Tuesday, December 09, 2003

Life In The Bubble

The always excellent Tim Blair points out this piece of literary psychosis in the Gulf News:

There is a growing fear that some governments - especially the most militarily sophisticated like the United States and Israel - are sanctioning the active targeting of journalists in war zones. The evidence is that they want to shut down what we are there to do - to bear witness and report.

Yes, indeed, 'especially Israel and the US'. They could learn a lot from these guys.


But, anyway, it's really, really serious.

The concern is that there is an apparent culture of impunity. This is already encouraging others to believe they can get away with targeting and eliminating journalists, or at least ignoring the issue. More than ever, we are inconvenient eyes and ears who monitor and report what some in power would much prefer we did not.

The concern is that there is an apparent culture of lunacy. This is already encouraging others to believe they can get away with slander & libel, or at least ignoring the facts. More than ever, we are immature morons who posture and report what some in power would much prefer we did not, like our own deranged fantasies as though they were actual facts.

Still not convinced that it's the end of the world ?

The [killing of veteran Reuters TV cameraman Mazen Dana in Iraq] was a tragic echo of frequent Pentagon warnings in the months before the Iraq conflict. The message to senior news executives was that if a member of the US military had to make a judgment between the possibility of a camera or a shoulder rocket launcher aimed at them then it would be understood officially if the worst was feared. The soldier would have the right to target the suspect and fire.

Imagine! Soldiers having the right to defend themselves against perceived threats. Sort of like anyone has under British common law.

Dana had already been hit 60 times by what he and witnesses always said was Israeli defense Force, IDF, targeting in the West Bank.

Hit 60 times ? The IDF really need to have a word with their ammo suppliers!

Several media organisations are engaged in frustrating, time-consuming efforts to explain the injuries, deaths, and some believe the targeted killing of their colleagues. Each is trying to prise from the US or Israeli military even a grudging acknowledgement that there is a case to answer. Almost all of these organisations - including those with the greatest legal and financial muscle - have so far failed to achieve anything close to the clarity needed to secure closure.

Note the assumption, a priori, that there actually is a case to answer. No bias there.

On the official side, the pattern is of a lack of goodwill. Instead there is routine obfuscation and intolerance. This extends even to a refusal to exercise the basic courtesy of returning phone calls and responding to enquiries. In some cases there has even been a rejection of the principle of investigation

Yes, indeed, you green pigs. Doncha'know to jump when Big Media's Witchhunters come calling ? Just like the media does when their conduct is questioned.

And much, much more.

It's far too long to fisk properly, and besides such drivel has long been floating round the moonbat part of the political ecosystem, except that's the thing: this isn't the ranting of some Dave Spart in the Hackney branch of the SWP. Nope - it's written by Nik Gowing, a main presenter for BBC World.

Now, no one's saying moonbattery should necessarily disbar someone from a job with the BBC but, if Carol Voerderman can get the ol' heave-ho from Tomorrow's World for hawking washing-up powder on ITV, we're entitled to question whether someone who genuinely believes US Army death squads are hunting down journalists can really be an unbiased reporter. After all, can anyone name a similarly far-out right-wing BBC presenter ?

That's the thing though. That's why the BBC claims to be unbiased in the teeth of all the evidence. The Beeb tilts so far left that having two Liberals debate a topic seems like balance, while actual Conservatives seem like far-out extremists. After all, Nik don't know anyone who votes Conservative.

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