Here’s NPR’s John Burnett, a guy who puts the term “liberation” of Iraq in parentheses, comparing himself with the BBC:
What’s interesting is that I think when you come over here and when you imbed with this, with this group and you in a sense become sort of part of the project of the invasion and pacification of a country, you cease to hear the dissonant voices against that project, un–un–until you tune in to the BBC. And even then, you know, they’re pretty muted.
Just so you don’t think I’m imagining this. The BBC is increasingly perceived, even by sympathetic parties, as the voice in part of the anti-war forces. Other lefties, like Katha Pollitt, who opposed the invasion of Afghanistan and refused to let her own daughter fly the American flag, see the BBC as their kind of news organization:
On BBC, there is serious discussion of how the invasion of Iraq is being received around the world — not so well, it turns out. There is much discussion of the bombing of civilians, of the apparent good cheer of the Iraqi leadership and the seeming lack of universal jubilation among the population; last night there were substantial interviews with an Iraqi official (or former official? missed that) and with Paul Wolfowitz. I’m a fan of NPR, but I have to say I think they’re missing an opportunity here.
I wonder if most listeners know that the BBC is the favorite station of the far left? How the Beeb ceased to become an objective news source and became a broadcast version of the Nation is one of the great tragedies of modern journalism.
THE BBC COMES UNSPUN: Two great stories. The first details why the Iraqi civilians in Basra are uniting with the Saddamies to resist the enemy invaders. The support for this theory? A Guardian correspondent:
Consider what happened in Basra last Saturday when there were air raids. The Qatari television channel al-Jazeera had a team in the city and it sent back graphic pictures of dead and wounded civilians which were widely shown in the Arab world. But these images have been all but ignored in the West, which seems more interested in pictures of the American prisoners of war. People do not take kindly to being bombed, even by “friendly forces”… There is an interesting article in the Guardian of 25 March from its correspondent, James Meek, who has been with the US Marines in Nasiriya. He shows how hostility to Saddam Hussein is not necessarily converted into support for the invasion.
Then, nine hours later, the BBC reports the following:
British forces on the outskirts of Basra have reported that a violent civilian uprising against Saddam Hussein’s regime has begun in the southern Iraqi city. Major General Peter Wall, British Chief of Staff at Allied Central Command in Qatar, confirmed that it appeared an uprising had taken place, but that it was in its infancy and British troops were “keen to exploit its potential”.
Suddenly, a different picture. Never mind.