January 15, 2009

You’ve got to love the BBC and their “unbiased” reporting

Posted in ! My Articles tagged , , , , , , at 2:24 pm by Alexia

This has just been published on the BBC website.  http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7829912.stm
I’ll quote some salient points

Speaking to reporters on the Israel-Gaza border, Unrwa spokesman Christopher Gunness said three of the agency’s employees were hurt in the attack.
He said the compound was hit by what Unrwa believed to be three white phosphorus shells, which are incendiary weapons used as a smoke screen.

About 700 people were still sheltering in the compound, he said, and he was particularly concerned about the proximity of the fire to five full fuel tanks.
Asked whether he was sure the attack had been carried out by Israel, he said he was not aware of Hamas having access to white phosphorus.

This is despite calls for Israel to be charged with war crimes over its use of white phosphorous shells in Gaza.
There’s a reason why the UN person is so concerned:  http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2009/01/10/israel-stop-unlawful-use-white-phosphorus-gaza

However, white phosphorus has a significant, incidental, incendiary effect that can severely burn people and set structures, fields, and other civilian objects in the vicinity on fire. The potential for harm to civilians is magnified by Gaza’s high population density, among the highest in the world.
“White phosphorous can burn down houses and cause horrific burns when it touches the skin,” said Marc Garlasco, senior military analyst at Human Rights Watch. “Israel should not use it in Gaza’s densely populated areas.”

This reminds me of the beginning of the occupation of Iraq when Rageh Omar was reporting from the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad and the US started shelling it.  The US were very well aware of the hotel being used by news agencies and I don’t think they’ve ever managed to come up with a convincing excuse.
But I digress.  Rageh was live on air when it started and he stated it was the americans doing the firing.  The presenter back in London refused to accept what Rageh said and insisted during the interview that he was wrong. 
Rageh no longer works for the BBC.  I don’t blame him.


1 Comment »

  1. Hank Elrod said,

    Attempting unbiased news reporting and selecting persons to interview or otherwise collect source information from is a difficult task. Especially in the midst of a war zone, where source availability is obviously limited to begin with.
    At least the BBC makes some attempt to drop in a contrasting viewpoint within many of their reports. The U.S. mainstream media outlets rarely do anything like that… you are basically told what to think – other viewpoints or interpretations are irrelevant!

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