Biased Editorial Double Standards: US Ideological Violence Edition

Two people from Nevada appeared in court yesterday on charges of plotting to abduct and murder policemen. They are members of the fringe group Sovereign Citizens, a movement of people who have an extreme, quasi-anarchic (in the old school sense), anti-government view. Apparently they were busted after an undercover operation exposed their plans. Nothing new or unusual, really, except that it’s a case of two extremist white people getting arrested for plotting anti-government violence in a week where the public has been overwhelmed with the news of young black men murdering white people (stories which have been used to hype up racial animosity and as a counterweight to the media’s Trayvon Martin Narrative) topped off with two different criminal convictions of military men who espoused political views shared by the Left-wing media. So this minor story must have come as a great relief to the newsroom and editors who are responsible for deciding what gets published every day, a welcome break in what must seem to them as a stream of unfortunate news giving credence to Right-wing views about racial violence, terrorism, and the dangers of the anti-war movement and heroic whistleblowing.

Naturally, the BBC feels it’s worth reporting. It was just a plot thwarted, noting actually happened, nobody even close to being harmed. But it’s newsworthy because of what they represent.

No bias on that score, of course, since the Washington Post, the HuffingtonPost, and CBS all felt it was newsworthy. That’s the lemming-journalism defense we often get: it’s okay for the BBC to report/not report it, because other media outlets are/aren’t. The bias lies in the report itself, as well as the blatant double standard in how they cover incidents of “domestic terrorism”.

First, the quality of reporting. The BBC cites the Southern Poverty Law Center as an authority on the Sovereign Citizens movement. They describe the SPLC as “a non-profit civil rights group”, full stop. Many people here will have seen some of us refer to a “Rule #1″ being in effect, and this is a classic example.

In this case, Rule #1 isn’t from the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaloo (although I think a BBC version could easily be made with one or two substitutions), but concerns how and when the BBC labels vox pops, guests, and think tanks or organizations they use in appeals to authority. The idea is that the BBC so rarely labels Left-wing, on-message groups or guests that, if they don’t label them, or call them “independent”, one knows which side they’re on. In contrast, those with opposing viewpoints are introduced with the health warning that they’re conservative, or take one side of an issue.

This isn’t just a Biased-BBC fever dream, either. The Center for Policy Studies recently published a report proving it, at least where think tanks and policy organizations are concerned. And here again is another example. The SPLC is independent only in that it isn’t officially owned or run by a political party. It’s hardly non-ideological, though, and the BBC’s use of “independent” is dishonestly meant to lead you to that conclusion. In fact, the SPLC has a long history as a Left-wing activist organization. It’s always been a civil rights and human rights advocacy organization (the “Southern Poverty” part should be a tip-off), more recently going on the attack against numerous non-Left organizations. For example, they labeled the Family Research Council a “hate group”, and featured it on a “hate map” (although they’re clever enough not to use Palin-esque crosshairs), which may have inspired an attempted murder. It’s a joke to present the SPLC as anything other than what it is. In other words, Rule #1 is in effect here, as usual. It doesn’t matter if they do the work of angels, or if you or I agree or disagree with their ideology. It’s a highly ideological organization with very clear political views and activities, and it’s simply wrong to hide that and mislead the reader.

In fact, this isn’t even the first time the BBC has used the SPLC as an authority to support an agenda. Jonny Dymond cited them in his dishonest story about how white supremacist groups have been on the rise since we elected a black President. Dymond presented the SPLC as an organization which tracks “hate groups and other groups on the far right”. In other words, not an impartial organization at all, but one dedicated to an agenda of attacking the Right. Much like some BBC journalists.

It would have been easy enough for the BBC to simply refer to the FBI, or even the Department of Homeland Security (surely not too partisan for the BBC), who have the same concerns about the Sovereign Citizens. Although maybe that would be a case of “they would say that, wouldn’t they?” about an anti-government group. Instead, the BBC went for an ideological fellow traveler, presenting it as an impartial judge.

