John Sweeny, a BBC reporter doing an “exposÃ©” on the Church of Scientology, has found that the church is not a normal victim of sensationalist journalism, willing to take whatever they dish out.
Before the BBC could get their smear job on the air, the Church completed its own exposÃ© of the slipshod journalism of this particular BBC reporter and released it here:
Having personally witnessed an earlier smear job by the notoriously unrepentent Dan Rather, where he interviewed a minister of Scientology and then took those answers out of context and reversed the answers when they were aired, I can tell you first-hand that modern “journalism” is not likely to show you the “truth” about much of anything. You may remember Dan Rather reported as true some rather obviously manufactured documents about George W Bush during an election, then didn’t retract the story when they were proved false.
You have to remember that reporters are given the “slant” of their story by their editor, before they ever start writing or taping anything. Everything else is just window-dressing — the are only looking for sound bites and odd facts that support that slant.
This particularly odious reporter, John Sweeny, manufactured a couple of incidents a la Michael Moore: he showed up during the middle of a huge televised event and asked to talk to the emcee of the event. This kind of drive-by journalism is not what you’d expect from the BBC. Yet there it is.