I’ve just seen a very carefully balanced piece of reporting from Wyre Davis on the BBC news.
Reporting from Tripoli in Libya, he and other reporters were taken to a hospital where they were presented with the sight of a baby girl in a serious condition.
The ‘uncle’ of the girl told reporters, with some clumsy prompting, that the girl’s injuries were as a result of enemy bombing and this was an example of how Nato protects civilians.
Wyre produced a scrap of paper from a hospital employee telling them that the girl was the victim of a road traffic accident.
Davis then continued with a report from the scene from the alleged bombing where the only visible ‘casualties’ were a dead dog and some domestic animals.
Then the girl’s uncle turned up and under pressure from reporters revealed he was a government employee.
So the whole sorry story was an amateurish attempt to lie about the effect of Nato bombing. Wyre Davis told us that this was a trumped up attempt at propaganda.
Now compare to the never-ending pictures from Gaza, in 2009, of the dead bodies of children, the reports from hospitals, the ‘eye-witness accounts’ the escorting of western journalists by Hamas through rubble, the stories of deliberate targeting of civilians, UN sites, schools, hospitals, mosques.
Do you remember how the likes of Jeremy Bowen believed everything that Hamas and Hamas-controlled citizens said to him. Do you ever recall a scintilla of scepticism about reports from a terrorist organisation and a terrorist-controlled entity?
Yet, in Libya, because the UK and its allies are involved, scepticism and journalistic instinct suddenly are to the fore. When Israel is involved, and we just saw this in reports from the Syrian border, dictaorships, terrorists and shadowy individuals are believed, and it is up to Israel to try to rebut lies and baseless accusations and blatant propaganda.