I’ve had several emails on the subject of BBC bias by omission concerning their coverage of the Chilean miners reascue. In essence, it comes down to one thing – a visceral BBC loathing of admitting the formidable contribution the US has made in bringing the trapped men out. Biased BBC contributor Jon Hunt spells it out in clear terms…

“Thereal heroes are American, not that you would know that fromany British news organisation (and we’re supposed to be America’s greatestally).  For example, the company whom the Chilean government contactedto rescue the miners is a certain Chilean-U.S. outfit called Geotec Boyles Bros. SA .  Theyimmediately contacted associate company LayneChristensen of Pennsylvania.

Itwas Layne Christensen who provided:

a)the mobile drilling rig built by a fellow Pennsylvanian company by the name of Schramm Inc. 

b) thespecial drill bits, manufactured by fellow Pennsylvanian company CenterRock

c) the drillersJeffHart and Matt Staffel – the real heroes of the operation, whom they flew infrom Afghanistan

Withoutthese guys and their specialist equipment the miners would still be down theretoday.

 So,how did the UK media cover this amazing side of the story – how the rescuedepended almost entirely on American equipment and personnel?

 AGoogle news search shows that JeffHart & Matt Staffel’s joint roles are widely reported throughout theU.S., South America, Germany, and Spain – but not by any UKnews organisation. 

 Overthe last month alone the BBC has produced ajaw-dropping 130,000 web pages reporting the Chilean mine rescue.  Andyet, theonly one that reports Jeff Hart’s pivotal role appears in theCorporation’s Spanish-language site – suggesting that the BBC’sSpanish staff are not as imbued with the same anti-Americanism as itsGuardianista UK staff – while there is no mention anywhere of Jeff Hart’scolleague Matt Staffel. 

Norhas the BBC reported the role of the U.S. companies involved:  Searchesfor LayneChristensen and CenterRock turn up zilch. 

Asearch for Schrammthrows up several reports which name it as the manufacturer of thedrilling rig, but only one mentions that it is a U.S. company. Meanwhile, a search for GeotecBoyles, to whom Layne Christensen reported, also produces nothing, but asearch for Geotec producesa BBC bulletin describing the company as “Chilean” andimplying accordingly that it was Chileans who were the key personnelinvolved in the rescue.  The BBC reports:

MrButtazzoni, the head of the Chilean mining company Geotec, said his drill hadalready cut through 464m (1,500ft) of rock. He said his team expected to breakthrough to the area where the miners are sheltering in 3-4 days.

– acomplete and utter mis-portrayal through omission.”

In the BBC world-view, American corporations are always evil so best ensure they get NO credit even when they help save lives.
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23 Responses to MINING THE BIAS….

  1. Cassandra King says:

    I think the Anti American hatred took a back seat to the fact that the rescuers were mining industry specialists, you know those hated people who dig into the earth and bring out coal and all the other stuff we need.
    The BBC is staffed with ecofascists who cannot bring themselves to mention let alone praise coal mining and allied trades and the engineers who work therein. It would be like them praising a tory, unthinkable!

    The BBC is not about to give up its mining jihad because the hated mining industry in the USA produced kit that saved 33 lives, that would conflict with the narrative and that the BBC would never allow. The econazis hate mining so the BBC hates mining.
    BTW this capsule rescue system has been done before in the USA about 25 yrs ago where it was developed rescuing miners from a pit tunnel in a Pennsylvanian mine, I wonder why the BBC chose not to mention that fact?


  2. Martin says:

    The BBC are waiting for Barry Obama to ‘welcome’ the US workers to the White HOuse. THEN the BBC will big it up. The BBC take their orders from Barry.


  3. 1327 says:

    I’m not sure if this is bias by omission but more likely total incompetence. Unless any of these American companies employed a PR firm on site on Chile who would write the press releases , hand them out to the Beeb and wine/dine the reporters I doubt the Beeb would realise what they did.

