Thursday, January 13, 2005
Outstanding Article About U.S. and Aussie Tsunami Relief
January 13, 2005 (Hat tip to Mrs. Malkin, another woman who does all the work and gets no glory)
The London Daily Telegraph's Christopher Booker on the BBC's tsunami coverage. LAST week we were subjected to one of the most extraordinary examples of one-sided news management of modern times, as most of Britain's media, led by the BBC, studiously ignored what was by far the most effective and dramatic response to Asia's tsunami disaster. A mighty task force of more than 20 US Navy ships, led by a vast nuclear-powered aircraft carrier, the Abraham Lincoln, and equipped with nearly 90 helicopters, landing craft and hovercraft, was carrying out a round-the-clock relief operation, providing food, water and medical supplies to hundreds of thousands of survivors.The BBC went out of its way not to report this. Only when one BBC reporter hitched a lift from one of the Abraham Lincoln's Sea Hawk helicopters to report from the Sumatran coast was there the faintest hint of the part that the Americans, aided by the Australian navy, were playing.
Instead the BBC's coverage was dominated by the self-important vapourings of a stream of politicians, led by the UN's Kofi Annan; the EU's "three-minute silence"; the public's amazing response to fund-raising appeals; and a UNICEF-inspired scare story about orphaned children being targeted by sex traffickers. The overall effect was to turn the wholedrama into a heart-tugging soap opera.
The real story of the week should thus have been the startling contrast between the impotence of the international organisations, the UN and the EU, and the remarkable efficiency of the US and Australian military on the ground ... But when even Communist China's news agency tells us more about what is really going on than the BBC, we see just how strange the world has become. One real lesson of this disaster is that all the international aid in the world is worthless unless one has the hardware and organisational know-how to deliver it. That is what the US and Australia have been showing, as the UN and the EU are powerless to do. But because, to the BBC, it is a case of "UN and EU good, US and military bad", the story is suppressed. The BBC's performance has become a national scandal.
posted by El Capitan at 11:10 AM