Empathy damage assessment

Follow-up to post on Coleen Graffy’s radio remark on GITMO suicides with estimated worldwide audience

The radio programme on which Karen Hughe’s sidekick Colleen Graffy made the GITMO comment I posted about earlier wasn’t some little talk show in the boonies. It was the flagship twice-a-day Newshour programme of the English-language BBC World Service.

How many people does it reach? The weekly global audience for the World Service in English is 39 million. The BBC ran the item on other programmes; to my knowledge the high-profile domestic morning Today radio programme (about 6 million daily – only proles watch breakfast TV in Britain) and the struggling 24-hour TV news channel BBC World (no audience figures available). I assume the story also ran on the radio World Service in Arabic (12 million weekly) and Urdu (10 million), and probably in other languages. Let’s say the daily audience is half the weekly one and it only follows news. That gives a global audience for Ms Graffy’s sensitive public diplomacy of 35-40 million, nicely focused on wavering pro-Americans. To give perspective, Fox News’ most popular programme, The O’Reilly Factor, draws 2 million viewers a night.

Author: James Wimberley

James Wimberley (b. 1946, an Englishman raised in the Channel Islands. three adult children) is a former career international bureaucrat with the Council of Europe in Strasbourg. His main achievements there were the Lisbon Convention on recognition of qualifications and the Kosovo law on school education. He retired in 2006 to a little white house in Andalucia, His first wife Patricia Morris died in 2009 after a long illness. He remarried in 2011. to the former Brazilian TV actress Lu Mendonça. The cat overlords are now three. I suppose I've been invited to join real scholars on the list because my skills, acquired in a decade of technical assistance work in eastern Europe, include being able to ask faux-naïf questions like the exotic Persians and Chinese of eighteenth-century philosophical fiction. So I'm quite comfortable in the role of country-cousin blogger with a European perspective. The other specialised skill I learnt was making toasts with a moral in the course of drunken Caucasian banquets. I'm open to expenses-paid offers to retell Noah the great Armenian and Columbus, the orange, and university reform in Georgia. James Wimberley's occasional publications on the web

5 thoughts on “Empathy damage assessment”

  1. Wait, it gets better-
    http://www.unfogged.com/archives/week_2006_06_11….
    1) One of the prisoners who killed himself was actually scheduled for release, he was classified as a "safe person"
    2) He hadn't been told this, however, because we couldn't decide where to send him.
    3) The general who called the suicides an act of asymmetrical warfare presumably knew about this classification- yet said anyway that a "safe person" was a "committed" terrorist, attacking the U.S. by killing himself.

  2. Look at the good side. The only people who'd be PO'd by this are those who believe doubleplusungood ideas like suicide not being a terrorist attack.

  3. The BBC news that runs on my local PBS station gave prominent play to a U.S. Army lawyer saying that the Gitmo Tribunals were "show trials." In an interview, he allowed that he, personally, thought that his client had been tortured, and the evidence of that torture, disappeared.
    I understand that Army lawyers are expected to be zealous advocates, but, still, I was a bit shocked, that he would go so far in flatly defaming the U.S. military, as much as they may deserve it.
    This Administration makes me ashamed of my country.

  4. Bruce, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the military lawyers who are defending these guys have given up all hope of making high rank. At that point, especially since it would have been brought about by a moral failing of institutions that they intended to spend their careers supporting.

  5. Sorry, I hit 'post' too early:
    Bruce, it wouldn't surprise me a bit if the military lawyers who are defending these guys have given up all hope of making high rank. At that point, especially since it would have been brought about by a moral failing of institutions that they intended to spend their careers supporting, they don't have much to lose. Their careers in the military are presumably dead-ended, and any career in the military-industrial complex is, as well.
    At that point, going all-out makes sense.

Comments are closed.