July 15, 2007

Liddle On The BBC And Barking Mad Englishwomen

I must admit, I have not had the pleasure of reading Rod Liddle's writing in the past, but after today's column in the Times of London, I'll have to catch him more often. He tackles a number of topics, but manages to skewer both the BBC and the new Mrs. bin Laden with a masterful display of Fleet Street scorn.

First, Liddle takes up the recent case of BBC bumbling, where the network ran a doctored clip from their upcoming documentary that made it look as though Queen Elizabeth II stormed out of a photo shoot in a fit of pique. The BBC had to issue a profuse apology for misleading its viewers, and hilariously asked its producers to report any other cases of the BBC misleading viewers in their promos. That opened the floodgates for Liddle (via Memeorandum):

By lunchtime on Friday the queue of contrite producers outside Bennett's office stretched down Wood Lane and into the Goldhawk Road. The team behind The Crouchers and several other situation comedies confessed to having misled the public into believing that their programmes might contain some humorous element, when this was very far from the case. The executives behind the reality shows Celebrity Dog Handlers on Ice and I'm an Exhibitionist Moron, Give Me Some Money admitted suggesting that their programmes came under the heading public service broadcasting and were therefore worthy of the statutory licence fee, rather than ratings chasing dross. ...

Then came the television news teams ’fessing up that they may have inadvertently misled the public over the single European currency, the inherent competence and decency of Hamas, Fatah and the Taliban, the desirability of unconstrained immigration and the notion that bunging loads of money in aid to Africa would solve that continent’s problems. Oh, and a whole bunch of other stuff about the dangers of smoking and global warming and being fat. The BBC’s “gypsy unit” turned up too, to confess that not everyone who had reservations about encroachment by Britain’s traveller community were necessarily racist middle-class bigots. They were late, though, because their cars had been nicked.

Next on the agenda is the strange case of Jane Felix-Browne, the 51-year-old grandmother whose sixth and most recent marriage is to Omar Ossama bin Laden, the 26-year-old son of the al-Qaeda leader. Sonny hasn't seen Pop since 2002, not because Sonny has rejected Pop's life calling, but because of a disagreement over "tactics", according Felix-Brown, now calling herself Zaina Mohamad al-Sabah. Liddle figures that this could be a new and very effective tactic in the war on terror:

This is the way forward, though. Never mind the cluster bombs and Challenger tanks, the way to defeat Al-Qaeda is to dispatch legions of barking mad Englishwomen to mate with them, thus seriously compromising the jihadist gene pool and perhaps destroying the terrorists’ resolve and even their will to live.

It's an example of British punditry at its snarky best. Be sure to have a laugh this morning.


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Comments (4)

Posted by eaglewings | July 15, 2007 11:48 AM

Brilliant. Very funny. Kudos to Memeorandum.

Posted by Bennett | July 15, 2007 1:07 PM

Omar's new wife might be barking mad but presumably he isn't. In one article I read about the marriage, the (not so) blushing bride stated she is hoping to get her new hubby a visa to visit the UK. Perhaps that has something to do with his motive in marrying this woman.

Posted by Carol Herman | July 15, 2007 9:55 PM

Well, all the kurfuffle with the queen proves, is that she has the powers to turn the BBC into pretzels. If she "didn't walk off" in a huff; when Annie Liebovitz "suggested" her photograph might look better with it "off." Then, how do you explain the footage that she came IN for this photo shoot; all upset?

Again, I just think no one can talk to this queen. She's into the icy stares. And, here? Annie caught something that no one usually sees. That the artist says there was "no falling out." Gee. I didn't know these two friends.

And, Annie Liebovitz is a smart enough artist to know where her sentence should fall. Plus, she did a pretty good job. The photo of the queen looking like George Washington; with storm clouds overhead, is very interesting.

But I do believe being asked to remove her crown ... when it's not a crown ... it's a tiara ... had the queen blowing her cool.

Just another reason not to believe what gets published; after the queen went to work to "change the story." Cold potato.

Posted by JohnSal | July 16, 2007 11:21 AM

Oh, the BBC and its media war against England. As a nostalgic anglophile, recent ancestory from both sides of the family, I mourn the passing of the great world culture over the last 400 years. (Yes the Irish would, rightly, disagree there.) I recommend to all of you who suffer from my affliction the book by Roger Scruton, "England: An Elegy." His references to the BBC are particularly scathing and can be summed up with one phrase in the book, " the present-day BBC is a laughable caricature [of its founding principles]." With enemies like the BBC and the educational establishment (Winston Churchill was recently removed from the lesson plan), the unique character of England is fast fading into history.