Thursday, August 25, 2005

One more to add to the collection

Why is it that I feel the same way about the BBC's coverage of the environment that I used to feel about the National Geographic magazine: not news but adornment? I used to have a subscription to the NG, but I found it moved into artwork rather than reportage.

This seems similar:

'The stalactites hang like glass daggers over the glacial lake. Ice peaks rise against the bright blue sky like crystal pyramids.
Mounds of dark rock rise up between the snow and ice, discoloured after years of being covered by the glacier.

This is Pastoruri. In the past 10 years, its ice caps have retreated by about 200 metres'

What's wrong with this article is that there's no news in it; none. Glaciers have been retreating and advancing unpredictably for as long as they've been around- and it's not news to point out the latest advance or retreat in a random location. You can't find a single current news item in this article about Peru. Nothing's happening; no drought or flood- even though they're natural too. Such things are simply not news- they're speculatively playing upon a trend of public thinking, what might one day seem to be simple hysteria. Wikipedia is interesting on this:

'Glacial movement has recently become politicized in discussions of global warming. Opponents of global warming like to point out that although some glaciers are retreating, others are advancing and therefore must be growing.'

So guess which side the BBC's on. Go on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Manufacturing Environmental Consensus with the BBC

I am a news watcher, it's true- and I watch far more than I comment. So, I have this little antenna grown out of experience that in some media areas night follows day- and in my experience never is this truer than with the BBC's environmental agenda. The awesomely consistent BBC takes every possible cue from nature to discuss GLOBAL WARMING- this wonderful post-communist magic schtick with which to harrass the evil capitalist kulak scum.

So, no sooner can you say 'flood'ˇand 'drought' than you will find the Beeb ruminating its favourite unfalsifiable 'news' story.

And what's worst is the pious tone of 'we don't know but we think it's only safe to ram it down your throats' that they use.

It's so medieval, this fixation with signs and wonders, this attempt to build significance out of every jot and tittle of nature's revelation.

And, if nature doesn't suggest it in a medievalist's dream headline form, they'll go looking for it. And, like any of your medieval scholars you care to mention, they'll get their facts wrong.

The environment... ah, so poignant, so pictorial, telegenic eeeven.

And a great way to bash Bush!!!

How on earth the Beeb thought to replace the elastic minded and high minded Alistair Cooke with a Liberal consensus man like Harold Evans I don't know.

But anyway, here's a great debunking of the manufactured (Beeb-authorised) consensus about Bush and science. (thanks to The Ablution and A Tangled Web)

Apologia... blah blah

Of course, saying all this risks making one seem terribly reactionary and closed minded, since where science pushes, we're supposed to give- but, well, yes, I am closed-minded to medievalist tripe when presented looking, smelling and tasting like medievalist tripe, with the same intentions largely that inspired that medievalist tripe ie. reinforcing an orthodoxy deemed beneficial for the public mind by the self-appointed custodians of the public mind. Besides which, as the Harold Evans article makes clear, it's really the ivory tower brigade who are upset, and it's well known they're a project the Left in the States has been working on these last few decades (in Britain the battle was over much earlier). Of course I believe in answering environment problems with science (though to me that has generally meant coastal defences versus groynes versus marshland areas etc etc, or similar direct and verifiable arguments), but this push 'n' pull argument stretching a wafer thin cause and effect scenario over global distances is really All About Oil- and the Left's agenda with it.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Dead Weight Telegraph.

I suspect their figures for sales still remain fairly strong, but the Telegraph is a failed right-of-centre newspaper.

Why? No sufficient reason (of course the major one is their successful chase of a dumbed down market, especially among the younger generation sad to say) but prioritising a tone of presentation and a settled value system above real convictions about the world are the cause of its material decay- of course compounded by ownership difficulties and a crisis of confidence in its philosophical mentor, Lord Black.

See, what grists my mill is BBC bias and incompetence- the natural effluence of a state run caballistic organisation- but nowadays I find I have hardly a half decent publication to give good points of comparison. True, the Times is a little sharper than formerly, but it can't fill the void left by the Telegraph's decline.

For instance, today we have Con Coughlin reporting how 'All week long, as Israeli soldiers and settlers fought running battles in the soon-to-be-dismantled Jewish settlements, their Palestinian neighbours could hardly contain their delight.'

Whilst the latter point may be valid, though simply opinionated, the first part seems to be away with the fairies when it comes to the reality I have seen in endless live broadcasts from the settlements. 'Running battles'- good grief. How many dead, I wonder? And Con Coughlin's supposed to be a senior journalist.

Then, from that trademark 'toned up' reality, some kind of Wilbur Smithonian luridness indeed more suitable to 13 year olds, we come to another feature of the Telegraph today- the dramatisation of the right. Maybe they feel a little marginalised in Blair's Britain, in need of a good fairytale or two, but really the adoption of the 'dramatic' left wing presentation of people like John Bolton is a major, major own-goal.

