Was Blair snipped by the BBC?

I think this comment needs to come out front for more discussion, something that we do here from time to time.

Are there any other GetReligion readers out there who want to either confirm or contest this? I will also start hunting for the Guardian URL for the Tony Blair text. But I would assume that we are talking about this text, which is found at the prime minister’s homepage.

Now, here is some of the post from a reader who calls himself JohninLondon:

New comment on your post #905
“BBC wrestling with the “T” word”

On Monday afternoon Tony Blair made a statement to the Commons, referring to the bombers as terrorists and to their deeds as terrorism. He used the T word 10 or more times.

In its main story that afternoon, the BBC news home page and the linked London-Bombs-In-Depth page carried a report on his statement which EXCISED all these T word references.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4670945.stm

At that time the BBC did not post the full text of the statement. I and others found the full text at the Guardian website and the stark contrast became clear. It was outrageous of the BBC to edit all the PM’s words in this way — to fit their T-word policy. . . . I have seldom seen the BBC sink so low.

The Blair text is full of quotes that have been in the MSM since it was delivered. Here is one sample. He uses the word “terror” more than “terrorist,” but it is clear that he is being both blunt and careful.

It seems probable that the attack was carried out by Islamist extremist terrorists, of the kind who over recent years have been responsible for so many innocent deaths in Madrid, Bali, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kenya, Tanzania, Pakistan, Yemen, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco, of course in New York on September 11th, but in many other countries too.

The BBC used “terror” and “terrorist threat” in the online story, but not “terrorists.”

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About tmatt

Terry Mattingly directs the Washington Journalism Center at the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities. He writes a weekly column for the Universal Syndicate.


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