Hamas has agreed to run a controversial appeal on behalf of the BBC license fee. The appeal, which has been criticised by many as ‘overtly political’, will be broadcast tomorrow on the one remaining television set in the Gaza Strip. The BBC license fee has been the subject of heated political debate and many believe that it is too sensitive a subject for Hamas to broadcast without undermining their hard-earned reputation for impartiality.
However, Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh described the appeal as ‘purely humanitarian’ adding ‘there is no reason why innocent victims such as Jonathan Ross or Jeremy Clarkson should suffer unnecessary cuts in their wages because of disagreements about how to pay for the British Broadcasting Corporation.’
‘Whatever the rights and wrongs of the public service broadcasting debate, every Palestinian agrees that the only way forward must be via a simple Direct Debit arrangement.’ he added. Israel however said it could not accept this position and used the disagreement to justify renewed shelling of Palestinian homes.
Meanwhile, following recent criticism of their own impartiality, the BBC has taken the decision to cancel their long running charity show ‘Children in Need’. ‘We had to take into account that some children have absolutely everything they will ever need in life and might feel marginalised during an appeal like this,’ said a BBC spokesman. The BBC admitted that they did consider a disclaimer explaining that the children they were targeting during the appeal were not representative of the BBC audience as a whole ‘but whenever we broadcast that, it might not have reached a representative sample of the BBC audience as a whole’.
The Hamas/BBC controversy was not helped yesterday, when it transpired that Jonathan Ross had used his return to broadcasting to ring up the elderly spiritual leader of Hamas and announced ‘Hey Ahmed, I fucked your grand-daughter.’
(hat tip to Skylarking and The Last Detail)