Fair Play: The Second Casualty of War
by Richard Ingrams

The following reflections appeared in 'Richard Ingrams' Week' in The Independent on Saturday 16 September, 2006. They concern the television programme 'The Real Friends of Terror', of which you can turn to the transcipt
or watch the 40-minute video.

Israel's Fifth Column to which I recently referred has achieved another little victory in its propaganda war.

Channel Five is currently showing a series called Don't Get Me Started, the point of which is to give somebody half an hour in which to put forward a radical view of some political or religious issue without the customary obligation to provide a counter ment. Speakers In the current series include Ann Widdicombe, Michael Buerk and Tory MP Michael Gove.

Next Tuesday the speaker is Ted Honderich, Emeritus Professor of Logic at University College London and chairman of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. Honderich, pictured, is the author of several books, the latest of which is about terrorism: Is it ever morally justified and are the governments of America, UK and
Israel responsible for the growth of terrorism la the Middle East?

The professor obviously thinks so and his arguments will be supported on the programme by the likes of Tony Benn, the Liberal Democrat spokesman Baroness Tonge and Keg Keys, whose soldier son Tom was killed in Iraq.

There is nothing particularly controversial about such a programme and plenty of viewers will agree with the opinions expressed.

But at the last minute Channel Five have decided that Honderich's programme will be given "balance" by another programme answering his arguments, to be shown the following week. This will be hosted by that staunch defender of Israel, the journalist David Aaronovitch who writes columns for The Times and the Jewish Chronicle.

Of course, this 'balancing' programme contradicts the thinking behind Don't Get Me Started, the whole potnt of which is to be one-sided. But why should Honderich's be the only one of seven programmes that will be challenged?

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