A Quick Fisking

Click, if you must, on this load of self-satisfied smarm by Joe Friedman in the Investors Business Daily. It’s mostly composed of an interview with the BBC’s television news boss, Rachel Atwell. A few choice excerpts:

Atwell said it’s no surprise why Americans are often held in low esteem around the world. Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria wrote a cover story in the Oct. 15, 2001 issue titled, “Why They Hate Us.” (It was titled, “Why They Hate America” in Newsweek’s overseas editions).

“If you had looked around the world, guys, you’d have known (why),” Atwell said.

Considering that BBC “news” is broadcast around the world, I’d say we have at least one reason right there.

Referring to the BBC, Atwell noted that “we compete against CNN” and said the alleged boosterism of Fox News to President Bush caught her eye.

“God,” she said, in mock-horror, “you’d never be allowed to broadcast in this country [Britain].”

Of that, I have no doubt. You’ll note that the speaker, the boss of a major television network, thinks this would be a good thing.

“We’re not used to having (our) politicians so unsophisticated,” Atwell maintained. “People in this country expect to have very clever Prime Ministers. Clinton was a very attractive figure. We never understood Reagan.”

Again, no doubt, and no wonder. People actually serious about fighting totalitarianism and boosting individual freedom must come as a complete shock to the Beeb’s current leadership.

“Kerry is much more pro-European,” she said. “Europeans would warm to Kerry.”

As the great American philosopher Gomer Pyle would say, “Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!”

Rachel, dear–we’re not interested in making Old Europe feel better. We’re interested in not getting killed.

On the other hand, that statement will cost Kerry the votes of the vast majority of any Americans who happen to read it. So thanks!

Noting that there are “flags everywhere” in the U.S. media’s coverage of events, Atwell said the preoccupation is “absolutely incomprehensible.”

She added: “We never put the Union Jack badge here on the TV news. People (in the U.K.) find overt patriotism to be odd.”

Speaking about England, she joked, “Here, nobody goes to church.”

Apparently not, but an awful lot of them are going to Mosque these days, aren’t they?

“The BBC scandal was quite traumatic inside the BBC,” Atwell said. “People believed that the BBC spoke the truth. They knew we tried to be impartial.”

Even with the bad publicity, it’s hard to think of a news organization anywhere that has a more cherished pedigree or greater reach around the world.

For that reason, Atwell’s observations are significant even though some thin-skinned Yanks may find her remarks to be harsh. If you read carefully, you might concede that she has a highly reasonable point of view.

Or just maybe, we could conclude that she


10 Responses to “A Quick Fisking”

  1. Stephen Green Says:

    Will, isn’t this your first fisk? Well done!

  2. gawdamman Says:

    Methinks the lady is a bit odd….and, frankly I don’t give a damn about her or her kind.

  3. Dave Says:

    *sanctimonious tones* As we all know, a clever tongue is ALWAYS preferable to a simplisme willingness to destroy evil.

  4. Mark Says:

    How appropriate, her use of the word “pedigree” to describe the Beeb…everytime I hear that word I think of dogs. I love dogs, but the Beeb has certainly gone to the dogs now hasn’t it?

  5. Linda Says:

    I absolutely loved this \\\\\\\”fisking.\\\\\\\”
    Having spent some time in London, this snotty attitude does not surprise me at all, but I still wonder why. London is dirty, slow and traffic choked. Restaurants are expensive and terrible. Hotels are the same. Not one thing to recommend it that I could see except the history of it. But one young man I met in an elevator said, \\\\\\\”You live in Las Vegas!!?? Wow, why are you wasting your time here? There is nothing here but old people and old stuff.\\\\\\\” I laughed. Apparently he was not into history. England\\\\\\\’s glorious past is past but many there have not realized that yet.

  6. jeff Says:

    Oh, if only we had more charity-case govt-subsidized news depts in this country, maybe we wouldn’t be such laughingstocks. I’m so ashamed of America

  7. Will Collier Says:

    Linda, I’ve lived in London, and elsewhere in England/Britain, and I had a wonderful time there; I’m certainly no Anglophobe. I was particularly struck by how warmly Americans were received by the Brits during the first Gulf War–but I haven’t been back since ’91, and things may well have changed.

    For one thing, the BBC has obviously changed a great deal since then. During the Gulf War, the coverage was pretty damn evenhanded from my perspective. That’s apparently a thing of the past.

  8. Jeff Brokaw Says:

    Re: “Clinton was a very attractive figure. We never understood Reagan.”

    That, in a nutshell, tells us everything we need to know about the BBC, and by extension, the intelligentsia in Britain. Thanks for pointing out your own cluelessness!

  9. SloopJohnB Says:

    Well, well, well … the prim-and politically correct Rachel can just kiss my ass.

  10. Dub Dublin Says:

    Noting that there are “flags everywhere” in the U.S. media’s coverage of events, Atwell said the preoccupation is “absolutely incomprehensible.”

    Not at all. It’s actually a quite predictable deception – the Democrats (for the first time ever on the entire-party level) are actually (relatively overtly) running on an anti-America platform this year. In an effort to try to cover this up, they wrap themselves in the flag (viz, HateAmerica cheerleader Michael Moore’s ever-present American flag ballcap), hoping that the stupid and ignorant people (everyone but members of the leftist intelligentsia, by definition) will fall for such a blatant ploy.

    Vietnam’s starring role in this campaign is not accidental. That war was not lost in Southeast Asia, but in America’s living rooms, driven by leftist idealogues like John Kerry and leftist media distorters like CBS’s Walter Kronkite. They can’t forget Vietnam, because it was a central turning point in thier twisted lives: the point at which they “realized” that America was evil and bad, and must be defeated at all costs, even if that means collaborating with the enemy, and ultimately, taking up thier communist banner under the guise of “progressive” politics. (Teddy Roosevelt’s Progressive (Bull Moose) party, as American as they come, and whose theme song was “Onward Christian Soldiers” (really!), must be spinning in its political grave…)

    She added: “We never put the Union Jack badge here on the TV news. People (in the U.K.) find overt patriotism to be odd.”

    To which I could acidly reply that if the UK didn’t happen to benefit from sharing a language and a cultural heritage with America, it would be even less relevant to the world than it is now. It seems when the UK stopped waving flags, it was because it gave up and went home, abandoning any significant world influence in the process.

    The very sad fact is that even the UK cannot be trusted as an ally of freedom over the long term. Lady Thatcher’s residual influence may be present for now, but Ms. Atwell’s cogent observation that no one in Britian attends church anymore simply means that we can solidly predict that an anti-freedom worldview will soon prevail there.

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