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Old 04-27-2003, 10:03 PM   #1
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BBC Blasts US Broadcasters

BBC blasts U.S. broadcasters
BBC chief slams U.S. broadcasters `Cheerleading' war coverage scorned



MERISSA MARR
REUTERS NEWS AGENCY

LONDON—The director of the BBC says American broadcasters' coverage of the Iraq war was so unquestioningly patriotic and so lacking in impartiality that it threatened the credibility of U.S. electronic media.

Gen. Greg Dyke singled out for criticism the fast growing Fox Cable News Network, owned by media baron Rupert Murdoch, and Clear Channel Communications, the largest operator of radio stations in the United States, for special criticism.

"Personally, I was shocked while in the United States by how unquestioning the broadcast news media was during this war," Dyke said in a speech at a University of London conference.

"If Iraq proved anything, it was that the BBC cannot afford to mix patriotism and journalism. This is happening in the United States and, if it continues, will undermine the credibility of the U.S. electronic news media."

Dyke singled out Fox News, the most popular U.S. cable news network during the conflict, for its "gung-ho patriotism," saying: "We are still surprised when we see Fox News with such a committed political position."

A spokesman for Fox News declined comment.

The British media veteran also attacked U.S. radio broadcaster Clear Channel Communication Inc. and warned against British media becoming "Americanized."

"We are genuinely shocked when we discover that the largest radio group in the United States was using its airwaves to organize pro-war rallies," Dyke said.

"We are even more shocked to discover that the same group wants to become a big player in radio in the United Kingdom when it is deregulated later this year."

A spokesman for Clear Channel was not available for comment.

"For the health of our democracy," Dyke said, "it's vital we don't follow the path of many American networks."

U.S. broadcasters came under attack for "cheerleading" during the Iraq conflict, with what some critics saw as gung-ho reporting and flag-waving patriotism. In one example, a U.S. network described U.S. soldiers as "heroes" and "liberators."

Dyke suggested the problem stemmed from the recent fragmentation of media, with no single network having the clout to stand up to the U.S. government.

"This is particularly so since Sept. 11, when many U.S. networks wrapped themselves in the American flag and swapped impartiality for patriotism."

Dyke defended the BBC in the face of accusations — some from the British government — that the broadcaster had been soft on Saddam Hussein's government.

"In times of war, British governments of every persuasion have sought to use the media to manage public opinion," Dyke said. "It's only a problem if the BBC caves in."
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Old 04-27-2003, 10:17 PM   #2
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Since I have digital TV, I get the BBC and never was I so grateful as during these last couple of months. They really do a much better job than any American station I have seen.
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Old 04-27-2003, 11:34 PM   #3
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I watched very little TV news during the war for this reason. I got most of my war news from the Internet.
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Old 04-28-2003, 11:33 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Since I have digital TV, I get the BBC and never was I so grateful as during these last couple of months. They really do a much better job than any American station I have seen.
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Old 04-28-2003, 11:46 AM   #5
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i only watched the BBC news coverage on the war because CNN, MSNBC, ABC, NBC coverage were not showing what i felt needed to be shown.
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Old 04-28-2003, 11:47 AM   #6
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Dyke's comments sound a tad self-righteous to me.

No one news source has cornered the market on reporting all facts in an objective manner. Even Fox, as vile as some may view this network, provides facts not found elsewhere. It is all a matter of which facts you want to hear.
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:28 PM   #7
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Personally, I tried to keep an open mind about the situation in Iraq and the war. After all, I never supported Saddam Hussein. I always thought he was a , so I really didn't think it was all "what I wanted to hear". I had some serious reservations about the war but didn't want to be too dogmatic because I don't support dictators. I thought the BBC coverage of the war was much better than Fox or the other American networks. I thought they were less rhetorical and more factual.
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Old 04-28-2003, 12:29 PM   #8
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Fox news became laughable to me. I got more facts from the Daily Show than I did Fox News. They reported speculation as fact and it was truly discusting. I never saw any "facts" or piece of news that no one else had reported on, it was jut that Fox wrapped it up in a nice patriotic package to hand us. Some people bought it, some didn't.
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Old 04-28-2003, 01:08 PM   #9
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One night Fox got careless about the color of the icon or whatever they were showing the terror threat level and made it look awfully red rather than orange. This was on the bar at the bottom of the screen. It said "terror thread level high", then the red-looking thingie, and honestly, I freaked out because I thought the government had given us the highest possible terrorist threat warning. Actually that thing should have been orange. The threat level was high, not highest. I thought their coverage in general was more show biz and rhetoric than it was really news. I did not change my attitude towards Rumsfeld at all. I still don't like the .
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Old 04-28-2003, 03:18 PM   #10
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I've always liked the bbc news better even before the war and sept 11th.
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Old 04-28-2003, 04:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by ILuvLarryMullen
I've always liked the bbc news better even before the war and sept 11th.
Me too. I've always had a complaint that the U.S. press, in general, is too sensationalist. The BBC was always much less so.
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Old 04-28-2003, 10:46 PM   #12
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nb, i know your playing devils advocate here, but some things are fact and can be called fact. saddam hussein was/is an evil man. fox news is veil at best, and should not be considered as truthful reporting in the slightest.
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Old 04-29-2003, 08:22 AM   #13
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I don't think the BBC are always 100% impartial (then again, no news station really is) but I definitely think they present a far less biased view than Fox news (which I can't watch without cringing) and even CNN.
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Old 04-30-2003, 10:17 PM   #14
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Just because an organization or person shows patriotism does not mean they do not present the facts. The idea that the BBC somehow has supperior access to the "facts" and is more objective is rubbish.

Lets not forget that the BBC is the media organization that banned the Police video for "Invisible Sun". The BBC like other media organizations selectively reports the facts with its own preconcieved style. It also chooses not to report and show some things as well, for rather curious reasons.
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Old 05-02-2003, 08:58 AM   #15
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I have been flipping through the channels for the last two mornings since I got back from Europe a few days ago. I have to say, I am about ready to book my flight back out of the country. The complete and utter lack of any credible news journalism on ANY of the major US stations is absolutely appalling to me. I cannot believe my eyes as to what is being said and more importantly what is NOT being said. I knew it was going to be hard to stomach the propaganda being passed off as "news" in this country, but I didn't expect it to be this bad. It is no wonder, with such a shoddy and unthinking media, that the US public is misinformed about the state of the outside world. Thank goodness for the internet, where one can at least attempt to get multiple viewpoints and actually read facts.
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