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September 24, 2005
ANN ALTHOUSE ON THE BBC: "Unbelievably smug." Indeed.
UPDATE: "Relentless, clueless, and anti-American." Indeed, again.
ANOTHER UPDATE: Reader Ted Nolan points out that even the NPR ombudsman has noticed:
The BBC also seems to portray aspects of Southern culture in a less than flattering light, especially in its interviews with local religious leaders who see Katrina as divine retribution for New Orleans' "sinfulness."
I am sure that the BBC is not inventing these interviews. But the effect is that it sounds less like reporting than like caricature. Public radio listeners likely understand what is going on -- that BBC cultural assumptions about the United States remain mired in a reflex European opposition to American foreign policy. But what comes through the radio sounds mean-spirited and not particularly helpful; it probably evokes knowing glances and smirks among editors and producers back in London.
It's producing knowing glances and smirks elsewhere, too -- just of a different sort!
MORE: One of Ann's commenters writes:
It's very sad to see the severe degradation of the Atlantic relationships in recent years, but what can you do when the bridge is being burned from the other end?