“All the NewsrnUnfit to Print” ignsi of tJie QTimesirnVol. 3 No. 3 March 2001rnThe pro-Gore bias of the American mediarnduring the five weeks of post-electionrnlegal and political wrangling was as unsurprisingrnas it was obvious. Most foreignrnmedia were even less restrained. On Decemberrn14, BBC commentator Brian Barronrntold British television viewers thatrnGeorge W. Bush’s “mandate is all but invisible.”rnRadio 4 network commentatorrnJames Naughtie asked one of his guests,rn”Do you think he is up to being president?”rn—the kind of question that wouldrnnever have been asked about the winner inrna British general election. The Times ofrnLondon, usually restrained in its opinions,rnconcluded that “The best thing going forrnthe new President-elect is low public expectations.”rnIn France, Le Monde’s editorialist tartlyrnremarked on December 15 that Bush triumphedrn”thanks only to a mix of statisticalrngood luck and a legal battle barelyrnwon,” while Die Tageszeitung of Berlinrnwrote that “Europe is holding its breath”rnbecause of Bush’s supposed ignorance ofrnforeign affairs.rnSuch views were echoed in Canada:rnThe establishmentarian Ottawa Citizenrn(December 14) bewailed the decision “byrnthe politicized Supreme Court” to handrnthe presidency to the “least qualified presidentrnin half a century,” which it calledrn”unwelcome news to not only the governmentrnof Jean Chretien, but to Canadiansrngenerally.” Even the conservative Halifaxrn//era/rf jumped on the bandwagon on Decemberrn14:rnHe began this campaign as the affablernGeorge “Dubya” Bush. Hernends i t , somewhat ingloriously,rnas George “Dubious” Bush. Thernlabel first started to stick duringrnthe primaries when the governorrnof Texas demonstrated hisrnquestionable command of Englishrnand of the issues.rnBritain’s Channel 4 News repeatedlyrncalled Bush “the most inexperienced Presidentrnin decades,” and David Smith, itsrnWashington correspondent, insisted thatrnBush is “Reaganesque in terms of personalrnlimitations and lack of curiosity.” A recurringrntheme was Bush’s lack of frequent-rnflyer mileage, which supposedlyrndemonstrates not only his ignorance ofrnworld affairs but a more profound intellectualrnstupor. The BBC’s “diplomatic editor,”rnMark Urban, was undiplomatic in hisrnoutpouring of elitist scorn: “Dubya’srnworld. The excitement of air travel.rnMeeting people, going to exotic places…rnUntil now, ‘abroad’ has meant outsidernTexas for Bush the younger.”rnThe BBC’s Jon Snow dwelt on thisrntheme night after night. InterviewingrnLaura Ingraham, he repeatedly asked thernsame question: “Bush has been to Mexicornonce and to China, otherwise he’s neverrnbeen anywhere. Is that a good recipe…”rnIngraham finally snapped back: “You obviouslyrnjust don’t like George Bush. Irnmean, you don’t like George Bush. Say it:rnyou don’t like Bush, you wish he wasn’trnPresident, and now you want to delegitimizernhim.”rnThis was an isolated display of diversity:rnPro-Gore American guests often outnumberedrnBush sympathizers by three orrnfour to one. European editors also resortedrnto presenting card-carrying Democratsrnas independent analysts. James Rubin, arnregular guest on dozens of British radiornand television programs, was always describedrnas “a former State Department official.”rnUninitiated Brits might thus assumernthat he was a career civil servantrnrather than Madeleine Albright’s politicalrnappointee. But Martin Woollacott, writingrnin the London Guardian on December 20,rnrevealed an important reason Men pensantsrnon both sides of the Atlantic dishkernBush: They fear tiiat he’ll abandon theirrncherished “humanitarian interventions”rnand bombings for human rights. Bush isrndangerous, prone to “a romanticisation ofrnthe past and a misunderstanding of thernpresent,” Woollacott argued, and his leadershiprnis “less a real policy than a shaky intellectualrnconstruct” that enables the newrnPresident to hope that others will grasp thernnecessity of his flawed poUcies:rnThe Europeans, the United Nationsrnand others will also quicklyrngrasp that i t is quite right thatrnthe US contribute neither moneyrnnor soldiers to humanitarian operations,rnsince America makes i t srncontribution to world security inrnso many other, more important,rnways. The Europeans will understand,rnin time, that i t is notrnthe business of the 82nd AirbornernDivision to escort children tornschool in Kosovo, in CondoleezzarnRice’s well-known example, whilerni t is perfectly reasonable to expectrnBritish or Italian troops torndo so.rnSwitching from irony to reproachrn(“Would Clinton have dithered so muchrnon the Balkans had he not been fearful ofrnRepublican attacks?”), Woollacott findsrnthe “essence” of the “problem” with Bushrnin his alleged “worship of militaryrnstrength allied to a deep disinclination tornuse it”—all of which “could make the nextrnfour years a dangerous time in the life ofrnthe world.”rnThe Kosovo Albanians felt understandablyrndejected. As Agence France Pressernreported from Pristina immediately afterrnGore’s concession speech (December 14),rnthey fear that Bush’s victory “may costrnthem a vital ally in their struggle for independence.”rnZeri, an Albanian-languagerndaily, wamed on the same day that Powellrnand Rice arernextremist conservatives who dornnot believe in /America’s interventionistrnforeign policy and arernopposed to i t s participation inrnpeacekeeping . . . With calls forrnthe removal of OS forces from Europe,rnthe Albanian question couldrnbe left in the hands of Europeanrnstates traditionally closer tornthe Slavs.rnIn Israel, there was real consternation atrnthe outcome. The Jerusalem Post (Decemberrn15) expressed Israeli concernrnabout losing Bill Clinton, “a great friendrnof Israel,” and gaining the son of GeorgernBush, whose relationship with Israel wasrnMARCH 2001/25rnrnrn