Of course I will applaud if Bolton takes on the UN over its Palestinian propaganda, but headlines like this are pure mythopoeia- 'Bush's 'bruiser' squares up to UN in row over Palestinian propaganda'

John Bolton is a respectable, intelligent man who doesn't, and doesn't need to, 'square up' to anyone. To depict him thus is just to massage the spine of the pathetic Left who regard his very existence as an affront.

Then they repeat the old canard that the Republicans are 'bitterly' critical of the UN. I prefer by far 'deeply' critical Republicans to the 'bitterly' critical ones- but anything for a bit of colour I suppose must suit the Telegraph today.

The sad part is this: more and more the Telegraph, which was formerly substantive enough to criticise organs like the BBC, actually needs the BBC's analyses of society to regurgitate the narrative which sells Telegraph newspapers. Thus the BBC's stranglehold on political analysis is strengthened from most surprising sources.

Monday, August 22, 2005

More positive analysis of the Gaza pullout- from the generally hawkish American Thinker- which imho is looking better and better for Ariel.

True, in the meantime our own aunty Beeb's coverage contains pointed references to the 'next steps' of Israeli concession- but I think the reality is that Sharon's move has done several things for him. It has strengthened his military position, because now he can threaten overwhelming force in retaliation for Gaza sponsored violence. As the Am. Th. puts it:'If the Palestinians and their terrorist allies continue their assaults on the Israeli people, there will be hell to pay, and this time, there will be no Israeli citizens in the way of a full-blown assault.'
It has also made his willingness to deal with unrealistic geopolitical situations with the firmness and rationality not of a poetic nationalistic figure, European-style, but of a winner of grand strategic conflicts. But further than that, it's put money where mouth was regarding the intention to ultimately allow a Palestinian State in the region. Few can doubt the will of Israel to permit honest Palestinian self-governance now. As with so many things Israel has to prove itself again and again to be better than the rest.

However, the Beeb's warnings to Sharon need consideration:

'It's widely believed that his grand strategy is to close the more isolated of the West Bank settlements and consolidate Israel's control over the territory behind the newly constructed security barrier.

That would re-energise his domestic opponents and arouse widespread international protest.'
- Jim Fish

'then there is the other plank of his unilateral disengagement policy - consolidation of settlement blocs in the West Bank and East Jerusalem

Israel says the barrier is a temporary security measure, but to most analysts it looks like the drawing of Israel's border to annex more Palestinian land and shore up a Jewish majority in the Israeli state.

Such a move could put the possibility of a return to peace talks on hold for a long time to come.'
- Martin Asser. - emboldening mine

But, by the Beeb's standards their coverage has been flattering to Sharon, which suggests a division between the Liberaloids of the BBC and their ilk, and the Pallie Islamofascists for whom no concession short of killing every last Jew is sufficient. Such a division might be something that can be built on.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

The Conservative Revolutionary in Chief.

Yep- Mark Steyn again- a constant presence on this website. One of the few genuine treasures of transnationalism, I'd say, and a major irritation to the moonbat fringe, or the head in the sand liberal drones who somehow suck out a life somewhere on the epidermis of the body politic.

What's fascinating, following the work of someone so current in everything he does is to see the reactions- is to watch the waves. I've read some intemperate opponents insulting him personally and ridiculing his accuracy, yet- and I don't think it takes a genius to be accurate- nine times out of ten the critics are the innaccurate ones.

The Pub Philosopher has a great example- the Leicester Somalis. I'd thought I could recall my Leicestershire uncle saying something about this, but still Steyn's claim that 10,000 Somalis had moved to Leicester from 2001 struck me as remarkable, and questionable by those who always try to question those who puncture their multi-culti ideology through simple shocking observation. The Pub Philosopher checked it out, and found Steyn to be more than reliable- and I'd guess the sources he used, for instance a Parliamentary Select Committee- might even be the same.

In this light I found Steyn's comment as part of his Hugh Hewitt interview here very interesting.:

'That's the great thing about a lot of what's happened on the internet. You can actually read the Pakistani papers before you go to bed each night. That's the new world.'

Well, if you're Mark Steyn you can, and you do- whereas many of us could and don't.

But I wanted to point out another good Mark Steyn call- the Menezes case, for which he received flak from the Right. Steyn produced a little topical take in response to recent revelations about the case- basically explaining himself a little more and claiming a modest vindication.

Good on him- and we need to recognise the integrity at work in his writing. My response to those on the Right, is to say that for over a decade I (we?) have been concerned that the police have become ever more technocratic and politically correct. Thus now we need to ask whether that hasn't made them practically less competent at traditional policing, such that they can't even present a coherent witness description to the press- Laban reports fascinatingly- and announce a policy unknown to the British culture of policing in the fashion we've seen in the Menezes case. Then, we could take the opportunity to cull the force (I'm thinking particularly of the Met here) of many of the politically correct showboaters who've muscled their way ahead by being good at mouthing the pieties of modern politically correct policing- starting with Mr Blair. That's positive thinking.

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