BBC Question Time on 9/11


Here is the BBC Question Time about 9/11 (aired September 13, 2001) :

You may have heard mention of it or seen it at the time. It is … interesting. The BBC director general at the time said of it :

 he “would like to apologise to the viewers who were offended by it”.

He added that it was an inappropriate programme to broadcast live just two days after the suicide attacks on America, and should have been recorded and edited.

The BBC’s Media Correspondent, Nick Higham, said there was a recognition in the corporation that the audience could have been more representative of wider opinion.

Besides the shouting and jeering from the audience, there are a few points I’d like to highlight. Note the number of people (including the panelists) who attribute their own hobbyhorse as the cause of 9/11. Also, note some curious rhetorical techniques on display.

At about 21:29 (in the first clip), a guy says American & British aircraft flying over the skies of Iraq and Yugoslavia have done so in defense of Kurds, Iraqi Shia and muslims in Kosovo and is promptly jeered and shouted down. The counter arguments seems to be “You have no idea!”,  the idea that the only acceptable way to frame it is as killing muslims and that asserting things repeatedly makes it true.

At about 21:25 Yasmin Alibhai-Brown says to applause “I have been stunned by the way Americans are so shocked at how many people really truly detest them around the world.”

Speaking for myself, I don’t care if someone detests Americans. Oh, imagine the burden it must be to forever be wondering who a majority of Namibians consider to be their Super-Best-Friend-Forever. Treating global politics like high school cliques really doesn’t seem like the best way to determine policies.

Below the fold is parts 2 & 3 of the video and a transcript.

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