Who Demagogued David Kelly?


The BBC and the British government have been engergetically blaming each other for the suicide of WMD scientist David Kelly, and one opinion poll indicates the Beeb is getting a slight edge in public opinion: About twice as many respondents say they trust the BBC more on the issue of weapons of mass destruction, and 54 percent trust the BBC more than the government overall.

Make your own decisions on biases: The poll is reported by Robert Fisk employer The Independent, and in classic shitty British journalism style, the story identifies the polling organization only by an acronym that means nothing to me. (Am I the only one who feels every time I read an article in a UK paper that I just walked in on the middle of a conversation?)

NEXT: The Boys Who Cried Wolf

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  1. “Am I the only one who feels every time I read an article in a UK paper that I just walked in on the middle of a conversation?”

    No, you aren’t. I think all the Brit press suffers from AOS.

    That’s Acronym Overuse Syndrome, to those of you outside the IT industry.

  2. Will someone please murder David E. Kelly?

  3. NOP isn’t an acronym, but a name: http://www.nop.co.uk/

    Keep in mind, of course, that the article is written for a British audience. American journalists are just as guilty… I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone write “… the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) …”, they simply put “FCC”.

  4. what does ‘robert fisk employer mean? an endorsement or a slur? I assume its a slur which is unfortunate –He’s a good journalist with tons of experience in the region, speaks the language and understands the culture a lot better than most the other journalists over there I read who seem to limit themselves their hotel rooms in Baghbad unless under military guard — He is rather pessimistic on the region, but can you blame him

  5. Tommy Grand,

    Perhaps you think it is funny, but advocating the murder of somebody is in very poor taste, and certainly a violatio of the libertarian concept of non-aggression.

  6. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone write “… the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) …”, they simply put “FCC”.

    Weird, I can’t think of a time I’ve ever seen that happen.

    British journalism annoys me because all too often, opinion masquerades as news.

  7. I don’t get it. What does a producer of a bunch of over-rated, Boston based, TV shows have to do with anything?

    Oh and that’s Richard Fish,

  8. US papers always spell their abbreviations and acronyms out. “Federal Communications Commission” is always spelled out, you SOBs.

  9. While anonymous poster admires fisk, many others do not. Blogosphere has coined the term “fisking” for decontructing articles practically line by line. Of course, the decontruction is in the form of criticism.

  10. Tim, you should have been there in 1999. I returned from America and picked up a paper blaring about “GM FOODS.” Was General Motors making food now? No – the issue was Genetically Modified foods. I read through four newspapers before I finally gave up and did a yahoo! search to figure that out. None of the newspapers spelled out the acronym.

  11. In an old Mel Brooks film there is a line about a character being “world famous in Poland”.
    A great deal of US culture gets around the world but then a lot does not. It is difficult for people from the US to predict which parts have been exported and this can lead to a lot of blank looks on the faces of non-Americans. I had to ask what was the meaning and pronunciation of ‘booger’. We don’t have Oreos or Cheezit (I think that’s the correct spelling) over here either for example. And most famously, the word ‘crap’ is used in the US where the rest of us would say ‘shit’ and vice versa. As George Bernard Shaw said, Americans and Britons are divided by a common language.

  12. Just did a google news search for FCC. All of the first 5 United States (US) newspapers that came up (Boston Globe, Kansas City Star, Northwest Arkansas Times, Denver Post, and USA Today) spell out Federal Communications Commission. Reuter’s did too. Interestingly enough, searching British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) for FCC, shows that they did too, at least in their latest two mentions of it.

    Try it yourself, maybe you’ll get different results. But remember, just because something becomes so commonplace that you don’t notice it, doesn’t mean it no longer takes place.

  13. Furthermore, when I searched for BBC, most US newspapers spelled out British Broadcasting Corp., but most European newspapers don’t. Then again, do US papers bother for NBC, ABC, CBS?

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