We Must Obey The Obamessiah, Rather Than Human Beings

The President of the US will give His latest State of the Union address this evening, and the BBC has published the press release with key talking points.

Obama State of the Union speech to act on income inequality

Sound promising, no? Just by His words, He can move mountains. What they mean is that the President will announce one of His latest executive orders to help the poorest and most vulnerable and strike a blow against what Katty Kay has described as a social injustice which causes economic problems. There can’t be any doubt that she’s writing her from her personal beliefs. But is that really what He will be doing?

The White House said Mr Obama would unveil an executive order to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 (£6.10) an hour for new federal contract workers.

Oh. So He’s just spending more money that we don’t have, increasing our debt, as an ideological gesture. Not really doing anything to help the working poor in my neighborhood, then. The BBC wants to make sure you get the desired impression, though, so they add key details about who those public sector workers will be:

To sidestep lawmakers, Mr Obama will issue an executive order raising the hourly rate of federal workers with new contracts, such as janitors and construction workers. However, that measure is only expected to benefit a few hundred thousand employees.

Yeah, it’s only going to add a few hundred million dollars to the debt, but at least you know it’s going to noble blue-collar jobs. Now, what’s this about sidestepping lawmakers, you ask? After almost five years of this, we should all know the BBC’s Narrative by heart:

Just over a year after his re-election, Mr Obama must contend with determined opposition from the Republican Party, which controls the House of Representatives and has the numbers in the Senate to block his agenda.

Time is running short before Washington DC turns its attention to the 2016 race to elect his successor, threatening to render him irrelevant even with three years remaining in office.

In the face of a divided Congress, Mr Obama has pledged to use executive action to bypass Congress, and the White House says he will flesh out some of his plans in the State of the Union speech.

As always, the problem is an intransigent Congress, blocking His every move. Screw the separation of powers. Never mind that during the two years where He had super-majorities in both houses of Congress we got the disaster of ObamaCare and a failed Stimulus. It’s His Plans For Us that must be passed, regardless. As the BBC’s friends in the US Left-wing media and the Administration have been saying, the President has been acting too much like a Prime Minister and not seizing power like He should.

“The problem for us is that the test of our success became what we passed in Congress, and even in the best case — if the fever had broken and the clouds had parted — we still would have only gotten maybe 40 percent of what we wanted,” one senior White House official told the Post.

“The political discussion, the press, the politicians want to pull the president into the role of prime minister,” added the official, whom the Post did not name. “So you have to swerve really hard to the executive powers at a time like this.”

According to the report, an internal review of Obama’s failures last year — from Obamacare to sequestration to Iran to the 16-day government shutdown that cost American taxpayers $1.4 billion — led the White House to conclude that the president “too often governed more like a prime minister than a president.

“In a parliamentary system, a prime minister is elected by lawmakers and thus beholden to them in ways a president is not,” the report noted.

Obama will kick off his new agenda in his State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Funny how the BBC decided not to include that bit of information. And they certainly won’t be reminding you that the Junior Senator from Illinois criticized President Bush for doing this.

No. The thing is, the BBC is all for it because they support the President’s policies and report as if His Plans are correct and all opposition is wrong. What the BBC is doing here is more than reporting and analysis: they’re presenting this as if the President’s way is correct and Congress is wrong for not cooperating.

The worst part is Katty Kay’s inset “Analysis”:

Washington can be a cold, cruel city, as anyone who is living here this freezing January is well aware. And as he heads into his sixth State of the Union address, no-one is feeling the chill more than Barack Obama.

In last year’s address to the nation, Obama promised action on three important issues: immigration, guns and the environment. As of today, there has been no legislation on any of those. A gridlocked Congress has thwarted his every attempt to pass laws that would make it possible for undocumented immigrants to stay here legally or increase background checks on gun sales or expand environmental controls.

The president has three years left in the White House, but already everyone here is focused on who replaces him in 2016 and who will win the midterm elections in 2014. With time moving on, chances are slim that he can get anything major done in what remains of his presidency.

No questioning whether or not what He’s doing is entirely legal, no wondering about whether or not the policies He wants are correct, no asking if maybe Congress didn’t pass the legislation He wanted because maybe the majority of the public they’re elected to represent didn’t want it. No, to Katty Kay and the BBC, His Plans are correct, and inaction on them is wrong.

