Closer, but no cigar Mr Simpson

He followed up on his previous assessment of Iran’s election candidates, this time focussing on the winner, Ahmadnejad. It’s almost as though he were trying to bolster his argument that we should have been hoping for a Rafsanjani win. But I was struck by his characterisation of America’s view of Iran: ‘Abroad, the Americans were the least surprised by the result. They assume anyway that Iran is a country seething … Continue reading

When is a good result reported as a bad result?

In at least two of the news summaries on this morning’s example of the lamentable BBC Breakfast programme they reported that “Tory” Sir Patrick Cormack had been re-elected in Staffordshire South with a “reduced majority” in the much delayed General Election vote there following the death of the first LibDem candidate. Nonsense. Sir Patrick, standing as a Conservative (i.e. not the pejorative ‘Tory’ nickname hissed out by disapproving lefties everywhere, … Continue reading

The Shrewd Analyst

Lavished with praise he may be, but ‘liberator of Kabul’ John Simpson, also author of this analysis of the Iranian elections, ought to be a little embarrassed by this contrast: Simpson on Rafsanjani- ‘Unlike any of them, he understands the art of the deal, and is more concerned with what he can get away with than with making big statements.’ meanwhile… Rafsanjani contemplating putting the nuclear kybosh on Israel-‘ “If … Continue reading

Surprised by the obvious.

Brian Micklethwait is in sarcastic mode in this Samizdata post : I am watching the BBC Ten o’clock News, and the lead story is Condoleezza Rice, spelling out the Bush doctrine: US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has delivered a forceful call for democratic reform in the Arab World in a major policy speech in Cairo. The US pursuit of stability in the Middle East at the expense of democracy … Continue reading

Fran wrote

: Stand by for some more Beeboid reporting from the Middle East. The trailer for Broadcasting House has just said that there will be some ‘moderate Israeli voices’ which we ‘rarely have the opportunity to hear’. Two questions dear Auntie. Firstly, exactly WHY do we have so few opportunities to hear ‘moderate Israeli voices?’ After all, Israel and the Israelis are always there, and you don’t have to run the … Continue reading

Dr Who has suffered from the most appalling sound mixing

This is not really the place for this complaint, but maybe some BBC-ites are reading. The whole series of Dr Who has suffered from the most appalling sound mixing. The music is way too loud compared to the dialogue. The last episode was particularly bad — at times the dialogue was almost inaudible under the music. I had to constantly adjust the volume — down when the loud music comes … Continue reading

Rumsfeld thinks outside the box.

A belated hat tip to PJF and The American Expatriate for pointing out an exquisite use of ellipses. Please note that the Dowdified quote originally appearing in this article has now been removed by the BBC. Still, purely out of historical interest, here is what Scott Callahan observed: Quoth Rumsfeld: You just can’t hear day after day after day after day things like that that often aren’t true, with a … Continue reading

Essentially Lame.

In the comments to this post, Angie Schultz of Machinery of Night commented on a startling phrase in this piece by Steve Schifferes on the subject of President Bush and Africa. She said: Talk about your weird sentences: And now that Mr Bush is essentially a lame-duck President, no longer facing re-election, he has even less clout with Congress… Apparently, one runs for a second term as President so as … Continue reading

BBC offers a nibble

I think it’s worth saying that the BBC often misses the point- where it wants to- while appearing to be covering matters fairly. They give an article over to Blair’s (alleged) apparent discomforture at Prime Minister’s questions, which today I watched (though I can’t comment on the BBC’s tv coverage of it as I watched on another channel). They pick up Michael Howard’s rather inapt metaphor for Blair on Europe, … Continue reading

AIDS and aid.

Two emails from readers about BBC coverage of African issues follow. Karim Bakhtiar of the uncompromising new blog Nuke Labour writes: Hi Natalie, I came across the following example of BBC anti-private-sector pro-government pro-NGO bias. Channel: BBC News 24 Programme: Reporters Date: 12th June 2005 Time: 10:40 UK time “Nomsa is HIV positive. Last year, feeling sick, she bought ARVs [Anti-retroviral drugs] from a private doctor, who didn’t have the … Continue reading

Tories go nuclear.

“Tory nuclear waste sites revealed”, says the BBC. A list of 12 sites considered for storing nuclear waste by the last Tory government has been released under the Freedom of Information Act I’m not one to say the Beeb must always accede to Conservative Central Office’s preference for the official name of their party, but count the number of times the word “Tory” occurs in this piece. Mention is made … Continue reading

I have to respectfully disagree with my colleague Kerry Buttram over his last post

I have to respectfully disagree with my colleague Kerry Buttram over his last post. The BBC does some very good work on Zimbabwe, that does it proud. As I wrote last February on this blog Plaudits to the BBC, though, for continuing to do good work on Zimbabwe. Another investigation is on News 24 at the moment. I think some more focus on the latest developments in Zimbabwe would be … Continue reading