JPost: Tom Gross - The BBC discovers 'terrorism,' briefly


The BBC discovers 'terrorism,' briefly



Full article: www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost/JPArticle/Printer&cid=1121048976775&p=1006953079865

When it happens on your own doorstep, in very familiar settings like the London "Tube" or on a traditional red double-decker bus right alongside the site of a building where Charles Dickens once lived, terrorism seems very different than it does when innocent people are murdered elsewhere.

Britain's first bus bombing took place barely half a mile from the BBC's central London headquarters, and for a day or so after last Thursday's multiple bomb attacks the BBC, the influential leftist daily Guardian and even the British-based global news agency Reuters all seemed suddenly to discover the words "terrorism" and "terrorist." In Saturday's Guardian, for example, one or other of these words appeared on each of the first 11 pages.

In marked contrast to BBC reports about bombs on public transport in Israel – bombs which in some cases were even worse than those in London since some were specifically aimed at children and most were packed with nails, screws, glass and specially-sharpened metal shards in order to maximize injuries – terms like "guerrilla," "militant," "activist" or "fighter" were suddenly nowhere to be seen.

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"Harry's Place" noted, for example, that on Thursday evening a BBC News webpage headlined "Bus man may have seen terrorist," began "A bus passenger says he may have seen one of those responsible for the terrorist bomb attacks in London. Richard Jones, from Binfield, had got a bus just before it was blown up...."

But on Friday at 10:14 a.m. GMT, that webpage was suddenly changed. The headline now reads "Passenger believes he saw bomber," and the text begins "A bus passenger says he may have seen one of those responsible for the bomb attacks in London. Richard Jones, from Binfield, had got a bus just before it was blown up..."

Early on Friday morning another BBC webpage headlined "Testing the underground mood," spoke of "the worst terrorist atrocity Britain has seen." But at 12:08 GMT, while the rest of the article was left untouched, those words were replaced by "the worst peacetime bomb attacks Britain has seen."

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