“As for God, his way is perfect:
The Lord’s word is flawless;
he shields all who take refuge in him.

For who is God besides the Lord?
And who is the Rock except our God?”

2 Samuel 22:30-32

Katty’s full editorial piece is more or less a pity party for Her beloved Obamessiah. Read the whole thing if you must, but have a sick back ready. While she points out that there have been some relationship problems for the President, none of it is apparently His fault. He has “an aversion to schmoozing”, but all that means is that He’s above the ugliness of political logrolling. It’s not meant as a criticism at all. Aside from an admission that He mishandled the discussion of attacking Syria, even the ObamaCare website disaster is presented as something that affected His political capital, and no mention of the damage the law itself has done and is doing.

Now is the time where a BBC journalist bashes and mischaracterizes Republicans and their policies:

His saving grace is that Republicans are in an even weaker position than he is. The party’s approval ratings are lower than the president’s. They are failing to reach out to women, young people, Hispanics and African Americans – all important voting groups. And on the signature issue of income inequality – something Obama intends to spend a lot of time on this year – Republicans are struggling to come up with any ideas that don’t smack of “let’s just cut taxes.”

This is an editorial remark, Katty’s opinion of her political opponents. Notice that cutting taxes is treated as an anathema. Also notice Katty’s ignorance on young people. They are in fact turning away from Him because of His policy failures. But Katty lives in the bubble, so isn’t aware of it. Now turn back to your hymnal:

This buys the president a little bit of time. He can still use that to get things done over the next six months, which is really all he has before mid-term fever makes legislative action totally impossible.

The smart money in Washington thinks two things could get done this year. First, we could see some form of immigration reform: not a big comprehensive bill, but something smaller. And, Mr Obama may be able to use his Presidential powers to bypass Congress and get something done to raise the minimum wage. That could help narrow the gap between rich and poor.

It is a far cry from the lofty, change-the-world approach of the first term. But six years have beaten the idealism out of Barack Obama. The man who goes to address Congress on Tuesday is more pragmatic. Forget changing the way government works here.

Here’s another way of saying it:

“Truly I tell you,” he continued, “no prophet is accepted in his hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.”

All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him off the cliff. 30 But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way.

Luke 4:24-30

Everyone else is the problem, not Him, not His policies. The policies, as we learn from the personal friend of the White House spokesman, are good and just. So everything He does now will be correct in the eyes of the BBC. Can’t wait to hear the rejoicing in His word from the BBC tonight, and the scorn heaped upon Republican rebuttals.

PS: Post title is from Acts 5:29 with one alteration.

 UPDATE 1/29: The BBC has completely replaced the preliminary article I linked to and discussed at the top of this post with what seems mostly to be Katty Kay’s pronouncements on the speech. Not even News Sniffer has the original, so it’s down the memory hole.

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Like A Warrior, He Will Stir Up His Zeal

That line from Isaiah, 42:13, just about sums up the BBC’s breathless anticipation of tonight’s debate rematch between the President and His enemy political opponent. Jude Sheerin in Washington (another one? how many Beeboids are there in the US now? -ed) is here to reassure the faithful that the President will come out fighting.

Obama team raises expectations for debate with Romney

We get assurances from both the President’s mouthpiece as well as from Romney’s camp that the President will do better. Not a single word is given to the viewpoint that the President’s previous failure was due to a lack of substance, not just a problem with style. Tonight’s debate is supposed to focus on foreign policy, the President’s number one Achilles heel at the moment, but since it’s town-hall style with audience questions, I’m not sure how much anyone can guarantee that this will be the case.

Oh, wait, yes there is a way to guarantee how the audience will behave: let CNN pick them and put in a few Democrat operatives like they did last time. The moderator has already said that she’s looking to break some rules and take control of the agenda anyway. It fills one with such confidence…..

Sheerin’s piece is full of bits about what the President will do better tonight, and nothing about Romney. Is there another article about his side of things that I’ve missed somewhere?

The most recent poll figures the BBC has on offer shows the President up by two points, but it’s from October 7.  Missing is an entire week of Romney improvement, to the point where he’s now virtually tied with or leading the President in some areas. But the BBC doesn’t want you to know that, so they leave things as they are.

