Panorama’s evidence – a 3 second shot of unidentified literature

We’ve already shot Hilary Andersson’s Panorama programme full of holes, but I’d like to drive over the body all the same.

That was it? The BBC’s big song and dance about Tamerlan Tsarnaev and white supremacist literature, which it spent all yesterday gleefully reporting in its bulletins and news programmes, boiled down to roughly 20 seconds from the Panorama programme. Here’s the relevant segment (h/t to Craig from Is the BBC biased? for the transcript. Check out his take on the programme, too.)

“And we found out that Tamerlan’s interests here at home were not just Islamic. He subscribed to publications about government conspiracies, gun rights and white supremacy. He also read about mass shootings. Tamerlan was perhaps not so much the true radical jihadist as a deeply troubled young man who latched onto Islam.”

The actual evidence was on screen for 3 seconds. We weren’t even told what the literature was or how long Tamerlan had subscribed.

Andersson didn’t identify the literature shown but I can confirm that it was, as I said yesterday, the anti-Semitic weekly paper the American Free Press (AFP). Unlike the clip used in Andersson’s news report (which was deliberately blurred out by the BBC) the same footage in Panorama is clearer and the writing can be read.

That page is a book review which can be seen on the American Free Press website. It is dated 24 April, 2013 – 9 days after the Boston bombing and 5 days after Tamerlan’s death. It seems the BBC couldn’t even get hold of hard copies of the editions the older Tsarnaev was supposed to have read. Notice the name and date of the paper are still blurred at the top. [Update – Alan points out in the comments that while the online article Cosnpiracies Are Real is dated 24 April, it did appear in a print version of the AFP in March.]

Here’s the opening couple of sentences of the book review just to prove it’s definitely the AFP she’s looking at:

Conspiracies assume many different forms. In some instances an entire family is cursed, as Kennedy blood and tragedy have seeped across the decades from Dallas (JFK) to L.A. (RFK), Chappaquiddick (Teddy) and Martha’s Vineyard (JFK Jr)

The book is Conspireality by Viktor Thorn who writes regularly for the AFP.

As I mentioned yesterday the American Free Press promotes conspiracies and blames the Jews for just about everything, it sympathises with Muslim grievances, and its contributors appear on Iran’s Press TV to rant about worldwide Jewish control of the media. Who knows, maybe Press TV first turned Tamerlan on to the AFP. And let’s not forget that the AFP thinks the Tsarnaevs were probably framed.

So why didn’t Hilary Andersson point out any of that? Because it would complicate the message. The programme wanted to show that Tamerlan was only “a Muslim of convenience” and it used his apparent interest in unnamed right-wing white supremacist literature as proof of this. Pointing out the similarity in rhetoric of the Jew-hating AFP and jihadi literature would not have been helpful.

Andersson said the programme had been months in the making. How embarrassing.

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39 Responses to Panorama’s evidence – a 3 second shot of unidentified literature

  1. George R says:

    The research on ‘Biased-BBC’ here is better than that of BBC ‘Panorama’.


    • The General says:

      Did iy not occur to the BBC that he might have been evaluating the ‘enemy’?


    • Framer says:

      That research is worthy of a formal complaint to the BBC, citing all their own headlines and any the press took up as a consequence of reading Miss Andersson’s remarks and the web story.


      • Stewart says:

        Perhaps ‘American Free Press’ might be interested to know that the BBC are trying to implicate them in the Boston bombing
        Making the BBC the subject of speculation among the legions of tin foil hatters might have its comedy value at least


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          They know. It’s number 6 on their Top Stories links on the right. It’s right above a Wall Street Journal report on the same topic, abeit a far more honest and clued-in one, and without a “You’re harassing innocent lambs into becoming radicals” agenda.

          Here’s a video interview with the WSJ reporter. It’s clear that nearly innocent Tamerlan was steeped in the same kind of curiously undefined conspiracy theories popular with jihadis. The reason nobody seems to be talking about what, exactly, is the uniting factor in these two disparate crowds (white supremacist, pseudo-libertarian in the US/Western Europe and the Mohammedan cultures of the Middle East and Asian continent) is the common denominator seems to be that Jews are behind most of the world’s problems.

