A Quick Fisking

Click, if you must, on this load of self-satisfied smarm by Joe Friedman in the Investors Business Daily. It’s mostly composed of an interview with the BBC’s television news boss, Rachel Atwell. A few choice excerpts:

Atwell said it’s no surprise why Americans are often held in low esteem around the world. Newsweek’s Fareed Zakaria wrote a cover story in the Oct. 15, 2001 issue titled, “Why They Hate Us.” (It was titled, “Why They Hate America” in Newsweek’s overseas editions).

“If you had looked around the world, guys, you’d have known (why),” Atwell said.

Considering that BBC “news” is broadcast around the world, I’d say we have at least one reason right there.

Referring to the BBC, Atwell noted that “we compete against CNN” and said the alleged boosterism of Fox News to President Bush caught her eye.

“God,” she said, in mock-horror, “you’d never be allowed to broadcast in this country [Britain].”

Of that, I have no doubt. You’ll note that the speaker, the boss of a major television network, thinks this would be a good thing.

“We’re not used to having (our) politicians so unsophisticated,” Atwell maintained. “People in this country expect to have very clever Prime Ministers. Clinton was a very attractive figure. We never understood Reagan.”

Again, no doubt, and no wonder. People actually serious about fighting totalitarianism and boosting individual freedom must come as a complete shock to the Beeb’s current leadership.

“Kerry is much more pro-European,” she said. “Europeans would warm to Kerry.”

As the great American philosopher Gomer Pyle would say, “Sur-prise, sur-prise, sur-prise!”

Rachel, dear–we’re not interested in making Old Europe feel better. We’re interested in not getting killed.

On the other hand, that statement will cost Kerry the votes of the vast majority of any Americans who happen to read it. So thanks!

Noting that there are “flags everywhere” in the U.S. media’s coverage of events, Atwell said the preoccupation is “absolutely incomprehensible.”

She added: “We never put the Union Jack badge here on the TV news. People (in the U.K.) find overt patriotism to be odd.”

Speaking about England, she joked, “Here, nobody goes to church.”

Apparently not, but an awful lot of them are going to Mosque these days, aren’t they?

“The BBC scandal was quite traumatic inside the BBC,” Atwell said. “People believed that the BBC spoke the truth. They knew we tried to be impartial.”

Even with the bad publicity, it’s hard to think of a news organization anywhere that has a more cherished pedigree or greater reach around the world.

For that reason, Atwell’s observations are significant even though some thin-skinned Yanks may find her remarks to be harsh. If you read carefully, you might concede that she has a highly reasonable point of view.

Or just maybe, we could conclude that she