Western media blunders

Media News concept

İSMAIL SELIM EŞSIZ

W he we looked at the international media last week and the different organizations’ handling of the July 15 coup attempt, it was less than ideal and filled with pro-junta tendencies. We said as much in the July 18’s Reader’s Corner, “Palpable disappointment,” but when we turn to analyze how international media handles the aftermath of the failed coup attempt, it seems that the picture is even bleaker.

The biased attitude has been criticized over the week, but when we look at an email circulating on social media for the last few days, it starts turning into an outcry. The email in question was sent by a BBC producer looking for someone to criticize the government after the failed coup attempt. It said: “We are struggling to find anyone in the country who is critical of what the government is doing … so we are hoping to find someone here who might be willing to speak out against current situation.” The full email can be found in the July 24 Daily Sabah article titled “BBC email exposes biased stance against democratically elected gov’t after failed Gülenist coup.”

Another accusation of bias against the BBC was also raised on social media after several tweets from Gülnur Aybet, ap of international relations at Bahçeşehir University and the director of the Bahçeşehir University Center for Security Studies (BAUCESS). Allow me to quote her and our aforementioned news article:

Gülnur Aybet “said in a series of tweets regarding the BBC’s attitude toward her during an interview. ‘The BBC were quite rude to me this morning: ‘we know were u stand cos you haven’t lost your job.’ What kind of journalism is that?’ she said in her tweet.

‘The BBC were also quite unprofessional when they introduced me as: ‘she thinks it’s a good idea that people lost their jobs,’ never said so,” Aybet added.

The New York Times also had its share of criticism. When sharing an article titled “Vast Purge in Turkey as Thousands Are Detained in Post-Coup Backlash” on its Twitter account, New York Times World, it used a quote: “The Erdogan supporters are sheep and will follow whatever he says.” Even if we are to disregard the usage of the derogatory nature of the quote itself and choice of using it in the tweet, the sentence is not even in the shared article.

After the backlash from Twitter users, The New York Times sent another tweet: “The previous quote refers to an earlier version of this article. Here’s our updated piece on the post-coup backlash.” The usage of the quote, however, was not addressed. Perhaps an apology is in order.

Of course, numerous lies of omission and disproportionate representation ran rampant as the sacrifice of the people has become a footnote while the lynching of coup soldiers was blown out of proportion with heavy emphasis on people yelling “Allahu akbar.” After all, shouting that phrase is more than enough these days to be branded religious fanaticism in the eyes of West.