Feeb Beeb dweebs

Feeb Beeb dweebs
: Let’s exhume this horse so we can beat it up again: The BBC is anti-American in all sense of the word, not only because it is hostile to us but also because it is anti-matter to our matter; it is the great snot factory.

This morning, listening to the obnoxiously accented Judy Swallow (sounds like a name for a porn star to me) on BBC Newshour, she repeated again and again that Paul Bremer had outlawed free speech and free assembly in Iraq and that people could not protest against the American occupation. She then interviewed a New York Times reporter who said that was quite overstated, that there have been protests and that Bremer outlawed only inciting attacks on U.S. forces. She didn’t apologize. She didn’t backtrack.

A few days ago, I pointed to this BBC show, What the World Thinks of America, and said I dreaded to hear what it would say about it. Well, yesterday, FoxNews finally picked up on this and had a field day repeating the anti-Americanisms of this special (with only a Tokyo Rose American BBC employee to defend them).

The BBC took a poll and among the loaded questions was this: They asked the audience to guess whether the world thought we were “humble” or “arrogant.” You get one guess. But look at the actual poll and you’ll see that neither word came out first in the results. Most of the world first calls us…. drumroll, please…. FREE.

: And in related news… The British independent television commission threw out complaints that FoxNews’ coverage of the war was biased. [via IWantMedia]

  • Diana

    What I most dislike about the BBC is its foreign editor (name escapes me) who has written incessantly about the professionalism of the British troops as opposed to those amateur, trigger-happy American cowboys. Despicable.

  • So BBC is biased but Fox News isn’t! Face it guys, the US is making a complete mess of post-war reconstruction and the Iraqi population is becoming more hostile by the day – REALITY BITES!

  • Brian Perry

    Wow, Britbloke. you must have some good sources.

  • “What I most dislike about the BBC is its foreign editor (name escapes me) who has written incessantly about the professionalism of the British troops as opposed to those amateur, trigger-happy American cowboys. Despicable.”
    Despicable is a bit strong – I think it is pretty well known that British troops are better at peace-keeping duties. I friend of mine who served out in Bosnia noted that the British always patrolled with soft hats (not helmets) and rifles on their back whereas the US troops were walking around with their M16s cocked and hard helmets. You can imagine who endeared themselves more to the local population…

  • “Wow, Britbloke. you must have some good sources.”
    Well I dont rely on right-wing nutcase bloggers and Fox News if that’s what you mean! ;-)

  • MLD

    Uh, britbloke
    Your own military switched from BBC to ITV during the war because it felt the coverage was not fair.
    Why can’t Fox and BBC both be biased, just in different directions? Is this a zero sum game or something?

  • balbulican

    “Your own military switched from BBC to ITV during the war because it felt the coverage was not fair.” MLD, do you really,REALLY think that “fairness of coverage” is the criterion used by military when deciding whose coverage to show their troops?

  • For all I care, Fox News can be as biased as it wants — if the market rejects it, it will fail. I finance the BBC, so it better toe the objectivity line a whole hell of a lot better than it does now. Either that, or privatise the damn thing already; the lack of vigourous competition is one of the contributing factors to how bad it’s got. Being held accountable for what you say should be a matter of course when it comes to media funded by the public.
    Unfortunately, being held accountable for what you say is totally optional when commenting on blogs, which is why “Britbloke” (who could well be a troll of another nationality, taking the piss out of ignorant Britons — he does do a pretty good impression) won’t post his real name or email address. I think we should judge his words accordingly.
    The errors, prejudices and history revision practice by the BBC is, as always, on display here.

  • Jeff, That’s a real misrepresentation of the poll results. (And this was not a BBC poll, as you know. It was a 10 country collaboration. The CBC, KBC, Al Jazeera, ABC, and many other were involved. I have an entry on it, with links to each of the ten networks).
    More people in the world thought the US was free as opposed to unfree. And more people thought the US was arrogant as opposed to humble. Your post makes it sound like people hasd the choice between choosing ‘free’ or ‘arrogant’ and chose free over arrogant. That is not true.
    (As for loaded questions — I don’t think they were. Free versus unfree, arrogant vs,. humble, how are these questions loaded?)
    I think this special provides a great service to Americans. As I’ve said elsewhere, I think American nationalism, even the hyper-nationalism you find on some blogs, is not a bad thing. What’s bad is nationalism without self-awareness. This poll helps Americans see the gap between how they think the world sees them and how they are actually perceived.
    Rather than quoting Fox News, calling American BBC employees ‘Tokyo Rose’, and bashing the poll, why not do a post analyzing the results. That would be a more substantive post.

  • No offense, Jeff, but it’s posts like this one that make some people roll their eyes whenever you refer to yourself as a “liberal”. I have no problem with how you feel about this or any other issue. You believe what you believe, and you express your views articulately. I just think the opinions you’ve expressed about the war and coverage of the war puts you in a more “moderate/right of center camp”.

  • Liberals can’t support wars to topple genocidal dictators?
    Liberals can’t believe that America is a free country?
    Liberals can’t call for truth in media?
    cmonks, what exactly is it about Jeff’s views that violates the (apparently) iron-clad liberal ideology? I’m genuinely interested.

  • I had a blurb about this on my site as well that I thought I would throw into the mix here:
    A recent survey by BBC News handed the title of “Greatest American” of all time to Homer Simpson. The survey was part of a program titled “What The World Thinks Of America“. One of the more revealing portions of the program was the collection of comments about America from respondents around the world. You can read them all here. Highlights include:
    I certainly do not envy Americans. I mean who would like to be that fat!” So deep, so thoughtful.
    What strikes me is how the most powerful country in the world, with all its resources and wealth manages to breed such an ignorant people. They know very little about the world beyond their shores, despite the fact that their collective heritage is derived from all over the world. Power breeds arrogance no doubt. Yet arrogance combined with ignorance is fatal.” Hhhmmm, fat and ignorant. I see a trend emerging…
    And yet, and yet, who do they vote as the Greatest American?
    While the Americans will invariably [be] accused by many of being a bunch of TV watching dimwits and decrying cultural imperialism, the world votes Homer Simpson – a cultural export celebrating those very qualities -the greatest American. Irony and contradiction on too many levels to get into here.”
    Couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s worth reading them all. They make you want to either, a) hang your head in shame, or b) smash your computer into tiny little pieces. I would choose b), but I have to get back to work.

  • cmonks

    “The BBC is anti-American in all sense of the word, not only because it is hostile to us but also because it is anti-matter to our matter; it is the great snot factory.”
    Fox News or Jeff Jarvis? This quote could have come out of the mouth of any right-wing reactionary. Maybe by adding the word “government” after “anti-American” would have made it a tad less hyperbolic. I’m tired of seeing journalism that doesn’t acquiesce to the party line labeled as “Anti-American”.
    One can be liberal and support the overthrow of an evil madman. I just wish that was the main reason the US government went in there. If Bush said we were headed for the Congo tomorrow I’d be all about that move, waving flags, buying Lee Greenwood records, etc. But it’s not going to happen. Congo doesn’t serve our interests like Iraq does. This is agree to disagree territory that Jeff has discussed here a lot already, so no need to get into another tired “Where are the WOMD?” debate. I’m happy that Iraqi people now have a chance. I hope they get a real chance to be a sovereign nation. The opportunity for this probably could not have bee done without the war. Still, there is a long road ahead and everything the rebuilding team has done thus far hasn’t exactly made me optimistic. This hasn’t gone as planned, right? Hope not.
    Anyway, I have to take off now, there are some whales to be saved and such. Take care.

  • Diana

    Re: polls. I don’t take them too seriously. They seem to mean whatever the polltaker wants them to mean.
    British Bloke: When I say despicable I mean despicable. That foreign editor is despicable. Although not as outwardly maniacal as Robert Fisk, he excels him in snideness.
    I wonder if you’ve been reading him (the foreign editor) because remarkably, he proffered the same tired explanation of the supposed greater professionalism of British soldiers than you: they have greater experience at peacekeeping. The example he offered was Northern Ireland.
    I’m having trouble keeping my latest sip of coffee from spurting all over the keyboard. If that’s peacekeeping, what’s war?
    In any case I am referring to the US soldiers conduct as warriors which, I believe, is every bit as professional as the British.

  • cmonks, I can only assume that you’ve not consumed much of the BBC’s output; if you had, you might see things differently. The BBC was the last news organisation, even after al Jazeera, to give up the charade that Comical Ali was anything other than a total liar and a joke — while any reasonable person could see he was both, they were still treating his laughable rants against the American military as credible. That should tell you something about the quality of their news programming, if not the rest of what they produce.
    As for the Congo, hey — if you want to compare a country with 12 years’ worth of UN resolutions against it and 12 years’ worth of threats to comply “or else” levelled at it with a civil war in the Congo, go right ahead. I’m not even going to try and figure out how you got there, but don’t let that stop you.

  • Diana:
    The foreign editor you’re thinking of is Patrick Bishop, and here’s the article
    The guy’s a ween.

