Following the BBC’s veritable splurge of ‘Japan as victim’ coverage of the sixtieth-anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, there have, thankfully, been a few nods (but only nods – no lavish primetime Sunday evening docu-drama coverage (and DVD release!) of the Rape of Nanking for instance) towards balancing coverage with brief pieces on the atrocities and fanaticism that the Japanese visited upon their neighbours, prisoners of war and opponents.
One such item on BBC News Online was an In Pictures pop-up about World War II in the Pacific. However, even this was cocked-up with an excellent example of BBC News Online journalistic ignorance and naiveté – the caption on the first picture read:
In the early 1940s, Japan began expanding its territory across many parts of Asia.
Ah yes, a nice peaceful spot of ‘expansion’ – quite reminiscent of Spitting Image‘s take on Audi’s “The Muellers are going on holiday” advert from a few years ago (“The Hitlers are going on holiday, first off to the Suedetenland for a spot of annexing”, closing with “Deutschland uber alles, as we Germans still like to imply” instead of “Vorsprung durch technik”). Later on, when no one was looking (or so the Beeboids thought) it was changed to the more accurate (though equally anaemic):
After Japan entered the war in 1941 its troops won easy victories over the Allies, seizing territory from Burma all the way to the Philippines.
Later on still, the first picture was also changed – originally it showed troops running with fixed-bayonets in, shall we say, an aggressive manner. This was subsequently changed to a nice ‘Class of 1932’ style picture of proud, misunderstood Japanese youth.
Strangely enough, this story, Enola Gay crew ‘have no regrets’, doesn’t appear to feature much (if at all) in BBC News Online’s supposedly In Depth coverage of World War II: 60 years on – an old BBC News Online trick – it can’t be said that it’s not there, but there’s little chance of finding it unless you know what you’re looking for! Just for good measure though they do manage to insert a suitably negative (Don’t) Have Your Say quote: “The use of the nuclear bomb was not just an act of aggression, but a crime against humanity” – a coincidence I’m sure.
On another note, apologies for the recent paucity of posts – it’s not that the BBC is any better than before. Sometimes real life gets in the way of shouting “The King is in the altogether” at the Beeboid Media Monopoly Megalith.