Yet another major BBC accuracy fail in reporting 2010 flotilla

The BBC Editorial Guidelines on accuracy state:

“The BBC must not knowingly and materially mislead its audiences.  We should not distort known facts, present invented material as fact or otherwise undermine our audiences’ trust in our content.”

Consider this filmed report from March 24th by Lucas de Jong which appeared on BBC television news programmes as well as on the BBC News website.

de Jong report

At 00:39 de Jong states:

“Obama is credited with connecting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with his Turkish counterpart. Mr Netanyahu apologized to Turkey for this 2010 commando raid that killed nine activists on a Turkish vessel in a Gaza-bound flotilla.”

However, as previously noted here, PM Netanyahu’s apology did not relate to the fact that a “commando raid” took place – as de Jong claims – but to “any mistakes that might have led to the loss of life or injury” and it was made not “to Turkey”, but specifically to the Turkish people.

De Jong’s complete failure to inject any context whatsoever into this section of his report, together with his selective omission of crucial facts, means that viewers unfamiliar with the actual sequence of events are left unaware of the severe violence perpetrated against the Israeli soldiers by the well-prepared mob of religiously inspired Turkish nationals and of the fact that the soldiers acted in self-defence.

Neither are viewers made aware of the fact that the purpose of the “Gaza-bound flotilla” was to breach a legal maritime blockade initiated in order to curb the flow of weapons to the terrorist group Hamas, with which organisers of the flotilla – including the owners of the ship upon which the incident took place, the IHH – are affiliated.

This additional example of inaccurate and context-free reporting on the subject of the Mavi Marmara incident indicates yet again that the BBC is more interested in manipulating audiences’ recollections of that event through distortion of the facts than in accurate and impartial reporting in accordance with its obligations. 


5 comments on “Yet another major BBC accuracy fail in reporting 2010 flotilla

  1. The BBC would say in response that they can’t delve into the history of a given event in a brief news piece and I’m inclined to think they might be right in this particular instance. Still, I agree that he could have and should have phrased it differently. It wasn’t a “commando raid,” of course, but the peaceful boarding of a ship – which turned violent only because of the violent actions of the Islamists who attacked the commandos.

    I note that they didn’t show the much-viewed clip of the Islamists beating the commandos to the deck with iron bars. I guess that would have been incongruent.

    In fairness I should add that it was the very same BBC that produced a balanced
    Panorama programme on the incident. I guess the beating with the iron bars might have concentrated a few minds at the BBC. It could even have led some to consider that the Israelis might not be pure evil and always in the wrong.

  2. Had a look at Mr. de Jong’s twittering. He thinks available is spelt avalible.

    And this guy is a reporter and producer for BBC news?

    What qualifications are required for employment at the BBC? Do you just need to rock up and say, “Hey, man, I can tick all the required left-wing boxes (and therefore wont make waves and give the editors difficulties) I have a reasonable voice and I’m not too bad looking so when can I start?”

  3. “the fact that the soldiers acted in self-defence.”

    BBCWatch and CifWatch are very fond of quoting the Palmer Report when it concludes that the blockade which the flotilla sought to breach is legal. I don’t recall seeing reference to the rest of the report which is highly critical of IDF behaviour before, during and after the boarding. On the question of ‘self-defence’ Palmer concludes:
    “The loss of life and injuries resulting from the use of force by Israeli forces during the take-over of the Mavi Marmara was unacceptable. Nine passengers were
    killed and many others seriously wounded by Israeli forces. No satisfactory
    explanation has been provided to the Panel by Israel for any of the nine deaths.
    Forensic evidence showing that most of the deceased were shot multiple times,
    including in the back, or at close range [This] has not been adequately accounted for in the material presented by Israel.”
    And notes:
    “No evidence has been provided to establish that any of the deceased were
    armed with lethal weapons. Video footage shows one passenger holding only an open fire hose being killed by a single shot to the head or throat fired from a speedboat.”

  4. Pingback: BBC still promoting inaccurate information on flotilla | BBC Watch

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