Friday, 7 April 2017

Going down well (so far)

I haven't seen much of the BBC's coverage of the Trump administration's military strike on a Syrian regime airbase but I'm getting a strong sense from the Twitter feeds of many familiar BBC reporter that the US military action is going down well with the (duly impartial) BBC.

Here's a small selection, beginning with the the BBC's Washington bureau chief, Paul Danahar:

...a point that Newsnight presenter James O'Brien has already taken on board: 

Even Katty Kay is positive about the strikes:

And for the first time ever, I've actually seen BBC reporters re-tweeting criticism of Stop The War types opposed to US military action - including Hugh Sykes:

...and John Sweeney:

John Sweeney is also among those BBC reporters re-tweeting Arab appreciation for President Trump's actions (and not - for once - re-tweeting Arab criticism): is Katty Kay:

Others, like Kim Ghattas, are following their earlier tweets criticising the lack of action (by persons unspecified) over the last few years:

...with attacks on those critical of last night's strike:

Others are tweeting about editorials that back the action (and not tweeting about editorials which criticise the action), such as Ian Pannell

...while others are placing a positive gloss on the politics of the military strike, such as Barbara Plett:

Others are even hoping that President Trump might go even further and do something even better, such as Laura Bicker:

The BBC's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, has tweeted nothing about the strikes yet. Nor has the BBC's World Affairs editor John Simpson.

How much of any of this is feeding into the BBC's actual reporting I can't yet say (as I've not had time to check it out), but a definite BBC point of view is emerging on Twitter. 

There are also, naturally, plenty of digs at Donald Trump for his past flat-out refusal to back military action in Syria, though even here - as with Quentin Somerville - there are surprising defences of Trump:

As for my Twitter feed in general, it's been fascinating seeing nearly all the anti-Trump types backing the strikes and nearly all the pro-Trump types opposing them - and Trump. 

It's all gone topsy-turvy today.


  1. Katty: "Mr. Presi..."

    Obama (interrupting): "Katy, we know each other so well now; call me Barack."

    Katty, flutters: "Oo, Barrack, how can I refuse such an offer...?"

    Obama (in the manner of Miller & Armstrong): "Keeeel her".


  2. U-Turn if you want to etc.

    Although I’m half enjoying the BBC’s grudging admiration for Trump’s airstrikes on Assad’s military base, isn’t that a U-Turn?

    In fact the BBC’s U-Turn over Trump could be a more remarkable U-Turn even than the U-Turn the BBC is ascribing to Tump.

  3. On holiday in France & risking schizophrenia by flitting rapidly between France 24 & BBC 1 news. Fr 24 featured an interview with a French expert who felt Trump had played a blinder & made Europe look helpless/ineffectual. Expert thought Trump had been particularly clever in warning the Russians so they could tip off Assad & minimise casualties, while sending out a strong 'Don't mess with me!' signal.
    Unsurprisingly, Fr 24 led with the terrorist attack in Sweden ...& the Beeb?

  4. I think it's quite funny watching the MSM running around like headless chickens as they try and square their previous fact-based analysis that Trump was in Putin's pocket with the new reality...or is it a new reality (the MSM are starting to work out Trump is rather smart...perhaps this is part of some wider strategem).

    Personally I am not so keen on the attack as part of a Syria strategy. But I think it is sending a great message to N Korea and Iran...just the sort of message they listen to. N Korea in particular is a dire threat to all our tomorrows. Trump seems to recognise this...and I wonder if this attack on a single Syrian airfield is part of a strategy to deal with that.

  5. They did flash up a series of Trump's old tweets as to how he wouldn't or anyone else shouldn't attack Assad. Trying to suggest he's not consistent or something? Made them look like complete wan*ers though.

  6. It's surely a sign of the End Times when the Spectator is freaking out about warmonger cowboy Trump and the BBC is being sober and self-aware.

    Also, the statement from Amb. Haley about Putin being either complicit or incompetent, or at the very least lying about sorting out the chemical weapons, means Trump isn't a Putin stooge after all.