Saturday, September 10, 2005

BBC: “The willful ignorance is breathtaking”

Val MacQueen writing in Tech Central Station points out the underhanded and mendacious reporting by the BBC on the deadly effects of hurricane Katrina.

« This was not, however, the way the BBC's foreign correspondents saw it. British viewers got more dramatic eyewitness reportage from Matt Frei, actually on a freeway overpass in New Orleans. He reported with heavy irony, " [after days of neglected misery], the cavalry is on the way." - unable, as always in a Bush context, to resist western movie clichés. In any event, did Frei's eyes deceive him? It was clear from watching the footage that General Honoré and his 40 vehicle convoy were not "on the way" but were on the streets of the city and in control.

Back to the flooded streets and Hewitt speaking from his boat to a camera that was presumably held by a BBC man walking backward through the shallow water. It was unbelievable, he said angrily, how long it was taking the authorities to come to these poorest neighborhoods to rescue people, although he had to raise his voice as he spoke as there were three or four helicopters hovering overhead winching people up. Needless to say, help was "too little, too late". Why no large wheeled vehicles, he demanded? Instead, "it's pickup trucks and guns. More guns than doctors." Well obviously, to have equal numbers of both, military personnel would have to carry a doctor as well as a gun.

Back home in London, the prestigious current affairs show Newsnight weighed in. Moderator and inquisitor-in-chief Jeremy Paxman, under normal circumstances possessed of a sharp intelligence, suffers, like so many other on-camera BBC employees, from a form of Tourette's syndrome whenever President Bush's name is mentioned. Among his comments on the program, according to blogger
Natalie Solent, were "This is going very badly for the Republicans", despite that the Republican administration in Mississippi was doing blazingly well and the collapse of New Orleans civil order was solely caused by Democrat ineptitude. Unable to stop himself, he kicked out again, hopefully, "This is going to have a big impact on the way President Bush is seen by history, isn't it?"»
Maybe they didn't want to notice this. As a BBC listener, I have begun calling it “monitoring enemy broadcasts” – the fact remains that in their frezy to find a political angle, they really aren’t informing anyone, not “adding value” that would make them any better than Yahoo News, Google Video, or raw feeds for that matter.

If their notion of sophistication is the cowby movie cliche that I hear daily from them, then they deserve to be ridiculed, have their frauds exposed, and then sacked.