It wasn’t just the BBC. The entire mainstream media poured out enthusiastic story after story about how the “Arab Spring” was a flowering of democracy and pluralism. On Fox back in the winter of 2011, I said it was a Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic supremacist takeover, and Juan Williams derided me for “fearmongering,” while the other assembled talking heads spoke about how no one in Egypt supported the Brotherhood, and how a new democratic era was dawning there. Yet none of those pundits, even though they are consistently wrong, are ever held accountable; instead, they continue to appear on show after show to this day, and keep on offering learned analyses that will prove to be howlingly wrong in a few months’ time.
“Our coverage of the Arab Spring was over-excited, admits BBC,” by Paul Revoir for the Daily Mail, June 25 (thanks to David):
The BBC”s coverage of the Arab Spring has been heavily criticised — by the corporation’s bosses.
Head of news Helen Boaden admitted that her journalists got carried away with events and produced “˜over-excited” reports.
She told a BBC Trust report that in Libya, where reporters were “˜embedded” with rebels, they may have failed to explore both sides of the story properly.
Middle East editor Jeremy Bowen was among those criticised in the study into coverage of the uprisings, which found that “˜excitement” did sometimes “˜infect” the reporting, which some viewers described as “˜too emotive” and “˜veering into opinion”.
The document, published yesterday, also raised concerns about the corporation’s use of footage filmed on mobile phones and other user-generated content. It noted that the BBC failed to warn viewers with “˜caveats” about the “˜authenticity” of such footage in 74 per cent of cases.
It also warned that the corporation ignored events in some countries as it concentrated on “˜big” stories.
Miss Boaden is quoted saying: “˜In the conflict in Egypt in the beginning .”‰.”‰. we might have sounded over-excited — you can take on the colour of who you”re with. I had to say “just be careful about your tone”.
“˜In Libya too, where we were essentially embedded [with the rebels] at the start, we might have sounded over-excited — you have to be careful if you can’t get to the other side of the story.”…