‘Go it alone’ Bush

Democrats Slam ‘go it alone’ Bush.

Umm, for a start, why did the BBC website give this top headline billing, many hours after Bush’s speech? At the same time yesterday evening on CNN, the headline was ‘Bush: ‘Stay The Course’ ‘- which may be hinting that Bush is a beleaguered President, but is not influencing the political momentum much either way. Meanwhile, the Democratic response was given a subheading at CNN, ABC, and CBS, and on alternative British sites the Bush speech itself was a subheadline. My understanding is that the State of the Union Address is the President of the United States’ big moment, when he gets the opportunity to be heard and to make his assessment of the, uh, state of things in the Union. Yes, the opposing side get an official chance to respond, but that’s secondary, not of equal billing. Just what did the Democrats do that was so exceptional as to overturn this? It was Glenn Reynolds who said ‘Bush looks better now that the Democratic reply is on’, but obviously the Beeb didn’t agree.

The second thing is that, although it may seem unfair to reasonably well informed people for the Democrats to attack ‘go it alone Bush’, on reading the BBC site we don’t find that bit of the Address where he himself listed many of the thirty-five countries that have sent troops to Iraq. This is suspicious, partly because the multilateral thrust of Bush’s comments have been described by conservatives as the strongest part of it, and the Democrats are thus naturally trying to take away whatever gloss they can. This ‘money’ quote in particular is noticeable by its absence:

‘There is a difference… between leading a coalition of many nations, and submitting to the objections of a few.’

The BBC, by not reporting that emphasis and instead headlining the Democrat attack on ‘isolation’, give the Democrats a chance to score points unopposed- kind of a reverse of State of Union logic- in spite of the actual record of Bush’s speech. A related issue is that the ‘Key Point’ page the BBC devotes to Bush’s speech is clearly a ‘Most Boring Key Points’ page, with colour and specificity drained out. Since the BBC has a history of describing Bush as isolated over Iraq, and has frequently ‘forgotten’ the range of countries assisting the US militarily, at this point the Democrat’s strategy and the BBC’s editorial slant coincide to negate the impression that George Bush’s policy on the War on Terror is reasonable or sustainable. Biased old BBC. For any US readers or Bush sympathisers who would like a British antidote to this particular anti-Bush slant, Alice Bachini is a pick-me-up from point 1 on.

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5 Responses to ‘Go it alone’ Bush

  1. Barry Meislin says:

    One of the things that the BBC has learned is that although the people may not be fooled all of the time, if you bombard them often enough with lies, they must perforce, by virtue of that bombardment, be affected, even if they only believe less than twenty percent of what they hear and read.

    The lesson learned courtesy of Pravda and Al-Jazeera. (Of course, it is all the more effective when reports are peppered with elements of truth, e.g., George Bush did indeed deliver a State of the Union address and even mouthed the words attributed to him–albeit not all were reported, presenting a most judicious lack of context.)

    On the other hand, a population that is constantly lied to will end up believing very little, if anything at all, except perhaps for some of the wildest conspiracy theories imaginable. And those less than wild. (All serving to produce a loathing that makes the “two-minute hate” seem relatively benign.)



  2. Barry Meislin says:

    Hence, the political nihilism that was rampant in the USSR (not easily shed even in the post-communist era) and that is currently too often rampant where the Koran is king.

    Nor is it easy to close that box once it has been opened. France has paid the price and may now be, for all intents and purposes, lost.

    Is this to be England’s fate, as well?


  3. Martin says:

    I heard a report on the World Service, in which the studio guests were a BBC correspodent and a London-based Syrian female journalist – didn’t catch her name. They discussed the impact of Bush’s foreign policy on the Middle East in a civilized manner, although it was amusing to hear how the Syrian tried to complain that the speech offered nothing on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without once saying the word “Israel”. This made her contribution opaque, to say the least. The BBC makes too much use of extremist Arab commentators of this sort and Abdel Bari Atwan because the speak good English. More level-headed contributors would make programmes sound less amateurish.


  4. Rob Read says:

    Can we start a Commission for Political Equality and judge that the BBC is Institutionally Socialist?


  5. Sandy P. says:

    –At the same time yesterday evening on CNN, the headline was ‘Bush: ‘Stay The Course’ ‘- which may be hinting that Bush is a beleaguered President,–

    Ronnie said the same back in 81-82.