Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Understatement Of The Century

This falls into the "really?" category.

The head of the BBC's news operations accused U.S. media organizations on Tuesday night of being overly patriotic in their coverage of the lead-up to the Iraq war.

"Before Iraq, it seemed to me that some U.S. news broadcasters wrapped themselves in the flag and, as a consequence, did not perform the role the public expects of them," said Richard Sambrook, director of the BBC's global news division.

"Our natural instinct is to support our country. But the responsibility of the news media is to ask the difficult questions, to press, to verify," Sambrook said, according to an advance copy of his speech to the Columbia Journalism School in New York.

Why ask difficult questions when it's so much easier to just point the camera and record staged events?

They were the shots seen 'round the world: newspaper photographs and TV images of jubilant Iraqis toppling a giant statue of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad on April 9, 2003, shortly after the U.S. military chased him out of town. Now, after months of rumors, the U.S. military has confirmed that the entire stunt was conceived by the U.S. military and enacted with the help of a fast-thinking Army psychological operation (PSYOP).