Friday, September 14, 2007



A little while ago a ‘guide’ to 9-11 was published on the Newsround site. The ‘guide’ in question was a little less than objective; in fact it looks like the author was trying to raise some kind of bar for biased writing:

Why did they do it?

The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al-Qaeda - who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks.

In the past, al-Qaeda leaders have declared a holy war - called a jihad - against the US. As part of this jihad, al-Qaeda members believe attacking US targets is something they should do.

When the attacks happened in 2001, there were a number of US troops in a country called Saudi Arabia, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, said he wanted them to leave.

Subsequent to publication a number of complaints were received (I wonder why) and the offending page was taken down. However it has since returned – although now has a new photo (which I guess must make it all better).

Bias is one thing, but the above is a step beyond. Of course what makes it worse is that Newsround’s audience is children, who are as one would expect are in the process of forming their opinions about the world.

Perhaps Newsround should rethink the ‘guide’…

Hat-tip: Biased BBC


Sir-C4' said...

Ban the BBC

Anonymous said...

ok I've read it twice now and cant perceive any bias; what in particular dont you like?

Anonymous said...

Where's the bias?

Anonymous said...

Really sickening. Rather than teach the children about the Middle East's geography, culture, and political landscape, this guide cuts to the quick and expounds a twisted explanation of the 9/11 tragedy.

Anonymous said...

you've been reading Bill O'

Please be more original if you have to plagiarise right wing blogs.

Anonymous said...

Tell us Shane, what your version of events?

Anonymous said...

If you can't spot it its because it's not there. The old "m" word.

Shane Greer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

The blog is Biased BBC, not 'BBC Bias'!

David Lindsay said...

What's wrong with it? Seriously, what, exactly?

Shane Greer said...


The hat-tip at the bottom of the post is the BBC Bias blog, the author of which emailed Iain, who in turn emailed me.

Chris Paul said...

I'm prepared to say "where's the bias" and sign my own name. In a personal capacity.

Newsround might also add:

"The USA and allies also continue to pursue the Might Makes Right meme under which - if you cannot get your own way, reasonable or otherwise, by negotiation and non-violence - then it is OK to use massive military force preemptively."

"The USA taught Osama Bin Laden everything he knows in a war of "resistance" and "liberation" against Russia who were then their cold war love rivals and had tried to occupy and pacify a strategic buffer state rich in natural resources."

"That was in Afghanistan where this way of solving problems is as old as the hills and has been proven time after time to be utterly unsuccessful and morally bankrupt."

"The servant turning on the master in international affairs is a fairly regular and predictable outcome and is sometimes termed Blow Back."

"When a bully uses Might Makes Right in the playground we stop them and tell them to play nice. When a Mom or Pop uses it at home we call it child abuse or domestic violence. All they are teaching their kids is that when they are bigger they too can hit people to get their way."

"Whoever throws or drops or carries the bombs peoples bodies are ripped up in exactly the same way. People all round the world use violence far too much to try to get their way. It usually ends in tears and just makes things worse."

"There was no connection between 9-11 and Iraq in 2001 but now sadly there is."

"Children - do try not to grow up like the Twin Terrors [(c) New Internationalist] Osama Bin Laden and George Dubya Bush. Both are insane."

Gavin Whenman said...

Shane, I love you, but I have to disagree.

Anonymous said...

Be honest, you would prefer it if the BBC was rah-rah-rah Pro-American ?

Like Fox 'Fair and Balanced' News ?

I would not - I appreciate that they try and show all sides of an argument not the 'US-hegemony-groupthink' which seems to infect other market driven sources of news.

Yak40 said...

The sooner al-Beeb is privatised - well, at least the News/Propaganda division, the better.

Anonymous said...

Eh? Seems very balanced and restrained to me. Everything in there is fact, accepted by all parties involved. I would only have a problem if it suggested that flying planes into buildings was somehow acceptable. And it doesn't.

Anonymous said...

Bias? What the hell are you talking about?

First rule of blogging: If you've nothing to say, keep quiet. I know Iain will be worried about his visitor count while he's away but this posting for posting sake is getting ridiculous.

I think I'll take this blog off my RSS feed until Iain returns. You make him look like a paragon of considered opinion. I half wonder if that was his intention. Toodle-pip, Logorrhea.

Anonymous said...

Mr Greer, Don't you think a sensible response to political violence is to ask the question 'Why did it happen ?'

Is it not sensible, as with many of our problems in life, to identify what the root causes are, in an effort to understand what needs to be done to prevent it happening again ?

So that one doesn't exacerbate the problem, but rather become part of the solution ?

Maybe you don't. Maybe you would rail against people dying of cancer rather than raise money for charity to try and understand the causes so that it can be prevented in future.

Or get very angry with burglars, but refuse to put in a burglar alarm as that would be to express 'bias'.

Kris said...

Here's my "version" of events: nihilistic jihadis thought the only way in which they could give meaning to their empty lives was to embrace a cult of death and become "soldiers" for bin liner.

