Monday, July 11, 2005

Calling George Orwell

Anyone who follows the news is accustomed to the media referring to terrorists as "militants", "insurgents", or even "activists". After the London bombings, it was almost refreshing to see the words "terror" and "terrorist" used by the media. However, this didn't last long, and British bloggers have even discovered that the BBC has gone back and altered some of their stories:
"Harry's Place" noted, for example, that on Thursday evening a BBC News webpage headlined "Bus man may have seen terrorist," began "A bus passenger says he may have seen one of those responsible for the terrorist bomb attacks in London. Richard Jones, from Binfield, had got a bus just before it was blown up...."

But on Friday at 10:14 a.m. GMT, that webpage was suddenly changed. The headline now reads "Passenger believes he saw bomber," and the text begins "A bus passenger says he may have seen one of those responsible for the bomb attacks in London. Richard Jones, from Binfield, had got a bus just before it was blown up..."

Early on Friday morning another BBC webpage headlined "Testing the underground mood," spoke of "the worst terrorist atrocity Britain has seen." But at 12:08 GMT, while the rest of the article was left untouched, those words were replaced by "the worst peacetime bomb attacks Britain has seen."
The bottom line, from Andrew Sullivan:
I guess we should be grateful that for around 24 hours, the BBC saw reality, called it terrorism, and reported it accurately. Then the p.c. police took over.