          In other words, just as DB points out, anti-Jewish conspiracy theories is a main factor which led nearly innocent Tamerlan to embrace jihad. He probably agreed with Katty Kay’s suggestion that no US President wants to run afoul of the Jewish Lobby. I wonder how many Beeboids share some of those concerns about Jewish power and control, and I wonder how that affected Andersson’s reporting.


          • DB says:

            Jews control the White House/the media, they should leave Israel and go back where they came from – the views of Helen Thomas, White House correspondent, widely praised on Twitter by BBC journalists (esp the sisterhood) after her death.


  2. Doublethinker says:

    What % of the British population believe the BBC consistently tells the whole truth about anything? I bet it is shrinking by the week. After the Savile scandal the BBC was horrified to find that its trust rating was at its lowest ever level and Patten et al said that restoring the trust of the people in the BBC was number one priority. Well look what has happened since then, scandal after scandal, and ever more bizarre news and current affairs reporting. The most recent of course being the claim that one of the Boston Bombers was a white supremacist.
    Does the BBC think that the British public will believe this load of tripe? I hope that they do think that, because if they go on reporting/distorting the news in such a weird way trust levels will drop further and further, and a general lack of trust in the BBC is a critical pre-condition of a Tory government being able to shut it down.
    So come on BBC keep distorting , lying , omitting as much as you like because you are doing exactly what is needed to get rid of you.


    • Pete says:

      To be honest, I generally assume that the BBC, especially the news, is lying to me. That way I can be pleasantly surprised should they ever be found to be telling the truth.


      • Gunn says:

        Once you know what the tells are, its easy to interpret the news.

        For example:

        If the BBC reports that ‘men’ did a particular crime, especially if it involves gangs of paedophiles groomers, you can bet your mortgage it involves the religion of peace.

        If the US media reports on ‘teen gangs’ or ‘youths’, particularly if they’re described as a ‘flash mob’ you can bet its a group of black teenagers that harassed/beat up/robbed the victim.

        If the UK Met Office reports on pretty much anything, you can interpret the reality as being the diametric opposite of whatever they’ve told you.


  3. Umbongo says:

    In many aspects of life today in the UK, the process is the punishment (ie the authorities – HMRC, police, social workers – compel the manifestly innocent to go through the process of proving that innocence at a cost higher than that were they guilty). Analogously this “investigation”, although tripe in journalistic or any other term serves the purpose highlighted by Alan: not to reveal hidden truths but to create a miasma of unfounded suspicion that this crime was both a manifestation of “right-wing” evil and that it had no connection with Islam (except as a “latched-on” construct). Hence the avalanche of publicity and cod-“news” items launched by the BBC in advance of the programme and the eerie silence after it eg I didn’t hear any mention of it on Today or the Radio 4 news this morning. However, I would bet real money that in the coming weeks and months, the “evidence” produced by this programme will be meat and drink to the Guardinista tendency, both in print and on the airwaves.


  4. Guest Who says:

    Maybe they have diverted the 10p left over for ‘basic investigative reporting practices’ after all the payoffs and hush-ups (apparently now running at about £3,999,999,999.90pa) from Panorama back to Newsnight?


  5. uncle bup says:

    ‘Tamerlan was perhaps not so much the true radical jihadist as a deeply troubled young man who latched onto Islam.’

    Gotta lurve that ‘was perhaps’.

    The Droid’s way of saying.

    ‘Yes we know this is a load of utter shite as well’

    Hilary, treacle, you are a complete idiot. No ‘perhaps’ about it.


  6. John Anderson says:

    It is probably costing us some£500,000 a year including expenses to keep Hilary Andersson on the road in the US. She apparently files very few reports – and then comes up with this distorted garbage about jihadists. Her “research” has been exploded on this site, her “journalism” exposed as charlatanism.

    Does no-one ever get the sack at the BBC for being a waste of space ?

    As I said yesterday – I hope this all gets picked up by journalists – especially in the US. The story may not matter too much to people in the UK – it was certainly not worth a Panorama programme – but Americans get a bit fed up when denialists like Andersson tell lies about tragic attacks on American citizens and police – and the 3 Jewish boys they apparently killed in a bloodbath earlier on.

