: that a dictator will be tried for vicious crimes seems to be causing little rejoicing on the BBC’s 10’o’clock news tonight, and much desire to make viewers aware that rejoicing was naïve and inappropriate. “President Bush has been under enormous pressure over the high U.S. casualties”, said the studio presenter, opening a typical leading question. “If these continue, is the bonus from Saddam’s capture likely to be short-lived?” Matt Frei, the BBC’s Washington correspondent, well known to readers of this blog for an anti-americanism so blatant as to be sometimes comic, is happy to answer questions of this kind. (One assumes his facility with them is why he was given the job.)
In short, it was standard, undiluted Biased BBC. Sometimes, they’re not so bad; Andrew Marr’s recent summing up of President Bush’s visit was a very good-humoured admission that despite the efforts of the demonstrators (and, though he did not mention it, the BBC’s own predictions*), the visit had gone well for Bush (and for Blair). At other times, the Beeb is like a caricature of everything one could say about it; a double-act of leading questions and prepared answers.
We will see how they cover the trial and likely sentence itself. The jury is out, BBC.
(*One CEEFAX article on the damage it would do Blair ended, “But despite its cost, the visit may not help Bush much either. Pictures of hostile demonstrators may hurt his ratings back home”, and this was fairly typical.)