You’ve heard about Marines shooting Iraqis

(who, let’s not forget, were out to kill them first). What about French ‘peacekeepers’ who shoot and decapitate Ivorian protesters? As John Rosenthal points out,

It does not require a very elaborate demonstration to be able to know beyond a shadow of a doubt that if it were not the French, but rather the American military that was caught on videotape firing into a crowd of civilians, it would be all over the airwaves 24/7.

Is the BBC partially funded by the French government? If not, France owes them big time. (Silly me for thinking BBC coverage should be fair to the public and government funding it!) And while I’m on the subject of France in Ivory Coast, where is any BBC ‘analyst’ critiquing the double-standard at play between France and the UN? This really stinks. Where is the BBC? (My thanks to Instapundit, Transatlantic Intelligencer and Free Will for doing what the MSM is failing to do.)

UPDATE: I did manage to find one mention of this incident in a BBC online article.

When French tanks and armoured vehicles massed at the Hotel Ivoire, a luxury hotel not far from the state television and the presidential residence, state media implored Ivorians to form a human shield around the president.

According to the radio, the French tanks were intending to oust President Gbagbo. Again, thousands of people responded to the call, and again, hundreds of people were injured and at least 10 died. State television showed report after report showing wounded men and women in graphic detail, accompanied by commentaries denouncing France.

This is a BBC story on how the media has been used in Ivory Coast to fan tensions, yet there is no scrutiny of French actions. Their explanations are taken at face value. So, do I hear the BBC alleging that the deaths of at least ten civilians and the wounding of many others by French soldiers is to be blamed on the misuse of radio and TV by the Ivorian government?

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63 Responses to You’ve heard about Marines shooting Iraqis

  1. Andrew Paterson says:

    I feel the point here isn’t whether the actions of the French are right or wrong but rather the discrepencies in reporting between the actions of the French (or the UN, whomever) and the US (or Israel).

    An excellent article highlighting these vast discrepencies can be found here and is well worth a read:


  2. Scott at Blithering Bunny says:

    What’s also interesting is that normally the British media wouldn’t be at all disposed to be kind to right-wing French bastardry. It seems there are tactical reasons for ignoring it at the moment, namely the fact that the Beeb’s views on Iraq, the UN and the EU coincide with the French’s.


  3. Susan says:

    What’s interesting is that no one is reporting that the Ivory Coast affair is yet another sectarian conflict involving Muslims in the North against Christians in the South. Which could explain why the Beeb is not convering the civillian atrocities as the victims are likely to be Christians, who have accused the French of intervening on the side of the Muslims.


  4. Scott at Blithering Bunny says:

    BBC Newsnight actually running a story on Rather – no mention of blogs so far. Just some American idiot called Martin Goldfarb being interviewed spouting leftist pieties: drive for ratings drives down quality, media becoming more timid in taking on politicians (ie. the leftist media can’t get away with what they have been for a few decades). Just the usual BBC crap.


  5. DumbJon says:

    What Scott said. It really was sickbag time – Paxman opining that ‘the balance of power has shifted from the media to the politicians’ – why ? Because the media can’t get away with using forged documents (yes, Jeremy, forged not just ‘dodgy’). Also, the media has become deferential (unlike the fearless pursuit of the Juanita Broderick story then). Also, there are questions about ‘what people are told about the world’ (Ivory Coast, anyone ?).

    For his part in the love-in, Goldfarb suggests that ‘the Right has targeted networks’ – y’know, by expecting them to stop making stuff up…oh yeah, it’s also the fault of those pesky competitive pressures, driving standards down because (drum roll, please) there’s no licence fee in America, so standards have crashed.


  6. DumbJon says:


    Meanwhile, on BBC1 this evening we had a profile of Arthur Miller. The tone is best summed up by the narrator’s claim that Miller was subpoened to appear before the House Unamerican Activities Committee by Joe McCarthy. That’s what a rat *Senator* McCarthy was, he even appeared on committees in the wrong house.

