Tuesday, January 17, 2006

BBC Reporter Seeks New Occupation

John 'misguided criminals' Simpson is at it again. He's angry, really angry. In fact, he's so angry that it's hard to tell what exactly he's angry about. Here's a good rule of thumb: when a member in good standing of the L3 is angry but won't quite say why, that usually means he's up to no good. This case is no exception.

What Simpleton is so angry about turns out to be new laws which make it an offence to attend terrorist training camps. There are certain core principles which underlie the British concept of liberty, but the right to learn how to bring down a 747 isn't one of them. As it happens though, Simpleton isn't excised by the thought of people being cruelly deprived of the chance to study Hostage Taking 101, so much as teed off that the law will be applied equally both to proles and to journalists.

Apparently, Simpleton has heard of the concept of 'equal under law' but he thought it was only for the ordinaries. Needless to say, that's not quite how he puts it, nope - he claims that laws preventing attendance at terrorist training camps will prevent jounalists covering stories about terrorist training camps. Note to the BBC: don't assign Simpleton to any stories involving sex crimes.

Of course, we'd take Simpleton's criticism more seriously if he gave the slightest impression of having considered the need for balance between national defence and press freedom, but Simpleton goes to absurd lengths to deny that there is even a threat. First, we had the whole 'misguided criminals' thing, now we have another lu-lu:
Let's take a practical example. I have gone to, say, a council house in Bradford with three or four al-Qaeda volunteers who are letting me film a discussion: not necessarily about the making or use of a weapon, but perhaps about ways of setting up resistance cells that might at some future stage use violence.
Resistance cells. In Bradford. Obviously fighting the brutal Zionist occupation of West Yorkshire. In so far as Simpson's argument is predicated on the myth of the journalist as disinterested seeker after truth, his easy adoption of the rhectoric of Osama Bin Laden does kind of make the government's case. If nothing else, it certainly shreds any claims Simpson may make for the ability of jounalists to act as some kind of objective judges of the public interest.

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