The reality is they are more accurately described as vandals who targetted civillian passenger aircraft and office workers, indiscriminately destroying anyone and anything in their path.

How that for you, Sunny? Or do you really believe "foreign policy" drives young muslims to become automations for bin liner?

They are vandals. Get over it.

Anonymous said...

Hmm... I've never really thought that people just get up in the morning and without any prior warning think 'I know - I will just take it upon myself to go out and kill lots and lots of innocent civilians'.

There is usually something in the background which gives some sort of indication that they have a grievance behind their actions. Whether that is justified is quite another matter.

If you think that the BBC is biased in this respect [and I can only conclude if you do think that you are rather ignorant of their full spectrum of output] can I suggest you check out the Newsnight report on Hizb ut Tahrir.

Even better, get the excellent film 'The Wind That Shakes the Barley' out on DVD over the weekend.

You might learn something..

Kris said...

Anon cried: "Hmm... I've never really thought that people just get up in the morning and without any prior warning think 'I know - I will just take it upon myself to go out and kill lots and lots of innocent civilians".

Oh please, dear anon, enlighten us as to what precisely it is that "drives" otherwise perfectly lovely men to murder. I would suggest to you it's the cult of death they've signed up to.

Perhaps Nietzche can explain it to you better. See "Of the Pale Criminal". It's not about "politics", it's about a thirst for blood and death.

Shane Greer said...

Anon 5:58,

I must admit admit I really don't know what to say to your suggestion that I learn about the conflict in Ireland from a film.

Kris said...

No, it's breathtaking arrogance, isn't it Shane. That what these "liberal" idiots are all about- they know best for all of us, despite our background or experience.

Anonymous said...

The way Jewish people run their shops and businesses in regions like Germany has made some people very angry, including a group called the Nazis, who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks on Jewish communities.

In the past, Nazi leaders have declared a campaign against the Jews. As part of this campaign Nazi party members believe that attacking Jewish targets is something they should do.

When the attacks began in 1938 there were a number of Jewish people in Germany and the leader of the Nazis, Adolf Hitler, said he wanted them to leave.

tgf ukip said...

When there are so many obtuse, thick or hysterically anti American people as some of those posting on this site it really is small wonder that the BBC can be so smugly confident that they can get away with what they like.A hint guys - in the final paragraph try inserting Uk for US troops, N. Ireland for Saudi Arabia, SinnFein/IRA for al-Quaeda and Gerry Adams for Osama Bin Laden and ask yourselves how you would have felt if that had been offered as a rational for two planes being flown into the two tallest buildings in the City, another into the Ministry of Defence building and a fourth being destined for Buckingham Palace or Parliament. You may of course be devotees of Ken Livingstone in which case you will be as much an apologist for Sinn Fein/IRA as the writer of the Newsround piece was for al- Quaeda.

Anonymous said...

Shane, you still haven't explained what you think is wrong with the BBC account.

Please spell it out for us.

Anonymous said...

tgf ukip - great to see that you are such a 'balanced' individual yourself..

Rich Johnston said...

You know, it doesn't have to be a good reason why they did it, but it is the reason, in very simple English.

Giving the reason "because they are evil murdering scum" isn't actually a reason. It may be true, but that's who they are because of what they do, not the reason they have for doing it.

It doesn't use the word Muslim, true. But a similar history of the Troubles needn't have used the word Catholic either.

Rich Tee said...

"Where is the bias?"

How about - thou shalt not kill.

It should say somewhere that murdering people is wrong.

As soon as you start justifying killing it is a slippery slope - everybody has got a reason to kill somebody else.

Anonymous said...

"ask yourselves how you would have felt if that had been offered as a rational for two planes being flown into the two tallest buildings in the City, another into the Ministry of Defence building and a fourth being destined for Buckingham Palace or Parliament."

Leftoids would feel that they love it. And it would all have been a plot by the British Government. And we all deserved it.

The language of death is the only language the Left understand.

Kris said...

oh yeah, the other bit for the revised entry:-

"These vandals further labour under the misapprehension that God is running a brothel and will "reward" them for their murder and vandalism by offering them women and little girls in consideration for their acts".

Nice, isn't it?

Chris Paul said...

Blogged this yesterday and forgot to share the link. Sorry.

Oscar Miller said...

All those people who do not think the Newsround entry is biased are revealing a quite terrifying ignorance of the nature of Islamism and al-Qaeda. They think the entry does not show bias because they have been so thoroughly indoctrinated by the bowdlerized presentation of Islamism that has been served up so consistently and persistently primarily by the BBC that the Newsround version of events has been normalized. And for all those people who want it all 'explained' to them - you could start by reading Ed Husain's book The Islamist.

Andrew said...

Hi Iain and Shane. It looks like we've had a bit of a result on this... several pages, including the 'Why did they do it?' page of Newsround's 9/11 Guide have been revised for the better. Looks like the BBC will listen if enough people make their voices heard. Thank you for raising this issue and thank you to all those who complained to the BBC.

Anonymous said...

"a similar history of the Troubles needn't have used the word Catholic either."

If you believe that you are an imbecile.