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.


John H said...

Mr Tompa, I rather think Gill has put his shirt on nag rather than a thoroughbred.

Neither should we get too het-up by Gill...who in this debate at least, is for my money, simply a Barford clone on steroids.

Having read Gill's critique of Maupin, I'm quite sure Maupin's stinging rebuke has seriously undermined Gill's position; doubtless Gill realizes his campaign is founded on sand and is desperate for a face-saver.

Gill, Barford, et al, ad nauseum, eagerly climbed aboard the wrong bandwagon and are deservedly,looking increasingly stupid and marginalized.

Best regards

John Howland

Dave Welsh said...

It' hard to find a more egregious example of sensationalist reporting than Paul Barford's blog.

Fortunately for those he relentlessly castigates, his writing style is so opaque that I expect only dedicated opponents of collecting read most of his posts.

I wouldn't describe Gill as a Barford clone though. He doesn't use the same trashy sort of invective.

Cultural Property Observer said...

Agreed, up to a point. Yes, Gill has far better credentials than Barford. But he should also know better.