UK readers will be only too aware of the BBC’s flagship weekly political debate programme - Question Time. US readers may not so familiar but essentially it consists of an invited panel being asked questions by a selected audience. It has, shall we say, a certain reputation for being left-wing, and that is why I set up a Question Time LIVEBLOG over on Biased BBC a few years ago – allowing my readers a chance to have their say on it as it happens. Usually, this is good fun and whilst the programme is predictably dreary, massively pro-Labour and reliably leftist in all other zones, I get quite a kick out of the Biased BBC commentariat and their caustic wit!
However there is a serious side to this. 10 years, after 9/11, the edition of Question Time that was broadcast that week became infamous. The Towers lay burning, thousands were dead (reduced to ash) and I think most people were in a state of shock. On the panel of Question Time that week was the then American ambassador Philip Lader. He was reduced to tears by the unbelievable hostility of the “selected” BBC audience which baited him, blamed America and essentially suggested that the US got what it deserved. The BBC seemed shocked by the reaction from people across the UK and apologised for the atrocious programme.
Last night, the BBC ran a 9/11 special edition of Question Time, ten years on. As usual, I hosted the live discussion. After 20 minutes, I was thinking of leaving the debate, after 40mins, I did. Quite simply, this was ANOTHER opportunity for the “invited” BBC audience to vent their spleen against the Great and Little Satan. America was berated, Israel was berated, Islam was exonerated and Muslims were defined as the real victims since, as Tariq Ali stated, “their lands are occupied”. In short, the programme made me sick.
There is plenty to be said about 9/11, but I would have thought most decent human beings would sympathise with all those innocents who had their precious lives taken, so horrendously, so unimaginably. America was the VICTIM of a vicious terror attack by militant Islamists who shouted how great Allah was as those planes detonated into those offices. Since 9/11, there have been 17,000+ additional acts of Jihad. America made mistakes before 9/11 and it has made mistakes after 9/11. Perhaps we can all agree on that but in the final analysis, it was America that was attacked and it is America that has every right to defend itself.
Bonnie Greer, Tariq Ali and all those others US haters in the Question Time audience last night made me feel ashamed to be British. When it comes to the BBC’s Question Time – my response is NOT IN MY NAME.