“Violence sweeps Iraq on Ramadan”
Two problems, maybe three, or more, with this headline and splash across BBConline frontpage tonight.
1)The violence alluded to appears no worse than on many other days in Iraq over the last couple of years. Loathe as I am to follow the body count rule of headlines, this doesn’t seem to qualify for the big splash effect.
2)The violence alluded to has occurred at two or three discrete locations, particularly one site in Baghdad where a disgusting car bomb killed many. Terrible, but not ‘sweeping’ Iraq.
3)What’s all this business about Ramadan? To 90 percent (plus) of the BBC’s telly taxpayers it has zero significance. If it’s the justification for the headlines then to whom is the BBC directing its coverage? I have no objection to a World News facility but not divorced from the UK ta very much.
As a sidenote, I would say that the BBC’s wrapping in this story with one about torture is a classic example of unwarranted generalism for emotional impact (so I hope no one objects that the picture is irrelevant- all complaints directed to BBConline). Notice how the headline in this case “Iraq engulfed by tide of violence”deliberately elides the distinctions between issues. Notice also that this article, from John Simpson, was posted in the “Americas” section. I wonder why?
Never one to miss an opportunity to bash the Yanks, Simpson brought a bitter smile to my face by saying “The Americans have never put enough foot patrols in the streets, and they long ago lost control of many towns and cities as a result.” Yeah right, John- love that hauteur, btw, so BBC- as if your organisation didn’t herald every US casualty as a sign that things were “spiralling out of control”, as a sign that the “cakewalk” was turning to “quagmire”.
The cravenness and opportunism of the BBC. Nice.
Meanwhile, if you waded through the quagmire treacle, or picked up on a short note towards the beginning of the BBC’s tidings of woe, you’d have found a really good piece of news which is better summarised here.