Thursday, 23 October 2014

Why was the BBC's Frank Gardner burbling about Anders Breivik while discussing the Canadian terrorist attacks?

I turned to the BBC Ten O'Clock News tonight to hear the latest details of the Canada shootings. Obviously, it was all a bit confused. When Security Correspondent Frank Gardner was questioned live in the studio, he told us that an "Algerian" named Abdul (or Michael) Zehaf-Bibeau had been named as a possible suspect in today's killings. From what I've just read, it appears that Zehaf-Bibeau is actually a Canadian of Algerian descent, and is a recent convert to Islam.

After reminding us that no particular trerrorist group had claimed responsibility for the attacks, Gardner frantically ordered us not to jump to conclusions and reminded us that despite the assumptions we'd all jumped to when we heard about terrorist attacks in Oslo several years' ago, the perpetrator, Anders Behring Breivik, had turned out to be a "right-wing" Norwegian.

Why did Gardner (or his editor) feel it was important to remind us of this fact? Nobody in the video report that preceded his live studio slot had made claims regarding Islamist terrorism. Was the BBC worried that non-Muslim Britons watching the broadcast would immediately swarm out of their homes in search of innocent Muslims to lynch, or  mosques to burn down?

We are not children (or we really shouldn't be if we're watching television at 10pm on a school night) and we just want journalists to give us the facts, rather than have them wag their fingers at us and sternly admonish us not to jump to hasty conclusions. Very odd.

I hate to sound like a politician, but, as I head for bed, my thoughts are genuinely with the Canadian people and the family of Corporal Nathan Cirillo, the 24-year old reservist who was shot and killed in Ottawa today.


  1. Gardner's got form for this kind of thing. On BBC News 24, a couple of hours after the murder of Lee Rigby, Gardner implied (on the evidence of, according to him, a "hitherto reliable" tweeter) that the perps were recruits of the secret services. Remember, to the BBC in general and Gardner in particular, Moslems are always the innocents - even when they're murderers.

    1. Ah, but who turned them into murderers, eh?

      Like you, what get my goat is the way Western governments and left-liberal broadcasters get all gloaty and self-righteous in those very rare instances when the terrorist(s) turns out not to be Muslim. I don’t notice a similar sense of relief when, once in a blue moon, some fundamentalist Christian nutter says something untoward, or posts a slightly unpleasant video. Why are there different rules for Muslims? For instance, why, following last week’s outrage, did the Canadian authorities feel it necessary to email mullahs asking them to let them know if they or their followers felt threatened (presumably by that notoriously violent group, white indigenous non-Muslim Canadians)? The self-restraint shown by non-Muslims in Western countries is extraordinary – some Scandinavian paper prints a cartoon or some moronic American pastor burns a Koran and embassies are burned to the ground and people are killed in islamic countries by howling mobs: indigenous Christians are routinely butchered and ethnically cleansed by Muslims in Islamic countries and it barely gets mentioned here in the West.

      Remember, we are all guilty in a very real sense - especially in the eyes of broadcasters.

  2. I got all this on the radio yesterday as I was out...and there wasn't a word about the suspect being a mohamedian. All they said was he had long hair...sadly I don't think this is the beginning of, a long hoped for, anti-hippie agenda from the media.

    I can't remember the last time I sat down to watch the news...they are worthless.

    1. I don't know about your neck of the woods, but here there now seems to be a ban on ever referring to the colour of criminals - unless they're harmed in police custody, when, if they're black or Asian, it suddenly becomes the most important fact about them. I'm not quite sure when it became bad manners to mention this sort of detail.