Error in BBC reporting doesn’t mean 9/11 was scripted
13 September 2021
What was claimed
The fact a BBC journalist reported the collapse of World Trade Center 7 before it actually happened means 9/11 was a “scripted, actor based reality”.
It’s true that a BBC journalist reported the collapse of World Trade Center 7 almost half an hour before it fell, as did a number of other news services. There is no evidence this was due to insider information or a “scripted” version of the terror attack.
A post on Facebook claims that the BBC reported the collapse of World Trade Center 7 on 11 September 2001, almost half an hour before it happened.
The post author uses this apparent error to describe the 9/11 terror attacks as a “scripted, actor based reality” and refers to the collapse of World Trade Center 7 as a “demolition”.
It is true that the BBC reported the collapse of the building before it actually happened. The building collapsed at 5.20pm on 11 September 2001, but a journalist reported that it had fallen at 4.54pm (both local time).
He highlighted the fact that American broadcaster CNN had reported that the building was on fire and in danger of collapse as early as 4.15pm, with other local channels making similar claims. Mr Porter also pointed to the fact that several other BBC services had run similar lines about a large building having collapsed. He suggested this meant it was likely at least one news agency was reporting this as fact at the time, or reporting someone having claimed this.
He also wrote: “We're not part of a conspiracy. Nobody told us what to say or do on September 11th. We didn't get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn't receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening.
“In the chaos and confusion of the day, I'm quite sure we said things which turned out to be untrue or inaccurate - but at the time were based on the best information we had. We did what we always did - sourced our reports, used qualifying words like "apparently" or "it's reported" or "we're hearing" and constantly tried to check and double check the information we were receiving.
“If we reported the building had collapsed before it had done so, it would have been an error - no more than that.”
This article is part of our work fact checking potentially false pictures, videos and stories on Facebook. You can read more about this—and find out how to report Facebook content—here.
For the purposes of that scheme, we’ve rated this claim as false
because the BBC did report the building had collapsed before it actually did, but there is no evidence this was due to insider knowledge.
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