    It really was a classic of the genre. The programs constant use of phraseology such as ‘terror’ or ‘fear’ to describe those years would be merely annoying if you didn’t know that in the communist world people were living in actual, real terror. Similarly, it might once have been acceptable to call it a witch hunt, but now KGB files tell us there really was massive communist infiltration.

    Every possible left-wing cliche was wheeled out without so much as a hint that there may be another side to the story. When dealing with contempoary stuff, the Beeb at least tries to hide its prejudices, but this program showed just how warped their worldview really is.


  7. Susan says:

    DumbJon: I’ve noticed that the morons at the Beeb Online have made that mistake (confusing the HUAC hearings with McCarthy’s SenateArmy hearings) several times too. Their knowledge of the US political system is really quite superficial, for all the airy manner in which they pass themselves off as experts on the subject.

    I suspect that the real reason the Beeb slags off the US media so much is because none of them could cut it in the US themselves — Americans expect their news outlets, to um, employ factcheckers and things like that, and to um, at least pretend to keep editorialization out of news reports — even from broadcasters as pathetic as CBS.


  8. Susan says:

    PS — The lionization of Danny Boy continues apace in the US press as well; it’s sickening. Today there was a disgusting love-in on the front page of USA Today. But it sounds lke the Beeb version of the love-in is over the top. Maybe Danny Boy can get a job with them? He could pass off all the fake memos he’d like to his captive audiences and no one could touch him.


  9. Michael Gill says:


    Well, it looks like the Beeb’s man in Fallujah is out:

    No word from him about what the terrorists were up to in that city before the USAM and the Iraqi forces went in.

    I won’t hold my breath waiting for the BBC to link to this presentation:


  10. Pete _ London says:


    Ya beat me to it. Notice how death was just an likely at any moment from a falling American bomb, whereas the terrorists and their tactics aren’t mentioned? In fact I’m beginning to have my doubts that this guy exists at all. There’s something in his style that’s ringing a bell. Its the total melodrama. Got it now! The BBC’s man in Fallujah is none other than Robert Fisk.


  11. theghostofredken says:

    “That’s what a rat *Senator* McCarthy was, he even appeared on committees in the wrong house.”

    Err, what? Are you saying *Senator* (I don’t know why you put a *) McCarthy wasn’t a complete git? I think the general consensus of history tells a different story. Why is his portrayal in a film about Miller an issue anyway? After all Miller didn’t think too highly of him.

    “in the communist world people were living in actual, real terror.” So were all the people who thought their careers might be ruined by some alchie nut-job with a grudge.


  12. Liverpool Chris says:

    To theghostofredken:

    Is this the same “alchie nut-job with a grudge” as Uncle Joe Stalin who murdered thousands of enemies of the state in the fifties (Robert Conquest)? Sounds like you subscribe to the Hobsbaumian view that McCarthy was the worst monster…


  13. Al says:

    a slight diversion here,

    Why does the BBC filter out ALL comments which dont suit its ends? I have posted 30 comments, and a comment on the “Future of the BBC” part of the site, where it says that it will publish “all comments recieved”

    It seems it only publishes the ones which support the BBC, which is a tad fewer than those who are against it.

    Freedom of speech has been severly violated dont you think?


  14. theghostofredken says:

    Liverpool Chris: You have completely dumfounded me. The only thing I can think to say to you is “no”.


  15. Michael Gill says:

    “Are you saying *Senator* (I don’t know why you put a *) McCarthy wasn’t a complete git?”

    GORK: *Senator* McCarthy was a member of the *Senate*.

    The *House* Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was comprised of members of the *House of Representatives*.

    DumbJon was taking the p**s of the lack of knowledge of US political affairs by Beeb personnel.


  16. theghostofredken says:

    “Senator* McCarthy was a member of the *Senate*.”


    “The *House* Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was comprised of members of the *House of Representatives*.”

    Erm…and again, I guess…

    “DumbJon was taking the p**s of the lack of knowledge of US political affairs by Beeb personnel.”

    Yes, again I did realise. I was objecting the proposed juxtaposition with McCarthy against the Communist threat, thus implying that any criticism of ol’ Joe was slightly fatuous. And lefty-fatuousness at that.


