This is what Richard Porter, Head of BBC World, had to say about WTC7 and the various theories surrounding the BBC coverage on September 11th.
BBC News / The Editors
The 9/11 conspiracy theories are pretty well known by now. The BBC addressed them earlier this month with a documentary, The Conspiracy Files,
shown within the UK.
Now, I don't think we've been accused of being part of the conspiracy. But now some websites are using news footage from BBC World on September 11th
2001 to suggest we were actively participating in some sort of attempt to manipulate the audience. As a result, we're now getting lots of emails
asking us to clarify our position. So here goes:
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. Our reporter Jane Standley was in New York on the day of the attacks, and like everyone who was there, has the events seared on her mind. I've
spoken to her today and unsurprisingly, she doesn't remember minute-by-minute what she said or did - like everybody else that day she was trying to
make sense of what she was seeing; what she was being told; and what was being told to her by colleagues in London who were monitoring feeds and wires
4. We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy). So if someone has got a recording of our
output, I'd love to get hold of it. We do have the tapes for our sister channel News 24, but they don't help clear up the issue one way or
5. If we reported the building had collapsed before it had done so, it would have been an error - no more than that. As one of the comments on You
Tube says today "so the guy in the studio didn't quite know what was going on? Woah, that totally proves conspiracy... "Please visit the link provided for the complete story.
Like most folks over here I had BBC News on continuously all afternoon & into the evening ... you couldn't really miss it ... normal scheduling on
the main TV station BBC1 was abandoned, as it was too on the independent broadcaster ITV.
But I clearly remember late on that night, probably after 10pm, the BBC reporting the collapse of WTC7 and showing footage of the collapse. I honestly
can't remember if it was live or shown a few minutes after the event. I don't remember seeing Jane Standley's report, I'm unsure if it was even
broadcast in the UK on either BBC1 or News24. I don't recall ever having BBC World available on my cable channel listings.
I don't think you can read much into Hayton's account of that day. He does seem a bit befuddled at times, he clearly remembers he wasn't in the
studio when the attacks occurred but is a bit hazy about what he was doing later on.
I don't particularly care for the way the video was edited at the end, cutting him off mid sentence. I'd have preferred to have seen the video in
its entirety and I'd have liked to have seen an account from its maker explaining how they managed to arrange the interview in the first place & what
they told Hayton they might be discussing.
Hayton just doesn't seem well prepped at all. Perhaps it was just another major foreign news story for him. I couldn't give you a minute by minute
account of my activities at work last Friday let alone detail events from one day 7 years ago.
He seems genuine enough.