Found on LiveJournal

BBC Parliament internal email:
There has been a widespread outbreak of grumbling and tutting today in London, along with a large number of people going home instead of to work, with a certain amount of guilty pleasure.
Sorry, bad guys. We’ve been bombed before, and we just adjust our day to account for it. This is London calling.

I don’t think you can say it was unexpected, unless you’re CNN. Even NHK said it was expected, though they suggested that it wasn’t adequately prepared for. The difference in the styles of News coverage amused me. The BBC were calm and matter-a-fact, ITV was souped up calm, CNN was hysterical and NHK was panicky. Very strange.

Is it something to do with national character I wonder or just how people prefer news to be presented? If your close to where it happens do you get calmer? If Tokyo (gods forbid) or New York (Gods forbid again) were to be bombed would the BBC and ITV be panicky and NHK/CNN be calm?

This is a bit sick…

2 thoughts on “Found on LiveJournal

  1. (Is NHK a Japanese news service?)

    Notably, ITV were throwing around high death tolls when the BBC was sticking rigidly to its ‘report the facts; don’t speculate’ policy and reporting only two confirmed fatalities. (It probably helped that a senior Met officer warned the Beeb, live on air, not to cause panic by speculating on the death tolls.)

    On the Tokyo/New York thing, I think the situation would be pretty much the same. I can’t speak with certainty on the Japanese news media, not having any idea what they’re like, but both the US and Japan have been hit by highly significant terror attacks, but have never been the victim of a sustained political terror campaign (that I’m aware of).

    Sure, there’s been a mad cult in Japan, and collections of political extremist nutjobs in America, but never an organised group involved in a protracted campaign against them.

    (Al Qaeda has only ever launched two attacks on US soil. Even the anthrax thing – the most likely suspects are rogue American scientists, but it was politically expedient not to talk about it too much in the uber-patriotic circumstances. And people are always quick to forget terrorist attacks against targets in far-off lands, such as embassies, troop deployments and tourists.)

    Meanwhile, Britain has been on full terror alert for most of the past forty years. We’ve had virtual civil war on the streets of Belfast, signs all over the public transport system (particularly in the capital) about the dangers of terrorist bombs, constant bomb scares and actual attacks by Irish terrorists. We’ve had mortar shells fired at airport runways and 10 Downing Street. A bomb almost wiped out our entire government in the 1980s. Lord Mountbatten was assassinated by the IRA. The British public has been on an anti-terror war footing for forty years, even if we didn’t consider it as such, so the BBC (like the rest of us) isn’t anywhere near as shocked by last Thursday’s attacks as the Americans (and therefore their media) were.

    The only real difference with Al Qaeda is that they don’t play by the rules (telephoned warnings, not normally targeting civilians, etc.) that the IRA generally stuck to.

    It’s been notable that the American reactions online have been referring to our ‘national trauma’ and our nation undergoing ‘difficult times’, when the British really haven’t been able to see what all the fuss is about.

    In the words of one London pensioner who lived through the Blitz: "I’ve been bombed by a better class of bastard than this lot."

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