July 11, 2005


BBC edits out the word terrorist (Tom Leonard, 12/07/2005, Daily Telegraph)

The BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings to avoid labelling the perpetrators as "terrorists", it was disclosed yesterday.

Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC's website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as "bombers".

The BBC's guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the "careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments".

Consequently, "the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding" and its use should be "avoided", the guidelines say.

Posted by Orrin Judd at July 11, 2005 11:54 PM

"...the word 'terrorist' itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding..."

'Can be' is not 'is'.

Question: is 'equivocating idiots' a barrier or an aid to understanding the BBC?

Posted by: Just John at July 12, 2005 12:42 AM

England is doomed.

Posted by: Fred Jacobsen (San Fran) at July 12, 2005 2:18 AM

I remember visitng Ground Zero two years ago and seeing lots of guys hawking postcards with all the dramatic images of the attack that the MSM had so quickly decided were not healthy for me to see. Even I had trouble shaking the instinctive feeling they were flogging something semi-illicit--kind of like racy postcards in Paris in the fifties. Fortunately for truth and justice, they got over this political correctness quickly and made sure my delicate emotional constitution was made to suffer all the vivid details of Abu Ghraib.

Posted by: Peter B at July 12, 2005 5:27 AM

The BBC is itself a barrier to understanding and has been a world disservice for some time now.

Posted by: Barry Meislin at July 12, 2005 9:08 AM

At some point, even journalists are supposed to be patriotic, loyal to whatever nation they are from. It would seem doubly true for a taxpayer funded news service.

If Blair really had a set, he'd go into the BBC HQ swinging a battle axe, chasing out all the self-haters.

Posted by: bart at July 12, 2005 9:15 AM

George Orwell:

"Pacifism is objectively pro-Fascist. This is elementary common sense. If you hamper the war effort of one side you automatically help that of the other. Nor is there any real way of remaining outside such a war as the present one. In practice, ‘he that is not with me is against me’. ... In so far as it takes effect at all, pacifist propaganda can only be effective against those countries where a certain amount of freedom of speech is still permitted; in other words it is helpful to totalitarianism." -- Essay, "Pacifism and the War" (1942)

The London bombers actually were terrorists and murderers. If not, those words have no meaning. The word-purging BBC is therefore, in Orwell's sense of the phrase, objectively pro-terrorist.

Posted by: Axel Kassel at July 12, 2005 9:29 AM

Intellectual elites aren't loyal to nations--they're loyal to each other:

If I had to choose between betraying my country and betraying my friend, I hope I should have the guts to betray my country.
-E. M. Forster

Posted by: oj at July 12, 2005 9:52 AM