Amazingly, one big, massive, ginormous issue gets tacked on at the very end of this: Hillary Clinton falls on her sword over Benghazi. This is buck-passing at it’s finest. I guess she’s just decided that her presidential aspirations are dead now. She’ll never be able to run with this on her record. Of course we’re meant to understand here that it’s not His fault, and so any accusations about it coming from Romney will be “fact-checked” under the bus along with her.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s US President editor has had to swallow hard and admit that Romney’s performance last time really did help a lot, and polls do show him in the lead. It only took Mardell two weeks to get with reality. So why does that key information have to stay relegated to a blog post and isn’t updated on the official election page?

But Mardell still can’t quite accept it.

On the surface it is just odd that a single debate would have produced such a big shift.

No, it isn’t odd at all, if one has been paying attention to reality. The BBC, on the other hand, has kept it from you. I don’t think there’s a single person here who is surprised by this at all, yet the BBC’s top man in the US just doesn’t get it.

Mardell is also stuck on the superficial, still providing excuses for his Obamessiah.

But perhaps it was simply that he wanted to appear presidential and above petty argument, but missed the mark by enough to seem disengaged and aloof.

This is idiotic. What does he mean by “petty”? Engaging with Romney is beneath Him? Such a statement actually makes the President look even worse, but to Mardell this is acceptable. “The Emperor didn’t want to soil his new clothes, so stayed back from the field. A wise move, but made him look hesitant to some.”

This next bit is interesting to me.

…but I’ve heard an intriguing explanation from Republican strategists. They argue that people who voted for Mr Obama last time in a spirit of hope are looking for permission not to do so again.

His lack of engagement, lack of answers, and lack of enthusiasm in the debate was so different from the mood he inspired in 2008, that it allows them to justify a switch without suggesting they made a mistake.

In other words, nothing He’s done in the last four years has any bearing at all on whether or not someone might be disappointed and not vote for Him this time. Unbelievable.

Amusingly, Mardell is also pre-emptively criticizing Romney about Benghazi. He says that Romney will have to be more clear, do a better job explaining what lessons we need to learn from it. Wrong. Romney needs to show that the Administration is a shambles more than how he’d do it differently next time.

They just don’t get it, can’t accept it. Everything they’ve been investing their emotions and energy in for the last five years is all coming crashing down around them, and they simply don’t know how to deal with it. Maybe the President can turn things around and His team has come up with some real substance to lay out tonight. Maybe there will be some smart audience questions that will put Romney on the back foot. I don’t know, but I have my doubts.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I Corinthians: 58-60

 

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“I’m Not Very Impartial When It Comes To US Politics! x” said the BBC journalist.

(UPDATED, see below the fold) On Wednesday’s open thread, DB posted a tweet from BBC journalist, Jude Machin, expressing her hope to wake up in the middle of the night to watch her beloved Obamessiah debate His enemy for the first time. The point DB was making is best expressed visually, so I’ll reproduce it here:

UPDATE: As you can see above, someone has forced a little impartiality on Jude after all. Awww. I’m currently having difficulty uploading the screenshot I took at the time, but fortunately DB took one and posted it in the comments below.

(UPDATE to above UPDATE: The above update was written after Machin changed the pic to one of herself holding what appeared to be an Olympic torch, but before the entire Twitter account was killed. I was referring here to the new profile avatar.)

Jude has gone all out in her devotion, it seems. So much for not doing anything stupid, eh, Ms. Boaden? Naturally, a fellow worshiper chimed in with an “Amen, sister!”


…prompting a response from the erstwhile “Obamamama”:


The sister worshiper is Leah Gooding, BBC Newsround presenter.

They’re all at it, and they don’t care about showing it in public. Ms. Gooding doesn’t have the requisite “views my own” get-out-of-bias free card that most of them do, but neither does she have the BBC logo. So she’s probably beyond the reach of the BBC guidelines.

Are these tweets proof of biased reporting/presenting on their own? No. But added all up, they create a profile of the very kind of echo chamber fellow Left-leaning BBC journalist, Kate Dailey, was warning against only yesterday. It has to affect BBC reporting on some level. If they all share the same approved thoughts anyway, it will happen naturally, without conspiracy or awareness.

Time for some more social media training courses, I think. Somebody should ask Helen Boaden if this is the kind of thing she was talking about when she asked staff to engage the brain before “rushing to communicate.

UPDATE AGAIN: Below are the screenshots. I’ve left the above embeds as is, in order to show that Machin’s Twitter account has been sent down the memory hole. That’s why there’s no more profile pic. It’s possible she killed it once I told them I had screenshots. Another round of training is in order, I should think. At your expense.

