Eye on the News - All Entries


Eye on the News entries 21 to 40 of 77.

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BBC Headline Change: Iran Goes from 'not building' to 'undecided on' Nuclear Bomb

BBC News - 25 April 2012

The image below shows how the BBC initially ran the headline 'Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli military chief says', and then changed the words 'not building' to 'undecided on' for their story about Israel's Lt Gen Benny Gantz's interview with Haaretz.

Headline: (11:13 AM) Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli army chief says

Headline: (12:05 PM) Iran undecided on nuclear bomb - Israel military chief


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BBC Deception Continues about November's IAEA Report

BBC News - 25 April 2012

Even when running an article with the title 'Iran not building nuclear bomb, Israeli army chief says', the BBC continue to mislead readers as to the conclusions of the IAEA's November report on Iran's nuclear weapons programme. It is stated that the report shows that 'Iran was secretly working towards obtaining a nuclear weapon'.

One needs only to read the news reports from around that time, or the report itself, to see that the report did not make that suggestion.

Tehran says it wants nuclear technology for peaceful purposes but the West believes Iran is developing weapons.

In November the UN's International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) released a report with new evidence showing Iran was secretly working towards obtaining a nuclear weapon.

It did not say that Iran had succeeded in mastering the relevant technology or how long it might take to develop a bomb.


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The Debate Begins on David Cameron's Plan to Privatise Roads

BBC News - 19 March 2012

In a report titled 'Roads Plc? Why privatisation might look tempting', BBC political editor, Nick Robinson, writes what amounts to a ten-step endorsement of privatisation.

He notes only two 'cons' in his analysis, among them that the public don't like to see privatised that which they 'think' they own.

Robinson concludes his report linking to two reports 'which examine the options'. Both reports advocate charges for road use.

...and two big reasons why it might not

1. The public hate the idea of road tolls. Labour's examination of road tolls produced an e-petition of 1.7 million names which is why David Cameron is now saying that he won't allow tolls on existing roads. Since then the cost of motoring has gone up

2. The public don't much like anything that smacks of privatising that which they already think they own (although water shows that once it's happened people shrug their shoulders and get on with their lives)


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Israel Has a 'Task', Iran Presents a 'Threat'

BBC News - 27 February 2012

On the BBC's 'How Israel might strike at Iran' page, defence corresspondent Johnathan Marcus reports on the options Israel might use to attack Iran, without noting that such an attack would be illegal, or that there is no proof of existence of nuclear weapons.

The BBC then gives one of their lists of military hardware used by both sides. Amazingly, one of the headers for each kind of Israeli plane is 'Task', while the equivalent header for Iran is 'Threat' (see image below).

Odd, given that the page is about an Israeli threat towards Iran.

Table headers for Israel: "Aircraft, Details, Task"
Table headers for Iran: "Type, System, Threat"


Update 15:40 -
BBC News have now changed the word 'threat' to 'efficacy' on this page.


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Blind Assumptions about Iran Continue on Front Page of The Times

The Times - 20 February 2012

On the front page article 'Defiant Iran cuts off oil to Britain', the writers refer to Iran's 'illicit atomic weapons programme', and 'Tehran's atomic weaponry'.

For the record, there is no evidence of the existence of any of the above.

1. With UN nuclear inspectors due in the country today to gather evidence of Iran's illicit atomic weapons programme...

2. ...Israel, which is continuing to warn that "no options are off the table" in dealing with Tehran's atomic weaponry.


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BBC Makes Good Use of PR Stock Photo

BBC News - 20 February 2012

BBCNews : 'Opponents of the [NHS] bill... complain they have been excluded from [David Cameron's NHS meeting].'

How best to illustrate this?

A photo of Cameron giving undivided attention a nurse, naturally.

Opponents of the bill including the British Medical Association and Royal College of Nursing (RCN) complain they have been excluded from the event.


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Iran 'Taunts' the West with Domestic Military Exercises

The Times - 6 February 2012

Writing for The Times, Hugh Tomlinson suggests that Iran carrying out 'air and land exercises' as well as 'naval manouvres' in their own country 'is a threat to allied forces' in the West. The headline suggests that these actions 'taunt' the West. What then should we call the deployment of British war ships to the Gulf and to the Falklands?