    To the average English graduate like these Beeb reporters a drill is a drill whether it is a hand held one like their Polish handyman uses when he puts up a bookshelf or a big one used to drill through rock in Chile. To them its all the same I doubt they can see what is special about it !


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      I agree with your assessment.  Matt Frei found plenty of ways to denegrate the Chilean President for being a political opportunist, managing to get a dig in nearly every time he was on air.  Yet he found no time at all to mention not only the significant US contribution, but that several other countries made important contributions as well.  Not a word out of Frei Boy on any of it, even while he felt it was more important to spend a portion of every segment portraying the Chilean President in a negative light.

      Frei simply wasn’t interested in anything else.  He found his story to tell, and that was the end of it.

      However, I should point out that Tim Willcox did say out loud one time that the Plan B was a US operation.  Just after the breakthrough, he did a quick interview with the two guys who ran the drill.  They were simply honored and humbled to be a part of it, nothing more.  That was the one and only time I heard any mention of the fact that it was a US company, throughout the entire ordeal.  I can’t say if Willcox’s producers warned him against mentioning it again.


  4. Ian E says:

    Mind you, they hate the 50%-British-owned BP even more than 100% US-owned companies!


  5. prpw says:

    David, I think you’re probably right that the BBC would have gone into suppression mode if they’d known about the US contribution, but I think you’re giving the dysfunctional BBC far too much credit in assuming they even knew the detail.

    Judging from what I saw, Tim Willcox did a good job and was the only Beeboid to justify his presence in Chile — a sadly rare example of a Beeboid for whom I have some respect. Matt Frei was as irrelevant and execrable as always, adding no value and radiating his supercilious ignorance.

    And the other Beeboids’ presence in Chile was an equal waste of license payers’ money, teaching me not a damn thing that wasn’t perfectly obvious — as per usual !  


  6. Guest Who says:

    If one looks at the Editor’s blog, they are not exactly emerging quite as well as the ‘You all love us, you really love us!’ spin was trying to create.

    (you know the cuts are biting, when the ‘fans’ can manage about two lines to the effect that the BBC is worth the licence fee).

    Not so much on the reporting standards, but even the Graun has decided there is blood in the water.

    Frankly, when it comes to overseas reporting, they have as much cred as an enviro-editor posting a pean of praise to a 5* resort they have been flown 1st class to 1/2 way round the planet, for a fortnight, without once mentioning how they got there or which bit of virgin land was dug up to plonk their aircon hut on.


  7. Will S says:

    An excellent editorial in the Wall Street Journal you will not see on the BBC…

    Wall Street Journal – Capitalism Saved the Miners

    “This profit = innovation dynamic was everywhere at that Chilean mine.”

    Will S


  8. London Calling says:

    I couldn’t bring my self to watch the BBC coverage (I only have to pay for it. That doesn’t mean I have to watch it as well) so stuck with Sky. Before the miners started coming up I watched a very lengthy interview with one of the American mining engineers aforementioned. Long on details of US company involvement in the rescue shaft and capsule design.

    Unlike the sourfaced BBC, Sky did a bloody good job of the coverage around the clock, full kudos to the Americans

    What struck me more was the failure to contrast the 7/7 tube suicide-bombing inquest sharing the same news-space. We had the whole world hanging on the saving of thirty three Chilean miners, at the same time as the inquest on how the Beeston jihadists set about the murder of over fifty in London commuters.

    A very different view of the value of human life.


    • Martin says:

      Sky had Emma Hurd out there, I’ve always found her to be one of the best journalists at Sky. She did a great job covering 9/11 from New York AND she was their middle east correspondent at the same time as the awful Orla Guerin at the BBC. Hurd’s more even handed reporting was in stark contrast to Guerin’s leftie Jew hating bile (I wonder who she got that off at the BBC?) pumped out.


  9. Bob says:

    Considering you point out the entire British media neglected this information isn’t it more to do with the British media, than just the BBC – nobody thought it was worth banging on about the glories of Americans, and had it been the other way round do you think the yanks would have even noticed us?

