Sunday, July 03, 2005

BBC spins like a top

Today the BBC has a dumbed down version of a New York Times story on conservative opposition to potential Supreme Court nominee Alberto Gonzales. The NYT details at length the many groups of conservatives who are luke warm at best towards the prospect of a Gonzales nomination and explains the source of their angst. Trying to distil all this into a simple explanation, the BBC offers up this:
The conservatives who oppose Mr Gonzales' nomination say he is too moderate and that his views on issues such as abortion and affirmative action are not far enough to the right.
It is just about impossible to believe that any conservative ever said such a thing. Conservatives might say that he lacks principle, but they wouldn't say he is “too moderate”. And they wouldn’t talk about his views on abortion and affirmative action not being “far enough to the right”. Indeed, they wouldn’t mention those views at all. They would talk about his commitment (or lack thereof) to a strict constructionist view of the Constitution.

This is not what conservatives say. This is what liberals say about what conservatives say. And it wasn’t even lifted from the NYT source article. It was strictly a BBC addition. Which tells us much about what to expect of the BBC’s coverage as the nomination process carries on.

2 Comments:

Anonymous dan m said...

Pity the BBC rarely uses by-lines, leaving the question of authorship conveniently fuzzy.

Still, it all ultimately flows down from the top. One explanation for the dismal, pervasive dumbness of the BBC's American coverage is the caliber of the BBC's top US correspondents: Clive Myrie, a dim bulb learning on the job -- painfully slowly and from selective, predictable sources -- and Matt Frei, an arrogant anti-American bigot who blusters like the German he is -- and is also none too sharp.

A/k/a GIGO -- garbage in, garbage out. Yet British TV-license payers continue to put up with it with only minor bleating. Talk about the silence, and fleecing, of the lambs!

Still, don't want to lapse into smugness. We don't hear any tub-thumping from the US Embassy either. And whatever happened to USIA or its successor?

10:32 AM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Well for once the BBC is sounding like the American media. They've been saying much the same thing: that conservatives are leery of a Gonzales nomination, and as the media puts it, they're saying "he isn't conservative enough." They've given some examples, like a paper he wrote opposing restrictions on affirmative action.

10:44 AM  

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