MH17 theory comes crashing down
Date of publication: 23/07/2014
CSI published a
in June about how The Daily Mail had doctored one of its own articles to bury earlier references to how child soldiers were being recruited by the pro-Western Maliki regime in Baghdad.
Now Britain's leading tabloid has done the same thing over Ukraine.
As soon as the Malaysian airliner crashed over Eastern Ukraine, Western politicians and media have been in hue and cry to blame Russia in general and Vladimir Putin in particular. A fresh wave of anti-Russian agitation by Western leaders has been picked up with gusto by the media. Claims by Western leaders that Russia caused the crash have translated into simplistic and aggressive tabloid headlines such as "Putin killed my son." David Cameron said in The Sunday Times on 20 July that the crash was "an atrocity made in Moscow".
According to an article
carried in The Mail this morning, 23 July, there is no evidence for this claim. A sensational piece of reporting indeed! The headline reflected this: " 'MH17 was hit by mistake: US intelligence chiefs reveal they have found NO direct evidence linking Putin to doomed plane."
By 12.23, however, someone must have told The Mail that the newspaper had gone seriously off message. It therefore corrected the headline to read as follows: "Putin 'bears responsibility' for MH17 disaster, say U.S. intelligence chiefs - but they admit to finding NO evidence that Russian leader was directly involved."
As with the earlier story on Iraq, the URL for the two versions is identical: the old headline has been dropped down the memory hole. The change is perhaps not as great as that over the child soldiers in Baghdad. But the emphasis put on the statement by the CIA is radically different. The same text can therefore be given a radically different spin and, above all, attention is distracted by this new headline from the truly explosive admission that in fact there is no evidence linking Russia to the crash whatever.
Addendum: This article was written on 23 July 2014. The Mail's headline for the article with the same URL has been changed a third time. It currently reads:"Ukraine rebel leader confirms for the first time that Russian separatists DID have BUK anti-aircraft missiles after U.S. intelligence chiefs said Putin ‘bears responsibility’ for MH17"
So The Mail has gone from the first headline which emphasised that the Russians didn't do it, to the second headline in which they imply that they did but admit that there is no evidence, to a third headline in which their guilt is emphatically affirmed and in which the reference to no evidence has been completely dropped. Good journalism!