The Telegraph’s Boris Johnson makes this argument, in a bit just filed today.

Says Johnson:

But if there were BBC reporters who opposed the war, Andrew Gilligan was not among them. I know, from talking to him while he was reporting from Baghdad, that he supported the enterprise to remove Saddam.”

Even if this is true (I doubt it) the trouble is, the BBC didn’t. Like the recent excesses of the Times, this is not, and by nature of the structure of news orgs today, cannot be, a situation of one rouge reporter getting out of control… this can be nothing less than a systematic effort on the part of the BBC, to carry out an anti-war (anti-Blair) propaganda campaign. As even Johnson, here points out, the BBC all though the war…

“The first lemma of the syllogism is sound. The BBC’s reporting was maddeningly Eeyore-ish. To watch the BBC, during those anxious days while the American forces roared north to Baghdad, was almost unbearable for those of us who supported the war. Reverses were turned into disasters. Announcements of casualties were repeated in a loop.

If Murdoch’s Fox News was too wackily gung-ho, the Beeb was too morbidly detached. At times one was reminded of the notorious BBC decision, at the outset of the Falklands conflict, to refer to the Task Force as “the British Forces”, as though the national broadcaster was impartial between us and the Argentines.

In their hearts, plenty of BBC producers probably opposed the war. If it had been up to them, Saddam Hussein would still be in power. The Iraqi people would not now be celebrating with exuberant and unmistakable joy the deaths of Uday and Qusay Hussein. Those two thugs would still be stubbing out their Cohibas on the skins of their victims, and still causing the population to cringe past their villas in fear of being shot.”

How, then, I ask, can Johnson deny the pattern of bias extends to this particular employee of the BBC?  Since Johnson claims to have spoken to Gilligan, and apparently thinks he knows him well enough to make such judgements, I have to ask; are they freinds? Is this the reason for the rather disjointed defense?

The fact of the matter is as Robert Jackson MP for Kelly’s district, suggested several days ago:

” I think the fact of the matter is that Gilligan, under pressure from his news colleagues for a scoop, for an exclusive story, under pressure from the wider BBC establishment and its general vendetta against the government on the question of the war against Iraq, I believe he sexed up the whole story and this created the situation that led to the death of my constituent.”

I’ve had leftists in the UK tell me that Jackson is a bit on an idiot, but I take this with the grains of salt due any leftist making such a claim about someone who ISN’T leftist. Indeed, when the left starts in with THAT crap, you can usually bet that the person who is the target of the left is getting too close to the truth for the comfort of the left.

So it is, I suspect, with Jackson.

I made it clear, I think, in last week’s BIT, that Gilligan was not alone in this, and that the BBC itself was and remains the larger culprit. This is a position I still hold; I’ve yet to see any argument to sway me from this conclusion, that of Boris Johnson included.