The vanished French riot story, and Associated Press Deficit Disorder
Yesterday’s BBCA morning news, and this morning’s, too, simply didn’t mention at all that arson and rioting have continued across France. If that was all the news you watched/read, you’d think the whole thing is over. The story simply vanished.
This morning’s Beeb broadcast dedicated 5 minutes to
eulogize report on Yasser Arafat, and an interview with one of his associates, who declared how vital Arafat was to the “peace process”. It speaks volumes on the Beeb’s attitude towards murderers. Of course, showing Arafat’s death a year ago in flattering terms is clearly more vital to the current state of Europe than fifteen continous days of rioting and arson — which started last month — not only in Paris, but across La France profonde, isn’t it? (/end sarcasm) The Beeb for sure didn’t spend any time doing an analysis like Sigmund, Carl and Alfred posted at this blog this morning, that’s for sure. Or looking, for that matter, at what the rioters are doing, as Mary has.
Does the American media suffer from ADHD and find themselves incapable of following an important story for longer than ten days? Or do they find themselves increasingly unable to explain the serious and continued violence despite the bribery and politically-correct strategies employed by French security forces?
Security was extremely tight in the French capital following reports that rioters may be planning attacks in downtown areas. Paris police chief Pierre Mutz says Internet and cell phone messages calling for violence have circulated this week, as the country prepared for the holiday marking the end of World War I.
At least the Beeb‘s page did better than the Google News page, which placed the French riots at the bottom of the page, way below the sports and entertainment. Heavens know I love to comment on Pride and Prejudice, and on Clive Owen’s latest, but TBHB is an individual’s commentary blog, not a world news service.
Surprinsingly enough, Associated Press (after which I named Associated Press Deficit Disorder, i.e., the innatention of Associated Press and other news agencies to the actual words said by a person who doesn’t fit what AP wants to hear) has a report by D’Arcy Doran in today’s Guardian with actual information (along with a lot of statements by politicians, of course) on the developing situtation in other countries:
Bursts of similar violence have erupted in places like neighboring Germany and Belgium, in what authorities believe may be copycat attacks. In Athens, Greece, about 70 youths carrying clubs laid siege Friday to the entrance of the French Institute to express support for the youths in France. They smashed window and hurled paint at the building, though no injuries or arrests were reported.
As Publius Pundit points out,
By any standards the response of the French government has been an unqualified failure. In fact, they seemed to pull off what most might consider an impossibility – the government has managed to come off as both too weak and too repressive at the same time.
Publius Pundit has an excellent round-up of British and French media opinions.
The Economist’s editorial points out what may not be so obvious to some,
Despite his tough words, Mr Sarkozy is actually one of the few French politicians who has made any effort to reach out to the banlieues, so it would be ironic were he now to pay the political price for the riots. Most of the rest of the French political elite, on the left as well as the right, have simply ignored a long-festering problem. There are no black or brown mainland members of the National Assembly; hardly any black or brown faces on national television. The yawning gap between the French elite and ordinary people was a big cause of the government’s loss of the referendum on the European Union constitution in May. Now it has been shown once more in the night-time streets of suburban France.
The Economist also has an article with a map showing the areas of the country where the rioting is taking place:
Now ponder that map, and ask yourselves what kind of European (and American) media noise would we be hearing if we’ve had fifteen continous day of rioting and arson not only in every major city in the country, but coast-to-coast? Would the press be clamoring 24/7 for the Président de la République‘s head on a platter, or at least for his ousting? Can you think of one, just one, of the 3 networks and cable TV stations that wouldn’t be on this all the time?
Or would they be ignoring the story in favor of memorials to dead terrorists?
Update, November 12 Now the white flags are raised