Sunday, January 06, 2008

BBC censored Bhutto's claim that Bin Laden was murdered

Commenter "Cokedupbeeboid" at Biased BBC notes a Youtube video excerpt from a November 2 David Frost interview in which Benazir Bhutto says that Osama Bin Laden was murdered by Omar Sheikh, the man sentenced to death in Pakistan in the killing of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl. The BBC cut Bhutto's comment (this is actually a shorter version than the one Cokedupbeeboid links to):

Cokedupbeeboid also quotes the BBC's weak (to put it charitably) explanation:
The BBC has an agreement with al-Jazeera which enables both broadcasters to share certain news material including pictures and interviews. It was on this basis that we offered an extract of Sir David Frost's interview with Benazir Bhutto to users of the BBC News website.

During the interview Ms Bhutto made an allegation that Osama Bin Laden had been murdered by Omar Sheikh. A claim which was unchallenged and so unexpected that it seemed most likely that she had mis-spoken.

Under time pressure the item producer responsible for publishing the video edited out the comment with the intention of avoiding confusion. On reflection this was clearly a mistake and should not have happened. There was no intention on our part to distort the meaning of the interview, and we will endeavour to replace the edited version currently available via the BBC News website with the original interview as broadcast by Al-Jazeera.
It "seemed most likely that she had mis-spoken" (why the hyphen?), so they fixed it for her? That's some news organization.

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