CNN-Aired TV Report on Bulgaria's Gas Crisis Exposed as Misleading

Society | February 6, 2009, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

The CNN-aired TV report on the condition of households in the Bulgaria's city of Pleven during the recent natural gas shortage crisis has been exposed by a reporter of the bTV channel as being fake and misleading.

The report in question was prepared by the independent UK TV station ITN, and later aired on CNN. It was supposed to show the living conditions of Bulgarian households during the recent gas crisis caused by the cutoff of Russian natural gas supplies.

The TV report was shot in an apartment building on Totleben Street in Pleven, whose residents are mostly Roma families.

The bTV reporter, Stoyan Georgiev, has discovered that the block of flats where the ITN TV report was shot never had central heating and therefore the families living in it could not be affected by the natural gas shortage caused by the Russia-Ukraine gas pricing dispute. The families in it are in fact burning wood and coal for heating.

The Roma families pictured in the report said they had no idea the material had anything to do with the gas crisis, and they were not told by the ITN reporter Robert Moore that it was about it.

In Stoyan Georgiev's report aired by bTV on Thursday, the Roma kids in the apartment building in question showed how they were asked by the ITN reporter to warm their supposedly cold hands at the electric cooker, which was turned off at that time.

ITN's report also showed a measuring device at Pleven's heating plant on what was supposedly a pipe bringing in Russian natural gas. The device's counter showed "0000", which was presented as meaning that no Russian gas supplies were coming in.

Stoyan Georgiev's report, however, showed the counter was attached to a pipe, which had not been in use for years, and had nothing to do with the gas distribution network.

The bTV reporter said the ITN correspondent Robert Moore would not reply to his emails. In his report on bTV, Georgiev likened the situation in which the households in Bulgaria's Pleven were presented as suffering severely by the gas crisis to the reports about the death of Mark Twain that he read in a British newspaper, and replied with his famous quote, "The rumors about my death are greatly exaggerated".

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