By Craig McKee
The first time I walked into the offices of my university newspaper to offer my services, I noticed a slogan on the wall that read: “Don’t cover the news, UNcover it.”
That distinction appealed to every idealistic bone in my body. There were 206 of them then, give or take. Things have settled a bit since, but I’m still idealistic to a fault. Even so, my expectations of the mainstream media – at least when it comes to the big picture items – can’t get much lower.
Instead of uncovering the news, now I’d settle for: “Don’t cover it up.”
But that’s exactly what the major media have been doing with 9/11 for nearly 11 years. They have been utterly complicit in the deception since the first moments after the North Tower was hit. And it’s not just the “corporate” media that have driven the cover-up, publicly funded media outlets have been just as guilty.
It’s one of those state funded networks that is now having its own rules used against it. Three British members of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth have filed three formal complaints with the venerable British Broadcasting Corporation for its biased 9/11 coverage.
Peter Drew, Paul Warburton, and Adrian Mallett are using the publicly funded television network’s own rules to highlight its failure to fairly report the facts of 9/11. The three have launched their complaints with the BBC Trust claiming that the network failed to live up to its own Royal Charter and Agreement in two documentaries released last year – The Conspiracy Files: 9/11 Ten Years On and 9/11 Conspiracy Road Trip.
The complaints allege that the docs were not fair, not accurate, and that critical information was deliberately withheld from viewers to further an agenda supporting the official story. The complaints have reached the highest levels of the BBC complaints process, and the complainants are now requesting a face-to-face meeting with BBC Trustees to discuss the situation. A possible result could be an apology or the screening of some documentaries with different points of view (such as films produced by AE) to balance out the record.
The BBC’s Royal Charter and Agreement states: “The Agreement accompanying the BBC Charter specifies that we should do all we can “to ensure that controversial subjects are treated with due accuracy and impartiality” in our news and other output dealing with matters of public policy or political or industrial controversy.”
In its Editorial Values we read: “Impartiality lies at the core of the BBC’s commitment to its audiences. We will apply due impartiality to all our subject matter and will reflect a breadth and diversity of opinion across our output as a whole, over an appropriate period, so that no significant strand of thought is knowingly unreflected or under-represented. We will be fair and open-minded when examining evidence and weighing material facts.”
Not even close. They haven’t even attempted to be fair. The BBC first enraged truthers with its 2007 program 9/11 Conspiracy Files. It is filled with such blatant disinformation that it provoked a counter documentary called 9/11 and the British Broadcasting Conspiracy. This film chronicles how the BBC’s film slanted its coverage to support the official story.
Here are just a few of the issues with that BBC film:
- The fact that the FBI didn’t have enough evidence to link Osama bin Laden to 9/11 was not mentioned
- That FBI director Robert Mueller stated in 2002 that they had no proof that the 19 alleged hijackers were in fact on the planes that day was not mentioned
- They relied on Davin Coburn of Popular Mechanics to back the official story, rarely challenging any of his statements
- The film stated that the U.S. was unprepared to deal with hijacked aircraft even though 67 planes had been intercepted after going off course or out of contact the year before
- The fact that most of the steel from the towers was hauled away without being forensically tested was not mentioned
- That the BBC reported on the collapse of Building 7 20 minutes before it happened was not mentioned
- Contradictions in the Flight Data Recorder data for Flight 77 was not mentioned
- That Israelis linked to Mossad were arrested after “chronicling” the destruction of the towers was not mentioned
This is just touching the surface. There was a lot more they “missed” and a lot of key witnesses they didn’t interview as shown in British Broadcasting Conspiracy.
If 9/11 Conspiracy Files and the Ten Years On follow-up weren’t bad enough, the BBC produced a kind of Magical Mystery Tour attack on “conspiracy theorists” in 9/11 Conspiracy Road Trip to coincide with the 10th anniversary last year.
This ugly piece of work has Irish comic Andrew Maxwell taking five people who don’t believe the official story of 9/11 on a road trip to visit the scenes of the “attacks” so he could show them the error of their ways. The film features the magic conversion of the fakest of 9/11 truthers, Charlie Veitch.
Maxwell wonders aloud at the beginning of the film about how the experience of seeing these 9/11 sights and talking to “experts” might change the views held by these kooky conspiracy theorists.
“Do they harden their opinions?” he wonders in the voice-over. “Or do they step back and realize there was real suffering here?”
Get it? People who don’t believe the official story are insensitive to, or unaware of, the suffering that occurred on 9/11. He also states that he’s “as certain and certain can be that Osama bin Laden order the attacks.” AE911truth is encouraging people to write to the BBC and to Labour Party MP Tom Watson in support of the complaints. Watson is a member of the parliamentary media select committee, which has responsibility for the BBC. For details and sample letters, check here.
None of this, of course, is new. The majority of what has passed for 9/11 journalism is little more than propaganda in support of the official story. At best, basic questions are not asked, and the most obvious anomalies and inconsistencies in the official accounts are ignored or glossed over. At worst, we get a superficial and condescending dismissal of “conspiracy theories” with lip service being paid to telling the public what those theories are based on.
The only real investigative journalism on 9/11 is being done by independent journalists, researchers, and alternative news sites. For an excellent analysis of media complicity, I recommend Barrie Zwicker’s Towers of Deception: The Media Cover-up of 9/11.
In Canada, we have the publicly funded Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, which also has a Charter requiring it to be fair and accurate. The CBC also showed the BBC documentaries in question as well as producing its own 9/11 programs (as part of the current affairs show The Fifth Estate) with very mixed results. I have to say, hearing about what’s being done in the UK is giving me ideas. But that’s another story.