A video posted on the BBC News website’s Middle East page on July 18th includes some interesting use of archive material.
As regular readers know, the BBC employs double standards in its use of language when reporting terrorism which go back decades and, for example, include over forty-five years of avoidance of the word ‘terrorists’ when describing the Palestinian perpetrators of the Munich Olympics massacre.
Nevertheless, a filmed report produced by Mike Lanchin for the BBC WS history programme ‘Witness‘ and titled ‘I survived the bombing of the King David Hotel’ opens with archive material that informs viewers “Terrorists Attack in Jerusalem”.
The film goes on to make another reference to terrorists:
“After a bomb explosion caused by terrorists on the British headquarters in Jerusalem…”
Another section using archive material – apparently intended to provide background to the 1946 bombing – presents modern-day BBC audiences with a highly distorted picture of British policy during the time of British mandate administration.
“While Arab and Jew have a cause to battle for, the British soldier is there only because it is his job to keep the peace. In a quarrel which is none of his making, he does just that and precious few thanks he gets for it.”
This is not the first time that ‘Witness’ audiences have seen Britain’s role in that particular episode of history distorted by Lanchin. It is of course hard to see how BBC audiences’ understanding of the history is enhanced by whitewashing British policies and thereby downplaying their effects.