Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, July 20, 2003
I KNOW SHE LIED, but she's a poor weak old thing and someone told her to.

On Friday's news services Auntie told the nation that (using Uncle's close paraphrase generator) 'For the first time one of the leaders of the coalition of the willing has admitted that weapons of mass destruction might never be found.'

She was referring to Prime Minister Blair's address to the US Congress.

In which he said:

"Can we be sure that terrorism and wapons of mass destruction will join together? Let us say one thing: if we are wrong, we will have destroyed a threat that is at its least responsible for human carnage and suffering."

Can you see the difference?

Auntie's on-line news gives the matter a different spin entirely, but just as false:

British Prime Minister Tony Blair says history will forgive the current actions and policies of the "coalition of the willing" if terrorists do not obtain weapons of mass destruction. ... He obliquely addressed the mounting concerns that weapons of mass destruction are not going to be found in Iraq.

Well, that's your view Auntie. After Friday's blatant falsehood, you could be said to covering up your own mendaciousness.

The Australian could report what Blair said, without imagining what the Saddamites would like him to have said. So could the Financial Review (but you will have to pay to find out).

Not so the Canberra Times, which gave its reprint of the Guardian's story the sub head "Even if weapons of mass destruction are not found, British leader confident he'll be vindicated".

Ah, the Guardian.

If they lied, how could we expect Auntie not to?