Jude Machin Twitter Screenshot Obama avatar

Leah Gooding approves of Jude Machin's Obama Avatar

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Mark Mardell Defends The President On Bin Laden Ad

The media has been freaking out for about 24 hours about the President’s new ad featuring Bill Clinton suggesting that Mitt Romney wouldn’t have made the call to kill Osama bin Laden, and Mark Mardell rushes to His defense. I’m not even going to bother linking to criticisms in the mainstream media, because you know Mardell wouldn’t be roused to action if it wasn’t a major problem.

Should Obama politicise Bin Laden’s death?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: It’s not His fault if someone else thinks this boastful ad politicizes the killing. And He’s The Man, you know.

President Barack Obama is being accused by opponents of making political capital out of the killing of Osama Bin Laden a year ago.

That’s not surprising – he is indeed making a big deal out of it.

The question is whether doing so is distasteful and whether his campaign is politicising something that should be above politics.

Mardell knows this is a problem. He knows this is “unseemly”.  He knows that using a targeted assassination of someone in cold blood, without due process of law, as a campaign slogan is not the kind of Hope & Change we were sold in 2008. Even Arianna Huffington is calling Him out on it. So what does the US President do? He blames His opponents for it being a problem, and makes sure to remind you of His prowess.

It is just as inevitable that opponents will portray that as unseemly immodesty.

The crudeness of the presidential pitch may put some off, but any row that is created only serves to highlight that Bin Laden was indeed killed on Mr Obama’s watch, on his orders.

Even when it comes to acting like the very kind of warmongering cowboy Mardell loathes with all his being, he still must defend Him to the bitter end. Nothing is His fault, you see.

But please, the BBC asks you to continue to look to him for your understanding of US issues.

 

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THINGS CAN ONLY GET BETTER

Ah, you just gotta love Obama. Well, if you work for the BBC you do. Get this;

US President Barack Obama challenged Congress to keep the economic recovery going as new data showed unemployment down to its lowest rate in three years. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3%, beating analyst forecasts, and was down from 8.5% in December.

Great stuff and a sign that recovery is now well underway. Time to re-elect The One, yes? 
Oh, except for this. But hey, the BBC has a unique way of looking at the world!
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Don’t Mention The War Powers Act

The BBC mentioned it once but they think they got away with it.

The US administration is examining the legality of continuing in the Nato-led Libya campaign beyond Friday.

The War Powers Resolution, passed after US withdrawal from the Vietnam War, rules that involvement in combat operations unauthorised by Congress must be terminated after 60 days.

That deadline is on Friday and deputy secretary of state James Steinberg has said the government is aware of it.

“President Obama has been mindful of the War Powers Resolution,” he said.

That one brief article from last week is all I can find from the BBC concerning Obama’s legal requirement to obtain congressional approval for US military action in Libya. The Friday deadline has been and gone but the BBC has shown no further interest in the story, so we look to the Chicago Tribune to bring us up to date:

Under the War Powers Act, President Barack Obama had until Friday to get congressional authorization to continue U.S. military operations in Libya. But the day passed without his even asking for it, which means he has to disengage within 30 days. Obama may not heed that requirement either… As a candidate, he said the president does not have the power to go to war on his own except in cases of actual or likely attack. But if he were to ask Congress to authorize the Libyan intervention, he would probably be rebuffed. So he’s chosen to simply ignore the law.

I can’t help thinking that the BBC’s treatment of this story would be somewhat different if a Republican president was visiting these shores having just ignored his own campaign pledges to seek congressional approval for military operations of the kind undertaken in Libya, arguing now that such actions are limited and therefore don’t require the say-so of Congress. Imagine the chorus of outrage the BBC would be leading right now. But it’s Obama, so the story is quietly dropped in favour of the usual gushing lovefest from his doting BBC fanboys and fangirls.

UPDATE 18.45. From last Friday’s New York Times:

Administration officials offered no theory for why continuing the air war in Libya in the absence of Congressional authorization and beyond the deadline would be lawful. Jack Goldsmith, a Harvard law professor who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel in 2003 and 2004, portrayed it as a significant constitutional moment.

“There may be facts of which we are unaware, but this appears to be the first time that any president has violated the War Powers Resolution’s requirement either to terminate the use of armed forces within 60 days after the initiation of hostilities or get Congress’s support,” Mr. Goldsmith said.

