I was startled by this letter in The Guardian:
Given Mark Thompson's devotion to the cause of BBC impartiality, perhaps he could reassure us that when he went on his charm offensive to Israel in 2005 and held talks with Ariel Sharon, he took the opportunity to talk also to Palestinian leaders in the occupied territories. MORE
Which then led me to this nugget of information in The Independent:
BBC chief holds peace talks in Jerusalem with Ariel Sharon (2005)
The BBC is often accused of an anti-Israeli bias in its coverage of the Middle East, and recently censured reporter Barbara Plett for saying she "started to cry" when Yasser Arafat left Palestine shortly before his death.Fascinating, then, to learn that its director general, Mark Thompson, has recently returned from Jerusalem, where he held a face-to-face meeting with the hardine Prime Minister Ariel Sharon.
Although the diplomatic visit was not publicised on these shores, it has been seized upon in Israel as evidence that Thompson, who took office in 2004, intends to build bridges with the country's political class. ... MORE
And I never knew that it was only days after this meeting that BBC Middle East reporter Orla Guerin was sacked. Greg Dyke looks askance.
Impartiality. A moveable feast? Or smoke and mirrors?