    Andersson was reporting for the BBC from the Middle East a few years ago. Anyone remember her ? Another apologist for Palestinian terrorism ?


  7. DJ says:

    We’ve already shot Hilary Andersson’s Panorama programme full of holes, but I’d like to drive over the body all the same.

    I see what you did there!


  8. DB says:

    I’ve just added a couple of sentences in the paragraph below the screengrab to highlight that the copy of the paper Andersson is seen looking at came out after Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s death.


    • Alan says:

      I looked at the dates myself but it looks like the paper was out in March:

      Good find though identifying the paper itself so fast….the BBC spent months building their case…and you debunked it in minutes!


      • Arthur Penney says:

        Yes – looks like the title on the posting I found relates to the top article.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      DB, you might want to update your post to reflect that the issue Andersson showed was published five weeks before the bombing. This absolutely does not affect the fact that she’s busted for the idiocy of her not knowing – or the dishonesty of misleading – about the reason the murderer was interested in the publication. Nor does it alter the fact that she pushed a false notion about him becoming alienated only after being turned down for citizenship. He wasn’t turned down for reading the AFP, that’s for sure.


  9. DB says:

    Made the Daily Caller.


  10. johnnythefish says:

    My goodness, so many ‘facts’ in Alan’s excellent coverage of this piece of BBC mischief and in huge contrast to the BBC’s coverage throughout yesterday, it has to be said.

    But hang on, b-BBC doesn’t do ‘facts’, does it? Isn’t that right Gomez?



    GOMEZ! Come here you little @%$*


  11. Bodo says:

    Excellent forensic analysis DB. It’s the sort of unanswerable criticism that should have the BBC begging for forgiveness, but they know they can get away with it and know one will hold them to account.

    Most – if not all – TV documentaries set out to “prove” a conclusion that the producer decided on long before doing any research or picking up a camera. Selective interviewing and editing can prove just about anything. But in this case, Anderson hasn’t even been able to invent anyevidence to support her case. As documentaries go it is not even “worthless”, it is prejudice and dishonesty given prime time viewing on the BBC’s major channel. Shame on them.


  12. Chop says:

    No Scotty…Dezzy…Alby….Gomez?…tsk, all their Isp’s must have packed in, all at the same time…

    True story.


  13. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Nice work, DB. That’s the level of BBC journalism in the US these days: “Fake, but accurate”.


  14. stuart says:

    something really troubles me about these 2 nice young muslim lads,they look so angelic and cuddly,could they really have carried out this terrorist attack in the name of such a peacefull religion called islam.i have my doubts now,am i crazy if i suggest this,ok i will, could the american goverment of secretely sprung anders brevik from his prison cell in norway for the day to carry out the boston bombing in return for better conditions in his cell then blame it on muslims.oh god oh god has panorama and hilary andersson turned me into a crazy guardian reading lefty,i hope not.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      If it they weren’t framed by the Tea Party Patriots, it was the Jooooooos.


  15. DB says:

    The story has now been pushed off the BBC US & Canada page and has not been deemed worthy of inclusion in the ‘Features & Analysis’ sidebar where such reports usually go for a few days.

    And just a day after being the BBC’s lead US story on its website and a major item on its news programmes and bulletins.

    I wonder why.

    PS Heh!


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      It is a bit of a climb down from the hype. The videos are still up individually. Maybe they needed the space to report the start of Maj. Hasan’s trial. You know, the other lone wolf, disaffected, alienated anti-war activist who merely latched onto Islam as an affectation and was driven to mass murder by racism and US foreign policy.

      I laughed out loud at this from the blurb:

      The discovery that he was reading right wing material before the attack challenges the perception of the brothers as straightforward radical jihadists.

      Only if you’re an idiot who doesn’t know about the anti-Semitic, world-domination stuff. Or just a dishonest journalist. Classic BBC delusion.


