For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious

Thursday, 15 August 2013

BBC vs. Daily Mail

Compare and contrast the following: a "news" report from the British Broadcasting Corporation, and a report in the Daily Mail.

The BBC headline ran: "Egypt PM Defends Deadly Crackdown". In the article that follows, it seems that the we are supposed to think that the Egyptian Prime Minister used weasel words to excuse the brutal and murderous intent of armed forces moving into groups of supporters of the [democratically elected but now deposed] President. But does anyone outside Egypt really know what happened on that horrible day, and who was to blame? And what do the BBC suppose would become of Egypt if it fell into the clutches of the Brotherhood? Do they think that the elections in Iran, for example, are conducted freely and fairly, and that it is a shining example of democracy? Do they know the aims of those who are in these camps, what they hope to achieve, and what they would do if unchallenged, climbing back through the windows of government to seize power? Here is a link to a statement by the Patriarch of the Copts, in French but with an English translation below, borne of firsthand experience of the events, and which doesn't fill me with confidence in the BBC's version.

The Daily Mail, on the other hand, published (let us be pseudo-intellectuals for a moment) a "sensationalist" piece about the democratic Egyptian protesters pushing a police van, occupants and all, off a high overhead bridge, apparently with photographs of the dead and dying policemen on the ground afterwards. I don't want to see the pictures, I don't want to look at them, and I don't think it is good journalism to publish this kind of thing. But, compared to the BBC piece, the article was honest news reporting: these are the events in Egypt, and this is the context: the deposed President's supporters attacking and being attacked in return. No ambiguous phrases about Prime Ministers "defending" murder, and no weighted headlines. On this occasion, the Daily Mail published a fairer account.

The BBC still unintentionally crosses my vision sometimes and I see something to get on my nerves. So again this evening, I saw another fairly weighted headline about a female Russian athlete, Isinbayeva Defends Anti-Gay Stance, and discovered from this and other sources what the fuss was about. Someone, a public figure and an athlete, had the temerity to say - in Russia - that she supported Russians law and didn't like it when other athletes flaunted their disagreement with those laws whilst being given Russian hospitality. Yet another reason to love Russians, who are blessed to be one of the last independently minded peoples on this earth, careless of the bleatings of effeminate Europe and virile in the face of American bullying. It gives one great pleasure to think of vast and endless tracts of waving grain, of steppe, mountain, tundra, lake and forest, all that impregnable immensity utterly distant from and heedless of the prissy, squeaky, bossy voices emanating from Broadcasting House.

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