The Corner

Bbc Whiplash

From a reader:

Hi Jonah,

Just got back from a week in the UK last night.

The whole time I was there all news outlets and programs…especially the BBC, were wall to wall with coverage of the return of the four UK citizen detainees from Guantanamo. The nation was blanketed with stories, reports and chat show discussions, all of which carried the same underlying themes and memes—barbaric Americans…poor lads…evil Bush…etc..

You would have thought that Army Rangers had swooped down on the Manchester Marks & Spencer’s and ripped these guys out the arms of their blind grandmothers. There was practically no mention of the fact that all of these guys had been picked up in the middle of a war zone in Afghanistan (when they supposedly were visiting Pakistan, which they had suddenly gotten the urge to go visit a few weeks after 9/11.)

Most of the TV channels interrupted regular programming to carry the landing of the C-130 plane carrying the sweet boys. The “presenter” I watched pointed out several times that the British authorities would not be making the lads wear shackles and hoods (unlike some other country we all know and loathe.)

Now the irony…

Yesterday morning the TV channels were in the middle of more live coverage of the Fab Four (preparing to show the release of one of them from the Paddington Green police station and the tearful reuniting with the family) when the reports of the bombings in Spain began to come through. All coverage switched over to cover that developing story.

What a difference a few minutes makes.

Most Popular

Film & TV

In Unsane, Aetna Meets Kafka

Unsane doesn’t take the form of a horror film; at first, it appears to be a Hitchcockian thriller about mistaken identity or perhaps getting ensnared in a web of bureaucracy. Yet with clinical detachment it develops into a nerve-flaying story almost too agonizing to endure. Unlike most horror movies, it isn’t ... Read More

Viva l’Italia?

Italy has just had elections, with very interesting results. I wanted to talk with Alberto Mingardi, which I have. He is one of the leading classical liberals in Italy -- the director general of the Bruno Leoni Institute, in Milan. (Mingardi himself is Milanese.) He is also an authority in arts and letters. In ... Read More

Putin and the Cult of Leadership

On Sunday, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin won an unsurprising reelection-campaign victory against Communist Party candidate Pavel Grudinin, by a margin of 76.7 percent to 11.8 percent. The results were unsurprising because Putin is a tyrant who murders or imprisons political rivals, and who isn’t afraid to use ... Read More

Trump and Brexit Derangement Syndrome

I am not one of those Brexiteers who believe that Brexit and Trumpism are essentially the same phenomenon in two different countries. To be sure, they both draw on some of the same political trends, notably a distrust of elites and an upsurge of popular anger over evident failures of public policy such as illegal ... Read More

Stand Up to Putin

President Putin’s landslide victory in Russia’s presidential election was achieved against the lackluster competition of a group of mediocre candidates from which the sole serious opponent had been excluded; amid plausible allegations that his security services had tried to poison two Russians in England by ... Read More