Thursday, July 22, 2010

American TV's version of the truth over Lockerbie

I've just had a first taste of American television's coverage of the recent Megrahi controversy by watching on online clip from ABC News. I don't know whether to laugh or cry. It's a one-and-a-half minute "report" that shamelessly and risibly portrays the four US senators as morally righteous pursuers of truth, fearless in taking on the powers-that-be. Funny that, because to me they look uncannily like a part of the powers-that-be, brazenly setting up a smokescreen to distract from the real issues surrounding Lockerbie.

As you might expect, apart from the general distortion and highly selective use of fact, there is one outright inaccuracy in the report. It claims that Megrahi was released on the basis that "the doctor said he had only three months to live, but now one of those doctors says that he could live for another ten years or longer". That sentence doesn't even make logical sense (ie. the singular 'doctor' suddenly becomes 'doctors' plural) but it is clearly Karol Sikora that is being referred to, and the Scottish government has repeatedly made clear that Sikora was not "one of the doctors" that informed Kenny MacAskill's decision to release Megrahi. In any case, Sikora made clear that in his view there was a less than 1% chance that Megrahi would live for ten years or more. Now, I wonder why ABC would have omitted that rather important caveat?

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