BBC Buys Blog Speculation On Israel Hook, Line and Sinker

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richard-silversteinToday, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) posted a story to its website lending credibility to Richard Silverstein, a blogger who has, for many years, published information from ‘secret sources’ without further details.

The report on the BBC website claims that Silverstein has been leaked documents from an Israeli army source detailing the possible methods of an upcoming attack on Iran.

The problem is, while Silverstein is quick to publish information he ‘receives’, the veracity of such information can of course never be verified. The BBC has not seen the so-called documents that Silverstein purports to have, nor has it double-sourced any information of the sort.

Instead, it appears that Silverstein has been duped into thinking that some text on a Hebrew forum was some kind of coded message or secret document, though he excuses the fact that he is quoting almost verbatim from the forum by stating on his blog that, “My original IDF source may have leaked the post to someone at Fresh [forum]. But whoever published it there embellished it with much material that is not in the original document.”

The BBC, despite being unable to verify any information beyond that of a blogpost, has run full pelt with the story, interviewing Silverstein on several occasions and quoting him widely.

While their diplomatic correspondent Jonathan Marcus states that it is impossible to know whether or not the document exists, one might question the need for any kind of story based on such a tenuous blog.

Silverstein has not released the document and states on his blog, “The terms under which I was given the document don’t allow me to make the original available publicly. But I’ll check on that again & see if those conditions have changed.”

One wonders what it takes today to get the BBC to report a non-story. Was it the fact that as a self-proclaimed ‘progressive’ blogger, Silverstein is well connected within the BBC? Or could it be once again that anything showing Israel in an aggressive light is swarmed upon by BBC hacks looking for a quick bit of Israel bashing?

Who are we kidding? It’s probably both.


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  1. I just hope Israeli Intelligence is intelligent enough (pun intended) to manipulate the media to accomplish its security objectives.

  2. This is not specific to the BBC. Newspapers that tout themselves as the reporters of record do this for almost all their stories today. There are no real reporters. They just rewrite stuff they have seen on blogs. Blogs that really have tenuous credibility.

    The grey old lady has long ago slipped in dementia.


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