The Corner

Boos For Cowell

Within hours of the London violence, New York Times reporter Alan Cowell was already forecasting political doom for Blair with an admittedly crude analysis: “Perhaps the crudest lesson to be drawn was that, in adopting the stance he took after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Blair had finally reaped the bitter harvest of the war on terrorism – so often forecast but never quite seeming real until the explosions boomed across London.”

Finally? Was Cowell just waiting with bated breath for the bombings to ruin Blair’s political standing? And why would a newspaper located in Manhattan blame terrorist bombings on the leaders who’ve vowed to fight the terrorists? Is Cowell or the Times suggesting the duck-and-cover Madrid model is the way to deal with train bombers?

Even the Tube bombings were another rich opportunity for Cowell to break out again with the “poodle” mockery: “The war in Iraq has been increasingly unpopular here, with taunts that Mr. Blair had become President Bush’s poodle. The anger about Iraq led to Mr. Blair’s shaky showing in the May elections: a third term with a severely reduced majority. Now, as long predicted and feared, his support of the war appears to have cost British lives at home. Thursday was a day of rallying behind the leader, but there were indications that the bombing could take a political toll.” Isn’t there about a gallon of wishful thinking in Cowell’s pub glass?

Apparently for Cowell, that wave of approaching popular revulsion was personified by extremist George Galloway: “No mainstream politician would say so out loud, but George Galloway, the maverick, onetime Labor legislator who had met with Saddam Hussein before the Iraq war, had no hesitation. ‘We argued, as did the security services in this country, that the attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq would increase the threat of terrorist attack in Britain,’ he said. ‘Tragically, Londoners have now paid the price of the government ignoring such warnings.’” Cowell was kind enough to notice this was the extreme: “That was not the general political line, of course.” But it was the Times line.

Tim Graham — Tim Graham is Director of Media Analysis at the Media Research Center, where he began in 1989, and has served there with the exception of 2001 and 2002, when served ...

Most Popular


Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More