Scepticism is needed

“The great war reporter Claud Cockburn, who advised journalists to never believe anything until it has been officially denied, must be turning in his grave at the performance of some in reporting the alleged planned terror attack on a number of planes travelling between Britain and America.

“The supine parroting of official truths provided by the police, the intelligence services and government has once again been to the fore among print and broadcast media. It was as though weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, the attempted cover up of the Jean Charles De Menezes shooting in Stockwell and the raid by 250 police on a house in Forest Gate never happened. The historic memory of many reporters’ minds seems once again to have been wiped clean in the face of officialdom.

“As with past events the Islamophobic attitudes of many reporters were immediately on display showing a breathtaking ignorance of the Muslim community. Again, as at Forest Gate, reporters following up the story were seen suggesting that a person who had grown a beard or suddenly took a deeper interest in the Muslim religion was immediately suspect on that basis. The same reporters will no doubt be surprised when they then go to Muslim areas in the future and find they get a less than friendly welcome.”

Paul Donovan at Comment is Free, 14 August 2006