Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Can you believe it? Not one day after Auntie's flagship current affairs programme, Four Corners, does a job on the politics of the White House's foreign policy, along comes Frontline, the PBS equivalent, and copies the whole idea.

Not only do they pinch Jonathan Holmes's idea, the do it all at lightning speed.

Same talents - Wolfie, Perle, Rummie - afflicting the Presidential earhole.

Despite their minute lead-time, PBS managed to find some journalistic heavyweights to lead their line for them. Holmes had to make do with some fringe-dwelling nobody called Jim Lobe, whose name will never again grace our screens, buttressed by a selection of the think-tank denizens heavily biassed to the Democrat side.

Frontline went one step further and actually encompassed the part played in policy-making by the "moderates" like Powell and Cheney. Come to think of it, how could you do the story without them?

What Frontline makes clear, and Four Corners obscures, is the way the continuing duplicity of France and Germany made nonsense of the Powell UN strategy. The hawks' assessment is shown to have been right on the money.

That won't excuse those Yankee thieves.

I trust Biffer Balding has crafted a strong protest to PBS.

(SBS's Website hasn't heard of this broadcast, transmitted 8.30pm March 11th. But you can find out about it here. Hang on, they say Frontline was broadcast in the US on February 20th. That would mean they were spying on Holmes. Bastards.)