Sunday, April 06, 2003
Mark Steel unimpressed with the quality of lying in war reporting.
You expect lies, but usually they're found out once a war is over. But in this war the lying is so inept that it gets rumbled the next day. So the news starts "Oh, apparently that uprising we yelled about all through yesterday didn't happen" or "Ah, yes, that chemical weapons factory turned out to be an all-night petrol garage".
The military briefings must be given by one of those pathological liars you get in pubs. One day the press conference from Washington will begin: "Guess what, I won an Olympic swimming medal once. I had to swim underwater so no one could see me because I was in the secret service."
The presenters who front this bilge should say: "We're here to bring you 24-hour rolling cack that's been made up. The minute it's made up, you'll hear about it. And there's some breaking cack being made up right now, apparently Saddam has filled some clouds with anthrax and he's forcing giants in the Republican Guard to blow them towards Bournemouth. We'll bring you more as soon as it's made up."