This leads me to the biased double standard. A little over a year ago, the BBC published a news brief about the arrests of five young men in Ohio who were caught plotting to blow up a bridge. They, too, had known ties to a well-known organization, but for some reason, instead of reporting the connection and going into detail about it, the BBC decided to censor that key detail. I suspected at the time that the reason was that the organization in question was the Occupy movement. Laughably, the BBC managed to think of one possible motivation for the crime, which the FBI dismissed out of hand: the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. The FBI dismissed that as a motivation because they knew what the BBC refused to tell you: they were Occupiers, and their motivation was to engage in some anti-government (or anti-establishment) ultra-violence. I say the BBC refused to tell you this because it’s impossible to claim that the BBC didn’t know, seeing as how the wire services from which the BBC gleaned this in the first place mentioned the Occupy connection. Outrageously, the BBC even quoted the FBI about ideology being motivation:

“The individuals charged in this plot were intent on using violence to express their ideological views,” said Special Agent Stephen Anthony, of the FBI’s Cleveland division, in a statement.

Which ideological views? Occupy views. It was deliberate censorship, because the BBC was (and still would be if it came back) highly and rather openly supportive of the Occupy movement, and was loathe to draw such an unsavory connection. When it’s a Right-wing group like the Sovereign Citizens movement, though, the BBC has no problem mentioning the defendants’ connection to it and citing its ideology as the motivation behind their plot to commit violence.

A clear double standard, and one unquestionably caused by personal, ideological bias. I wonder if either Daniel Nasaw, the man in charge of deciding what stories get published in the US section of the BBC website, or any lurking professional journalists, will be able to give us any other explanation besides, “Please shut up, you don’t know how things work in a newsroom.” (I paraphrase slightly.)

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33 Responses to Biased Editorial Double Standards: US Ideological Violence Edition

  1. DB says:

    Nasaw: “Pls don’t mistake editorial judgement for self-censorship or political bias” … and now here’s a story about bad white people while we ignore the one about the black thugs beating an old white guy to death. Take that trolls.

    (*btw DP did you see the story this week about the SPLC suing Alabama over its scholarship programme? They’re basically arguing that unless every child from a failing school can be helped then none should.)

       34 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      No, hadn’t seen that, DB. I’ve kind of stopped paying attention to anything about the SPLC since they put out that hate map. Once their original reason for existence faded (the KKK, which has been greatly diminished thanks in part to SPLC lawsuits), they moved on to becoming a basic Progressive advocacy group instead of a useful watchdog.

         24 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Not all black-on-white crime is racially motivated. Basic math predicts that, since the majority of the population is not black, the majority of black crime will be committed against non-blacks. There’s no need for the BBC to report all of this.

         8 likes

      • DB says:

        I’m merely pointing out examples as a counter-balance to the selective blacks-as-victims-of-whites narrative. But I take your point.

           18 likes

      • Gunn says:

        The problem is that liberal media like the BBC assumes that white on black crime is racially motivated (often in the face of the evidence available, e.g. see the Trayvon Martin case, where Zimmerman on the evidence is absolutely not a racist), while assuming that black on white crime is just happenstance, even where all the evidence points to racial motives.

        In the UK, replacing ‘black’ with muslim and ‘white’ with non-muslim, we see the same idea played out with e.g. muslim child-rape gangs who only target non-muslim girls being given a free pass by the BBC.

        The issue is not so much the reporting or non-reporting, it is the media acting in a two-faced manner in order to stir certain types of racial hostility and to keep alive a narrative of black rights being systematically denied by modern day KKK equivalents (or alternatively, for the UK, the idea that muslims face continuous harrassment from non-muslims, when all the evidence points the other way around).

           42 likes

        • JohnOfEnfield says:

          …& George Zimmerman is certainly not “White” having both Black & Hispanic ancestry.

             15 likes

          • Ken Hall says:

            Yet the left wing critics called him a white latino before branding him as being racist (in spite of massive evidence to the contrary)

               3 likes

      • Stewart says:

        Yes I’ve heard that reasoning on 5 live ,about British crime statistics (I believe it was the Derbyshire woman) ‘That there would inevitably be more white victims of black aggression as there more potential white victims.
        It ignores the reverse of that medal. That as there are potentially less black aggressors than white , then a black man is statistically far more likely to attack a white man than visa-versa based on the on the numbers
        In fact it makes the statistical discrepancy far higher than if judged on the basis of the probability of either one being a victim of attack by the other
        Think about it

           26 likes

      • Joshaw says:

        Surely it’s much more complicated than that. The basic maths of probability would only apply if blacks and whites were living side by side.

