We all knew this was coming, ever since former BBC North America editor Justin Webb fretted that the US was in denial of our massive debt and that we were veering dangerously off the cliff of default. Last we heard from his successor, Mark Mardell, the President was taking a $4 trillion “gamble”, which even the current BBC North America editor recognized was a partisan stance and an attempt to roll the Republicans. He’s been on a vacation ever since, no doubt exhausted after having to watch a couple Republicans announce their candidacy for President, and even attending a Sarah Palin rally. Hopefully he had plenty of scented handkerchiefs to hand.
First of all, let’s recognize the sickness, prejudice, and partisan bias which allows an entire professional news organization with an alleged dedication to impartiality not only to let a British Government official joke about “right-wing nutters” without challenge or rebuke while much of the human race is hearing about how someone they’re also describing as a right-wing nutter slaughtered nearly nearly a hundred innocents in cold blood, but then use the insult as a running gag in news reports to defame a political party and millions of US citizens.
Of course, this isn’t a surprise at all, as the BBC allowed another Beeboid previously assigned to the US (Kevin Connolly) to insult hundreds of thousands of people on air with a sexual innuendo, and has no problem leaving it up on the BBC website for posterity. And we don’t need to revisit Justin Webb’s viciousness and personal attacks on Sarah Palin.
UPDATE: In case there was any doubt about which side the BBC is on:
David Vance has already called your attention to Mardell’s bias in a post below, and John Anderson has provided in the comments plenty of evidence of alternative viewpoints which show that it’s really the President who is acting in partisan bad faith, as well as other examples of the BBC using the “right-wing nutter” epithet to influence their audience in a certain partisan direction.
So I’m going to address specific points Mardell makes, and demonstrate just how biased he and the BBC are when it comes to supporting the leader of a foreign country.
First, let’s consider Mardell’s remark about Cable’s insult.
If they are nutters, they are remarkably successful ones.
The truth is that Tea Party-backed Republicans are winning this fight over raising the debt ceiling.
At the risk of violating Godwin’s Law, I should point out that Hitler was also a remarkably successful nutter, as were Stalin and Kim Jong-Il. So calling them successful in no way detracts from their mental illness. My point is that Mardell is quite comfortable leaving the impression that people who agree with every single credit ratings agency concerned about the US fixing its economic plans are nutters. Are the experts at Moody’s and Standard & Poors right-wing nutters? They’re ready to lower the US’s credit rating if things don’t get even slightly fixed. One only needs to watch them and the markets to understand which side worries them. Mardell allows that the Republicans are winning the argument, but he makes it clear that they are wrong. His word games reveal his partisan bias.
It is far from over. But they’ve already won the argument that America’s debt has to be dealt with. They’ve wrung really deep cuts from Mr Obama.
This is just a stupid thing to say. The President Himself knows that the debt needs to be dealt with. He’s made statement after statement for weeks telling us we need to deal with it. I realize Mardell’s been on vacation, but this is unacceptable. Everyone in the country has known for ages that we need to do something. It’s stupid – there’s no other word for it – to say that the Republicans somehow won the argument that we need to do something.
What Mardell may mean – and I’m going way, way out on a limb and giving him the tiniest benefit of the doubt here – is that the Republicans have won the public over into thinking that they have a better plan than the President. Oh, hell, what am I thinking? Of course that’s not what he means. It was just a stupid thing to say, an attempt to appear impartial and give some kind of credit to
his the President’s opponent without really meaning it.
As for having “wrung really deep cuts”, that’s hardly true at all. It’s really more like tiny cuts spread out over ten years. The problem for Mardell and his ideological fellow travelers is that, compared to the President’s plan which would actually increase spending, any cut looks deep. Worse, Mardell dishonestly frames this as only the President compromising with nothing given back by the nasty old Republicans. He then reinforces that perception.
They’ve probably stopped Democrats from putting up taxes as part of any final package. It is a pretty straight ideological fight between left and right.
