Saturday, July 21, 2007

ओउत्रगे ओवर बीबीसी swindles

Outrage over BBC swindles

The BBC is on the carpet over the practice of deceiving audiences, the latest instance being a group of children's shows and game shows with fake winners.

A BBC internal probe found that the deception of audiences was a very serious problem and a number of editors have been suspended from their duties. The scandal was triggered when the BBC was forced to apologize for asserting that the Queen had stormed out of a photo shoot.

The BBC's problem of editorial integrity appears to be very deep.

Back in February, top BBC Editor Richard Porter lamely blew off an embarrassing video showing BBC reporter Jane Standley announcing that World Trade Center 7 had collapsed while viewers could see it over her shoulder in the background. Porter was embarrassed that the BBC's hatchet job on 9/11 conspiracy (focusing on the trivia and silly stuff) had been brought into such sharp relief by that video. A copy was on YouTube some weeks back, though the video had been yanked off Google, presumably at the BBC's request.

Porter said the BBC had -- not because of conspiracy -- lost all its original videotapes from that period and so was unable to authenticate the video. He wouldn't say what Standley's reaction to the video clip was. Nor did he say there would be an internal inquiry. He allowed that he had spoken to her and that she could not recall exactly what she'd said. Still, why not tell the public her specific reaction to the video -- did she think it authentic?

Neither did Porter say that a BBC news broadcast would deal with this matter. The last word seems to have been on his low-profile blog.

Porter said that even if the video clip were authentic, plainly Standley had simply made a mistake. But this doesn't sound like journalistic objectivity. Yes, perhaps Standley or an aide made a simple error: They were told 20 minutes in advance that the building was coming down and misheard that as the building having fallen.

So this leads to the question of who on the scene knew the building was about to collapse swiftly and completely. This kind of information should be available to the public. But by blowing off the matter, Porter tried to save the journalistic face of the 9/11 conspiracy hatchet job, rather than to behave objectively. Porter was a journalist with a propaganda mission.

Here is another point that Porter didn't think rather curious. Five minutes before WTC7 fell, the BBC lost the feed and Standley went off the air. Certainly would have been difficult had the building collapsed on air while she was explaining that it had already collapsed.

The BBC's lack of integrity in the 9/11 matter seems to be part of a pattern that apparently has emerged after the mass exodus spurred by the "sexed up" report dispute.

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