The Vancouver Scrum

On the move!

Agh! You’re still here? My new site and weblog, is now up and running; new posts are building up over there, never to be mirrored here. Go! What are you waiting for? All the stuff worth keeping has been migrated over to the new server, and I don’t anticipate making any more posts here.

Bloggers and webmasters: Update your links! Simply replace with in your blogrolls or bookmarks to point to the new site. Old posts will remain on this server for as long as the people at Blogger/Google allow them to remain; unfortunately, I’m not going to bother to come up with any way of converting permalinks on this blog to their corresponding posts on the new site. Yes, I plead laziness. I also realize the irony of switching away from Blogger just it starts to add features that the demanding blog nerds insist upon.

Thanks for reading and linking, and see you over at!

—Ian King, December 13, 2004

Saturday, April 26, 2003

More notes on the war and the coverage

Two slightly old items, but worth checking out:

In my column in this week's Terminal City (sorry, no web version available), I included this quote from CNN correspondent Walter Rodgers on what his viewers wanted to see fron Gulf War II:

“Television viewers love to see war, they love the bang-bang. But show them what it really is about, and the switchboard lights up.”

Rodgers, who won much praise for his reports on the charge to Baghdad, was talking about viewers' reactions to footage of war's toll on ordinary civilians. Seems that CNN viewers wanted to see a nice sanitized “TV war”, one without the suffering or chaos that results from armed conflict. The network's executives responded to the pressure, and to Rodgers, the network's zeal for hiding the ugly side of war was greater than the military's. Creepy.

This quote is part of a Newsday profile on Rodgers and his reporting. Read the full story here.

If you can read French reasonably well, check out the letter from Washington from Radio-Canada (the French-language wing of the CBC) correspondent Christine St-Pierre. France-bashing, which is all the rage in some American circles, doesn't discriminate between French nationals and French-Canadians...
Je suis devant les Nations unies. L’heure est grave, la déchirure annoncée au Conseil de sécurité va bientôt se concrétiser. Les techniciens s’affairent, préparent les interventions en direct des journalistes. À nos côtés, le camion satellite d’ABC, l’une des plus grandes chaînes de télévision aux États-Unis. Un homme qui a l’air du producer (réalisateur) nous regarde travailler, mais surtout, il m’écoute préparer mon direct. Soudainement, il s’exclame : « You fucking French! » Mon réalisateur, Bruno Bonamigo, se retourne.

- We’re TV crew from Montreal and you?
- Fucking Montreal!

L’anecdote paraît amusante, mais ces jours-ci, vivre aux États-Unis et parler français n’est pas de tout repos.
Rough translation: I'm in front of the UN. We're runnig up against the deadline given the UN Security Council and it's crunch time. The techs are scurrying about, setting up so that we can go live. Bedie us is a satellite truck from ABC, one of the big American TV networks. A man who looks like a producer is watching us work; he sees me rehearsing my live report. Suddenly, he shouts “You fucking French!” My producer shoots back “We're TV crew from Montreal and you! ” “Fucking Montreal!”

The story seems funny, but these days, speaking French in the United States can lead to grief.

St-Pierre has assembled some good tales about being a foreign reporter in the American capital; do check it out if you can.
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