It seems from David’s post that Mardell is having a bad day…or I suppose a normal one for him.
Talking about the Republican Convention Mardell of course uses it as an excuse to talk about Thatcher…sorry force of habit…Thatcher always gets the blame…no, Bush of course, and Hurricane Katrina.
Apparently it was the Republican’s ‘callous incompetence’ that Mardell wanted to highlight.
Funny…I thought it was Mayor Nagin’s total incompetence that resulted in unnecessary death and suffering.
But then of course he’s black, and a Democrat, so BBC SOP…look away, blame the white guy…especially if he’s Republican.
The BBC made highly inflammatory claims of racism on the part of the Republican administration…despite the fact that most of the victims were white.
The BBC’s Gavin Hewitt decided he was ‘outraged’ by events…
‘Running through the coverage of Katrina, like an electric current, was outrage. It is an emotion that stands out in television coverage because it is rare. Most reporters shy away from letting their emotions show.
As we left the house I did a piece to camera off the top of my head. I said, “It seems incredible to me that we are the only boat in the neighbourhood …” There was an immediate note of outrage. It was not planned. It just felt right. It was difficult to understand that we were the only rescue team in an area with so many needs.
We all felt a sense of outrage, that this should not be happening.
Outrage is at its most effective when it is based on compassion; the sense that one is speaking out on behalf of ordinary people. The tone of the reporting of Katrina stood out. A moment when correspondents had the confidence to express outrage at what they saw happening around them.’
It is at times like that when the supposed professionalism of a journalist should kick in….who was Hewitt to judge what was really going on, who was he to say it was outrageous?
The hurricane damage covered an area the size of the UK…no matter how rich a country is that’s a big, big job. Naturally it was also used to bash Bush for going into Iraq…no opportunity is too small or fleeting to miss….if he hadn’t started that illegal war he would have had troops to deal with the disaster at home…I guess the Republicans just don’t have second sight…or as Mardell might say ‘Obama’s VISION’…shame that unlike the BBC they can’t tell what the weather is going to do 2 years ahead.
Just when does the ‘right’ to be outraged stop for a journalist? If someone you don’t like gets elected do you start giving your personal opinion…because that’s all it is…and that’s all Hewitt’s ‘outraged’ report from New Orleans was.
If London flooded now and Boris Johnson abandoned the population to its fate you can bet your bottom dollar the BBC would hound him to the ends of the earth…and if Miliband was PM (LOL)…he would get away Scot free.
Think not? Bush said he didn’t land at any emergency sites because he didn’t want to get in the way with a Presidential entourage, the BBC damned him for it.
However when John Prescott didn’t visit Hull when it flooded what did John Humphrys say?….‘They don’t want visits from important people they want things done’
And suddenly Kanye West was very popular with the chatterati of the BBC ….though most had never heard of him in all likelihood….only when he said Bush was a racist did the BBC send out the invitations to make a few personal appearances and hang on his every word.
All in all the BBC’s coverage of Katrina was abysmal, partisan, unprofessional and malicious in intent.
And Gavin Hewitt by coincidence today seems to continue his invention of new historical narratives….he has invented a new catch phrase for Europe..or rather the countries that are having to apply austerity measures…they are in a ‘cycle of decline’….the austerity driving them ever closer to economic armageddon…..no reflection of the British economy of course….odd how often the BBC malign ‘austerity’ in Europe but you know they are really intending you apply the unspoken message that austerity here is also dooming us to the poor house.