I repeat – how would the BBC be playing this if it had all happened under a Republican president?

There were resolutions in Congress yesterday, so unfortunately for the BBC the story doesn’t look like it’s going away.

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Mark Mardell And The Golden Age

Mark Mardell is basking in The President’s glory in his latest blog post, and getting things completely wrong, as usual. Although Mardell is aware that He isn’t really as magical and all-powerful as He once was, he still wants his audience to know just how incredible His Rule has been for us all.

A Golden Age in the White House come to an end?

The only chink in His armor, to hear Mardell tell it, is the “horse trading” deal with the Republicans on extending the Bush tax cuts. That was the one where the President had to call in Bill Clinton to convince enough Dems to vote for it and not screw everyone over for purely ideological purposes. But what Mardell doesn’t want you to know is that this was such a problem for Him that He has now banned the use of of the word “triangulating” by His staff. How pathetic is that?

What’s really ridiculous here is that, while Mardell is preaching so enthusiastically about His accomplishments, it was only a week ago that he was clucking his tongue at how these same accomplishments he’s praising now were rammed through during the lame-duck session of Congress in a way that looked “unseemly” to outsiders like him.

But that’s all forgotten now, I suppose, while we bask in His glory. This has been a magical year for the US, one in which He brought us one step further out of the darkness.

Will you remember the 111th Congress as a Golden Age? I suspect Mr Obama wants the American people to learn to feel nostalgia for the past two years.

So do you, Mark, which is why you and your colleagues always promote the White House talking points.

Of course, Republicans regard it as a period of unmitigated disaster.

Only Republicans? Once again Mardell displays either his ignorance or his deliberate dishonesty. What about all those independents who regretted voting for Him the first time and went Republican in November? What about all those Democrat candidates who ran against ObamaCare and higher taxes? The Tea Party movement wasn’t an exclusively far-right Republican club the BBC kept trying to tell you it was. Yet Mardell is still stuck in hyper-partisan mode.

Many Americans will regard it as a period of much muddle and unnecessary politicking.

No, that’s only those on the far Left who supported even the most extreme parts of the President’s and Democrat leadership’s agenda. Much of the rest of the country hit the streets to protest it, and/or voted in November to kick many of them out. Only far-Left ideologues like Mark Mardell think that the Tea Party movement and politicians starting to listen to the people was “unnecessary”. As usual, the mindset is “Let’s all work together: when it’s my idea. When you want your way, that’s nasty politicking and bad for the country.” Mardell is speaking from one side of the argument.

Even die-hard Democrats don’t feel a huge amount of pride in its achievements.

Ah, so Mardell does remember his blog post from last week. But why wouldn’t they feel much pride? Because so much of it was ultimately bad for the country? Is it because the really far-Left voices are angry that the President hasn’t done enough to move the country further to the Left? Mardell isn’t going to tell you. He’s only projecting his own disappointment that it wasn’t all glorious and everyone is ecstatic about His Administration. Why isn’t Mardell asking if the President and Pelosi and Reid maybe went too far to the Left for the nation’s comfort? It’s because he agrees with the ideology behind all of it, and thinks that anyone against it is a Republican stooge.

Yet Mr Obama said that it was “the most productive two years that we’ve had in generations”. He wants the day to be remembered as a time when things got done, when people could agree, when progress could be made. It is going to be an interesting new year.

See? “When people could agree”. It was a Democrat-controlled Congress. They got their way a lot. Nobody in the country thinks the last two years were about bi-partisan loveliness. That’s an absolute joke. The President and His staff know perfectly well that they had to force everything through, and that they won’t be able to do it in a real bi-partisan atmosphere. It’s moronic to suggest otherwise. The President spent two years denigrating His “enemies”. And Mardell believes He wants everyone to think it was all friendly reaching across the aisle? The President wants everyone to realize how great He is, not how bi-partisan Washington has become. Mardell’s rewriting history at an alarming rate.

Even in the lame-duck session, the only thing besides the tax bill which was bi-partisan was the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, and enough Republicans were happy to do it that He didn’t have to actually do anything. He passed the buck to Congress on this one, and they did it themselves. Yet we’re all supposed to think it’s one of His triumphs. He had very little to do with this, but don’t expect Mardell to tell you the truth.