  17. theghostofredken says:

    Why would I know who McCarthy was and not know he was a Senator? I maybe a lefty (or so you all seem to think, I don’t think I am, well a bit…) but I’m not thick.


  18. Rob Read says:

    Visit this site (warning it LOOKS like 404 not found, but isn’t!)

    e.g. “If you want to work for the BBC, make sure your Eurosceptic settings have been disabled. To confirm, click the EU Constitution menu, and then click Yes Please. On the Advanced tab, scroll to the Iraq section and delete Resolution 1441 to change default language to French. “


  19. jx says:

    hahah that 404 error is hilarious


  20. Susan says:

    It was the House of Representatives (the lower house of Congress) which investigated Communist influence in the entertainment industry; it was the Senate (the upper house of Congress) which investigated Communist influence on the US military and federal agencies like the State Department. (“Who promoted Peress?”)

    The Beeb doesn’t know that because the Beeb is very, very ignorant of US history and political affairs, and because the Beeb doesn’t seem to employ factcheckers.

    I think that’s been made very plain now.


  21. Michael Gill says:

    “”DumbJon was taking the p**s of the lack of knowledge of US political affairs by Beeb personnel.”

    Yes, again I did realise.”

    Then why did you write “I don’t know why you put a *”?


  22. James says:

    As alkie as McCarthy was, and yes, it could be argued persuasively that his “McCarthyism” was used to divert attention away from the fact that he was completely useless, he was still right about communist infiltration in the State Department. His specifics were just wrong.



  23. JohninLondon says:

    The Paxman interview about Dan Rather with Goldfarb was a parody. Just playing the tune that those horrible neocons are bullying the media.

    As a research study found that 95% of Washington and New York press and TV journalists are liberal rather than conservative, the “bullying” has a long way to go yet.

    But meanwhile it is delicious to see that most coverage of Rather this week has stressed the forged documts. he has besmirched his own reputation. And damaged CBS ratings. With CBS, this causes some problems. But at the BBC, there needs to be a lot more damage to ratings before they wake up.


  24. Andrew Paterson says:

    I find it hilarious that some people believe, or like to create the impression that, the US media has been bullied by the Bush government into towing the line. I saw a breakdown of editorial lines prior to the US election from US newspapers nationwide and near 70% backed Kerry!


  25. jst says:

    why can’t the BBC tell the full story about the AIDS ‘epidemic’ (as the put it on today’s news bulletins) in Britain?
    They inform us that aids amongst heterosexuals is continuing to rise, and then ramble on about a forthcoming government PR push to get the british to sort themselves out in the sack. What they ‘forgot’ to mention is that 70% of this hetero AIDS rise is due to ‘infection abroad’, ie the vast majority is being imported here as part of the governments mass immigration without health screening policy.
    Why don’t they mention this fact? Why don’t they question the use of government spending millions of taxpayers money on a campaign when those with the problem are overseas?


  26. Pete _ London says:


    Imparting all of the facts would draw attention to mass, uncontrolled immigration. As mass, uncontrolled immigration is a cornerstone of liberal social policy they don’t want the masses informed of what’s happening and then protesting at it.

    Stephen Pollard has a pop at al-BBC today:


  27. PD says:


    Could you point me in the direction of this research study you mention? I’m interested in how they calculated it.



  28. Pete _ London says:


    Many studies have come to similar conclusions. It took a few seconds on Google to find:



    and there are many more …


  29. Rob Read says:

    BBC advocates ‘nanny state’

    Lets see, nice smily picture (check), lack of counterargument (check), some uncountered “evidence” (check).

    We are go for Nanny Launch!

    NANNIES ARE FOR CHILDREN! FCUK OFF Hodge, leave my wallet alone.


  30. rob says:

    re “Several dollars short and several days late” 19/11/04 below

    The BBC have edited their piece on UNOilScam, though without dating the change.
    They no longer blame the US Navy for failing to cruise the desert to prevent oil smuggling. But they can’t resist a final attempt at mitigation of the UN’s responsibility –

    “And it is often forgotten that most of Saddam Hussein’s illicit income came from oil smuggling, not kickbacks on UN contracts.”


