General News

BBC charged with contriving anti-American ambush

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Sep 14, 2001 | 9:00am EDT

Controversy was touched off in Britain Thursday night when the BBC broadcast an audience-participation program, Question Time, in which former U.S. ambassador Philip Lader, sitting on a panel discussing the New York events, was peppered with accusations from members of the audience that the U.S. had brought the tragedy on itself.

Today's London Daily Mail indicated that the BBC was swamped with phone calls from irate viewers. One remarked: "More than half the audience seemed to be anti-American, which is hardly representative, and they were saying that the American foreign policy had led to what happened. ... It was provocative." A BBC spokesman responded, "We decided that it would be appropriate to have a short debate to see the range of opinions." Several Britons who lay flowers at the gates of the U.S. embassy in London today in a display of support mentioned the broadcast in attached notes. One read: "Do not tarnish all the British with the same brush as the BBC."

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