The News Telegraph has reported that the BBC has re-edited some of its coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings. When the horror first happened, the BBC amazed the world by actually referring to the terrorists as “terrorists.” But reality didn’t last long. In two shakes of a journalist’s tail, it was back to “bombers” for them.
The News Telegraph said:

     Early reporting of the attacks on the BBC’s website spoke of terrorists but the same coverage was changed to describe the attackers simply as “bombers”.
The BBC’s guidelines state that its credibility is undermined by the “careless use of words which carry emotional or value judgments”.
Consequently, “the word ‘terrorist’ itself can be a barrier rather than an aid to understanding” and its use should be “avoided”, the guidelines say.

So here’s the Gates of Vienna version of things. Much closer to reality, too:

The BBC has redacted some of the language used to describe its initial coverage of the London Underground and bus bombings.

Earlier reports had spoken of terrorists but as new attitudes were adjusted — or as the shock wore off and journalists reverted to their former attitudes — it became clear that “careless use of words which carry…value judgments” would need to be…umm, erased.

The BBC says this revision of recent events is necessary in order to avoid “undermining” its credibility. Undermining?? Why, absolutely it would. Thus, the new version of events:

The BBC has learned of the recent holiday in London enjoyed by the local Bright Incendiary Hobbies Club. Using their avocation of spelunking to enter the tunnels of the Underground, the enthusiasts were able to undermine several trains, detonating explosive materials with great success… and thus undermining any rumors or imprecations regarding their manhood. Or womanhood, as the case may be. Or human species of whatever sort.

Obviously this talented team is able to use incendiary materials to great effect. It has been observed that their timing and methods bespeak an expertise to be admired and emulated. Even now, others are searching for them in order to be shown how to create their own special effects to undermine several credibilities other than merely those of the BBC.

Our hats are off to such skilled incendiary practitioners. Also off are some of our legs, arms, and vital body parts. But no matter. At least we know these underminers are good at what they do.

I say, not bad for a morning’s work, what?


Yes, it’s satire.

10 thoughts on “Undermined

  1. whoa … I like it. The muslims in London were shocked for all of a day. Then back to business as usual. Gathering info and quotes from these muslims to post a blog entry now 😉

  2. Go ahead, make fun of my California-ism.


    Anyway, his context was kind of blognerdy. He was speculating about what would have happened if we had never enacted the Crusades. He said something like, “Well, we would have never beat them back from the Gates of Vienna, and I guess, then, there never would have been a blog named Gates of Vienna.”

    Like I said, blognerdy. But, bigtime cool, because this means he’s a fan of your blog, as he should be.



  3. Don’t be ridiculous — I wasn’t mocking your “Californiaism”! I’ve just absorbed some of the lingo from my son & his cohort. Another example is DUH. Also “NOT” at the end of a sentence, as an ironic negator. But I draw the line at “I was like” and “he was like” (meaning “I said”, “he asked”, etc.). There are limits!

  4. I know what you mean about having to set limits. I have worked in three fields in my life; music, advertising, and country clubs. Sometimes, my life has to transcend all three within the course of a week, and I’ll find myself talking to a country club President and almost saying something like, “Thanks for the props, bro.”

    And then, of course, there’s CUANAS where I strive to be precise and fair in my language. God, I’m going to drive myself nuts.

    Anyway, you and Dymphna have one of my favorite blogs. Thanks for all the great work.


  5. D,

    Finally made it over here. Nice play on underminers.

    Just so long as they don’t become our overlords.

  6. ag4–

    We’ll all be six feet under if they become our overlords. No way.

    Baron and Pastorius– you guys are sooo behind. It’s not “cool” –I mean like has anybody said that since 1995? It’s “kewl” — just ask jindarella.


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