in some respects, and incredibly nuanced (ie. sophisticated) in others. Yet another example here of where essentially the Beeb are harrying the US over operations in Iraq. They recently reported the fall in attacks on US troops, masked carefully by a headline about increased attacks on Iraqis (see Tues ‘Different Tactics’). Now they report a denial by the US that extra troops are needed for a worsening security situation in Iraq- but who asked the question? Who said attacks ON US TROOPS were ‘unabating’? Surely not the Beeb, because they knew very well from their own findings that US troops in themselves were finding life easier in recent times. If that doesn’t trip the reader into assuming the worst for the US, there’s always the ‘isolated US’ argument which follows it.
Now cut to a different story, about Internet fraud (no less) in Nigeria. There are so many interesting angles on this that the Beeb misses- not least the comical one that the 419 fraud is so unbelievably simple yet apparently catches so many Westerners (you’ve probably received one of these- I know I have- and binned it). The serious one is that apparently Nigeria is so poor (despite oil earnings) that this fraud is a significant national earner. Another would be the irony of Nigeria’s ruling class cracking down on fraud in the light off the above fact. All goes sailing by, and we’re as ignorant about real Nigeria as ever- and misled over goings on in Iraq. Looking round for alternative sources of African News, I was not overwhelmed with the choice. Is this an argument in favour of the Beeb? The best of a bad lot? Or is it an argument for reform to create more competitive British news providers? Here’s one place anyway (not that I give it my blessing). Update– Having explored my own link I do bless it, kind of. Update2.Readers of the Beeb article will notice links to Nigerian corruption stories (good)- these are just simply too understated to be taken seriously in my opinion (bad). Update3.Maybe my ‘dullness’, maybe slippery language (suit yourself), but the ‘unabating onslaught’ referred to in the Beeb report is reportedly on ‘coalition targets’ rather than US Soldiers as I implied.