Thursday, November 04, 2004

BBC Bias Part 397

It didn't take BBC News long to come to terms with the Bush victory. The theme of coverage will be 'Divided America'.

The Mad Cowboy will still make appearances, though. Listen to James Naughtie (RealAudio) interviewing Robin Cook and Ian Duncan Smith on yesterday's Today programme. Near the end Naughtie gives it away when he says 'us' before correcting himself.

And, Robin Cook, what about those who say - President Bush now, he's got four years, doesn't have to worry about opinion in the United States, he's there, presidents do some - er - can do things in the final four years - without what - having to worry about the next election - is he going to do things that will truly scare us, like maybe - scare some people - like maybe taking on Iran directly ?

You may remember how, under the Clinton administration, the opposition were presented, especially during Monicagate, as bitter zealots who couldn't come to terms with not winning the election.

Under Bush, the bitter zealots who can't come to terms with not winning the election will be the 'divided nation' to whom GWB has failed to 'reach out'.

You can also expect Christians to get even more stick. The BBC can't understand why American Christians aren't like the Church Of England, social workers in frocks who worry about debt, Fairtrade chocolate, the oppression of gay clergy and sustainable development initiatives proactively reaching out to the broad sections of the community on a multidisciplinary basis, while the Ten Commandments are broken daily on an industrial scale and the CofE's churches grow greyer and emptier.

Whereas in America Christians actually believe all that 'thou shalt not' nonsense.

Rasputin last year pointed out a truth about Muslim believers.

Williams believes westerners find it difficult to grasp that for a Muslim, being religious is not something that is done in addition to everything else: “It just is the fabric. For the Muslim everything is seen through that lens.”

Christians who took such an attitude would be roundly condemned as bigots by the CofE, of course. That kind of faith is for them, not for us.

For the BBC's view of American Christians, here's the BBC's favourite historian Simon Schama (RealAudio), also on the Today programme. His theme - 'Divided America'.

"Despite the kind of - er, shallow rhetoric of 'Bring America Together' - nobody really seems to (laughs) quite believe it, actually; the truism about two Americas seems to be deeper and more bitter than ever - it's a reality; I mean there is a cultural civil war going on, it's no good to pretend there isn't - and it's to do with those who essentially are guided by faith, from the President down, the President insisting that God tells him what (laughs) to do and when to do it - I shouldn't be quite so facetious but it's very important to him, and to millions of Americans - this is something often quite hard in a laid-back secular world like Britain, to really understand ...'

You have to imagine what the reaction would be if a BBC commentator found a Muslim leader's faith amusing enough to laugh on air while describing it. He'd be out of the studio before you could say 'Islamophobia'.

UPDATE - Schama continues the attack in today's Grauniad.

"You want moral values? So do we, but let them come from the street, not the pulpit. And if a fresh beginning must be made - and it must - let it not begin with a healing, but with a fight."

You can find moral values on the street all right - from 'On les aura !' and 'a la lanterne !' to Kristallnacht and any number of intercommunal riots. Strange place to look for them though - unless you're looking for a fight. I'll back religious rednecks against secular liberals any day. But perhaps he doesn't really mean it.

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