      • DB says:

        Sunny Lohmann nailed it with her video of a despairing journalist. What she didn’t anticipate was such a journalist’s shameless desperate attempt to promote the preferred narrative regardless:


    • Llareggub says:

      Krf, Has it occurred to anyone that they were pelted by muslims, not for what there were (not) wearing, but because they were supporting a dog charity. Interesting that the BBC -see a current HYS discussion on life sentences for dog owners whose animals kill – are becoming very anti man’s best friend. There are parts of Birmingham where it is unsafe to walk a dog. Something our culturally sensitive BBC might be picking up on.


      • johnnythefish says:

        Perhaps a studio discussion between one of the anti-dog ‘locals’ from this virtual no-go area and an animal rights campaigner.


  16. Llareggub says:

    Once every couple of days I look up the contents of the UAF Facebook discussions, see their support for violent confrontations with those who criticise Islam, their support from UNITE, and how they plan to disrupt future meetings and marches from those whom they deem to be fascist. I despise these hate filled nasties and now I am worried that someone from the BBC might portray me as one of their supporters.


    • The beebinator says:

      even the BBC would take one look at you and know instantly youre not a fascist/nazi/commie UAF supporter. You have washed, shaved, not wearing clothes from oxfam and dont look like some stuck up twat intoxicated on their own self importance that has no friends


  17. A.D. says:

    There were lots of this sort of thing on the BBC shortly after.


  18. A.D. says:


  19. dez says:

    “The actual evidence was on screen for 3 seconds.”
    You are being ridiculous. It wasn’t presented as “evidence”.
    Of course yesterday you were claiming that newspaper headlines where blurred in an attempt to hide “the evidence”. What happened to that crackpot conspiracy theory DB? Quietly forgotten? Conveniently brushed under the carpet?
    “So why didn’t Hilary Andersson point out any of that? Because it would complicate the message. The programme wanted to show that Tamerlan was only “a Muslim of convenience” and it used his apparent interest in unnamed right-wing white supremacist literature as proof of this.”
    That must be why the Panorama programme said;
    Tamerlan developed a passion for Islam and began reading about anti-semitism.
    Tamerlan’s [muslim] mother was involved in pushing him into radicalisation.
    Was interested in Muslim prophesies of apocalyptic battles.
    Had been reading militant islamic websites.

    Was angry about American drones killing Muslims.
    Found instructions how to make a bomb on an Islamic website.
    May have been a lone-wolf, but Al-Qaeda have been asking for lone-wolf attacks for the past three or four years.
    Ah yes I see now; it was all about “right-wing-white-supremacists” for at least three seconds.


    • DB says:

      No surprise that you completely miss the point Dez, you halfwit. The BBC promoted the right-wing white supremacist literature angle across its news outlets on Monday. It was reported as a big revelatory scoop shedding new light on the motives of the older brother. It was one of the main stories on the morning news programmes. It was the lead article on the BBC US & Canada page on Monday. And what was it backed up with? Nothing more than a 3 second clip of Andersson looking at copies of unidentified literature. That was it. We weren’t given any more clues as to what this literature was or when specifically Tamerlan was supposed to have been reading it. From this tiny thread the BBC spun a headline-grabbing narrative.

      And you think that because the BBC blurred the footage in its news reports and then, after this had been questioned, showed the same clip with less blurring during Panorama (still leaving dates and the name of the publication blurred) somehow means that I’m brushing it under the carpet? You’re an idiot. The fact that the BBC was unsure how best to portray the literature while still hiding the name and dates is hardly a plus for your side of the argument, doofus.


      • johnnythefish says:

        Spot on, DB.

        ‘From this tiny thread the BBC spun a headline-grabbing narrative’.

        From the Today programme through to the lunchtime news on TV they were doing precisely that, even to the point of a soundbite from a headscarved woman in mosque somewhere helping spin the new mantra ‘Muslims of convenience’.

        But what do you expect from a BBC supporter like Dez – he’s missing a logic module, just like their correspondents.


  20. London Calling says:

    BBC still running the Hilary Andersson “far right” Panorama fraud under the guise of a different headline “Inside New York’s Terror Centre” Expecting Nick Ross and Crimewatch? Underneath the guided tour get a rehash of the right wing literature line.