iraq bbc chief slams us media coverage

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    Thursday, October 28, 2004

    BBC chief slams US media coverage


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    The head of the BBC's news operations has accused media organisations in the United States of being overly patriotic in their coverage of the lead-up to the Iraq war.
    "Before Iraq, it seemed to me that some US news broadcasters wrapped themselves in the flag and, as a consequence, did not perform the role the public expects of them," said Richard Sambrook, director of the BBC's global news division.

    "Our natural instinct is to support our country. But the responsibility of the news media is to ask the difficult questions, to press, to verify," he said, according to an advance copy of his speech to the Columbia Journalism School in New York.

    The New York Times earlier this year acknowledged that it had failed to adequately challenge information from Iraqi exiles who were determined to show Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction in order to see him overthrown.

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