Polemicscat's Weblog

Examining settled and unsettling questions.

The Bashing of America in European Media

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Some people would have us believe that it’s the current President Bush and the Iraq invasion that have provoked ire against the USA in the foreign press. Not so, as the excerpt from the article below (written in November 2001) proves.  On September 11, 2001, Bush had been President just nine months. So the bashing by the foreign press must have been reaction to policies of the Clinton years.

And I’m not talking about the usual suspect, the French. No, it was the left-wing press in England, our supposed ally.

What the piece really shows is that England (and much of Europe) were already—at that time—feeling the effects of multiculturalism. The Muslim populations were large enough in England to have a significant influence on British perceptions of reality. At that time Americans had reason to expect  sympathy from even the left-wing press in England.   Remember that terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center and the USS Cole had already occurred during the Clinton presidency, before the events of September 11, 2001.

But, as the title of Mark Steyn’s book America Alone suggests, Europe is well on its way to being  Muslimized, and by mid-century the United States will likely be the last western nation representing individual rights like those enumerated in the first ten amendments of our Constitution.  Freedom of the press in the case of Steyn’s writing is already under attack in Canada where several politically correct organizations are bringing suit to have his writing banned. In several European countries,  free speech has already been canceled by the passage of so-called “hate-speech” laws.

From “Another painful lesson”
The New Criterion (November 2001)

by John Gross
On the British press’s coverage of the atrocities of September 11.

You start thinking you can’t be surprised anymore—not when it comes to left-wing
opinion-makers, at least—but you end up being surprised nonetheless. Most of their
reactions are predictable in broad outline; but reality has a way of going one better,
or one worse.

Two days after the assault on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, BBC television
broadcast that week’s edition of the current affairs program ‘Question Time,’ a panel
discussion with questions and comments from the floor. Almost at once it became
clear that the audience contained a large contingent of Muslim extremists and
left-wing sympathizers, who proceeded to hijack the program. Instead of questions,
there were anti-American diatribes; members of the panel (who included a former
American ambassador to Britain) were shouted down.

While what happened wasn’t entirely inconsistent with the slant of recent BBC
coverage in general, and its bias against Israel in particular, it is far more likely to
have been the result of ineptitude. No one had bothered to check up on the audience.
But that didn’t make the incident any less ugly, and there were many protests.
For a day or two the BBC huffed and puffed. Then the Director General, Greg Dyke
(of whom more later), issued an apology. It was fairly half-hearted, and one suspects
it might not have been issued at all if offence hadn’t been given at an ambassadorial level.
Still, it was better than nothing.

Two days later, a headline in the London Times caught my eye: ‘Dyke strives to
quell revolt over ‘Question Time.” For a moment, I felt mildly elated. So the old BBC spirit
wasn’t dead; there were still executives in the corporation capable of feeling ashamed of
the previous week’s lapse. Then I read on and saw what a fool I had been. There had indeed been ‘uproar’ inside the BBC, as the Times explained. What had provoked it, however, had been not the program, but Dyke’s apology: he had been obliged to send an e-mail to his staff, defending his decision.


It was a reminder that, while the world may have changed on September 11, the priorities of the media elite hadn’t. But perhaps such a lesson was no longer needed, since by this
stage left-wing interpretations of the current crisis had hardened and were being widely
voiced. From the first, there had been mutterings that it was all America’s fault. While the initial horrors were still unfolding, the New Statesman published an editorial in which it
argued the need for moral distinctions: ‘American bond dealers, you may say, are as
innocent and undeserving of terror as Vietnamese or Iraqi peasants. Well, yes and no.’

But it was left to the Guardian newspaper to play all the main anti-American tunes.
First we were told that while the atrocities of September 11 were a bad thing, their
very horror was an index of how bitter the victims of American foreign policy felt, how
much they had suffered. Then the grand old doctrine of equilateralism was wheeled out:
the atrocities were a bad thing, but America had done equally bad things (and more of them).

Then even the show of compassion was dropped, and we were told, repeatedly, that the
Americans had had it coming to them. Before long, equilateralism began to be applied to
the future as well as the past: there was talk of ‘an American jihad’ and ‘Bush’s holy war.’ At every stage, in fact, it was made clear that America’s duty was to do nothing—except
mend its ways. What it had been offered, if it only knew how to take advantage of it,
was (immortal phrase) ‘a painful lesson.’ So the atrocities weren’t such a bad thing after all.
Detailed instances of these approaches are hardly called for, but one observation by a
Guardian writer has achieved enough popularity for it to deserve to be singled out: ‘a bully with a bloody nose is still a bully.’ And I can’t resist quoting an example of the extremes
to which another contributor to the paper was driven in the quest for equilateralist parallels:

The smile on the face of the suicide bomber has as much to do with true humour and
laughter as the rictus incantation ‘Have a nice day’ in the supermarket checkout. Both
are debased forms of totalitarianism.

The Guardian has been far from alone in promulgating such attitudes, and the smaller but
influential Independent has run it a close second. To mark the replacement of the admittedly infelicitous name ‘Operation Infinite Justice’ by ‘Operation Enduring Freedom,’ for instance, it published a cartoon showing a dwarfish Bush in conference with the chiefs of staff—thick-necked cigar-chomping brutes. Lying on the table around which they were sitting were crumpled scraps of paper with some of the other names for the campaign against terrorism which had been considered—’Operation Ubiquitous Cheeseburger,’ ‘Operation My-Dad’s- Bigger-than-Your-Dad,’ ‘Operation Let’s-Have-Us-a-Lynching.’


Written by polemicscat

September 20, 2008 at 10:26 pm

One Response

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  1. Most of the press here in the UK is left wing and supportive of our incompetent government.
    They and the bbc are anti USA, with the bbc USA editor Justin Webb playing both sides of the fence.
    What you have to realise is that they are also anti – English, promote Muslimism and ethnic minorities, as well as unchecked immigration and gender bending.

    There are no coherent or integrated policies at play, just an agenda that reflects their warped internal culture within an isolated toxic bubble – Westminster operates the same way.
    Currently the UK financial mess is all blamed on America and short selling – an argument that fans stupid heat, but also reflects the media and bbc’s arrogance, lack of respect for the public that pays for them, and support a government seeking to find any way to avoid its own involvement in the current mess.

    Emmigration from England is rising year by year by disenchanted English people not willing to suffer the Muslimism of the current NuLabor regime. This is a taboo subject in the media and especially in the bbc.
    They will possibly only return when sanity is back – though this will not be for some years.


    September 21, 2008 at 3:22 am

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