Tim Blair


New Criterion



Sunday, July 27, 2003
THERE'S ONE THING YOU SHOULD NEVER DO in the middle of the road. Unless you want to make a fashion statement as raspberry sauce.

On the other hand, as reader Carl points out, it would be nice if occasionally Auntie would move a little closer to the middle in her reporting of Iraq. Give us bloggers a holiday.

It seems to me that if the ABC wants to at least present a semblance of balance in its reportage that they'd at least make an effort to get some voices from another perspective, even one from the middle of the road. Oh, how i loathe these reports about what a people are supposedly thinking! More often, it's what the reporter's thinking.

What he's noticed is the automatic vox pops from the anti-US voices in Baghdad.

When those two first-level Saddamites, Uday and Qsay, decided to go down in a bloody heap, we were given confident statements from correspondent Gina Wilkinson that all Iraqis disbelieved.

As soon as the phots were released we had a re-run, plus attacks on the US for publishing the evidence.

This is the sort of reporting you will never see on Auntie.

Here is a report that you might have had from Auntie, in her present mood, sixty years ago:

"Good evening. Reports that the former Italian leader Benito Mussolini is "dead" and "hanging" "upside down" at a petrol station were received with scepticism in Rome today. Our "reporter" - whoops, scrub the inverted commas round "reporter", the scare-quotes key on the typewriter's jammed again. Anyway our reporter Andrew "Gilligan" is "on" the scene "in" Milan. "...