Friday 3 September 2021

Marching in lockstep

A photo by Sopes from the south of France yesterday

It looks to have very much died away now, but the US liberal media's early spasm of fury at President Biden for leaving Afghanistan was much remarked upon by their critics. 

One piece, which I can't now place, observed that the last time the US liberal media very briefly put aside political partisanship was when their bogeyman Donald Trump bombed the Assad regime in April 2017 to their great approval.

It made me think about how Jon Sopel shocked many by strongly and repeatedly attacking Joe Biden for pulling out of Afghanistan. 

I've now just accidentally come across one of our posts here at ITBB from April 2017. It took me aback on re-reading it because I must admit I'd half-forgotten it, even though I wrote it. As now with Jon Sopel, so then too: the BBC marched arm-in-arm with their US liberal media equivalents. 

Most strikingly, the Washington Bureau Chief of the BBC, Paul Danahar, responded to a tweet announcing 'US launches military airstrikes in Syria' and wrote:
It should have been done by Obama. Those opposed to Trump should not oppose this just because he did it.

As a point of view, that couldn't be clearer.

And many of his staff - from Katty Kay to Kim Ghattas to Barbara Plett Usher - joined in the chorus of approval.

Looking back, isn't that a truly remarkable thing for the supposedly impartial boss of the BBC's US news output to state publicly? 


And it's striking that this same Paul Danahar has just been promoted to the post of BBC Foreign Editor, replacing Andrew Roy. 

We've quite an archive of pieces about him. Being opinionated isn't something that's new as far as he goes. He presided over the BBC's Middle East coverage [i.e. was Jeremy Bowen's boss] before taking charge of the BBC's US coverage, and was just as free with his views then. 

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