Saturday, June 03, 2006

Entertainment aside, this is a great piece of commentary on the Haditha situation (a link which came, like many such good things, from Glenn Reynolds).

Online Entertainment.

Not only do I live outside the UK, I also have no TV. Were it not that the internet is increasingly providing multi-media, that situation would have to change.

I think though that having a TV as well as the internet might well give too much of a good thing. Instead, the good things- and in my view the better things, things that I can really personally endorse- are to be found online.

There have been some terrific podcasts and vlogs that I've tuned into recently.

Ever heard Mark Steyn speak? Well, his interviews are always well worth the time, and his latest with Hugh Hewitt can be downloaded here.

The most recent two 'Vents' from Michelle Malkin show the potential for independent journalism and grass roots awarenss that Vlogs can offer- the earlier one (1st June) was about social action against illegal workers, Dunkin' Donuts style. Yesterday's was about media news 'management'- a subject of great interest to me.

Meanwhile, I do think David Vance's presentation of his Vlog has potential cult-value, as well as being powerful, direct and correct.

But I should give a nod to the printed word, since that is enduringly important. Nathalie Solent is back good and proper, and really funny. The in-jokes tend to make her hard to quote- you'll just have to READ IT.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Reason to suspect...

The politicisation of the BBC is on full display at the moment. I do not refer to a Right or Left division, but to the naked desire to influence political events. Not any particular events that I can think of, such as an election, but simply the way things unfold in a country where all our political interests are invested- Iraq.

According to people such as Peter Glover, the BBC's treatment of the alleged Haditha killings has been appalling.

What I think is clear is that, as with Abu Graib, though I would say with a little more substance to work with, the BBC is both pre-emptively judging one incident, and integrating it into a large and long-running news item. Both are inappropriate in the extreme when the organisation is the British Broadcasting Corporation.

It angered me in particular to find a 'new' incident roped into the coverage. It should, of course, be dealt with, but the snowballing of disparate incidents into a frontpage avalanche is totally wrong when both cases are still alleged, when enquiries are ongoing, and when a process of justice, if required, has yet to take place.

But worse is the BBC's conflation of these issues in accordance with the wishes of both the anti-war lobby and the so-called insurgents, as exemplified by Ian Pannel in the above-linked report:

'The news of ethical training for US-led troops is likely to be greeted with cynicism by many Iraqis, the BBC's Ian Pannell in Baghdad says, as the troops have long been accused of deliberately targeting civilians.'

Well, I do not believe this journalism and I consider it poisonous. I do not believe the Iraqi people generally believe themselves targeted by American troops. We have thousand upon thousand of photos and anecdotes to demonstrate that Iraqi children often make a bee-line for US troops on patrol, in the hope of sweets usually. The Iraqi people may be cynical because shit happens, unfortunately, but they are unlikely to feel that Don Rumsfeld sent a memo decreeing their extermination wherever possible.

The BBC's conflation of accident with indiscipline, indiscipline with intent, intent with policy, is journalistically totally indefensible in my view- and mirrors what they attempted to do with Abu Graib, as they tried to shift the blame higher and higher and have never apologised or shown the slightest backtracking from the position that Abu Graib was part of a systematic US torture network. The BBC however is not thinking about journalism, true or false, but about exerting influence- and that is the problem.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Free Speech and Consequences

Have you seen how a disabled US Iraq veteran is suing Michael Moore for mispresenting him and exploiting his wounds during the making of Fahrenheit 9/11?

Well, maybe you haven't because I see nothing about it on the BBC. The BBC's coverage of the film when it was released in the run up to the US election in 2004 was fulsome, but it seems that after selling a story dearly they don't concern themselves about aftersale care.

This was a man whose very real trauma and experience of war was misrepresented and abused by a so-called champion of dissent.

The BBC though are ploughing on with the theme that Bush represses free speech by giving this move against whistle-blowers a lot of exposure.

The fact that the same wave of enthusiasm for Michael Moore swept along a raft of other 'leaks' that were politically motivated seems to be beyond their comprehension. Politically motivated whistle-blowers are anti-democratic and endanger their society for the sake of self interest or ideological gratification. But then, I suppose the saying is fairly true that birds of a feather flock together.

Update 1st June: The BBC reach the story... after I do... and do quite a business-like job of reporting the case. Saying that, I think that the case is not as clearly presented as it should be- the reason for the suit is the alleged misrepresentation of the plaintiff's views and situation, rather than failure to gain his consent. Since the BBC don't do court reports, I would expect the general interest angle to be pursued, and that is most certainly that Moore is a lying sack of... [insult to taste]. I didn't see it anywhere near the headlines either, unlike Moore's success.

Monday, May 29, 2006

A Shiver Through Fairy-Land

On Iranian Badges: the National Post apologises, as Melanie Phillips reports,

'for the mistake and for the consternation it has caused not just National Post readers, but the broader public who read the story.'

But surely such consternation could only be found among those living in liberal fairy-land, where innuendo is read into each word of each speech of those purporting to represent the Right, while prescriptive Islamofascists have to make it really, really clear in big bold colours that they're the big bogeymen before notice is taken?

What kind of a Government legislates a dress code anyway (which they certainly are doing)? Anyone with the slightest understanding of legislation and the machinations of governments should have seen immediately the nature of the case, and the National Post should have been savvy enough to phrase their report artfully to straddle a number of possibilities. However, that said, readers have no reason to cry out: they read between the lines all the time when it suits them. The real reason is that it sends a shiver through fairy-land.

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