Wednesday, January 04, 2006

More of the same

The BBC has apparently decided that we're not getting quite enough of Matt Frei through his regular reports, and so has granted him his own on-line space for a fortnightly "diary".

Today's entry treats us to what could be the worst use of simile ever used by a major media outlet ("...discarded Christmas trees litter the pavements like ejected relatives, plucked bare of baubles, shedding needles and waiting for the District of Columbia Refuse Collection Department"); typical overdramatization ("the National Security Agency, a body so secret it has been nicknamed 'No Such Agency'" - indeed, so secret is the NSA it has its own public web page and extensive history on wikipedia); and, in yet more evidence that an agreeable UK media is being used to hype a presidential bid from an unknown, an admiring profile of Mark Warner ("not impossibly handsome; a self-made telecoms millionaire, who is rich but a lot poorer than John Kerry; running a southern state that voted overwhelmingly for George Bush, is fiercely patriotic and sends almost as many convicts to death row as Texas.")

Frei does deserve credit for his observation that:
I am always struck by how weak the American president is compared to, say, a British prime minister, who can do more or less as he and his party please if they have the right majority in parliament.
This is indeed something that will be lost on many in the UK, as most media coverage here tends to treat the president as though he is the fount from which springs forth all law and policy.

In any event, it seems that this new diary will give Frei the opportunity to offer up his own personal and editorial take on the goings-on in Washington. So how exactly it will differ from his normal reporting remains a bit of a mystery to TAE.


Anonymous Paul Reynolds said...

I have not replied for some time to some of Scott's comments but here goes:

1. His link to the Wp article appears not to give the graph on which I based the use of the word "survey." He has therefore misunderstood the basis of this use.

2. He also complains about me expanding a reference to Republicans developing the lobbying business. Presumably this implies that I am anti Republican. I did so in the most neutral terms and it is interesting that he does not complain about this. Nobody in Washington would deny that lobbying has increased. The issue is why..and the article explains --the growth of government for one thing.

7:53 AM  
Blogger Scott Callahan said...

I believe the above comment by Paul was meant to be posted to this piece" about Paul's own article. Another version of his comment, along with my response, can be found there.


9:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

many in the UK treat the president as though he is the fount from which springs forth all law and policy

As evidenced in the comments of the judge in the case of the US seeking the extradition of Haroon Rashid Aswat.

Mr Workman (the judge) said: "Whilst the note does not provide any personal protection to this defendant I am satisfied that it does bind the government of the United States of America which in these terms includes the president."

3:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frei's colleague Justin Webb comes over all sane sounding in this exchange

4:32 PM  

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