  • cmonks

    Hiya Jackie D., sorry if you got defensive. Was trying to tell you how I felt without seeming like I was making a negative remark against the opposite side of the argument. I shouldn’t have thought out loud, I guess.
    I listen to the BBC more than enough. (My local NPR shelved Fresh Air for yet another hour of World News. Now I love Judy Swallow, but I worship Terry Gross. Now there’s an All-American woman!)I suppose, Jackie D, it’s simply that we have different perspectives, and because of that we have differing takes on the BBC’s overall reporting. Do I think they are the be all end all. Nope. I just appreciate a different slant than the ones I typically get from the mainstream media here in the States.
    Back to whales,

  • “One can be liberal and support the overthrow of an evil madman. I just wish that was the main reason the US government went in there. If Bush said we were headed for the Congo tomorrow I’d be all about that move, waving flags, buying Lee Greenwood records, etc. But it’s not going to happen. Congo doesn’t serve our interests like Iraq does.”
    Cmonks… I too would like to see someone put an end to the death camps in the Congo, but our commitment in Iraq isn’t the only reason we aren’t involved down there. Sending our troops in under the useless UN mandate already in place wouldn’t really accomplish anything… and what fun it would be trying to get the French to go along with passing anything substantial in the UN. If we decided to bypass the UN and go into the Congo under our own terms, you can imagine the field day the anti-American BBC would have with the United States fighting against militias of children.

  • Well, if you read me as defensive, no wonder you read the BBC as merely giving you a “different slant” to the day’s news than the US mainstream media. I suppose that’s one way of putting it.
    Give my love to Moby Dick!

  • S.A. Smith

    Anyone else notice how shitty the BBC’s web feed is? They must spend all their money on reporters.

  • Catherine

    BritBloke – I have some news for you about British forces. British Soldiers are under investigation for torturing Iraqis. They filmed it and brought it back to England where someone viewed it at the photo shop and turned him in. Not only did someone film this, but others stood around and watched and torutured. I am not saying that this has anything to do with perfect, but bad people are in all professions and the British are no exception. Here is some proof.
    The whole show on streaming video is obsurd. We don’t know enough about what’s going on in Europe? Do they, for example about the fires in Portland, or if I even asked them about Portland, would they know what I was talking about? Please. I have met just as many ill informed Europeans and the BBC et al don’t help.
    I liked the remarks of the American who seemed measured and mature. Regarding SKorea trusting NKorea more than the U.S., she said she found that odd because SOUTH KOREA IS FREE THANKS TO US AND THE ONLY REASON WE WON’T SIGN THE LANDMINE TREATY IS BECAUSE LANDMINES ARE PROTECTING THE BORDER OF N AND S KOREA.
    Nuff said.

  • cmonks

    Hiya Jakie D. Sorry for misreading you as defensive. These whales are messing with my mind and I’m having trouble reading other people’s motivations. You see, usually when I feel that someone is using a condescending tone, like say “I’m not even going to try and figure out how you got there, but don’t let that stop you,” it’s a pretty good sign that someone feels that they are being challenged and have to defend their beliefs. My apologies.
    Moby Dick is a fictional character. If I could send your love I would send your love because I’m sure your love is the kind of love worth sending. However, Moby Dick is a fictional character, so I can’t. Oh, wait. Maybe you were just being funny. My bad. Good one.
    Watcher, you’re on the ball about the Congo. There’s not a chance in h-e double hockey sticks that the US government would ever intervene in the Congo. The botched intelligence and/or the manipulative tactics of the Bush admin. in regards to Iraq and their WOMD pretty much puts the kabosh on any chances of us getting the rest of the world’s blessing to allow us to help the people of the Congo. With Blair pretty much outta here we’re in this alone. Let’s hope we get better at riding our Segway scooters because a lot more difficult tasks are ahead of us.

  • R. McLeod

    Cmonks: I’ll try not to quote you out of context…
    “One can be liberal and support the overthrow of an evil madman.”
    Absolutely. The trouble is that the most visible and loud people on the left did NOT support the overthrow of a madman. One might also note the deafening silence from the left about the student protests in Iran. Whose side is the left on? The most positive thing one could say from their deafening silence is they don’t give a crap. I also no longer hear the left saying anything about North Korea. What happened to the chorus from that side? Remember pre-war days when the argument from the left was “Korea’s more dangerous, why aren’t we doing anything there?”
    They ain’t saying anything now, because it was a bunch of BS to begin with.
    “I just wish that was the main reason the US government went in there. If Bush said we were headed for the Congo tomorrow I’d be all about that move, waving flags, buying Lee Greenwood records, etc. But it’s not going to happen. Congo doesn’t serve our interests like Iraq does.”
    Couple of points here:
    1. You’re correct, we have no interests in the Congo that are compelling enough to commit our blood to that fight. It takes a GREAT deal to convince Americans to go to war and it would be difficult to make the case now with our forces stretched thin.
    2. A First World power is already involved. The French, who are a nuclear power no less, have sent in forces. Unfortunately, they’re under the UN’s rules and that essentially dooms the effort. One also ferverently hopes that no French soldiers are accused of war crimes in Belgium. They’d have to stand trial there, wouldn’t they…and where are the Belgians anyway? Wasn’t that their turf.
    3. If the US could be assured that they could pick sides in the Congo, which they can’t under the UN rules, it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if we sent a small force in. I’d back it all the way. But not under the UN. EVER.

