BBC denies "conspiracy" over 9/11 video

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Screen shot from the report in question, with Jane Standley reporting with a view on New York's skyline, with the WTC 7 building still standing.

Yesterday, Richard Porter, an editor from BBC News, wrote a blog entry to respond to a controversy that has erupted overnight in the blogosphere. "We're not part of a conspiracy," he assures his readers. "We didn't get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn't receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening."

At the heart of the controversy is a video that surfaced on Google Video and YouTube. It is a segment taken from the BBC's own archive of their news coverage of the events of September 11. In it, reporter Jane Standley reports the complete unexpected collapse of WTC 7. However, she presented this information half an hour before it actually happened. In fact, while she is reporting the demise of WTC 7, it is clearly visible right behind her. During the course of the broadcast, the studio loses the connection with her, and when she returns, the building is gone.

During the first part of the broadcast, she gives specific details about the building, how many floors it has, who owns & leases it, and the fact that nobody was inside at the time of the collapse. All of these facts that Ms. Standley presented were 100% accurate.

In Porter's 5-point response to the accusations, he insists that his organization was the victim of chaos, not conspiracy. Unfortunately, Porter says, none of the reporters involved remember exactly what happened, and they have lost all of the original archive tapes, making it impossible to check. Porter explains that "like everybody else that day she was trying to make sense of what she was seeing; what she was being told; and what was being told to her by colleagues in London who were monitoring feeds and wires services."

He concludes that, at worst, they simply made an error — an error that happened to be prophetic. He signs off by quoting a flippant comment from YouTube: "so the guy in the studio didn't quite know what was going on? Woah, that totally proves conspiracy... ".

Directly beneath Porter's blog are two-dozen comments from BBC News readers. The comments are less than appreciative.

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