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BBC Anti -US Bias

Tony Blair, and Bill Clinton have criticized the BBC for the anti-US bias in their reporting of the New Orleans floods. Clinton and Blair were correct, but it was not just the BBC that was biased.

Looking at the Yahoo cross-section of ( US ) political cartoons a week ago, just about every one of them crucified Bush and made him look like an imbecile. There was no criticism of the LA governor and the NO mayor at all, no nuance, no diversity of opinion.

But the bias you see on the BBC and the other taxpayer-supported media in Europe are a real problem. So much of the media is run by the government. In France, you'll never see a pro-US voice in their mainstream media. The media panders to every anti-US prejudice of the population. The Europeans think that they are well-informed, but do they ever hear an alternative view?

The natural tendency is to see long-established media official or nearly official media ( BBC, Deutsche Welle, Le Monde ) as " objective ". But they're anything but. There's one view, with only shades of a basically anti-US view that is presented.

Europe needs a Fox News Channel. And much more critical feedback from a robust internet. I don't care if they agree with me or with any action of the US govt, but there needs to be at least diversity of perspective. Shouldn't there?

The bias the BBC shows in a number of areas infuriates the pants (sorry, underpants) off most of us. But I hardly think the US is in a position to lecture Europe on being in a misinformed bubble. The fact is that most Europeans recognise that there is a world "out there" far more than the average American. Exactly which percentage of Americans own passports?

Tony Blair may be quick to criticise our public broadcaster when his old matey is made to look bad but most Britons know he couldn't be more pleased with the BBC when it favours Labour over Conservatives (a frequent occurence). Not an "objective" criticism then.

Can any media organisation be objective? No. Objectivity does not sell papers, attract subscribers or make for interesting viewing. Oh, and it's not possible. What's called for is a range of views from a range of organisations. That approach treats the population with respect, not the contempt that says they need to be drip-fed.

Besides, it is disgusting that the world's only super-power accepts resources from the earth's poorest nations. I love America and all it represents but let's not pretend it's perfect.

Never have pretended that the US is perfect.

Most everyone I know has a passport. I've traveled extensively in the US, Europe, Middle East, Australia and in Asia ( off to Vietnam on October 8 ). My best friends have all traveled overseas plenty of times.

The passport thing is a bit of a canard. Europe is a continent consisting mostly of small countries where until very recently you needed a passport to cross any national frontier.

The US is a large continent. Until recently, you didn't need a passport to enter Canada, or the Caribbean islands.

So, I am not sure what the passport issue is supposed to signify. Most Europeans travel within Europe, but most Americans travel within America, and they don't need passports to do that.

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Agree that no media organization can be objective, but a media that derives its income from the taxpayer --BBC tops on the list -- should at least try. But they do not.

Which is exactly why, and you seem to agree here, why you need to have diverse voices. But, internet apart, there are not enough of them, in Europe or America.

The French media is particularly atrocious. There is no diversity when it comes to anti-Americanism.
I observe in particular the extent of the mockery towards the US about the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a mockery that has abated somewhat but not gone away .

A French journalist who posted a pro-US opinion piece in a newspaer was fired, and there was no uproar from anyone. Thats the way it is there.

Where I would criticize the US media is mostly in the lack of quality international reportage --I do listen to the BBC for that. Our tv news, incl CNN is dominated by murder mysteries and things like that.

But at least the defective reporting I see here are not part of a governmental broadcaster that I am compelled to pay for.

The future of reporting is the Internet, and the many, many voices of the blogs etc. The MSM ( mainstream media ) there, and here, simply will not be able to lie to us anymore.

The person to leak these supposed comments from the Prime Minister? Rupert Murdoch.

So let's see, one of Britain's canniest politicians says to the primary shareholder and chief executive of the BBC's main rival, that he was "shocked" by the BBC. And Murdoch reveals this to the public at large.

Gee, do you think that Tony planted that nugget to let his feelings be known publicly on the matter?

The Blair government has to decide by December 2006 on what terms, if any, the BBC's charter and license fee should continue. This is why these stories get leaked to the press. Blair is going to destroy one of Britain's last nationalised institutions as it also happens to have been the Government's only effective opposition for the past eight years. If News Corp share prices can produce higher dividends as a side effect, that's just dandy.

Yes, but why should the ratepayers of the UK be forced to pay the salaries of an " opposition " voice?

The license fee for the BBC might have been justified in an earlier day when it was not feasible to have other services. But in the age of the Internet, that is hardly the case.

If the BBC's left of center voice has had the run of the house for the past fifty years, then wouldn't it only be fair to consciously shift to the center / right for the next fifty? Or perhaps you could split the license fee between the BBC and Sky/Murdoch.

I am not entirely serious, and respect an awful lot of what the BBC does. I'm listening to them now as a matter of fact. I would like BBC World ( tv ) to be available in the States, and have asked BBC to make it available. Thats for the purpose of diversity here.

But there, I think it is a sin that everyone must pay into a service that doesn't make much of an attempt to be impartial as respects the US, Israel, etc.
Those that disagree with the BBC lefty Mafia are being consciously cheated ; the rest of the society misses out on the perspective that would come from a national broadcater that was not quite consciously biased.

The BBC would never be 100% impartial, but will come a lot closer if some sort of an honest attempt was made.

I think we have similar views on the BBC, and I have to say I am shocked at the thought of any European mocking the US for 9/11. That is something I have never read or heard in Britain and most Britons I know would be appalled were it to happen. Back on the BBC, I think most people would admit it has (sometimes fairly major) flaws, but to suggest that it is reflective of how informed we are or on our freedom of speech does seem to be taking it a bit far.

I have to admit to not being particularly knowledgable on the French media, but from what you say it sounds like they need a kick up the behind.

There's a lot of useful information on the over-the-top, iconoclastic,but nonetheless useful French-based blogNo Pasaran. It exposes what really goes on over there.

I am unable to find some of the political cartoons that they have reprinted from Le Monde, but many of them are disgusting, and completely without any sympathy, from day one.

But the worst of the worst was a book " Windows on the World " that ( I am not joking ) mocked the people in the famous restaurant in WTC1 during the 100 or so minutes after the plane hit. The real people lived these minutes in terror, as they choked to death, burned to death, or died when the building collapsed.

But in this book, famous in France, the trapped people talk inanely about their cars and investments and come on to one another in their last moments.

This book actually won the Goncourt Prize over there. In Britain, or Japan, or America, if someone wrote a book mocking those who choked to death in a terrorist attack, they'd be shunned . In France, they win the Goncourt Prize.

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