Monday, August 09, 2004

How others see us 

One of the drawbacks of travel into the developing world is your dependency in the Marriotts and Hyatts on your news from the satellite. My choices for news on the TV are CNN International and BBC World. Other than the pronunciation of "BBC World" (I bet Captain Ed can do a mean impersonation) there is little to recommend the channel. For one thing, they don't know how to fill the time before the top of an hour so they show a countdown. Can there be anything more boring that watching a clock count to zero? Yes -- they can make it count to :03 and then make you guess the rest. Utterly dreadful. There's oodles of sports coverage -- of tennis and FYUTball, which is soccer to those of us with better living standards. Not that I dislike the game itself; I can really enjoy the Euro Cup or Champions League games. I just don't understand the reporting about it. I suppose that's how they feel about baseball, poor buggers.

But the most discouraging part of this is the coverage of the U.S. election. If last week's Victor Davis Hanson did not convince you that Europe is pulling for Kerry, you should watch CNNi or BBCW. Both reported Bush's slip of the tongue during the bill-signing last week. I'm not sure why it's news in America -- I can only surmise it is news in Europe and elsewhere to provide a little comic relief at the expense of Europe's bete noire. The coverage of Ahmed Chalabi's arrest warrant is very favorable to him; it takes all of 10 seconds, a minute-plus into the report, to tell us that he is being investigated for holding counterfeit Saddam dinars. This is followed by living proof that Darwinism isn't perfect, in the flesh of Charles Schumer discussing how we could have had bin Laden if only we had not talked about .

The International Herald Tribune, which is a joint of the WaPo and the NYT, seems to take the most biased articles of both papers. Krugman gets to appear in the paper this weekend, calling Awad Allawi a thug. Today's issue has a headline blaring "U.S. failing to slow nuclear programs" in Iran and North Korea. (So how will we slow them? Rapprochement?) Allawi's trip to Najaf is below the fold. BBC will debate later tonight with he is Iraq's strongman or the U.S.'s puppet. No other choices.

Maybe "they hate us" because we show them only self-hatred in our international paper and our international press?

Just now Christiane Ammanpour was on talking about Sudan. I used to be, well, infatuated with her. Now that requires the mute button.

UPDATE: Plastic Hallway thinks that maybe this "Europe loves Kerry" thing is overdone.