Wednesday, February 25, 2015
Archaeo-Blogger Defends Sensationalist Reporting
Archaeo-blogger David Gill has taken Chris Maupin, a knowledgable antiquities dealer, to task because Maupin has questioned sensationalist reporting by the BBC. That BBC report repeats the oft cited claim that looting provides a major ISIS funding source. Gill maintains that Maupin's critique is unfair. After all says Gill, the reporter and his producer evidently attended an academic conference which discussed the issues! But we should also be skeptical of academics with an axe to grind. And there is every reason to be particularly dubious of "proof" originating with sources friendly to the Assad regime. As we've already seen, that murderous regime is keen on attributing looting to ISIS for its own political purposes. In any case, the values of looted material from Syria casually thrown about appear highly inflated. Under the circumstances, Maupin's concerns about sensationalist reporting are warranted and he should be praised, rather than condemned for his efforts.