11/06/2005

From Our Own Correspondent

As you may know, I'm a huge proponent and fan of the BBC. I won't go into that now, because all I want to do is post a link to this week's installment of From Our Own Correspondent. I listened to it this afternoon as I tried to wake up following a pair of long nights slinging drinks.

The first two items on the November 5 edition caught me by surprise. I've raised my news filters these days because I've been so focused on Central Virginia and my role here. I've not been paying attention to world events. I vaguely know about the summit they just had in Argentina, but really, I've just not been paying attention. The entire world revolves around out there.

"Today the swallows can nest in peace, with the BBC forced out of Tashkent for its reporting on Uzbekistan."


In other words, the BBC was forced out for reporting on the May massacre in Andijan. I somewhat remember the story, but hadn't heard anything as chilling as a description of sound the BBC used. Those not familiar with "From Our Own Correspondent" should know that the show consists of essays

The Uzbek government admits 173 people were killed, but people who were there put the numbers much higher. Shades of Tienamen, but the U.S. government has been unable to say anything critical, because we need our bases in Uzbekistan to help fight the war on terrorism.

Meanwhile, Parisian suburbs are on fire because of the uprising by what the BBC describes as "Asian and African neighborhoods" - their style guides are more stringent about how they describe people. And, many in this country would be uncomfortable listening to the second item on this week's Correspondent - a piece about a reporter's trip to speak with some of those rioting. Massive unemployment in France has led to a whole generation of disgruntled people, and so many of them are joining ranks with those who seek to offer another way of life. Worth listening to.

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