  31. Susan says:

    “The BBC have edited their piece on UNOilScam, though without dating the change.
    They no longer blame the US Navy for failing to cruise the desert to prevent oil smuggling. But they can’t resist a final attempt at mitigation of the UN’s responsibility -”

    Thanks for catching that rob. The Beeb Online is extremely unprofessional. To call them “journalists” is a very, very loose definition of the word.


  32. rob says:

    Further to BBC UNOilScam piece, when they say
    “And it is often forgotten that most of Saddam Hussein’s illicit income came from oil smuggling, not kickbacks on UN contracts.”

    How can something be forgotten when we only knew about the scam on 19 Nov when the BBC’s investigations revealled all?


  33. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    Litmus test for realists:
    Was Alger Hiss a Soviet spy?
    Was there a huge Soviet spy ring working (freely) in the State Department in the Truman Administration?
    Did this ring block a loan to Chiang Kai-Shek thus undermining the Nationalist government and handing China over to communism?
    Were the Rosenbergs guilty of treason?
    NB On the last, Radio 4 recently broadcast a eulogy to them – syrupy music, injustice etc – but not the main fact.
    The answer to all of these questions is to be found in Russian archives now available to those who are astute enough to find the facts. Senator McCarthy was correct!


  34. Rob Read says:

    Allan Facts are only facts. However the BBC has GOOD intentions. How dare you question their authority to lecture us on what we should think.


  35. Zevilyn says:

    I liked Rather, despite his sentimentality and cheesiness. It’s a shame he allowed his politics to interfere with his judgement.

    Actually, it is the internet, not the politicians, who defeated big media.

    The French army’s behaviour won’t get much mention because the aim of much of the Beeb’s coverage is to demonise those “nasty stupid Americans”. The French, being Europeans, must not be stereotyped or demonised, because that would be “prejudiced”.


  36. JohninLondon says:


    You asked for details of the research showing that most US journal;ists are left-leaning – which blows apart the idea that US media are corralled by the neocons.

    Here are a couple of links :


  37. Zevilyn says:

    The Democrats are largely dominated by a metropolitan coastal elite (New York, Washington, and L.A).

    By an uncanny coincidence, the US media are also largely based in, and thus dominated by this very same “Metropolitan Elite”.

    The US Media:
    (a)is biased towards the coastal cities and their values
    (b)Looks down on the rural working classes and their values

    Ergo the Democrats have lost a large chunk of their traditional working class base because of their Metropolitan allies in the MEDIA.

    If the Dems had been smart, they would have pitched a southern/working class candidate against Bush.

    It is no coincidence that Clinton, who came from a traditional Democrat background, was far more successful with the working classes than Gore and Kerry, who were both upper class and very much in with the “New York mafia”.


  38. rob says:

    Nearly good news from BBC News24 – their news summaries are covering the call by the UN Committee on Torture for the UK to address the detention without trial of foreign nationals suspected of terrorist links.
    While the BBC does not point out that these undesirable aliens are free to leave the UK whenever they want, at least the BBC pointedly states that the UN committee included membership from China, Russia & Egypt.
    (I wonder if any of the detainees are Egyptian & that we are forced to hold them rather than return them for torture in Egypt?)


  39. Bryan says:

    “Hundreds of people were injured and at least ten died.” Note the use of the passive tense here. BBC “journalism” is riddled with this sly device. They invariably use it when they don’t want to point fingers – in this case at the French.

    Who injured the hundreds of people? They could have injured themselves in a stampede to get away from the French tanks. How did the ten die? Well, most probably in the stampede. There is no way anyone can discover the truth about this event – or any other event – by relying on the BBC. But you can get close to the truth by reading between the BBC’s lines.


  40. Pondblogger says:

    The lack of comment about the French actions in Ivory Coast may, in the US at least, have been a deliberate attempt by the administration not to stick its finger in France’s eye.

    See Jim Hoagland’s column at


  41. PD says:

    Thanks for those links guys. I will have a proper read over them soon. From first glances though they don’t look like the most impartial of surveys.


