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The BBC reporting Venezuela

By Aleksander Boyd

London (27.11.03) – Two days ago I received a letter by the BBC’s Programme Complaints Unit (PCU). Further to a previous one received the 2nd of November, the latest communication by the PCU slaps me as an insult. The nature of my complaint is the biased and propagandistic document “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”. Since I felt/feel disgusted by how Kim Bartley & Donnacha O’Briain have portrayed the tragic events of last April, I wrote to the BBC demanding my right to reply to be enforced and respected.

I shall transcribe here the content of both letters and my response.

Programme Complaints Unit
30 October 2003
Mr Aleksander Boyd

Dear Mr Boyd,

Further to your email of 27 October 2003 I am writing to let you know that we are looking into the subject of your complaint. As it will take little time to review the relevant material and talk to the people responsible, we will not be able to give you a reply immediately. However we should be in a position to give you a response by 27 November 2003 unless we encounter unexpected delays.

Yours sincerely,

Dawn Varney
Assistant to Head of Programme Complaints

Second letter

Programme Complaints Unit
24 November 2003
Mr Aleksander Boyd

Dear Mr Boyd,

I am writing to apologise to you for the delay in responding to your email. I am afraid that due to staff sickness and pressure of work, it has taken longer than anticipated to look into your complaint. However, I hope our investigation will be complete in the near future, and I will write to you as soon as I have reached a conclusion.

Yours sincerely,

Fraser Steel
Head of Programme Complaints

My response to the second letter owing to the refusal of PCU's staff to speak to me over the phone.

Dear Mr Steel,

Further to your letter of 24 November 2003, I want to inform you in clear terms that excusing your lack of an appropriate response regarding the transmission of "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised" owing to "staff sickness and pressure of work" will not satisfy my utter discontent.

I demand my right to reply to be respected and enforced and I also request a prompt and adequate response to this issue.

May I remind you that the BBC is an incredibly large corporation with plenty of resources. I should be most grateful if you do not insult my intelligence with such pathetic arguments.

Yours sincerely,
Aleksander Boyd

Other considerations

Please note also that the BBC, together with The Guardian and some other “respectable sources of information” have been echoing the nonsense emanated by Venezuelan VP Jose Vicente Rangel and other government officials. Prime example the article posted on the BBC site about the 7 million signatures collected last weekend by supporters of Hugo Chavez or the “threat” received by Amnesty’s staff in Venezuela reported by The Guardian, in either case the allegations fall in the camp of preposterousness.

I had also a telephone conversation with a member of the Venezuelan Team of Amnesty International, and she stated in clear terms that Amnesty was to produce a statement regarding the declarations reported in The Guardian, owing to its false nature. Better be good for when I spoke to Mr Don Wright of the Canadian Section of Amnesty he did not comment anything in regards to threats received by his Venezuelan colleagues. Quite bizarre then that someone inferior in the hierarchy of the Canadian Section of AI gave such declarations to Duncan Campbell, whom reported for The Guardian from L.A.

The take away message is do not trust those sources of information when it comes to Venezuelan issues.

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