June 21, 2004

Game Time!

Let's play a little game.

Read this veritable opus over at the Guardian entitled: "9/11: At Last the Full Story Has Been Told."

Then spot (or comment, if inspired) the melodramatic language, manifold distortions and factual inaccuracies that riddle the piece (there looks to be almost one every other graf!).

Extra points for ones that make Bush (or Cheney) look bad and Clinton (or Richard Clarke) good.

And don't miss this beaut:

"Some, such as Osama bin Laden, tall, handsome scion of one of the Gulf's richest families, were minor celebrities. Others, such as Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, a tubby young Pakistani engineer, shunned the limelight."

They sound almost cute these two mass murderers, eh?

I mean, you almost wanna cuddle up with KSM, don't you?

You know, it's sad the U.K. has so few serious papers.

The Guardian, like the ultra-left Independent, is a tabloid, basically.

Stories like this one showcase that sad fact.

The mid to high-Tory musings of the Daily Telegraph are, truth be told, often suspect too. Nor is the Times hugely impressive ( Sarah Baxter, notwithstanding!).

Aside from the FT--it's quite grim over here--in terms of dailies.

Why can't the home of the best general circulation newsweekly in the world (the indispensable Economist) do better on the dailies front?

Beats me.

You know, this blog often criticizes the NYT. But, truth be told, it's mostly a labor of love. I consider it a national treasure (post-Raines, bien sur).

Ditto, the WaPo has a long and illustrious history. And the WSJ is pretty damn solid too.

Pity the Brits come up so short on this front, don't you think?

Posted by Gregory at June 21, 2004 11:39 PM

"They revealed that the terrorists owed their success, at least in part, to the confusion, errors of judgment and laziness of those charged with defending America."

Lazy, rich, spoiled Bush; of course, he's to blame (more than UBL almost...)

Posted by: jj at June 21, 2004 11:43 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

I used to read the Guardian, long ago in my student years. Everyone did. I think it still has a stranglehold on academia. Now, I'm embarrassed - but at least I grew up. Now, I don't read newspapers at all (not for years), except for the odd article on the web.

So, yes, the state of UK papers is quite sad. Thank goodness for the Economist, which I buy every week.

Posted by: Alastair at June 22, 2004 12:23 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Brits have only 60 million people. With 300 million in the US, we ought to have 6X as many good daily papers as them.

As your remarks suggest, it's not clear that we do.

Posted by: JK at June 22, 2004 02:12 AM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Gregory, what *can* you be thinking? Don't you know that the British -- indeed, all the European press -- is superior to the American, that the American press never pays any attention to events outside the US, that it is too timid to challenge the government line on anything? Or so Europeans tell me, anyway.

Australia is in even worse shape, poor things. Their chief papers are basically Guardian for Dummies, by Dummies.

Posted by: Angie Schultz at June 22, 2004 03:36 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

Except, of course, that article appeared in the Observer. Not the Guardian.

I'd be a bit more impressed if a) your writeup wasn't quite so swivel-eyed, melodramatic etc. itself and b) you could point to a single distortion or factual inaccuracy in the piece. Melodramatic language, yes, but that's hardly a hanging offence. Put up or shut up.

Posted by: ajay at June 23, 2004 05:34 PM | Permalink to this comment Permalink

The Guardian of course is the spiritual home of BBC journalists and dirigiste middle class meddlers everywhere. For them this isn't bad, more an exercise in 20/20 hindsight than the standard "Bush is more evil than Bin Laden" fare. The biggest error is the implication that Clinton would have done anything different. It is here that the partisanship shows through (though I do recall that one of the people advised about the security risk posed at logan airport - and who totally ignored the warning -was John Kerry).

The rest is simply typical smug Brit journalist stuff.

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