Unless you have been living under a rock or only have access to left-wing media, you might have heard about Dan Hannan. He is the MEP from Southern England who has become an internet sensation for his polite but pugilistic takedown of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown while he was visiting the European Parliament.
Completely ignored by the British media for almost 48 hours after it first appeared on UK blogs and trans-Atlantic ones like mine, the video of Hannan’s takedown is finally starting to get noticed by the British media. Upset by getting beat to the story by Fox News, Drudge, and quite a few other right-of-center blogs in the U.S., the British media is in full trashing mode. The most egregious effort so far is this biased trashing of Hannan by Channel 4 in the UK. Most amusing to those in the know about the YouTube sensation caused by the video is the fact that Channel 4 manages to get the amount of views the clip has been getting wrong by a factor of 50% x 10. Instead of mentioning that it was up to over 800,000 views at the time of the broadcast, Peter Snow said it had slightly more than 40,000. It has today broken the million views barrier. Was it a complete cock-up or a deliberately misleading comment? You take a look and be the judge.
Meanwhile, the BBC has barely managed to mention it at all. The network has been keen to stress the rather pathetic attempts by Labor’s Derek Draper, who appears on the Channel 4 piece, and MP Tom Harris, who has this to say:
What was truly repugnant about his speech was the total absence of any sense of patriotism. … Gordon Brown isn’t just Labour’s prime minister; he’s Britain’s prime minister, and for any UK politician to launch such a disgraceful, personal attack on his country’s leader — in a foreign country — is nothing short of disgraceful.
It has become rather clear that both the standard press and the Labor Party are feeling threatened by the sensation that Dan Hannan’s broadside against Gordon Brown MP has caused. He speaks for many Britons fed up with a prime minister who was not even elected to lead the country but appointed by the leadership of the Labor Party.
Hannan used a nautical theme for part of the speech:
Other ships used the good years to caulk their hulls and clear up their rigging — in other words, to pay off debt — but you used the good years to raise borrowing yet further. As a consequence, under your captaincy, our hull is pressed deep into the water line, under the accumulated weight of your debt.
What is most interesting, and should be a worry to both President Obama and the Republican Party, is the fact that Hannan’s words struck a deep chord with many Americans as well. Twitter and the Internet have been alight with people praising Dan Hannan’s appearance on Neil Cavuto’s show, even forgiving him his kind words about Obama’s candidacy. He also appeared on Sean Hannity’s show and several other U.S. programs.