Headline: Tehran taunts West with more wargames in Gulf

Amid heightened tension over Iran's nuclear programme, the move is certain to be seen as a threat to allied forces in the region and to the narrow shipping lane out of the Gulf that is vital for oil traffic.


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A Creative Interpretation of November IAEA Report on Iran

The Telegraph - 29 January 2012

In November, Adrian Bloomfield at the Telegraph reported that the IAEA report about Iran showed that "for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon" - which was a blatant misrepresentation.

Now (Jan 29th), while reporting on Iran's claims that oil prices will soar as a result of sanctions, his language overplays the report again, saying that it "accused Iran of military-related atomic activities".

A damning report released by the body in November accused Iran of military-related atomic activities for the first time.

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Blatant Spin in BBC Hugo Chavez Headline

BBC News - 14 January 2012

A BBC headline about Venezuela reads "Chavez 'would accept' Venezuela election defeat". To take this quote in its proper context, the spin is clear.

The Chavez government has never implied that it would retain power undemocratically. Hugo Chavez's statement marked not an about-face, but was directed at the opposition who previously, in an attempted coup, had tried to undemocratically remove the Venezuelan president: "If any of you win the elections I will be the first to recognise it, and I ask the same of you".

That Chávez would leave office if not re-elected is presented as a news-worthy turn of events and as such appears anomalous.

The technique of referring to "some ... critics" is similar to the Fox News style "some people say", allowing claims to be made without attributing them to accountable sources.

Headline: Chavez 'would accept' Venezuela election defeat

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has told opposition leaders that he will relinquish power if he loses elections due in October.

Some of Mr Chavez's strongest critics have suggested he might cling on to power at all costs if he were defeated at the polls.

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Ortega Wins 'Controversial' Third Term with 60% Support

BBC News - 11 January 2011

In their reporting of Daniel Ortega's new presidential term in Nicaragua, the BBC use their favourite adjective when describing left-wing Latin American presidents or their terms in office: 'controversial'.

Ortega received more than 60% of the vote.

Compare this with the BBC's Q&A about Greece's unelected technocracy. No controversy there, apparently.

Daniel Ortega has been sworn in for a controversial third term as Nicaragua's president following his landslide victory in November's polls.

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BBC Speculates on the Suitability of Iranian Site for Air Strikes

BBC News - 9 January 2011

Why is BBC news website speculating about sites for potential air strikes within Iran in this report? The report is a clear example of how the idea of war on Iran is being normalised in the public consciousness.

It [the uranium enrichment facility] is underground, heavily fortified and protected by the armed forces - making it a very difficult target for air strikes.

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Iran 'Threatens', the US 'Warns'

BBC News - 28 December 2011

Iran's pledge to react to sanctions is reported as a 'threat', while it is reported in the same article that the American military (who have 'not ruled out military action') simply 'warns' that they will react to the blocking of the Strait of Hormuz. Again the idea of Iran being irresponsible, or reckless, is portrayed (they have 'vowed to respond by attacking Israeli and US interests in the region), while the US is portrayed as a responsible overseer (the 'US maintains a naval presence in the Gulf, largely to ensure the transport of oil remains open') in the article.

As in previous reporting, no challenge is made to the assumption (which is now almost accepted as truth) that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

Headline: 'US warns Iran over threat to block oil route'

...Washington and Israel have not ruled out military action against Iran's nuclear facilities if sanctions and diplomacy fail.

Iran has vowed to respond by attacking Israeli and US interests in the region.

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More Excuses for Tony Blair after his War on Iraq

The Times - 13 December 2011

Writing in the The Times about Cameron's recent decision regarding the EU, Rachel Sylvester makes the bizarre suggestion that Blair couldn't 'control' the fact that he was remembered for the Iraq war.

Others might argue that he could indeed 'control' this, by not deciding to join the war.

But prime ministers can't control what defines them. Yesterday Mr Cameron stood up in the House of Commons to defend his decision to veto a treaty designed to prevent the collapse of the eurozone. And, just as Tony Blair was linked for ever to his decision to join the American-led war in Iraq, so the Conservative leader will from now on be remembered as the man who - for better or for worse - permanently changed Britain's relationship with the rest of Europe.

