Saturday, February 28, 2004

A brief flurry of excitement in the office this afternoon after Iranian state radio's Pashto service reported that Osama Bin Laden had been captured in a tribal area of Pakistan.

In an attempt to get to the bottom of the storty we called IRNA's Pashto section.

The conversation went something along the lines of:
"Can you tell us more about your story about Osama Bin Laden being captured?"
"Well, you know, this is an old story. We reported that he'd been captured a year ago. I have very good sources in the area and they assure me it's true."
"If Bin Laden has really been captured why isn't IRNA's Farsi service broadcasting the news? Why is it only the Pashto service?"
"I don't know. Maybe they don't think it's an important story."

It's possible that IRNA thinks the capture of the world's most wanted man doesn't meet its criteria for an Important News Story -- but I think it's far more likely that they realise it's a crock of shit.

It's not quite the same as broadcasting as fact a rumour that you've just been told by someone down the pub (not that there are any pubs in Iran) -- but it's not a million miles away.


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