Saturday 23 July 2016

What's in a name?

24 mins ago, BBC Breaking News (sic) finally broke the news of the name of the suspect in the Munich killings, several hours after most other UK media outlets. 

The (dead) suspect is apparently called "David Sonboly". 

Everyone else has been reporting his name as "Ali David Sonboly".

So why has the BBC missed out the Muslim-sounding part of his name here? 


There could, of course, be a good reason for them doing so: 

Maybe everyone else has been misreporting his name and he isn't called "Ali". 

Maybe he was always known to his friends and family as "David Sonboly" rather than "Ali Sonboly", 

Or maybe the BBC is simply censoring the Muslim-sounding part of his name.

It's getting ever more confusing.

But it's a fact nonetheless that I've not seen any other major (or minor) media outlet other than the BBC just call him "David" so far. And that calls for an explanation.

And if they are doing it as an act of deliberate censorship then action needs taking again them.


Sky News - one of the few major UK media outlets, alongside the BBC, that hadn't reported the name earlier, did eventually report it - and did so an-hour-and-a-half before the BBC:

They gave the gunman's first names in a different order (though still including "Ali"). The plot thickens.


The BBC's main article, incidentally. has now been updated and it too calls the killer "David Sonboly".

Its unique primary focus on the Breivik angle also continues.

UPDATEHmm. I see Raheem Kassam at Breitbart London is now making the same point

The BBC has unilaterally chosen not to report the Munich attacker’s full name, in what appears to be an attempt to scrub any Muslim or Islamic heritage link to its coverage of the incident.
The Breitbart headline overstates things somewhat. Raheem himself notes that some BBC correspondents are calling the killer "David Ali Sonboly" (he heard it on the News Channel at 6:32pm, and I heard it on PM on Radio 4 tonight), so it's not being universally applied. But, that said, he was described simply as "David Sonboly" on BBC One's main evening news bulletin (though later described by Gavin Hewitt as "David Ali Sonboly") and the BBC website is still being inflexible on the matter, so some official 'guidance' from senior BBC managers must have gone out.

FURTHER UPDATE: News Sniffer shows that 4 hours after reporting the name as "David Sonboly" the BBC amended its website report: What had previously read,
His name has not been officially released but he is being named locally as David Sonboly. 
was changed to:
His name has not been officially released but he is being named locally as David Ali Sonboly.
He has also been referred to as Ali David Sonboly, or David S.


  1. Looool crazyness anything to not blame merkel and the muzzies even distorting the news

  2. The Wayback Machine and News Sniffer will be useful to document the BBC's dishonesty. They never learn.

  3. And then there is the issue of did he actually shout out Allahu Akbar when he launched his attack in McDonalds. Media silence on that crucial queston.

  4. Looks like the BBC has reverted to the "Dave "My Son" Boley naming strategy.

    Deadpan, after all the Breivik-connecting, they are now reporting that "there is no evidence of a political motive".

    But I have yet to see anywhere whether the report of him shouting Allahu Akbar has been discredited.

    That might be a "religous" motive that the German Police are keeping hidden. I don't trust them and I don't trust the BBC.

  5. Saw the update about News Sniffer and Breitbart. Proof positive they know what they do.


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