Plumbing the muck that is the BBC
I'd like to tell you about it all, but about 15 minutes into it, I simply couldn't watch anymore. The BBC's descent into sensationalism, tabloid journalism, and cheap propaganda simply disgusted me too much to continue watching it.
Going through "the real story" day by day, the show got to Tuesday, the day after Katrina hit and the point at which the degree of flooding and destruction started to become known. At this point, up came a picture of a smiling Bush with a guitar in hand, and a graphic which said (something like) "While people struggle for survival in New Orleans, President Bush is on holiday."
The combination of the photo and the words represents a complete lie, and I use that word advisedly. The picture of Bush with the guitar was taken backstage after a speech Bush had just delivered at Naval Air Station North Island in California on Tuesday morning. (The guitar had just been presented to him by country singer Mark Wills). So, contrary to what the BBC said, Bush was not "on holiday" but was in fact at an official function performing official duties. Again, what the BBC said was an out and out lie.
Now, one might reasonably argue that, presuming the extent of the problems in New Orleans was known at the time (the speech was delivered at 9am PST), Bush should have cancelled the speech, in order to attend to matters in New Orleans. One might also argue that, having given the speech, Bush should have dashed off immediately without stopping for the customary backstage gladhanding. But this was not what the BBC was suggesting. It did not say that while the people of New Orleans struggle for survival, Bush was giving a pre-scheduled speech at a Naval Station. It claimed he was "on holiday".
And the BBC did not go so far as to simply show a photograph in the absence of context, insinuating something that wasn't true, which would be bad enough. It deliberately and specifically added a false context to the photo - "Bush on holiday" - and then juxtaposed that against the disaster unfolding in New Orleans, in order to make Bush appear as inept and out of touch as possible.
I would like to report on what the rest of the program was like, but, as I said, I was simply too disgusted to carry on. I had to switch it off. If this is not yellow journalism, I don't know what is. The BBC sinks to lower and lower depths each day. How the British people can continue to endorse this kind of tabloid trash with their tax dollars is quite beyond me.