  • D2D

    Peacekeeping occurs after the fighting is over. If it had not been for U.S. intervention militarily in Kosovo there would have been no need for expert peacekeepers. Peacekeepers are like the custodians mopping the floors at the whore house; coming in when the action is over. Also Americans are more desirable targets for nutcases, holdouts, and terrorists. No reason to make it easy for them.
    The South Koreans are a lot like the Europeans. They have allowed the U.S. to shoulder their security burden, pumping all that money they’ve saved on the backs of American taxpayers into their economy and social safety net. Now when push comes to shove they have no spine, they’ve gone soft. And a frightened ally is an untrustworthy ally. As far as the S. Koreans are concerned, screw ’em.
    And as far as the Beeb,s bias, big deal. They have exactly zero influence on Americans and American policy. I think this is really what grates them. We really don’t give a shit about what the BBC, or for that fact most Europeans, say or care about the U.S. Arrogant? Maybe. I just believe it is a historical thread in our national DNA. The Canadians beef about the same thing. That we don’t pay attention to them. It’s like some weird kind of national low self-esteem neurosis. And it’s not that we have bad or good impressions of other countries; it’s just we are indifferent. And mainly I think other than doing business with other countries for the most part we want to be left the hell alone. But for some reason these national nut-cases need our approval or understanding like they were suffering from spousal neglect.
    If we go to the Congo to solve another leftover problem of European colonialism, like a lot of Conglese wish, we would be branded unilaterests and if we do not go in we will be branded hypocrites.
    That’s the scizophrenia that America has to deal with in the world and the world press. Sheesh.

  • “If that’s peacekeeping, what’s war?”
    Well, over 30 years only about 3,000 people died in Northern Ireland in the troubles on wars world rankings, it ranks oohhh below LA.
    So its probably fair to say that the British army has a fair bit of urban peace keeping experience and training, and probably more than the average US soldiers. If there’s a criticism its that the British got stuck into peace keeping mode a bit prematurely in Basra.

  • John Anderson

    The Brits did a dang good job, no doubt. But the thing about soft hats and slung rifles vs hard hats and readied weapons, well…
    There are a few differences between Basra and Baghdad. Basra is in the South part of the country that tried to throw out Saddam and the Baath a decade ago: once they were convinced the coalition was staying, support for fedayeen and Baathists didn’t just dry up, it reversed.
    Naghdad still has neighborhoods that either are, or support, fedayeen and Baath. Further North, even where Kurds were largely in control for some years, things are even worse. And yes, Marines are not Army – they have MP’s, but little training in holding civilian areas, which is more the Army’s job.
    Please don’t think I am saying the British had an easier time of it, they did not. And I have written against those eedjuts who pilloried them as liars because when they announced they had taken Basra Airport, the press reported it as taking Basra and then spent a week asking how that could be if they were not in the city. Bah. The airport for the city where I live, capitol of its State, is about twenty miles away: not every airport is situated like Templehof.

  • TIm

    Who cares what the rest of the world thinks of us, as long as they leave us hell alone?
    And if they don’t, well, we all know what happens, don’t we?

  • D2D

    Please don’t get me wrong, the Brits did and do an outstanding job in Kosovo and Iraq. It’s just that peacekeeping is kind of stupid occupation for the military. Peacekeeping implies that no solution diplomatically or mililtarily has not been, or possibly will not be, achieved. I find it a terrible waste of money and puts troops in harm’s way for nothing. And I don’t believe what Britain has been doing in N.Ireland is peacekeeping. They’ve been engaged in a civil war that goes back to the 1920’s or earlier. While they do keep the militant protestants and catholics separated I believe their primary purpose has been to keep the IRA in check. And we’re not peacekeeping in Iraq we’re an army of occupation. And in the Sunni middle of Iraq American troops are still involved in skrimishes that are taking American lives and in no way in hell is that peacekeeping. Being nice to these a-holes is not going to mollify them. Sending them to their great rewards will win the peace.

  • Diana

    It was John Simpson, but I’m damned if I’ll look up the URL. He’s a turd.

  • Diana

    Britbloke: can’t resist a parting shot. Check out this deconstruction of the completely discredited BBC spin on the Lynch rescue:
    Now go and eat some bubble and squeak.

  • Thanks but I lost interest some time ago

  • Diana

    I accept your surrender and will be generous with the terms, as Americans always are.