Saturday, June 26, 2004
deconstructing the BBC's left-wing bias for years (see Andrew Sullivan and
USS Neverdock, for example, links to the right), I have never made it
TigerHawk's business to mimic what others do so well. Also, I am not a big
BBC viewer, except when I am travelling abroad on business and have a few
minutes to kill in my hotel room. However, I caught a short glimpse of the
BBC from our Rome apartment the other day, and the perspective was quite
astonishing, at least for somebody used to a diet of MSNC. In less than 30
minutes I saw three examples of expressed or implied anti-American or
anti-Isreali coverage, each of which could have been dealt with quite
differently if the BBC's editors were not trying to push an agenda.
First, they reported on Israel's recent crackdown in Nablus, without giving
any reason for the intervention. It was as if Israel was stringing up razor
wire out of an undifferentiated desire to pen up Arabs. Surely the IDF
offered a reason for the curfew, as it usually does. Why didn't the BBC
pass it along?
Then, the BBC ran a story on the theatrical debut of Michael Moore's new
film, Farenheit 911. The story consisted of long clips from the movie, an
interview of Moore himself, and four or five celebrities of the Tim Robbins
persuasion declaring the film the work of a genius and the like. There was
mention of right-wing opposition to the film, but it consisted of screen
shots from lunatic-fringe web sites. Rather than considering the detailed
and specific criticisms of the film circulating widely in the blogosphere
(Andrew Sullivan has put up a couple of links recently), the BBC in effect
suggested that critics of the film had the credibility of Holocaust deniers.
Heck, given the BBC's take on Israel, it probably respects Holocaust deniers
more than critics of Michael Moore.
Finally, I noticed that like most American networks the BBC uses a graphic
to indicate coverage of the Iraq war. The BBC's graphic, though, is not the
Union Jack, which would indicate solidarity with the British troops there,
or the new Iraq flag, which might be construed to indicate support for the
new government there, but the flag of Hussein's ousted regime! You know,
the post-1991 flag which Saddam had modified to include "Alahu Akbar."
Do you suppose that the BBC's logo for the D-Day anniversary was a
triumphantly waiving swastika? If not, why not?
Meanwhile, one need only open the pages of the International Herald-Tribune,
the NYT's outlet for expats, to see the same sort of nonsense in print.
Apart from the usual stuff from Krugman and Rich, today's paper includes a
delightful article on "reluctant repatriates," American executives who are
called home from a stint in Europe. The article contains a lot of
interesting stuff about the negative impact that a foreign posting can have
on one's American career, and reports that a very large percentage of
repatriates leave their employer shortly after returning home, or rather
than returning home. All well and good. But the article leads with the
personal example of one Dragan Majetic, an Eli Lilly executive who resigned
rather than return to the U.S. His reason? "The United States has changed
since 9/11. We grew up liberals but now there are no civil liberties there,
the media is biased, there is no freedom of speech. Why should we move back
To believe such tripe, Majetic is one of three things. He might be a dupe
of the European media, in which case his attitude is evidence enough of the
bias in media coverage abroad. Or he might be an idiot. Or he might be
considerably to the left of the average American, or even the average
liberal, and genuinely believe these things. In any case, why was this guy
the supposed archtype of the "reluctant repatriate"? Because the IHT wanted
it that way.
In any case, I'm sure Majetic's former employer unofficially share's my glee
that he has decided to stay where he is ideologically at home.
If Americans had any idea how much and how bad the BBC are stabbing America in the back, I think they would start a boycott of the UK like they did with the French.
I cannot get any US mainstream media interested in the anti-American campaign being waged by the BBC. But then again probably only Fox news would run any story exposing them.
I'm an American and live in Scotland; have done off and on for almost 30 years. The amount of anti-Americanism has risen sharply in the last few years. Thanks mainly to the BBC.
Marc - USS Neverdock
I agree with Marc about the Beeb - even we Brits have problems trying to get them to correct blatantly false statements etc.
But fear not - soon they will be trying to renew their charter and we will be writing in many times with examples of their lies. SKY et al will then start pointing out these lies as well as it is in their interests to get the Beeb out of the propaganda (oops sorry!) news business.
I'm sure Marc will agree that most Brits do not treat him like the homicidial, unintelligent maniac that the Beeb love to portray of Americans. Hey, you have CNN/CBS we have the Beeb. Thank God we don't have Dan Rather thought.....
I think you'll find the BBC is using the same Iraqi flag which now flies over government buildings following the handover, which they seem to have a soft spot for (just 'cause Saddam was a brutal murderer doesn't mean he was crap at flag design).
Wasn't the new one was rejected after some bright spark designed it to resemble the Israeli flag.
I don't think the new flag was rejected, but it is not very popular by most press accounts. Perhaps Iraq should organize a referendum on the flag just to see if it can get the mechanisms of democracy functioning in time for the elections in January.
Well, the new semi-sovereign Iraqi government is flying the old Saddam-era flag so I do not see that graphic as evidence of bias by the BBC. Instead it is a recognition that the new flag was an externally imposed PR stunt that had absolutely no local buy-in.