Here on harryzzz, the start of a new little series called: The Bullshit they tell you...
Because, just like you, I'm reading and watching the world news. But, not just like you, I'm actually sometimes running around in these parts of the world.
This gives me the possibility to tell you when a journalist or media company is telling you BULLSHIT or not. I cover the Middle East and Pakistan - so I'll keep a close watch on stories from there. Note: I'm picking on any mistake I come across, I don't have anything against any specific media outlet.
Ok, here BULLSHIT REPORT Nr. 1. And the suspect is the good old, very reliable BBC.
Step 1: Go to this web page (right click and open in new window):
Step 2: Click on: audio and video news: On patrol with the army in the Swat Valley.
Step 3: Watch the video report. It starts with: Until earlier this year Pakistan's Swat valley was popular with tourists...
Immediately after that, from 08.00 sec onward, the BBC guy aboard the helicopter says: "Now a military helicopter is our only way in."
A military helicopter the only way in? Yeah, right. Bullshit! BBC guy flew from outside Swat to the city of Mingora, inside Swat. I did, very recently, the exact same route by car. And not in some kind of 4-wheel drive vehicle, but in this one - together with my taxidriver!!! (see picture).
The trip, by car, from Islamabad to Mingora takes around 6 hours. The Taliban militants are mainly active north and east of Mingora, not south and west (the way you get into the area). All roads from Islamabad or Peshawar to Mingora are open. Of course, way too many details that TV can't be bothered with.
Hey, I immediately agree that it is much cooler to fly in by a helicopter, than to drive in with a little taxi. But to claim that "now a military helicopter is the only way in" is total bullshit.
So, yes, the report wants you to believe a lie. It misinforms the public by sexing up a story. Verdict: Guilty!