Sloppy wording misleads BBC News website readers

A report published on the BBC News website’s ‘Middle East’ page on July 20th under the headline “Bar Refaeli: Israel convicts model of tax evasion” includes the following claim:

“She has faced anger from the Israeli army for not completing military service…”

The verb complete of course means “to finish making or doing something”. Refaeli clearly could not ‘complete’ two years of mandatory military service which she did not begin.  

As for the claim that Refaeli “faced anger from the Israeli army”, the 2013 criticism – rather than “anger” – from the IDF spokesman at the time was actually directed towards the Foreign Ministry, which chose her to head an advertising campaign despite her not having served in the army.

And so, in just thirteen carelessly chosen words, the BBC – which, ironically, runs an entire website dedicated to ‘teaching English to global audiences” – managed to mislead its all-time record global audience with two incorrect assertions.

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