Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Simpson promotes Cole again

BBC World Affairs editor John Simpson once again sings the praises of University of Michigan Professor Juan Cole, calling him "one of the best academic experts on day-to-day events in Iraq." You may recall Simpson's last mention of Cole back in August, in which he called Cole a "respected US authority on the Middle East." Clearly Simpson thinks highly of Cole.

Regular TAE readers will of course be familiar with Cole's many credibility problems, so there is no need to run through the litany again. One can't help but wonder why one of the most highly praised and visible reporters/editors at the BBC continues to portray this highly partisan, clearly anti-Israel, and arguably anti-semitic professor as a respectable and worthy voice to whom his audience ought to be listening.

It is nearly impossible to believe that Simpson is unaware of Cole's partisan nature and the controversy that swirls around him. It is therefore, I think, reasonable to judge Simpson by the intellectual company that he knowingly keeps. And given that Simpson is not just some freelancer whose stories the BBC happens to pick up once in a while, but is instead an editor with a long history and much ballyhooed reputation at the BBC, it also reasonable to judge the BBC by that same company.

It is not a charitable judgment.


Anonymous Peter Cunningham said...

One of the Iraqi bloggers, www.iraqpundit.blogspot.com, has some interesting comments on Cole's credibility.

10:47 AM  

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