Day by Day

Sunday, August 28, 2005

America - BBC Painting a False Picture

BBC Washington reporter, Justin Webb, once bragged about the false picture he was painting of America.

America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge.

I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture, and that picture is in many respects a true one.


One of his partners in crime, Paul Reynolds, tried to spin that into a defence of America. Such is the deep seated anti-Americanism that permeates the BBC.

Justin continues painting his false picture in his latest BBC article.

First, let's deal with the BBC's latest favorite bias tactic - bias by omission. Here is what Justin says about anti-war protester, Cindy Sheehan.

At the beginning of August, Cindy Sheehan, the mother of an American soldier who died in Iraq, set up camp in front of President Bush's Texas ranch, vowing to stay there until he agreed to meet her.


And at the end of the story.

President Bush cannot look Cindy Sheehan in the eye and tell her that her son died because the White House messed up.


Let's leave aside for a moment the fact that Bush has no need tell anyone he messed up in Iraq. What Justin deliberately fails to tell his readers, is that Sheehan has already met with President Bush.

Further, it would help with what Paul Reynolds likes to call "context", if Justin would tell his readers that Sheehan was a vocal anti-war critic before her son was killed in Iraq.

But all of these facts would get in the way of Justin's false painting, you see.

Americans are quite at home with gun ownership. We find nothing violent or dangerous about it. In fact, we feel quite the opposite. I know it's hard to understand and explain - especially to Britons. And Justin uses this in his pallet of false colors. Justin tries to set the scene up so that Sheehan is seen as a dove in bad man's land. It's the old, Bush comes from a gun slinging cowboy, sterotype. Tired and old - but effective.

And yet Cindy Sheehan has done it, and done it with huge success.


That "success" wouldn't be possible if not for the biased media who have almost a total blackout on good news from Iraq, while giving Sheehan all the coverage she wants and lying for her.

Though it is true that someone drove a truck over the encampment and someone else fired a gun in the air and told them to get back to where they came from.


"Drove a truck over the encampment"? Come on Justin, did someone really drive a truck over the entire encampment? I don't think so.

McLennan County resident Larry Northern (search), 59, faced $3,000 bail Tuesday after witnesses said he swerved his pickup truck in and out of a display of crosses set up on the side of the road by anti-war protesters.


Why would anyone do that? Because they are mad that Sheehan is putting the names of all US troops killed on the crosses and many family members of those killed don't want their names associated with Sheehans circus.

And on the gun firing.

Only a few protesters were near the scene at the time of the shotgun blast, and few were even aware of it. Alexander Ellison, 40, a stay-at-home mom from Minneapolis, did hear it.

``I was very concerned,'' she said. ``I have a child with me,'' referring to Ella, age 3. ``We've made ourselves a bit of a target.''

Kenneth Jones of the Crawford city police said firing a gun in the countryside is commonplace, and it shouldn't surprise or frighten anyone. Hunting season's coming up and guns are part of the culture in Texas, Jones said.


Strange as that may sound to Britons, it is commonplace in many parts of the countryside. America is full of wide open countryside that streaches for hundreds of miles in all directions - Justin even told us that.

But those predictable reactions have been trumped by other friendlier ones - culminating in an offer by one of the president's closest neighbours of a home for the camp in the safety of his land. A considerable snub to the most powerful man on earth in his own backyard.


"Predictable reactions" Justin? "Safety of his land"? Letting our bias show through a little aren't we?

And I think you'll find that the "offer" for their "safety" had more to do with a compromise between Sheehan, the police and locals due to traffic problems and over crowding.

After nine days of watching as one woman's protest has grown into a national event, dozens of the farmers and ranchers neighboring Bush's 1,600-acre Prairie Chapel Ranch plan to petition a county court in nearby Waco tomorrow, according to one, Pete Martinka. They want to prevent anyone from parking or stopping within two miles of the makeshift campsite erected by Cindy Sheehan, a 48-year-old woman from Vacaville, California, whose son, Casey, was killed in the war in Iraq. [...]

Part of the dissatisfaction stems from the campsite becoming a magnet for other causes, such as anti-nuclear and anti-trade activists and efforts to promote recycling.


In other words, moonbat city.

But what does Justin's BBC call those that exercise the same rights as Sheehan and protest against her - "conservative militants". No bias there, eh?

Justin continues.

Americans - even Texans - are rethinking the Iraq war, indeed rethinking war itself as a tool of foreign policy.

All the opinion polls this summer have pointed in one direction - out of Iraq.


Well gee, Justin could that possibly be because of the meida's totally biased stance against the war? Some of the media, like Justin's BBC even lie in their reporting on Iraq.

Paul Adams, the BBC's defence correspondent who is based at the coalition command centre in Qatar, complained that the corporation was conveying a untruthful picture of how the war was progressing. [...]

"I was gobsmacked to hear, in a set of headlines today, that the coalition was suffering 'significant casualties'. This is simply not true," Adams said in the memo.

"Nor is it true to say - as the same intro stated - that coalition forces are fighting 'guerrillas'. It may be guerrilla warfare, but they are not guerrillas," he stormed.

"Who dreamed up the line that the coalition are achieving 'small victories at a very high price?' The truth is exactly the opposite. The gains are huge and costs still relatively low. This is real warfare, however one-sided, and losses are to be expected," Adams continued.


The BBC are not the only media outlet lying about the war and the protesters. The AP is lying for Sheehan.

You can read a lot more about the bias from the BBC here and here. And be sure to visit Biased BBC and American Expat for more. In fact, check out all the blogs under the "UK Media Watch" section of my blog roll on the left.

The media and the left helped lose the war in Vietnam, don't let them do it again in Iraq.

UPDATE

Scott takes Webb to task as well.
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