Saturday 25 June 2022

Here we go again

One of the things with blogs like this is that we cannot but repeat ourselves. 

Unfortunately, this isn't like in TS Eliot's Little Gidding where “We shall not cease from exploration/And the end of all our exploring/Will be to arrive where we started/And know the place for the first time.” 

No, however much we explore the BBC, we know the place we arrive at all too well and it never feels like 'for the first time'.

Or, to put it another way, we've been here before with the BBC far, far too many times and it's always the same.

There's been another horrific terrorist attack in Norway today. Though the BBC News Channel presenter this morning raised the far-right terrorist Anders Breivik, most other outlets by that time had been reporting that the attacker was Iranian-born, suggesting another motive - especially given that a gay bar was evidently a prime target.

I read account after account from major UK and international outlets, nearly all mentioning this, often - like Sky - right at the top of their reports. But the BBC News website stood firm in refusing to mention the man's Iranian background.

I'm assuming it's the old BBC 'social cohesion, so shush!' thing yet again, tiptoeing around the news and deliberately being vague.

And they still haven't mentioned this in their online report, which has pretty remained throughout wholly focused on the attacker being aged 42 - as if that's the main thing about him, other than him being a man.

There's no other way of putting it, given that most other outlets were reporting it: the BBC was censoring the news for the umpteenth time.

Finally though, after many hours and seven edits, the BBC News website finally gave enough ground late this afternoon to concede what had been blindingly obvious for hours about this attack focused on a gay bar during Pride month: “Police said they consider the attack an act of extreme Islamist terrorism.”

You really shouldn't go to the BBC for 'breaking news'. 

Immediate Update: And as soon as I posted that I clicked on the BBC News website and saw a new update, even before Newsniffer caught it. 

Though those news outlets I mentioned said the attacker was Iranian-born, they also said he was now a Norwegian citizen. Guess what they BBC has added just now?
The authorities later said the suspect was a Norwegian national.

Hm. Up to a point, Lord Copper. 'The BBC and half the story', as the saying goes hereabouts.

The BBC knows what it's up to, and it's clearly being very deliberate in its careful obfuscation.

Later Update: In a further edit to the BBC's main article about this, the BBC has dropped the word 'extreme' from “Police said they consider the attack an act of extreme Islamist terrorism.”

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