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Media Analyses

BBC and AFP Flummoxed by Attack in Bulgaria

BBC announcer refers to terror attack as "awful accident." Video from Cifwatch

Yesterday's terror bombing attack that killed at least five Israelis and injured more than 30 others at Burgas, a resort town in Bulgaria, caught journalists at the BBC and Agence France Press (AFP) a bit flat-footed. For one reason or another, the two outlets characterized the bus-bombing in a manner that downplayed its horror and violence.

CifWatch documented the BBC's inability to call the bombing by its correct name – an act of murderous terrorism. At 21 seconds into the posted below, (also available at this link), A BBC commentator who was attempting to downplay the possibility that Iran was behind the attack said the following to an Israeli official:

As you say, it's a very short time after this awful accident, well this explosion, occurred. Isn't there a danger that you've been hasty in automatically looking to Iran?

This was no accident. Somebody put a bomb on a bus at an airport in Bulgaria and killed people. It was a murderous, intentional attack. This is an egregious mischaracterization.

This was not the only journalistic misstep that took place in the aftermath of yesterday's attack. Agence France Presse (AFP) used the following headline to describe the attack.

By way of comparison, when terrorists perpetrated a bombing in London on July 7, 2005, the AFP headline read "Terror attacks kills 37, spread carnage in heart of London."

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