Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Wrong Photo - BBC Bias?

A Muslim man was found guilty of soliciting murder during the infamous protests against the Danish cartoons. The discussion of his past and connections is in the post below this one. This post is going to focus on the BBC's report of the verdict, or, to be more accurate, on the photo accompanying the report. The report is here and the picture is below:

The picture is interesting as it shows Muslims praying with their faces covered while being watched by a policeman with his face also covered. Before moving on to analysing the picture let's first locate the source.

The photo was taken by Andrew Parsons and can be seen here. The information about this picture is that it was of Muslims praying outside the French Embassy in London. Compare that to this photo of the protest in question which says it was outside the Danish Embassy in London. In other words, the BBC is using a photo of a different protest! And if you're interested, here is a google map showing the distance between the two embassies (about 1 mile).

So, the question becomes why did the BBC use a photo from a different protest? One might be generous and say that they are simply inept and unable to read the description of the photo. However, there is a more cynical possibility; the BBC is trying to make a point. Knowing the BBC's penchant for multiculturalism and moral equivalences it is not beyond the realm of possibility that this photo was used to equate Muslim protestors who cover their faces to the police who also do.

In all probability the police have their faces covered to keep warm, the protest was in the beginning of February. However, the BBC has used a photo from a peaceful protest that took place about a mile away to illustrate a story about an infamous protest. Is this bias? Quite possibly.

One thing is for sure, though, the BBC chose not to use a photo of the actual protest that would show the vile placards that were on display. That decision alone is almost certainly either ineptitude or bias.

UPDATE: Further investigation confirms that the two protests could not have been the same. The Sun reports that the offensive protest went from Regents Park Mosque to the Danish Embassy. This google map shows all locations nearby the Danish Embassy that are flagged by "Regents Park Mosque". As you can see all of them are north or north-west of the embassy (marked with a green arrow). The French Embassy is just south of Imperial College London which is due west of the Danish Embassy. Therefore, no sensible route could take one from any point marked "Regents Park Mosque" to the Danish Embassy via the French one. Therefore, they must have been seperate protests.