BBC goes the extra mile to pretend that Islam had nothing to do with yesterday’s murder spree in Kenya

We know the facts:  Gunmen invaded a mall in Nairobi, Kenya, that is primarily frequented by Westerners.  By the end of the attack, at least 39 people had been murdered and 150 injured.  There may still be hostages.  An African Muslim group called Al-Shabaab announced soon after the attack that this was intended to be a targeted attack against non-Muslims.  Lest anyone be unclear about this concept, it spelled it out:  “Only Kuffar were singled out for this attack. All Muslims inside #Westgate were escorted out by the Mujahideen before beginning the attack.”

Funnily enough, the BBC, which still clings to its reputation as a news service, failed to get Al-Shabaab’s memorandum.  When the inimitable Zombie went to check out the BBC’s coverage, the BBC turned out to have tuned out Islam from its reporting:

The BBC’s lead story this afternoon was almost a study in journalistic malfeasance: an archetypal example of how left-leaning Western journalists will violate their own consciences — and the basic principles of reporting — in their relentless quest to hide the truth.

 Such bias happens every day, and complaints about it happen just as often, but the sheer volume and speed of partisan reporting makes it difficult to highlight a single example. Even so, let’s pause for just a moment and dissect this typical specimen of ideological media spin.

The article under discussion can be found here — at least for now. Since media outlets often delete articles which they later find embarrassing, I can’t guarantee it will be online forever, so to preserve the evidence I took a screenshot, which you can see here.


Right off the bat, even in the headline itself, the BBC commits a litany of egregious and inexcusable journalistic errors.

The first and most obvious blunder is the missing subject. Who did what? Well, according the the BBC, an entity called a “shoot-out” committed mass murder in Nairobi. Note how there are no human actors in the headline. It wasn’t people who killed 11, it was an inanimate and leaderless “shoot-out” that killed 11.

This is a basic grammatical snafu which even freshmen journalism students quickly learn to avoid. But not the BBC, apparently.

On a second, more subtle, level, use of the word “shoot-out” implies that there were two equal combatants involved, and that therefore blame can be spread around to everyone. But as we know, it wasn’t at first a “shoot-out” — it was a group of terrorists massacring unarmed non-Muslims. (Only much later, after police arrived, did it devolve into a shoot-out.)

Since the BBC has been one of the world’s leading media outlets for nearly a century, and in previous generations set the global standard for news-writing guidelines, they have absolutely no excuse for writing a headline like that — they can’t claim “We’re new at this kind of thing” or “We’re just bloggers — cut us some slack.” No. The BBC literally wrote the book on how to write proper headlines. And if they write a poor headline like this, it must be on purpose.

I urge you to read Zombie’s entire post, just so you know how the Left lies to people.

To appreciate the scope of its egregiously misleading excuse for journalism, imagine if, when Hitler’s troops invaded Poland, jump-starting WWII, the BBC headline had been “Scattered German Troops Engage Some Polish Citizens In Battle.”

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  • zombie

    Thanks for the link!
    However, your final example was too kind to the BBC and its ilk. 
    Instead of…
    “…imagine if, when Hitler’s troops invaded Poland, jump-starting WWII, the BBC headline had been “Scattered German Troops Engage Some Polish Citizens In Battle.” ”
    …if the modern BBC was on hand to report the first invasion of WWII, the headline would have more likely been
    Polish Undertakers Boost Profits After Military Exercise Goes Awry

  • Texan99

    They must have meant “turkey shoot.”
    It looks to me like another example of the growing scourge of shoppingplace violence.  Probably two ladies fighting over the last 2X t-shirt on the sale rack.


    The BB(C)amel would walk a mile only to blow smoke in your face.

  • Charles Martel

    I read the AP account this morning and saw that it only took reading through almost three quarters of the story before seeing the mass killers described as linked to Al-Quaeda and asking potential victims whether or not they were Muslims.
    I can only assume that burying the lede, namely that Muslim gunmen are once again slaughtering people who aren’t Muslim, takes advantage of readers’ short attention spans. After all, three or four paragraphs of descriptions of a massacre in a far off land occupied by dark Not Us people is usually enough before boredom sets in.
    Zombie: “Polish Undertakers Boost Profits After Military Exercise Goes Awry” You, Sir/Madam, are one of the writers on the Web I come to a screeching halt to read. If you ever come out, dinner, bodyguard duty, checkers foil, chauffeuring, whatever, are on me.

  • Caped Crusader

    “Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile, the crocodile will eat him last, and all of them hope the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured.”      
    Winston Churchill
    A country now run by cowards, PC fools, and idiots; and we are not far behind!

  • Ymarsakar

    One of the reasons the US media is so good at covering up crimes by blacks and minorities is because they learned it well from the AP and international press.

  • Ymarsakar

    I remember when the headline was “Sarah Palin enforces policy for rape victims to pay for rape kits”
    I also remember when they did something like “Freedom fighters mistakenly shoot civilians when targeting threats to Islamic law” when someone did a pray and shoot in a mall.
    Or “Vietnamese forces under American funding capture and execute civilians”
    Translated to, Republic of Vietnam security forces, allies of America, find and capture an assassin that killed military and civilian leaders and their families, promptly executing them with a shot to the head (see photograph)

  • Ron19

    From the BBC website by way of Zombie:
    Mutea Iringo blamed “armed criminals” and said police were in control of a “very serious situation”. Officers are going shop to shop to secure the area. The Kenyan Red Cross says 30 died.
    Eyewitnesses saw armed men in black entering the Westgate shopping centre on Saturday afternoon.
    This is one helluva an armed robbery!
    “The gunmen tried to fire at my head but missed. There are definitely many casualties,” Sudjar Singh, who works at the shopping centre, told AFP.
    “I saw three of the attackers dressed in black and with covered faces and they were carrying heavy rifles,” said another witness.”
    Too bad it wasn’t a gun-free zone.
    I wonder how much loot they got away with?  Maybe it was just a bunch of good ol’ boys who weren’t able to get the new iPhone on the first day.
    Eternal rest grant unto them, oh Lord, may the rest in peace.  Amen.

  • Ron19

    More of the same, with reverse italics:
    From Reuters:
    Headline:  Suicide bombers kill 78 Christians outside Pakistani church
    Apparently Islam had nothing to do with this.
    Lede: A pair of suicide bombers blew themselves up outside a 130-year-old Anglican church in Pakistan after Sunday Mass, killing at least 78 people in the deadliest attack on Christians in the predominantly Muslim country.
    Nothing to see here, folks, keep moving.
    First paragraph:  Islamist violence has been on the rise in Pakistan in past months, undermining Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s efforts to tame the insurgency by launching peace talks with the Pakistani Taliban.
    Wait a minute: could the suicide bombers have been Muslims?
    2. Within hours of the attack, Sharif toughened his stance considerably but fell short of calling for outright military action against insurgents holed up in tribal areas on the Afghan border – an option supported by Pakistan’s all-powerful army.
    3. “Such incidents are not conducive of peace talks,” Sharif said in televised remarks. “Unfortunately, because of this, the government is unable to move forward on what it had envisaged, on what it had wished for.”
    4. Explosions struck the historic white-stone All Saints Church in the city of Peshawar, near the frontier tribal areas where Islamist militants have their strongholds, as hundreds of parishioners, many of them women and children, streamed out of the building.
    5. “I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church,” said one parishioner, who gave only her first name, Margrette.
    6. Her voice breaking with emotion, she said she had not seen her sister since the explosions ripped through the area around the gate of the church enclosure.
    7. Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan said the death toll of 78 included 34 women and seven children, in remarks televised live from Peshawar. More than 100 people were wounded.
    8. “Who are these terrorists killing women and children?” Nisar said.
    9. The Taliban-linked militant group TTP Jundullah claimed responsibility within hours of the attack.
    10. “They are the enemies of Islam, therefore we target them,” said the group’s spokesman, Ahmed Marwat. “We will continue our attacks on non-Muslims on Pakistani land.”
    Aha!  It was Muslims, at least by implication.  Or maybe we are supposed to automatically assume that all suicide bombers are Muslims.  Isn’t that profiling?

  • Ymarsakar

    Who is more Evil, the Leftist alliance or the Islamic Jihad?


    c) Equally evil. Do I get a prize?

  • Ymarsakar

    I think Obama went and took it already. Sorry.

  • 11B40

    Once again, Islam is nothing more than the globalization of 7th Century Arab tribal culture with a thin veneer or religion.. And if your plan doesn’t include constraining, undermining, or eradicating Islam, you don’t have a plan. What you have is a hope beyond hope.

  • Charles Martel

    President Charles Martel’s address to the nation, September 24, 2013:
    “My fellow Americans, as you know by now, two U.S. cruise missiles were accidentally launched earlier today and fell inadvertently upon two of the holiest shrines in Islam.
    “One careened into the sacred well at Iran’s holy city of Qom, where, according to Shi’ite belief, the 12th Mahdi awaits his return to lead mankind from Daar al Habib—the world at war with Allah—into Daar al Islam, the world in submission to Allah.
    “Fortunately, our concern that the misdirected missile may have prematurely awakened the Mahdi remains unfulfilled. U.S. satellite images show that the well is a shambles and apparently whatever lifeforms existed at the bottom of it now lie under crushed tens of thousands of tons of rock.
    “Nevertheless, we send the Iranian people our deepest apologies and sincere wishes that the Mahdi gets out from under.
    “The other missile ended its totally erratic course at the Kaaba in Mecca, the sacred black rock at the very center of Islam’s earthly manifestation. It, like the Mahdi’s well, is a complete wreck. Luckily, the accidental launch took place when only the janitors were buffing the Kaaba, so there was little—although regrettable—loss of life.
    “We know that in Muslim belief Allah wills all that happens, and that man himself is predestined to carry out that will. Somehow Allah willed the launch of those two missiles—and believe you me, we are hunting the man or woman and ship that launched them—and He can will the Kaaba’s  instant restoration. If not, the United States stands ready to deliver building supplies to the good people of Mecca, although given the harsh terrain and conditions there, we would probably have to use M-1 tanks to make those deliveries.
    “Again, we apologize for the bad lobs. We trust that Allah, in His infinite wisdom and mercy, will rebuild the Kaaba in the wink of an eye and dust off the Mahdi, thereby restoring His people’s faith in His ability to do anything He wants—including launch missiles against them.
    “Good night and God bless the United States of America.”

  • Bookworm

    Charles, I’m speaking in purely platonic terms when I say this, but I just love you.  That’s beyond brilliant.  It’s super-de-dooper-excellente brilliant.  If you don’t mind, I’d love to elevate it to post status.  Let me know.


    President Charles: Can you spare a lob?
    Just read a headline: $3.39T Quantitative Explosion: Fed Owns More Treasuries and MBSs Than Publicly Held Debt Amassed From Washington Through Clinton. I don’t think there will be any fallout or damage, since the missile would land in a pit that has already suffered mass destruction.

  • Mike Devx

    After President Martel’s two errantly lobbed missiles landed, many countries and groups complained.
    At that point, his Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton emerged to speak at a podium.  “Someone out for an evening at a missile site pressed some buttons, ok, that they probably shouldn’t have.” she said. “The well is destroyed and the stone is obliterated, it is dust!” she shouted, her voice strained, fist pounding the wooden podium.  “Who cares why the missiles were launched?  At this point, what difference does it make?”

  • Bookworm

    Mike:  You too come in for your share of my platonic love!