April 11, 2003

SOME PEOPLE, when it comes

SOME PEOPLE, when it comes to Iraq, see a glass half full. Some see a glass half empty. And some - at the ABC - see wild dogs feasting on corpses in the street.

Here's World Today host John Highfield, leading into an interview with ABC correspondent in Baghdad Geoff Thompson:

Well, dawn has broken over Baghdad, welcoming day one of the new freedom, but if this is liberty, then it's far from perfect.

Lazy Iraqis. A whole 12 hours of freedom and they still haven't achieved a perfect society. What's their problem? Highfield's outstanding introduction continues:

Following the bold strokes and brute force by the US and the Coalition troops, even the Red Cross is unable to get power and water to the hospitals where exhausted doctors and other staff are valiantly trying to hold the line against an avalanche of injured and dying.

Civil authority has simply disappeared, and as we've just heard in our montage, the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is worried, calling for urgent cooperative steps to redress the situation.

Kofi is worried! There's a scoop. Things pick up slightly when Thompson is introduced, but Highfield quickly hauls his wayward correspondent back to the main story: Baghdad in meltdown! Unprecedented chaos! Wild dogs!

GEOFF THOMPSON: You know, every vehicle you pass by is cheering, is sort of waving white flags ... and they are all, I haven't been into the deep centre of Baghdad. I can't speak for that. I can't speak for the whole city. But I certainly haven't seen any open sort of examples, very open examples of anti-Americanism.

JOHN HIGHFIELD: What is the condition of the streets? We are hearing stories that injured have lain there and dogs have attacked even the injured on the streets, because it's impossible, for instance, for Red Cross and that to move around. Is that the impression you're getting?

GEOFF THOMPSON: Ah, it's certainly a war zone. I mean, every time, I came into Baghdad for the first time yesterday and there were bodies around the streets. In fact, you know, when I first crossed into Iraq a few days ago we saw precisely that, a body which had quite clearly been mauled by wild dogs.

Maybe my news judgment is all wrong, but it strikes me that one or two upbeat angles may have been found in the removal of a dictator who'd tortured and killed millions of his countrymen. Instead the ABC takes our taxes and gives us dogs.

Posted by Tim Blair at April 11, 2003 02:10 AM