Thursday 25 April 2019


According to Sohrab Ahman of the New York Post, there's been some serious misreporting of the Trump administration by certain media outlets, including the BBC.

In Sohrab's account, last month the Germans introduced a draft UN Security Council resolution on providing greater protection to women in armed conflicts. The US, which has led on such matters for decades, objected to some of its provisions. They objected to its call for “comprehensive health services, including sexual and reproductive health” on the grounds that it could promote abortion. And they objected to its call to create an expensive new UN 'mechanism' to deal with the issue. But the US weren't the main opponents of the German draft resolution. It was most vigorously opposed by the Russian and the Chinese, who were prepared the veto it in its entirety. Thanks to US pressure, the Germans dumped the contentious language and the resolution passed, with only the Russians and Chinese abstaining. 

How did the BBC report this story? 

Sohrab Ahman has singled out that headline for criticism, saying it makes the Trump administration "look pro-rape". 

He has a point, doesn't he?

Besides that use of "dilutes" in the headline there's also "watering-down" in its first paragraph:
The Trump administration's opposition to abortion has led to the watering-down of a UN resolution on ending sexual violence in war.
However accurate Sohrab's article is (and, from what I've read elsewhere, it seems to hold up), this is not neutral language from the BBC. 

In fact, in context, it's the language of condemnation. 

It continues....

"The US removed all references to sexual and reproductive health", says the BBC report's second paragraph, slyly. "This language had been used before in previous resolutions related to sexual violence, US media report", the BBC's tenth paragraph says, even more slyly..

And then read on and see just how one-sided this BBC report is. 

It's extraordinary. Denunciations of the Trump administration reign supreme in direct quote and indirect quote after direct quote and indirect quote. 

Now obviously a socially liberal media outlet like the BBC wouldn't easily understand the objections of more socially conservative people to abortion, so the tone of this BBC report is understandable if not remotely excusable (it's an example of what academics call 'bias'), but isn't this really just another, particularly extreme case of, to put it crudely, BBC Trump-bashing? 

1 comment:

  1. BBC editorial integrity moves into the Twilight Zone.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.