disproportionate force and deliberately harming civilians during the 22-day conflict which began on 27 December 2008."
Is this the informed "characterisation of the war" promised in your letter? Why didn't you, for accuracy and proper characterisation, simply cite Goldstone's words? Or is this the moderated version we're more likely to see in "future" BBC reports?