- As House rejects EFCC’s invitations to members
Hadas Malka smiled, snapped a selfie, and wished her friends and family Shabbat Shalom. Minutes later she was viciously stabbed to death, cut down in the line of duty – only 23 years young.
You wouldn’t know this from breaking news headlines in the hours that followed. As medics fought to save her life, journalists turned their attention elsewhere.
Border Police Officer Hadas Malka (OBM), fell victim not only to the murderous intent of the terrorist who stabbed her to death, but further to the outrageous treatment we’ve seen from initial news media coverage of the Friday night attack in the heart of Jerusalem; obsessive focus on Israel’s take-down of the terrorists carrying out the attacks.
Notably, the BBC’s reflexive focus on the death of three attackers on this occasion attracted the ire of many who were outraged by the media’s demotion of the terror attacks’ victims (Donald Trump Jr and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu among them).
The BBC’s swift correction and apology for the obvious insult to so many – fails to explain how and why such failings persist, almost predictably. The apology from the BBC stated: “We accept that our original headline did not appropriately reflect the nature of the events and subsequently changed it.”
So utterly did the BBC fail in this instance that they soon deleted the offensive, biased and misleading original tweet.
The BBC was not alone in denying Hadas and other victims the focus of headlines.
Reuters and the Associated Press were especially guilty, as their headlines were repeated in media outlets around the world, such as ABC News and the Washington Post, which all failed not only their duty of journalistic integrity, but in treating similar terror incidents (in Israel as elsewhere) with a consistent voice, tone, and style.
This consistency is crucial to ensure that readers will conclude and infer accurately the flow of events and intentions of the parties being described in the report. Take, for example, the BBC this past March, reporting on the tragic news concerning an on-duty police officer stabbed to death outside the UK Parliament:
Keith Palmer (OBM), much like Hadas was murdered during his active police service to protect the public. Like Hadas, Keith fought valiantly to prevent further injury and loss of life, as he wrestled with his attacker.
Keith was recognized by the BBC as a 48 year old husband and father. He was awarded a posthumous bravery medal for his ‘Ultimate Sacrifice’ for “confronting an armed terrorist to protect others and Parliament.” The citation says: “His actions provided time for other officers to react and shoot and stop the assailant.” The BBC underscored, and rightly so, the person behind the uniform.
In the meantime, the House of Representatives has stated the condition under which its members would appear before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the alleged padding of last year’s budget.
The invitation of its members over the alleged N284 billion budget padding should be routed through Speaker Yakubu Dogara, it said in a letter to EFCC.
It said its Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, would not appear before EFCC if that condition is not met.
But the commission is weighing its options on whether or not to accept the condition.
One of the options is to write a fresh letter to the House, asking Ogor and 12 others, in the first batch of those to be interrogated, to report.
It was however learnt that any member who fails to report to the EFCC might be arrested since representatives do not enjoy immunity.
It was learnt that the House, in a letter through its Clerk to EFCC, said the proper process is to request for the release of Ogor or any member through the Speaker.
About 50 members of the House have been short-listed for investigation.
But 13 members, including four principal officers, are in the first batch of those already slated for questioning on the alleged budget padding.
The principal officers are Dogara; Deputy Speaker, Lasun Yusuf; Ogor; and House Whip Alhassan Doguwa.
Only Ogor has been invited for interrogation by the EFCC.
The probe followed a petition by former House Appropriation Committee Chairman Abdulmumin Jibrin, who detectives have discovered also has a case to answer.
Jibrin appeared last week for a five-hour grilling on the allegations and issues isolated against him.
He is expected back after the EFCC would have interrogated the initial set of 13 lawmakers.
Honest Report with additional report from Nation