Mike Zom


This is for the “BBC Bias” files. It shows how they rewrite stories

that aren’t sufficiently negative.

This is how the story originally appeared:

Sunday, 7 September, 2003, 03:43 GMT 04:43 UK

Second wave heads for Iraq

Another 50 British troops have flown to Iraq, taking the total number of reinforcements this weekend to more than 100.

Part of the second battalion light infantry based in Cyprus, they landed

at Basra airport at 0330 local time (1230 BST).

Their duties are likely to include guarding oil pipelines in the south

of Iraq.


The way it appears now – exact same URL:

Sunday, 7 September, 2003, 11:58 GMT 12:58 UK

Fears over troops’ training

British troops being sent to Iraq may not be getting the training they

need, the commander of UK soldiers during the first Gulf War has warned.

Major General Sir Patrick Cordingley raised his concerns as 50 extra

soldiers were flown to Iraq – taking the total reinforcements dispatched

this weekend to more than 100.

Then it goes on to quote the inimitable Clare Short, railing on about Dr Kelly.

Evidently the first version was not pessimistic enough.

I have the original version, taken from the BBC site, if you’d like to

see it.

Mike Zorn

Santa Ana CA

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7 Responses to Mike Zom

  1. Sandy P. says:

    from wogblog (and have we been paying attention to down under??)

    (Talking about The Economist)
    …And the whole Italian teevee media thing is a bore because Silvio is right – most press and teevee is leftwing. A fact of life. How can the Economist have missed that? They must have a man on the ground, like the BBC fool here in Oz, who simply cannot see it, cannot see past his own biases.


  2. ed says:

    Good work by Mike I think. This is a fine example of what I would call ‘orchestration’ by the BBC. You can see in it the BBC’s ability to draw on its resevoir of contacts and associates to embellish the news with a slant. They find a news story, and ensure that it ‘strikes a chord’ with other elements in the public eye- elements in the public eye in the first place because of BBC oxygen tanks of publicity.


  3. Alan says:

    Interesting isn’t it?

    The original version is what I would expect and want from an organisation committed to even handed reporting. It is clear, precise, to the point and is factual.

    From this, it has mutated into an article that suggests that the soldiers could be in some kind of danger through lack of training.

    Now this is an interesting story in its own right. So why has it been allowed to ‘hijack’ the first version? And where are the questions, answers and statements that can give substance to the story?

    The Major General is concerned over a potential lack of training. What specific training is he concerned about? Could the lack of training put the soldier’s lives at risk? What exactly are the risks? What evidence does the Major General have that his concerns may be true? Do other senior officers share his opinion?

    Reading through the article (and between the lines), it would seem that the answers to some of those questions are there, but scattered around like confetti. The person (I hesitate using the word journalist) who wrote the piece obviously couldn’t be bothered to work the material into a coherent story.

    Whether this is an example of deliberate bias is a moot point but it was obviously a lot easier to write a sloppy piece of material with a doom and gloom spin to it than spend some time pulling the facts together and presenting them for others to judge.

    Another example of the mindset of the people working at the Beeb.


  4. DumbJon says:

    Another BBC stormer today at 12:26. Jeremy Vine interviewing a government minister tried to push the ‘We’re only targets because we support America’ line with his usual subtle style. The winner was this pearl: ‘These people [Islamic terrorists] want to attack two places – America & Britain’…..clearly, Mumbai, Bali, Jerusalum buses and Moscow theatres are all now sovereign British & US terrority.


  5. Ken says:

    Alan’s post above is right on the money. BBC hacks are not “journalists”, they are advocates. Their spew is typical of the half truths you get from press releases of some half-baked organization with an axe to grind.

    A classic example of the definition of “journalism” was the CBS News online article on the Jessica Lynch “conspiracy”. Hard nosed, asked all the right questions, got all sides of the issue….and then most importantly….let the reader decide who was telling the truth. The BBC version was nothing short of laughable.


  6. peter says:

    Look at the articles they are featuring under their “wider impact” of 9/11 section:

    “Is US winning its war on terror?”

    “Afghans warn of US neglect”

    “Disappointment among Iraqis”

    Gloom, gloom, gloom.

    Then, one of my favourite pieces being currently featured (which, by the way was one of TWO stories featured on the front page of the news web site yesterday)


    US Muslims fight 9/11 backlash

    “Just because she is an American citizen, and therefore protected from the worst excesses of the anti-terror legislation that been introduced in the US, says the fast talking Mariam, that doesn’t mean she can rest easy. ”

    “Worst excesses”? A quote coming from the “journalist” who wrote the piece. Further, the only evidence of this so-called “backlash” is that visa-holders must register. A bit better than the “backlash” folks in places like Bali, Morocco, etc… have seen, ain’t it? And no, because she is an Amerian citizen she can rest easy that the US is devoting tremendous energy to protecting her from terrorism.

    They are trying SOOOO hard to manufacture a story here. As predicatable as the sun coming up:

    First the flowery, sympathetic picture —

    “Over a meal of spicy potatoes, fattouche and shish kebab, washed down with Lebanese cocktails I met five young Muslims who live in Dearborn and whose attitudes to life have been changed in various ways since Mohammed Atta and his henchmen killed more than 3,000 people.”

    (So, they’re just “henchman” now!)

    Then the moral eqivalence quote:

    “It represented some grave atrocities that were committed against innocent people, and as a Muslim I am totally against any atrocities,” he said.

    God I hate them (the BBC).


  7. hadley nye says:

    are you a painter? I might have one of your paintings.