Posted by: Petros | April 13, 2009

A Spaghetti Western in Central African Republic (updated)

The BBC reports that witnesses to the incident at P.K. 13 said it was like something out of a “Spaghetti Western“.  Really?  I wonder what the Sango word is for “Spaghetti Western”.  The French, I think, is “Western de spaghetti”.  The skeptic in me wonders whether anyone would say this.  I don’t think that BBC even has a correspondent in Central African Republic, because they say, “Yvon Gombet, 28, told AFP news agency …”  And, “Social Affairs Minister Bernadette Sayo told Reuters news agency”.  The BBC is evidently dependent on other news agencies for the entire report.

What do the rest of you think?  Is it likely that a person who saw this event told the BBC that it was like a Spaghetti Western?

Update:  I think I’ve found the original quote in French in an article of AFP (boldface mine):

Cyr Agbo, 35 ans, gérant de magasin, parle de “scènes comparables à un film western avec des affrontements un peu partout, des gens qui fuyaient ou qui tombaient”. “J’ai vu un homme muni d’un arc touché en pleine tête par une balle tirée d’une cachette. Je n’ai pas vu le tireur, mais j’ai vu la victime tomber”.

Let’s compare this to the BBC:  “Witnesses said the brawl was like something out of a Spaghetti Western.”  Well, now Mr. Cyr Agbo has become “witnesses” and his Western film has become a sub-class, “Spaghetti Western”–and this is done for dramatic effect.  This has not convinced me that the BBC article is not an example of journalistic malpractice.


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