Yesterday’s Guardian had a story about how Ofcom found Fox News guilty of breaking UK boradcasting code on a story about the BBC which was broadcast on the day that the Hutton Report. It accused the BBC of “anti-Americanism” giving its reporters a “right to lie”.
I actually saw this as at least one UK blogger was hosting it – if you haven’t seen this then use this link to download it with a Gnutella client or Kazaa (I don’t have the bandwidth to host it) – and I was horrified by what Fox were accusing the BBC of. It was blatent that Fox had been ‘economical with the truth’, yet they had the cheek to accuse the BBC of lying.
The irony is that the news item was actually sticking up for the British Government, yet Ofcom, a Government-appointed organisation, was the one who found Fox guilty of lying, though admittedly this was after 24 public complaints. It’s also not the first time this has happened – regulators have criticised Fox News (which is available on digital satellite in the UK) twice before.
Below, in the extended entry, is a transcript of the article.
Well today the British Broadcasting Corporation was forced to pay up for its blatent anti-Americanism before and during the Iraq war – the frothing at the mouth anti-Americanism was obsessive, irrational and dishonest. The BBC – “The Beeb” – was one of the worst offenders in the British press because it felt entitled to not only pillory America, Americans and George W. Bush, but felt entitled to lie, and when caught lying, felt entitled to defend its lying reporters and executives.
The incident involved reporter Andrew Gilligan who made a fool of himself in Baghdad when the American invasion actually arrived in the Iraqi capital. Gilligan, pro-Iraqi and anti-American, insisted – on the air – that the Iraqi army was “heriocally repulsing” an “incompetent” American military. Video from our own Greg Kelly of the American Army moving through baghdad at will put the lie to that.
After the war, back in London, Gilligan got a guy named David Kelly to tell him about pre-war assessments on Iraq’s weapons programmes and Gilligan “exaggerated” – lied – about what Kelly had told him. Kelly commited suicide over the story, and the BBC, far from blaming itself, insisted that it its reporter had a right to lie – “exaggerate” – because, well, the BBC knew the war was wrong and anything they could say to underscore that point had to be right.
A British Government investigation slammed the BBC today and a Beeb exec resigned to show they got it. But they don’t. Next time you hear the BBC bragging about how much superior the Brits are at delivering the news, rather than Americans who wear flags in their lapels, remember it was the Beeb that was caught lying.