Friday, March 28, 2003

Shoot the messenger

Meanwhile, in the blogosphere... Andrew Sullivan is really getting out of his pram about the BBC (aka Baghdad Broadcasting Corporation). Apparently, it is too pro-Saddam:

'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,' says Sullivan. He goes on to explain his shrieking tone.

'My harping on this theme is not simply media criticism. It's war analysis. Remember one of the key elements, we're finding out, in this battle is the willingness of the Iraqi people to stand up to the Saddamite remnants. That willingness depends, in part, on their confidence that the allies are making progress. What the BBC is able to do, by broadcasting directly to these people, is to keep the Iraqi people's morale as far down as possible, thereby helping to make the war more bloody, thereby helping discredit it in retrospect. If you assume that almost all these reporters and editors are anti-war, this BBC strategy makes sense. They're a military player. And they are objectively pro-Saddam.'

But the BBC is as much a friend of the British establishment as ever. It's just that the establishment themselves are divided and unconvinced by their own war. So, the normal patriotic war reporting (the BBC was always a military player) is more reticent now.

And if he wants negative reporting, he should tune to Sky News. My boss has been regaling the office with stories of how reporters on the ground are shooting down the official version of events. Sky is owned by Rupert Murdoch, effectively the British equivalent of Fox. But while Fox has been banging the drum in the States (as has Murdoch's newspaper, the Sun), Sky has been even more critical than the Beeb.


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