Lats week, the British media decided it would be irresponsible to reprint the Danish cartoons on the grounds it would stir up outrage. Yesterday, several newspapers decided to print two year-old images of British soldiers beating Iraqi rioters.
The Spectator blog team is apoplectic:
Pop Quiz: does British media think: (a) let’s demonstrate our world-famous “responsibility and sensitivity” again by not publishing the pictures of the soldiers beating up Iraqis, especially as it may lead to more violence and the death of soldiers and Muslims; (b) unlike the Muslims the soldiers aren’t threatening us with violence, they’re great pictures, what a story, splash, “outrage”, “shock”, “grave damage”, trebles all round…?
The British Establishment, whose strongest weapon is dominance of the cultural commanding heights (in the absence of a conservative Party or media, and benefiting from restrictions on free speech such as the ban on political advertising designed by the Establishment to entrench special interest privileges), seems to think Britain can (a) keep top quality armed forces, (b) send them abroad to do and resist violence, and (c) perpetually blast stories like this “video abuse” across TV and perpetually investigate operations with lawyers.
The Speccie team is right to point out that this sort of muddled thinking is exactly why British politicians and journalists are held in extreme contempt over there. As they sum up:
Note to press: go into a pub on a council estate and ask people what they think of the video and then ask yourself whether you are reflecting public opinion or reflecting the opinions of the hacks you hang out with, many of whom have had their minds poisoned by too much Derrida in bogus “English degrees”…
Go on, chaps, don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think.