        I don’t know about this case but if whites in white areas are being killed by blacks, or vice versa, race is more likely to be a factor.

           7 likes

      • Dysgwr_Cymraeg says:

        If we were viewing thisin the negative ( photographically speaking) they sure as hell would report them all.

           5 likes

    • David Brims says:

      ” I killed the man because he disrespected me ”

      ”Disrespect” ? they’ve all got a grandiose ( deluded ) sense of self worth, haven’t they ?

         11 likes

  2. deegee says:

    There are approximately 45 homicides, on average, everyday in the United States. How does the BBC decide which ones are news and which are not?

       13 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The point here is about what they censor from their reports and what they don’t, according to their biased agenda.

      Not all black-on-white crime is racially motivated, and it’s lame to act as if the BBC not reporting every single crime is a sign that they’re hiding racist black crime. My post demonstrates that the BBC has a clear pattern of deception when it comes to their reports on ideological violence, and on how they label (or don’t label) partisan organizations.

         22 likes

    • Ian Rushlow says:

      Simple. It looks for the rare ones where the perpetrator is white and the victim is black. Okay, it restricts it to a couple of cases a year but they can then milk them over several weeks/days/years/decades if necessary.

         32 likes

  3. flexdream says:

    It seems to me the BBC was gung ho for a Zimmerman conviction in the Martin killing, but as more and more evidence during the trial pointed to an acquittal the BBC scaled back its reporting. The verdict was then presented as ‘controversial’. I don’t recall a single time when the BBC quoted any statistics to show what the big picture is e.g. how many killings lead to convictions, how many murders are drug related, how often ‘race’ is a factor, how the US murder rate compares with other countries like Brazil and Russia etc etc. I know facts are dull and boring to some people but they should feature sometimes in reporting by a serious news organisation, as opposed to Presidential soundbites and vox pops with people who feel strongly enough to march in a demonstration.

       33 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC labeled the verdict “controversial” simply because they perceived a large group of people objected. Of course, I say it’s because they agree with those objections, and my proof is that they never label any of The Obamessiah’s key policies as “controversial”. Is ObamaCare “controversial? Is His demand for more tax increases “controversial”? His drone warmongering? His extra-legal recess appointments?

      Aside from the usual suspects looking for any excuse to scream “racism”, the media knew that the President needed a big assist in the run-up to the 2012 election. Reminding everyone that it was a racist nation considering the re-election of the first black President was pure gold. That’s why Zimmerman was made into a white man, and that’s why NBC and ABC deliberately created false audio and video (and why the BBC knowingly republished the lie). The more people talked about racism, the less time there was to talk about the real problems of the economy. Keeping guilty white independents and Blue Dog Dems on side was key. They were looking for an excuse not to vote out of white guilt, and the Trayvon Martin story put a stop to it.

         33 likes

      • flexdream says:

        The BBC is sly with its use of words. I’ve noticed before your point that Obama’s policies are never described as ‘controversial’ even where he maintains a previously controversial policy like holding AQ suspects at Quantanamo. Heck, I’d have thought that the US even having a base in Cuba would be controversial – I guess it would be if Spain tried to reclaim it.

           24 likes

        • Rufus McDufus says:

          Going off on a bit of a tangent – this reminds me of one of the ‘Classic Mastermind’ programmes being shown on the BBC at the moment. One of the questions (in a 2006 show) made reference to ‘controversial’ politician Boris Johnson. This is another subject entirely but it’s interesting how even questions in a quiz show seem to have gone through the BBC filter.

             23 likes

  4. John Anderson says:

    There is a big debate about the Trayvon/Zimmerman matter.

    There are TWO sides to the debate.

    The BBC overwhelmingly takes ONE VIEW.

    If that isn’t a sign of groupthink – what is ?

