BBC covers for Bush, but not Blair

Eli Stephens elishastephens at
Tue Jul 8 19:25:05 MDT 2003

Reporting on Bush's Africa trip on tonight's BBC news, Matt Frei closed his
report thusly: "Even his critics have to admit that President Bush has done
more than just deliver fine words. He's already pledged billions of dollars
to combat AIDS here and soon he may even be sending troops to nearby

Evidently irony has now died in Britain as it has long ago in the US.
"Pledges" of aid and the possibility of sending troops ARE just "fine
words", and nothing more. On the AIDS front, Bush pledged $15 billion over 5
years in his State of the Union address, but when he submitted his budget it
contained less than 1 billion for the first year. "More than just fine
words"? I'd call that LESS than just fine words.

The BBC remains significantly more objective and worthy of the name "news
organization" than any US organization, as those of us who have the
opportunity to see both can attest. Another story in the same broadcast by
Marc Mardell contained the kind of statement you would NEVER hear on US
news. Describing Tony Blair's committee testimony today, Mardell closed with
this: "Notice he wasn't talking about discovering the weapons themselves,
but evidence of weapons programs. And remember last year he was just as
confident that the inspectors would find something in Iraq. They didn't."

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