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Police Violence at Occupy Wall Street Reported as 'Violent Exchanges'

BBC News - 12 December 2011

BBC News describes clashes "between police and protesters" during November's night raid to dismantle the Occupy Wall St camp and a near media-blackout.

Eye-witnesses have reported otherwise, describing destruction by police of personal items, the dumping of the camp's library, and the use of pepper spray against peaceful resistors, rather than "violent exchanges".

The [Occupy LSX] camp is closely modelled on Occupy Wall Street. Though it began a month later, it is still going almost a month after its New York counterpart was dismantled with violent exchanges between police and protesters.

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Ex-council boss 'says' something he didn't say

The Telegraph - 25 November 2011

In a typical attack on the public sector once again, a headline has been created from the following quote of outgoing CE of the Local Government Association:

"I don't regard it as peanuts; I regard it as high pay"

The headline reads "£300,000 a year ex-council boss says his pay was 'peanuts'"

Quite clearly, he did not say that he thought his pay was 'peanuts', as the headline more than suggests. Rearranging of words for this article by Christopher Hope has pressed the idea that money is wasted through the public sector. The same headline regarding a role in the private sector is unimaginable in The Telegraph.

Headline: £300,000 a year ex-council boss says his pay was 'peanuts'

Quote within article: 'I don’t regard it as peanuts; I regard it as high pay.'

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Anders Breivik referred to as 'mass killer' instead of 'terrorist'

BBC News - 14 November

As the court hearing for Anders Breivik begins in Oslo, a clear example can be see of how the media stopped using the label "terrorist" for Breivik shortly after learning that he was a right-wing white male. In a headline on the BBC website for a story about his trial, he is labelled instead as a "mass killer".

While Breivik does fit the general definition of a terrorist (someone who uses terror as a political tool), he does not fit the image of a terrorist that the media understands - which is generally that of a radical Islam extremist.

Norway mass killer in open court

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Creative wording following IAEA report about Iran

The Telegraph - 12 November 2011

Adrian Blomfield at the Telegraph wrote that Iran "appeared" to be building nuclear weapons, in a clear example of being creative with words since the release of the IAEA report concerning Iran's nuclear capabilities.

On Tuesday, UN weapons inspectors released their most damning report to date into Iran's nuclear activities, saying for the first time that the Islamic republic appeared to be building a nuclear weapon.

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More Presumptions about Iran Nuclear Arms

BBC News - 5 November 2011

A headline on the BBC website again misleads towards what are assumptions about Iran's nuclear programme. The media has for days being reporting about an IAEA report which they say will prove that Iran is developing nuclear weapons. The headline chosen for this by the BBC is "UN 'finds Iran nuclear arms bid'".

This headline is based entirely on assumptions but serves to mislead readers.

An attempt at impartiality is made at the end of the article: "Analysts say they believe Iran may still be several years away from having nuclear weapons."

UN 'finds Iran nuclear arms bid'

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Telegraph Headline calls for War

The Telegraph - 3 November 2011

In what is pure speculation from the Telegraph concerning Iran's nuclear capabilities, writer Con Coughlin has claimed that Iran is "close to achieving its ambition of acquiring nuclear weapons" and called for "Obama to act" against Iran. Like the rest of the media, the paper is making unfounded assumptions that next week's IAEA report will confirm that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.

The fact that any attack on Iran is an illegal war crime is omitted.

Headline: "Iran is on the verge of getting the Bomb. It is time for President Barack Obama to act"

Unlike previous IAEA reports – which, under the leadership of Dr Mohamed ElBaradei, deliberately sought to obfuscate the true nature of Iran’s activities – this one will demonstrate unequivocally that Iran is well on the way to acquiring nuclear weapons.

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Democratic Referendum 'can't happen' with an EU bailout

The Guardian - 3 November 2011

There is a suggestion in the Guardian that the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou was incorrect to have ever decided to call a referendum on the bailout package. The sub-headline read that he "admits" that there can be no referendum. This of course suggests that the fact that a referendum "can't happen" was true from the start, but that it just took a while for the Greek PM to catch up.

George Papandreou admits public vote can't happen

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