       41 likes

  5. frk says:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/08/24/race-not-factor-in-australian-player-oklahoma-murder-da-says/…..more double standards in america concerning race murders

       11 likes

    • Rufus McDufus says:

      Yet the President has access to imaginary information that claims the Trayvon Martin killing was a racist attack, and chose to try and override the court case with this ‘information’ (a personal opinion frankly).
      A useful BBC report would be into what determines a racist killing, particularly in the eyes of the media. I’m not holding my breath on that one.

         18 likes

      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I’m sure with the BBC, determining a racist killing is like pornography: they can’t really define it on paper, but they know it when they see it, and get all excited.

           6 likes

  6. Andrew says:

    I have been visiting this site for a few months now. My knowledge of the USA is limited but I follow events there on the British media and could tell you all the US Presidents (and most of their defeated opponents!) from 1948 to the present. So let’s say I’m fairly interested.

    If somebody were to ask me what was the one thing that stuck with me most from all the postings and comments on BiasedBBC, I would say that it was BBC bias over the USA. It has been an eye-opener for me, even though I suspected some bias previously. So, thanks to Mr Preiser and others for their enlightening explanations.

       31 likes

    • Bob Nelson says:

      I have found the website American Thinker quite informative about what is going on in the USA – from a right of centre perspective, so unlikely to include BBC viewpoints.

         15 likes

  7. stuart says:

    the narrative of the bbc and other media outlets including cnn in america is this,lefties are good nice people,right wingers are nasty mean people,this incident in concerning these 2 leftists in nevada should be treated as a terrorist related incident but it wont because no doubt thec left wing media always have sympathy for there socalist brothers in the media,imagine the headlines on cnn if these 2 people in nevada was 2 buck teeth white lads from some made up by the media right wing milltia living in a trailer camp with grandpa,you know what the headlines would be so i dont have to explain it,yes david vance is right,the bias in the media is sickening and in my view it is getting worst,just watch channel 4 news and they are getting more left wing biased than the bbc,but what can we do.the leftists have completely took over the media in america and the uk..

       16 likes

  8. Guest Who says:

    ‘Daniel Nasaw, the man in charge of deciding what stories get published in the US section of the BBC ‘
    Such a gatekeeper role suggest great power, and potential for abuse if not used responsibly. Mr. Nasaw’s responses to concern about propaganda backed by censorship are not reassuring.
    One has to hope the greater number of his equivalents here mean such power is less concentrated, but the evidence is that there is little difference.
    And thanks to FOI exclusions much is hard to probe further.
    If Obama could have a tame $6Bpa #prasnews policy-shaping broadcast monopoly, it would probably look a lot like the BBC.

       17 likes

  9. Louis Robinson says:

    David, I can’t go back and cite proof of this but keep a lookout for the following:

    In BBC reports in which the gunmen is white, there is always a detailed description of the weapon used and also a paragraph about the possible banning of guns in the US.

    In BBC reports in which the gunmen is non-white, we are never told the nature of the weapon and the gun ban paragraph is not included.

    Check this out in future.

       6 likes

    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Indeed, the BBC is so selectively curious about poor black youths getting killed by gun crime in the US that they’ve yet to send one of their US battalion of professional, impartial journalists off to Chicago to investigate what’s been happening in this city with just about the strictest gun control laws in the country. Surely that story is fodder for a Peabody-worthy series of reports. Or at the very least one of those “bespoke” video magazine pieces which seem to have become the backbone of the BBC’s US division.

         12 likes

  10. George R says:

    “Concealing Racist Black Violence”

    http://frontpagemag.com/2013/colin-flaherty/concealing-racist-black-violence/

    For BBC-Democrat, it’s still all Luther King and Washington 50 years ago. Hints of current black violence are politically off-message to Beeboids.

       5 likes

  11. John says:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/26/demarquise-elkins-hid-gun_n_3818630.html

    A particularly nasty case of an 18 year old apparently shooting and killing a 13 month old baby because the mother wouldn’t give him money. The defendant’s mother and sister are accused of then assisting him in disposing of the weapon.

    Still in court so one mustn’t jump to conclusions. Lets just say the BBC don’t appear to be taking a “Trayvon” style interest in this particular trial.

       1 likes