Sent by Carl Rasmusen on 07-22-2006:
For the last 10 years I have traveled for 2 months every year in Israel, Jordan, Turkey, and Greece. You are "right on" about the BBC (and CNN International). They have never been able to say "George Bush" without a sneer!
I think both the BBC and CNN are in competition to pander to the Arab masses to see who can garner the largest "audience share."
The BBCs World Service is by far the worlds largest broadcaster, with some 150 million people tuning in every week in 43 languages. It already partners with 1,500 FM outlets in the U.S. and around the world. Now it seeks an even wider American presence by romancing NPR outlets. What better for Galena, Alaska, and Lyman, Wyoming (both now receiving the BBCs service), than full coverage of cricket, rugby, gardeningand hard-core anti-American left-wing politics!
Unlike NPR, the World Service neednt worry about fund-raising. It takes in over $400 million yearly from Britains Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), in return for providing a benefit to the U.K. Its hard for the FCO to quantify that benefit, but it places a great deal of weight on testimonials from Cosmopolitansopinion formers, in the language of a 2004 BBC report.
Cosmopolitans take great comfort in the World Services furious coverage of the conflict in Iraq. From the outset, the Beebs allegiance was clear: its reporting, said controller of editorial policy Stephen Whittle, must reflect significant opposition in the U.K. (and elsewhere) to the military conflict.
Not a problem. The World Service swiftly found a Middle East expert to describe the first U.S. missile strike on Baghdad as pure American imperialism. The service left listeners in the dark, however, about the so-called experts affiliation with an Arab-funded pro-Palestinian lobby. As the war continued, and the BBC remained the sole provider of news to Iraqis, the broadcaster aired calls for suicide bombers to fight the coalition and ran interviews with angry anti-American Iraqis, sometimes without telling listeners that Baathist minders were on hand. When the Americans claimed to be in Baghdad, BBC reporters denied iteven as CNN carried video of tanks rolling through the capitals streets.
Now, the Iraq fascists know that to win, they just have to detonate an old Fiat every day at lunch. Theyve told us their strategy: manipulate the press to create a low-budget epic of defeat until war support collapses. The Beeb eagerly obliges, as when a correspondent accepted from insurgents a video showing dead bodies as proof of American atrocities. He dutifully proclaimed it true based on . . . well, on watching the video.
One ubiquitous World Service technique: loose anecdotal reporting. If a BBC reporter cant find a friend of a friend to discuss some aspect of the failure he wants to see in Iraq, hell interview his translator, or even himself, to get that news. I have been here for two weeks, one correspondent recently observed. Hardly a day has gone by without several car bombs in Baghdad and so many bodies dumped in the street that I have lost count. His translator agrees. No context, no background to help listeners understand whats happeningjust opining how bad it all is.
Cosmos may love this stuff. But whats the benefit of having such unhappy, hostile journalists wandering through a theater of warespecially when they become weapons used against the coalition and the Iraqis themselves? The safest place for the World Service would be out of Iraq. Its time to bring them homebut to the U.K., please, not to the U.S. Weve already got enough of such reporting in our mainstream media.