December 14, 2003

A REVEALING POST from the BBC reporters' blog:

The prime minister has just delivered a speech which he's wanted to give for a long time. Tony Blair is pleased not just with what's happened-Saddam's capture-but also how. We all imagined that if the Americans got a tip off they would just bomb somewhere off the face of the earth.

But he was captured without a shot being fired. He's looking healthy, he's not been tortured, he's being handed over to Iraqi justice.

(Emphasis added.) Not tortured! And no mindless bombing! Imagine that!

Revealing, as I say. Read the whole blog, though, which has a lot of useful information about Iraq, as well as revealing evidence of the BBC worldview.

UPDATE: Major Sean Bannion emails from Baghdad:

Being no friend of the media I can confirm what some of your readers have already told you when they say "you can hear the dejection in their voices" from the media.

In the case of the CPA press conference you could see the disappointment on their faces and in their mien even if they asked a reasonable question. They were at least polite enough not to openly pooh-pooh Ambassador Bremer, LTG Sanchez and Dr. Pachachi.

But you can REALLY get a sense of the media's tone when you read Reuters' cutline from the photo of a captured Saddam:

"A photo of Saddam Hussein after his capture is shown during a press conference in Baghdad, December 14, 2003. U.S. troops captured Saddam Hussein near his home town of Tikrit announced U.S. administrator in Iraq Paul Bremer on Sunday, in a major coup for Washington's beleaguered occupation force in Iraq. Photo by Reuters"

I'm actually HERE and I don't consider ANY of us "beleaguered."

No, Major, but they'd like for you to be.

ANOTHER UPDATE: Merde In France reports: "Baghdad Celebrates, Paris Frowns."

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Jay Rosen emails that we shouldn't put credence in reports of reporters being dejected about Saddam's capture.

Well, I'm just relaying others' reports, but I have no reason to doubt their sincerity.

Possibly they're misinterpreting the nature of the response, of course -- but if I were one of those reporters, I'd wonder what I was doing to make such misinterpretations so widespread. Here's a longish blog essay on the subject.

MORE: Rosen emails back: "Journalists are as happy as other Americans. Their problem is that they don't quite know how to express that."