Saturday, 8 September 2012

None so blind as those who will not see

So why exactly does the BBC go SOOO easy on, to the extent of misrepresenting, the American right?

Partly, I think its because nasty bastards like Paul Ryan are only ever found on the extreme fringes of British politics so when the BBC is confronted by what he actually believes in, says, votes and campaigns for, they instinctively assume he’s not being serious and selectively tone down how he’s portrayed into something it finds more palatable.

The other thing is the BBC is lazy and relies on predictable tropes for communicating the news. When it comes to America this means viewing everything in terms of the “special relationship”.

Practically, this involves producing stories that:
-          exaggerate the importance of the UK to the US as a strategic partner
-          exaggerate the influence the UK has on the US
-          exaggerate the attention paid by US politicians and the US public to the UK,  its politicians and the Royal family
-          downplay the extent to which the UK is just another mid-size economy/political player
-          downplay the extent to which UK support is taken for granted

Then on the back of this periodically debating whether there still is a “special relationship”, its costs/benefits, producing documentaries that examine it (all predicated on the assumption that there is one) and so on.

The problem Paul Ryan poses here is straightforward; no one wants to be a relationship with a nasty mentalist, special or otherwise. To actually produce accurate reports would expose this. The BBC response? To provide only biased and highly selective accounts that leave deluded notions of the "special relationship” intact by leaving out the batshit crazy nasty aspects of actual Republican politics.

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