The Papers, and Britain, Try to Get Their Stories Straight

(Gerard Cerles/Agence France-Presse) British foreign secretary Margaret Beckett responding to journalists on Saturday.(Gerard Cerles/Agence France-Presse) British foreign secretary Margaret Beckett responding to journalists on Saturday.

It seems the LA Times and Washington Post didn’t hear the news that Britain seriously wants to tone down the sabre-rattling regarding their 15 captured sailors and marines that are being held in an undisclosed location in Iran.
Both papers made the unfortunate error of leading with Bush’s comments over the weekend, when he called the situation “inexcusable” and demanded Iran “release the hostages.” I guess Bush didn’t get the memo from Tony Blair that the UK now wants a quick and semi-friendly way out.

Only the New York Times adopted the new tone leading with the British Foreign Secretary’s words on Saturday when she came just short of apologizing with “I think everyone regrets [this happened],” and added “What we want is a way out of it.”

Turns out there is no established boundary dividing Iraqi and Iranian waters. This was pointed out by a former British diplomat who is also an expert on the region. How embarrassing.

Not that the New York Times is impartial about wanting the U.S. to bomb the crap out of Iran. Whenever the Administration or Congressmembers makes statements about the Iranian “threat,” the article lands on page one. But if U.N scientists return from inspecting Iran’s nuclear reactor and announce that there is no way those shoddy centrifuges could ever spin fast enough to manufacture high grade uranium to make a bomb, the article is buried on the inner pages.

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