This is where we being to stray into White House talking points. Now that His reputation as a centrist who brings people together is basically non-existent in the public’s mind, it’s in the President’s best interests to keep everyone thinking that both sides are being exclusively partisan. As long as everyone is thinking, “A pox on both their houses,” He doesn’t look like the only petty child in the room, and can get away with pretending that only He reached across the aisle. It’s pretty sad that it’s come to this, but that’s how it is.
So why the charge of nuttiness ?
It’s that Tea Party, again.
At least we’re not racists. For the moment, anyway. That will probably come tomorrow, after a couple sharp BBC News producers come up with an angle to show how the Norwegian mass murderer was a Tea Partier at heart.
The reason House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership is being so hard-line is because the Tea Party put the iron in their soul.
Those Republicans who took control of the House last year believe they were elected on a wave of popular revulsion at the size of the national debt and government spending.
“So hard-line”? Boehner’s plan is hardly that. It’s more of a compromise than anything the President has given, despite Mardell’s dishonest statement above that only the President has given back. In any case, notice how he’s just contradicted himself. Earlier, Mardell said that the Republicans had won the argument in these talks that we need to cut spending. Now he’s saying the Tea Party won that argument last November. Funny how the winning parties of some elections are allowed to think the voters elected them for a reason, while other winning parties are wrong to think so. By slyly qualifying it as the Republicans “believe” they were elected on this issue, Mardell denies the last two years and more of Tea Party protests, and denies the reality of November’s mid-terms. There is no doubt at all that fiscal responsibility was the number one issue which got all those Tea Party-backed candidates elected to the House.
Of course, we know what Mardell and the BBC believe: the real reason all those people across the country voted for the Tea Party-backed candidates is racism. He won’t say it yet, but what other issue was there? Abortion? Prayer in the schools? Blocking homosexual marriage? No, no, and obviously not.
They may be reading too much into their mandate, but they think that going back, that accepting a hike in debt with nothing in return, would be betraying their voters.
“Reading too much into their mandate,” eh, Mark? Like I said, what other issues were at the forefront of the election? He’s denying the last two and a half years of US activity on this issue. What the hell does he think everyone has been talking about? And what about listening to the ratings agencies which are telling them the exact same thing?
Hey, Mark: it’s not their imagination. And you’re contradicting yourself again. The whole point of Mardell’s
editorial post – and the impetus for Cable’s sick joke – is that the Tea Party movement is now influencing the Republicans to the point that they don’t want to accept a debt hike. Well, the movement, and millions of other people who were concerned about the same issue, got them elected. So, hell yes, doing so would be betraying those voters, and it’s dopey to suggest otherwise. Hello? We’ve only been saying it loud and clear since February 2009, before there was even such a thing as a Tea Party movement. The Republicans are correct to think they’re following the voters’ wishes. They’re not following Mardell’s wishes, though, so he is obviously going to frame it as them being wrong. Again, his partisan bias prevents him from informing you correctly.
The current Republican plan has more than a little party politics in it. The debt ceiling would be dealt with in stages: a bit now, a bit next year.
This would stop Obama swallowing the problem whole and getting it out of the way before the election. The Republicans would make sure it repeated on him throughout 2012.
Okay, fair enough. But where is Mardell’s statement – in the interests of balance and impartiality, bien sur – about the whiff of partisan politics in the President’s plan? Not a word which might make Him look bad. Not a single acknowledgment from him or the BBC that the President is acting for partisan reasons. Instead, as we’ve all seen a number of times over the last few weeks, all the BBC tells you is that the Republicans want to harm the poorest and most vulnerable in order to protect the wealthy. Mardell and his colleagues could not be more dishonest about these budget negotiations. Oh, wait, I’m wrong: he can get more dishonest:
But the charge that they are a few chocolate bars short of a fruit cake is because some of them see dealing with the debt as more pressing than borrowing enough money to continue governing.