    I also heard a mention that the drill was American, and NASA’s involvement, in a piece that listed all the various global contributors


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      “Nobody else did it” isn’t the best defense of the unique position and self-described superiority of the BBC.


      • Bob says:

        No, it’s not when it’s something serious, but when it’s ‘look how great Americans are’ that was ignored by the British in general I hardly regard it as a stick to beat the BBC with, the only issue I see is a natural antipathy towards americans in this country, and as I said, the American press would have zero interest if we had built the drill


  10. John Anderson says:


    Can’t you read ?

    The post just above yours states that Sky gave due and proper coverage of the achievement of US engineers and companies.

    So it is simply not true that “nobody else did it”.  Sky did it.  Their news organisation costs a fraction of the bloated BBC news empire – and usually gives a faster and far better service than the BBC.

    That’s capitalsim for ya’.  Efficiency.  Give the audience what they pay for.


  11. barrenga says:

    London Calling also stated that he didn’t watch the BBC coverage. Coverage was almost continual for 24 hours. I watched quite a bit. All of it on the BBC. It seems I wasn’t alone and BBC viewers outnumbered Sky’s by 2 to 1. I also saw a very lengthy interview with one of the American mining engineers aforementioned. The engineer was keen to praise the team effort, he said there were many companies from all over the world that had contributed.

    Ps. Did you know the sunglasses were provided by a company in California?


  12. Barbara says:

    When BBCAmerica started here in 1998 I was overjoyed.  I was glad to be able to see the programs, which before then were only available on public television which doled them out, and to be able to watch the BBC news.

    Imagine my disappointment.  So many of the programs are unbearable, and the BBC news is even worse than our network news.  I can’t watch it.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Agree 100%.  What a waste.  They’ve taken to showing Star Trek episodes at 8pm these days.


  13. TrueToo says:

    Fascinating thread. I watched quite a bit of the BBC’s live coverage on the website and hours of wall to wall coverage on the World Service and it’s news to me that the drilling rig was American and that two American engineers assisted in the operation. I remember hearing on the BBC that they or the rig had come from Afghanistan, but nothing about America or Americans.

    I’m just not sure about 350 000 web pages in a month of BBC coverage of the event. Over 4 000 a day? That simply ain’t possible.


  14. Clameur de Haro says:

    All true, but there’s also another dynamic which was at work here, too.

    Even mentioning, never mind acknowledging, the contribution of private US technology and personnel to the Chilean rescue would have run the risk of inviting very unfavourable comparisons with the practical ineptitude and naked, cynical political posturing displayed in reaction to the Gulf oil spill by the Democrat Administration in DC and Barry Obamarama himself.  

    And that, for the Beeboids, would be unbearable.


  15. barrenga says:

    ‘A number of mining giants had parts to play in the rescue.
    They included BHP Billiton and Collahuasi company – the privately-owned joint venture between the UK-listed miners Anglo American and Xstrata – which supplied both drilling expertise and equipment.
    Collahuasi can take credit for supplying the Schramm T130 drill that eventually bored the miners’ escape hole, along with the drilling experts from another company, GeoTech Drilling, who knew how to use it to drill a precision hole.
    One drilling expert even flew from an operation in Afghanistan to lend a hand, and help prevent the drill from “walking”, keeping the drill shaft straight so that the rescue capsule could move through it smoothly.
    Another company, Maptek, was used to map the complex underground network of tunnels and help target the rescue shafts.


    • London Calling says:

      ” A number of mining giants” – would that be Australian mining giants?  South African mining giants? Polish mining giants? That euphemism “mining giants” permitted the writer to avoid saying “American”.

      Apart from one reference to the “UK-listed miners Anglo American…” note – “uk listed” – the rest are just company names that could have come from anywhere. “Collahuasi” – Japanese is it?

      And that “expert flying in from an operation in Afghanistan”. Presumably a Taliban mining expert. They know a lot about mines. Like planting them.

      Sorry Barrenga you are not convincing me the BBC gave due credit to American Knowhow. Indeed, that they do their level best to conceal it.


  16. barrenga says: