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.”