Behold the ideology inherent at the BBC. This is a purely partisan, Left-wing, über-Keynesian position. We don’t actually need to borrow more to continue governing. We don’t actually need to raise the debt ceiling to “continue governing”. We could do some real cuts that would make the current offering look like child’s play. The only reason the Republicans are even agreeing to a temporary rise is because they are – shock, horror – compromising and reaching across the aisle. In fact, Mardell could just as easily have said that the President has wrung real debt increases from the Republicans. Only that doesn’t sound so good, does it? Not helping the Narrative at all.
Here’s what Mardell doesn’t want you to know about continuing to govern. Oh, hell, he doesn’t know it himself, as he is a blind partisan who fervently adheres to Left-wing economic policies. We could make real spending cuts, cuts that would make the so-called “swinging cuts” laid out by George Osborne look like child’s play. But that can’t happen because the Republicans don’t control both Houses of Congress, and the President would veto any proposal with real spending cuts, or one that won’t kick this can past 2013, after the next election. Hell, He even vetoed a bi-partisan plan from the Senate that increased the debt ceiling. What He really wants to do is force the country either into default or having our credit rating downgraded so He can spend the next 18 months pointing His finger at evil Republicans for causing it. Only the BBC isn’t going to put it that way.
Oops, the BBC forgot to tell you why that happened, didn’t they? He rejected this bi-partisan plan because it would place the burden on the next debt increase squarely on His shoulders. Instead of voting to increase it again, the plan would set the debt limit to increase automatically unless Congress voted to stop it. But Congress will vote to stop it unless the President proposed an equal or greater amount of spending cuts. Which He’s clearly unable to do. That means He’d have to step up and be a man and take the blame for it Himself next time, and have to run a re-election campaign as the Debt Increaser-In-Chief. So He gave a bi-partisan plan – once which would have been acceptable even to Mark Mardell – the two-fingered salute. All to protect Himself. Yet Mardell and the rest of the BBC have the gall to tell you it’s only the Republicans acting partisan.
Then there’s the fact that the President doesn’t want to agree to anything that doesn’t kick the real can beyond the 2012 election. Does that sound familiar? It should. Unless, of course, you trust the BBC for news on US issues, in which case you wouldn’t know that the Democrats refused to pass a budget back in October – before the election – which would have prevented this situation we’re in right now. Only they didn’t want to do anything which would have made that mid-term loss even worse than they knew it was going to be. So they dodged their long-term responsibility for the hope of a short-term safety net in the mid-term election. Who’s acting out of partisan interest again, BBC?
The fact that Mardell made his ideologically-biased pronouncement on fiscal governance puts his subsequent quote of a Tea Party figure in the context that the man is wrong. So while he may be providing the “balance” of an opposing viewpoint (Gosh, Dave, Mardell doesn’t even quote the Dems here, what more do you want? -ed.), he’s providing it after he warns you that it’s wrong.
The entirety of BBC reporting on the budget talks has been biased in this way. And now they’re using a sick insult to frame it. At no time has the BBC been honest about the President demanding far more taxes after 2013. At no time has the BBC reminded you that we wouldn’t even be here if not for Democrat partisan behavior in October. At no time has the BBC told you that, despite the “routine”, in 2006 all Democrats in the House – including Senator Obamessiah – voted against raising the debt ceiling for purely partisan purposes. All you hear is the White House talking points, the perspective from the Left.
I’d like to close with an important statement from a celebrated US politician about the debt situation:
The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.
Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? This is what the adult in the room sounds like. The celebrated US politician who said it? Who is this nutter who, as Mardell put it today, sees dealing with the debt as a more pressing issue than borrowing enough money to continue governing? Senator Obamessiah in 2006, when He voted along purely partisan lines against raising the debt ceiling. (Sen. Obama, Congressional Record, S.2237-8, 3/16/06)
The BBC North America editor is a disgrace, and the BBC itself is nothing more than an extension of the White House Press Office.