The Null Device

Compare and contrast

A comparison of US and British media's responses to domestic terrorist acts:
Right this minute, on the BBC World service: a lengthy report on humanitarian efforts in Africa. No news crawl. If you didn't know the London bombings had happened already, you wouldn't even know.
Right this minute, on CNN International: a lengthy report on anti-terrorism efforts in other countries, so far specifically framed as a series of successful trades: decreasing freedom for increasing surveillance, with greater security supposedly as the net result. Along the bottom, a news crawl repeats bombing-related headlines constantly.
One of these things is not like the other. One is constant, constant fear-pandering. The other -- from the country that actually suffered the bombings, no less -- is still reporting something resembling actual news, with something resembling a dose of actual perspective.
Then again, don't Britain's commercial news providers (Murdoch's Sky News) push the fear angle hard as well, mostly because that's what gets the eyeballs? Or is it a matter of (a) the American public being fear junkies, or (b) the US media being in the service of neocons (and/or reptilian aliens that psychically feed off fear), in whose interests it is that the population is kept terrified?

A related thought: if Britain was like America, we'd probably have Dannii Minogue singing Rule Britannia (and/or God Save The Queen, complete with the jingoistic third verse -- "confound their politics, frustrate their knavish tricks, on Thee our hopes we fix") at a star-studded gala right now.

There are 1 comments on "Compare and contrast":

Posted by: gjw http://the-fix.org Fri Jul 15 02:33:03 2005

I noticed a strange disconnect on the night of the bombings. People in London I was talking to online, some who had been involved in the evacuation from tube stations, were joking and talking seriously about heading down to the pub. People the BBC were interviewing on the radio impressed me with their calm resolve and coherence. But, back in Australia, Channel 7's news reporter was droning on and on about the "atmosphere of panic and chaos on the streets of London".

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