Reporting on last week's visit by Serbian president Boris Tadic to Kosovo, AFP took care to note that “Kosovo’s ethnic Albanian-dominated government has barely acknowledged Tadic’s visit and there were no plans for him to meet any local officials.”
Reuters claimed that “Kosovo’s Albanian prime minister Ramush Haradinaj—whom Serbia has branded a war criminal—left the province before Tadic arrived.”
But the New York Times – or rather, its European avatar, the International Herald Tribune – published a hatchet job on February 15, berating Tadic for “giving [Kosovo’s] majority Albanians little overt sign of the kind of reconciliation that would be needed for a lasting solution” and “deliberately [having] no meetings with leaders of the majority Albanian community.”
The NYT/IHT reporter Nicholas Wood also quoted Albanian media, who described Tadic as a “criminal” and objected that he “did not ask for forgiveness for all the crimes that the Serbs have done in this country.” Furthermore, the article was rife with insinuations and outright lies about Kosovo (such as the “10,000 Albanians killed”), exemplifying the worst kind of official propaganda. Given the Reuters and AFP reports cited earlier, presenting Tadic’s visit as deliberately snubbing Albanians was not only dishonest, but untrue.
The Associated Press also chose to interpret the visit maliciously. “President’s Visit Fuels Tensions,” the headlines proclaimed, going on to say that “U.N. officials had hoped the visit by Boris Tadic would promote reconciliation… [but] Tadic’s declarations that Serbia would never accept an independent Kosovo angered ethnic Albanians.”
Also, the AP questioned Tadic's practice of handing out "giant" Serbian flags to enclaves he visited. Why should the Serbs not have a right to fly their own flag, in their own country? Albanians fly the flag of Albania proper, and UNMIK, AP or anyone else says not a word.
To repeat something I said a little while ago, this isn't double standards - it's no standards at all.