January 29, 2005


BBC apologises for misinterpreting Iraqi death stats (Reuters, 1/29/05)

The BBC apologised on Saturday for erroneously reporting that U.S.-led and Iraqi forces may be responsible for the deaths of 60 percent of Iraqi civilians killed in conflict over the last six months.

The British broadcaster said on Friday in broadcasts and a news statement that its Panorama investigative show would air a report on Sunday citing "confidential" records from Iraq's health ministry to support the contention.

Iraq's health minister said the BBC misinterpreted the statistics it had received and had ignored statements from the ministry clarifying the figures.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 29, 2005 6:10 PM

"The BBC regrets mistakes in its published and broadcast reports yesterday."

Good of them. This reminds me of a very funny skit on Watergate that had Nixon saying:

"Let me assure all Americans that I accept full responsibility for the events...but not the blame. Let me explain the difference. One who accepts the blame loses his job. One who accepts the responsibility does not."

Posted by: Peter B at January 29, 2005 7:07 PM

And if the BBC were a terrorist organization, they could "claim responsibility" for the report, and everything would be just fine.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 29, 2005 11:58 PM

There is currently legislation in the British Parliament to eliminate the licensing fees which are the life's blood of the BBC. It is long since time to stick a fork in that carcass.

Posted by: Bart at January 30, 2005 10:19 AM