Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bad News

By now I'm guessing everyone has seen how the BBC has been caught presenting staged photos of - ahem! - insurgents in Iraq. Yes - I know that's a dog bites man story but what intrigued me was the sheer shamelessness of the Leftists trying to defend the Al-Beeb in the comments (and in the sister thread here).

Here we have what appears - to put it as mildly as possible - to be case where questions marks hang over the provinance of a BBC report and the Left is banging on about the vital importance of a free press ? Huh ? Defending the publication of bogus pictures on the grounds of press freedom is like claiming the right to pass forged currency is one of the bedrocks of free enterprise. Needless to say, in so far as such an absurd principle would seem to establish the press as being no more than mere propagandists, universal application would imperil rather than strengthen the case for press freedom.

Indeed, this is the central point about much Iraq coverage. The MSM try to depict their critics as crazed Pollyanas yet, stripped of the particular context, much of the media's conduct is simply bad journalism. We're not trying to impose our standards, we're complaining that they're not living up to their own. We've had journos bottled up in Baghdad hotels commenting on events hundreds of miles away, we've had staged news, we've had blackouts on awkward facts, and much else besides. For at least the past forty years, the MSM has posed as fearless seekers after truth, but now it's the MSM which is under the spotlight, suddenly they start channeling tobacco company executives.

No comments: