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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Related to BBC bashing


Just read this over at Hrun's site. It is somewhat related to the post I put up yesterday about BBC bashing. Basically the champion of truth and justuce that is Bill O'Reilly took umbrage with some of the language used by the New York Times to describe al-Zarqawi.

The letter from the editor of the Times to O'Reilly is excellent and I think offers a reasonable defence for the media in not using the word, 'terrorist' every time it mentions one. There is no conspiracy, it is simply that they don't think that using the word is necessary. Perhaps it is because we have the wonderfully rich language that we do (apologies to non-English speakers) and so we can use other words. Journalists are there to inform, but they are also writers and so I am sure that many wish to craft a piece such that it isn't overly repetative for the sake of engaging the reader's brain.

As a sidebar, how many of you think that 'militant' is a neutral way to describe someone? For me the word already has negative connotations and so calling someone a militant is not a way of excusing them in some bizarre fashion. Is this just an interpretation issue?

13 comments:

hrun said...

And there is yet more BBC bashing from my favorite pundit over at Fox.

Ebird said...

O'Reilly is an ass of course. Keller's letter is quite appropriate. Also it's always a little amusing to me to see the phrase 'good grief'. (4th paragraph)

Kav said...

yes I did think 'Charlie Brown' at that moment :-)

I have little time for O'Reilly and I don't fall into the trap of thinking that he represents conservatives or libertarians (or whatever he claims to be). He does seem to be popular though, and I cannot for the life of me work out why he is.

Kav said...

Interestingly that interview aired before the London Bombings but to read O'Reilly one might get the impression that it was filmed afterwards - not that it says that.

Also, I dispute that it is all about Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. When Saddam was toppled the BBC covered the fact, they also reported on the mass graves that have been discovered. But when the news is abuse in our detention centres then I am glad that the BBC covers it. Perhaps Bill has no concept of the way time works. That was then, this is now.

Hubris said...

I don't hate the BBC, but I think it is telling that they went back retroactively to edit the word "terrorists" out of their coverage.

Ironically, while they say they are trying to avoid "emotional or value judgments," the non-use of the word is in itself a value judgment.

hrun said...

He does seem to be popular though, and I cannot for the life of me work out why he is.

Kav, it's very simple. O'Reilly appears to be tough, hard hitting but yet reasonable. It is this combination that makes him so popular. On the one hand he can spout things like "All Frenchies are cowards." or "Germany is plotting the destruction of the US." which a lot of people like to agree with. While every now and then he appears to be critical of the administration by saying things like "Bush should level with the American people and tell them just how great things are in Iraq." People may not agree with some of the fake criticizm O'Reilly uses so they just ignore it. Yet, the fact that he has this front of fake balance and reason makes people feel all warm and fuzzy about hating the French and the BBC.

hubris said...

OT: I just saw a breaking news crawl (no story attached yet) that the police have identified the bus mbomber. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

hubris said...

Oh, and I intentionally used the word "bomber." ;)

Kav said...

yep they think the bus bomber died in the explosion and they have made a number of arrests now.

Kav said...

I think that perhaps they can be accused of bad judgement. The word terrorist is an emotive word but then so are many others.
Therefore what is it telling us about?
Too much PC in the Beeb. Yes, I think I would agree. Too much PC in the world in general. Hell yes. But is this part of a big conspiracy to hurt the victims of terror and protect the terrorists? My arse it is.

Kav said...

Don't get me wrong I am not saying that the BBC can do no harm. What gets me is the seeming knee-jerk reaction of a lot of people who immediately accuse them of being liberal and anti-west. The Telegraph article would suggest that they are being stupid but not deliberately siding with the enemy, as it were.

hubris said...

Oh, I don't think they're siding with the enemy.

Kav said...

I didn't think that you did, but you should see some of the comments out there. In fact don't bother, since I imagine that like me it would just rile you. :-)

By the way that 'perhaps' in my comment above should be removed.