  42. chevalier de st george says:

    It seems to me that france is assisting the establishment of a muslim sharia state in Cote D’ivoire, possibly for some rewards of oil contracts and french “technological” expott deals.
    Indeed the christians of the south seem to matter little to them and i doubt they would have fired into a crowd of Muslim demonstrators?
    This looks like a covert manipulation worthy of the worse leftoid CIA misdemeaners.
    THe BBC must therefore keep quiet about this story as France are basically following BBC doctrine.


  43. Andrew Paterson says:

    PD why is it so difficult to believe that the media is primarily liberal? A cursery glance at who most media groups supported in the last presidential election is the most recent evidence, obvious to all.


  44. JohninLondon says:


    There are 3 mainstream off-air and free TV channels in the US. All their lead anchormen for news are regarded as liberal – and they happily accept that label.

    Of the other news channels available only by cable or satellite, CNN is liberal-owned and run, and BBC services are liberal (whether direct or via a Public Broadcasting channel. Fox News is the only TV news feed that is NOT liberal – and actually gives more balance than the rest, letting both sides have their say.

    similar position applies among many of the major, essentially monopoly newspapers. Have you ever read the LA Times ? Or Washington Post ? Or NY Times ?

    I have never seen any study that claimed that the majority of S press or TV journalists were right-wing. The only studies i have seen pointed the other way.

    And chances are the same would apply among UK TV and press journalists.


  45. PD says:

    I haven’t had a proper look through it all yet but that mediaresearch organisation is run by and funded by conservatives. Do you really think that their’s is an objective study? Come on! I know its difficult to ever find a completely impartial judge but still.

    For a start asking people how they label themselves is ridiculous. Someone who says they are moderate may by someone else’s standards be conservative. Who can really tell?

    They also mention white house correspondents that they asked how they voted, they have a sample of 12 but how many correspondents did they not ask?

    You talk about the main 3 anchors of the news declaring themselves as liberal. Who cares? 90% of the time they sit there and read an autocue! Its not like they put any opinion across. Also, no mention of other media sources such as radio and internet.


  46. PD says:

    With regards to the papers as I understand it the NY Times only has a slightly higher circulation than the Daily Telegraph does here. I’ve only read a few articles in it online. One of them was linked from here and its was one of the USA’s guys in Iraq writing about how the war effort is going well (he had earlier been quoted as saying they were unprepared).

    I have provided examples before of Fox’s “balanced” political reporting. Check out their chief political reporter Carl Cameron. If the equivalent were happening at the BBC you’d be up in arms (I know you don’t have to pay for fox).

    I’m not going to say the media is completely balanced, but I will say it is not loaded 95% in liberal favour.


  47. JohninLondon says:


    Who is saying it is loaded 95% ? We are saying the preponderance of S media are liberal. The biggest city papers, the mainstream off-air networks, and 2 out of 3 cable networks. Their editorial policy is plain to see – just read their leader columns. And just look at some of the tricks they were pulling in the recent election.

    The study you mention may not be unbiased. But you asked for suggestions, you were given some. Why not do your own search – try google.


  48. PD says:

    Well John you referred to a survey that claimed 95% of Washington and New York journos were liberal. I was merely challenging the way that figure was reached/recorded and also pointing out that there’s a lot more media out there than the Washington Post and New York Times.

    Can’t comment too much on CNN/MSNBC as I don’t get to see too much of it. CNN international is a different beast from CNN america as I understand it.


  49. PD says:

    Here’s an opposing point of view. Full of bias of course but some interesting bits about conservative pressure groups…


  50. Andrew Paterson says:

    PD I’m not being funny but elements of the media in the United States tried to subvert the US election through broadcasting lies, or more accurately ‘facts’ which did not stand up to scrutiny, and lying by ommission. If you can find the equivalent say, of perhaps the biggest disgrace of the whole affair, Rathergate, some media distortion which somehow worked in Bush’s favour then I will give you $10.

    Another quick example: the draft. Complete and absolute BS from beginning to end. A story based on pure conjecture somehow gets on network news just before an election by accident? Forgetaboutit