Thursday 4 December 2014


In traditional news style, an article is supposed to be structured as a metaphorical “pyramid” of information, with the most important facts stated as concisely as possible at the very top, and with each sentence more details and more elaboration are added 
But in the postmodern BBC “biased reporting style guide,” the pyramid is intentionally inverted, such that the details you want to obscure are hidden so far down in the article that no one will notice them. The only reason to include these details at all is so that, if later criticized, you can truthfully claim that you reported “all the facts.”
In that light, consider the following accounts of the same horrific story. The first comes from The Times:
A brutal rape of a Jewish teenager and burglary of her home by a gang of apparently Muslim youths is being seen as evidence of growing anti-Semitism in France.
The assault at gunpoint, in which the attackers demanded cash because “Jews have money”, sparked a wave of indignation and an upsurge of fear in France’s 500,000 strong Jewish community.
Observers said it showed how anti-Semitic stereotypes peddled by the far right for centuries are now being expressed by youths of Muslim origin from impoverished suburban estates.
Hain Korsia, the country’s Chief Rabbi, said the attack came amid the “programmed destruction of the French dream” under the twin forces of anti-Semitism and racism.
President Hollande said: “It is not simply the family that is wounded, attacked. It is the greatness of France.”
Behind his words lie an acute concern about a surge in anti-Semitism perpetrated, primarily, by disaffected Muslim youths of north African origin. There were several attacks on Jewish businesses and synagogues in Paris during the summer.
The second comes from the BBC News website:
French President Francois Hollande has spoken out against an "unbearable" assault on a young couple near Paris which ministers say was anti-Semitic.
The two victims, a woman aged 19 and her boyfriend, 21, were tied up in his family's flat and the woman was raped.
Their lawyer said three men had burst into the flat, telling the boyfriend: "You Jews, you have money."
Two of the alleged attackers have been detained and a suspected accomplice is also being held.
They have been placed under formal investigation and are also suspected of beating up an elderly Jewish man last month.
France has the largest Jewish community in Europe and a recent report said there had been a significant increase in anti-Semitic acts there this year. It is also home to the largest Muslim population in Western Europe, and there was a spike in attacks in the summer during Israel's conflict with Palestinian militants in Gaza.
Even when the BBC article finally gets round to mentions Muslims it words the section so coyly as to leave readers having to draw their own conclusions (or not as the case may be) as to why France's Muslim population might be relevant to the story.

This pattern of downplaying the alleged responsibility - or even the actual responsibility - of Muslims for acts of violence is something we've commented on about the BBC News website on many occasions before. It is too much of a pattern simply to be dismissed as occasional one-offs. It seems like an active BBC policy. 


  1. It is an active BBC policy, Craig. Hugh Sykes has admitted it.

  2. Shameful. This is why we had lots of stories about French "youths" rioting in past years as though we were back in 68.


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