I’d planned — well vaguely thought about — a short piece comparing news coverage by these two national broadcasters, but when I turned on VOA this morning I heard that Russia has granted Edward Snowden a three-year visa and a residence permit. Two pundits were setting forth the rights and wrongs of the Snowden affair. Well the wrongs and wrongs: many people consider Snowden a hero rather than a villain, but you won’t hear their views on the VOA.
One of the pundits said ‘Nobody has the right to put his own conscience above the interests of his country.’ He said it as if it were almost a truism; there was much wise nodding of heads and not a single raised eyebrow. (Yes all right this was short-wave radio, but you know what I mean.)
It would be an exaggeration, though a mild one, to say that this pundit’s view epitomises all that’s wrong with America and Americans.
In fact, of course, (well all right: in my opinion, shared by many good, decent people) everybody has not just the right but the duty to put his conscience before the interests of his country.