NEW YORK (AFP) - British Prime Minister Tony Blair has complained privately to media tycoon Rupert Murdoch that the BBC's coverage of Hurricane Katrina carried an anti-American bias, Murdoch said at a conference here.
Murdoch, chairman of the media conglomerate News Corporation, recounted a conversation with the British leader at a panel discussion late Friday hosted by former president Bill Clinton.
"Tony Blair -- perhaps I shouldn't repeat this conversation -- told me yesterday that he was in Delhi last week. And he turned on the BBC world service to see what was happening in New Orleans," Murdoch was quoted as saying in a transcript posted on the Clinton Global Initiative website.
"And he said it was just full of hate of America and gloating about our troubles. And that was his government. Well, his government-owned thing," he said of the publicly owned broadcaster.
The response from BBC Radio One listeners provides some especially colourful examples:
Im so shocked at bush! He went and visited a few people to say food and water was on its way but why did he not bring food or water for them when he came! Is this not bush's job to see that its done? I thought America was a nation who looked after their own? Maybe Bush should take less vacations because he's obviously not getting all his work done! Also who cares if people are taking food and clothes from shop, if you and your family were in that situation you would.
Absolutely sickening. The U.S. can get supplies into Iraq in 24 hrs but it takes them over 5 days to get supplies to their own country! Obviously they have the resources, so why the difference in priority? Why is it that the majority of New Orleans citizens who survived the disaster are white and the majority of those who are dead are black? I believe it is further example of the U.S. governments set of priorities- as Kayne West pointed out: In America, the poor, black and marginalized are deemed less important.
the worlds weather is getting worse year after year. fact. the longer bush takes to realise that america is one of the big reasons for this, through polution, the longer it will be before we can try to sort it out. i feel for the people affected by this tragedy but we have to take some responsibility for what we've done to the state of the planet.
Does the BBC suggest that the British have done any better if a major storm levelled an area about the size of the British Isles? Is aid supposed to be magically teleported in the blink of an eye the second a disaster strikes?
Are people complaining that the fascist warmongering dictator George W. Bush failed to act with the proper dispatch expected of fascist dictators? Why didn't the brutal bloodthirsty destroyer of the U.S. Constitution and civil liberties roll over constitutional restraints, overthrow the municipal and state governments, declare martial law and commandeer the nation's wealth to relieve and rebuild everyone right away?