I have had occasion before to praise Sam Kiley, Sky News security correspondent, who often seems to be fighting a one man battle against rampant Islamophobia and alarmism in the media. He has just given an extremely sensible analysis. He counselled against rushing to brand the crash as terrorism without evidence, discussing both mechanical failure and pilot suicide. He added that even if it was terrorism it was not necessarily Islamic terrorism. He quoted Anders Breivik and the fact that early reporting speculated that massacre was Islamic terrorism. Kiley even went so far as to state it was a possibility that, if it were terrorism, it could be carried out by a fascist group attempting falsely to implicate Islamic groups and stoke Islamophobia. Kiley also outlined the possibilities for various Islamic groups to be involved.
His summary was as balanced and sensible as it could be possible to make. Indeed Eamonn Holmes felt it necessary to ramp up the terrorist narrative by stating there have only ever been 68 mechanical failures on Airbus 320 aircraft. That is true, but it is a very much larger number than the number of terrorist incidents on A 320 aircraft.
I do not know what happened. I do know that it is remarkable that anybody as balanced as Sam Kiley – who four years ago stated on Sky News that Israel was perceived as “moving towards an apartheid state” – continues to be employed by the mainstream media. I frequently criticise corporate media journalists for doing a bad job. When one is doing a particularly good job I should in fairness note it.