No mention, of course, of the failed gargantuan spending bill, or the DREAM Act, which died because the Tea Party movement put Republicans and a few Dems on notice. No, we only hear about His successes. No mention of the defeat in November because that’s all been wiped away by the passage of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, right? Take that, hecklers! If the country voted overwhelmingly against so much of what the President and the Congress achieved these past two years, why would they remember it as a Golden Age? It’s silly to even think such a thing, unless one is a Democrat ideologue.

It’s echoes of St. Jon Stewart’s “Rally to Restore Smugness”: Let’s all work together – for the Democrat agenda. Working together is good – for the Democrat agenda. Mardell whines about it when he’s worried it doesn’t make his beloved Obamessiah look good, but then leaps at the chance to celebrate it when it suits his message.

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OBAMESSIAH MEETS SAINT JON

Online reports so far from the BBC:

Obama tells Daily Show more time needed for reforms
Obama appeals to voters on satirical TV show The Daily Show
Obama’s mid-term election pitch on US television network
Cagey Barack Obama spars with Daily Show’s Jon Stewart
‘Yes we can… but’ says Obama

(If you spot any more add them in the comments)

UPDATE 5pm. If you were thinking that what the BBC’s midterm election coverage really needs is Billy Bragg taking cheap shots at Christine O’Donnell then worry no longer – BBC World News America has made it happen. No agenda though. Impartiality is in their genes.

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OBAMALOVE…

Have a giggle as we enter the weekend by reading Mark Mardell’s latest love poem to Obama.
It strikes me yet again that poorer black Americans have infinitely more patience than those who are new to economic hardship, (Mmm……is he trying to say w-h-i-t-es?) and they don’t expect change to happen overnight. But they, too, await results. There is little doubt that Mr Obama’s image is not all it was when he was elected. What is fascinating to watch is how much the upcoming elections force him to become another sort of president still – either more accommodating or more political and tactical.

Waugh, it’s all so unfair. How’s that hopeychangey thing workin’ out for you, Mark?
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DAILY SKEW

Following on from David’s post Defeated in Iraq…

Whatever your own view of the Iraq War, the BBC constantly campaigned against it. The BBC also loves Obama. So how to report the withdrawal of US combat troops from Iraq?

Clare Spencer, the left-winger who writes most of the Daily View pieces for the BBC website’s See Also column, is back from her holiday today. Her first post is Daily View: US troops leaving Iraq.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/seealso/2010/08/daily_view_us_troops_leaving_i.html

If you were a biased right-wing reporter, who would most want to ignore on this issue? Robert Fisk of the Independent probably. If you were a biased left-wing reporter, who would you go to first? Robert Fisk of the Independent probably. Clare Spencer goes first to Robert Fisk, quoting some of his usual anti-Western, anti-(this-)war bile.

After Fisk comes Steve Benen, a JournOLista at the Washington Monthly (Clare is fond of quoting JournOListas), who ‘balances’ Fisk by taking “some satisfaction” in this milestone being achieved. Bad war yes, but well done Obama!

After the left-wing Fisk and the left-wing Benen comes left-wing blogger Juan Cole of Informed Comment who synthesizes the two views to get the perfect BBC opinion:


What Obama has done is stay true to US commitment to get combat units out by September 1. That should reassure Iraqis – and Arabs and Muslims in general – about US intentions. It is a symbol of a turnaround in US policy, a repudiation of the Bush administration doctrine of preemptive war.

Fourth comes Roula Khalaf of the Financial Times who “argues…that the Iraqis have little to celebrate about the US withdrawal”. (This could be read as a criticism of Obama’s move, but isn’t.)

An article in Foreign Policy by John Negroponte, ex-ambassador to Iraq, is quoted next. His quote offers advice for the future, so it doesn’t really counteract the one-sided appraisal of the war of the article so far.

Clare then quotes the Daily Mail. That’s odd. But when you read the quote you find that the Mail article attacks Bush and Blair and calls the war “shameful, without any winners” - which is exactly what beeboids wants to hear!

The one bit (out of seven) that genuinely does provide balance comes from the Daily Mirror, where “the director of the Iraqi Association, a charity for Iraqi refugees in Britain Jabbar Hasan argues “that the Iraq war was worth it”.

However, it’s back to the far-Left anti-war campaigner Rose Gentle (who lost her son in the war and then joined Galloway’s Respect Party) to finish the article in the same Fiskian spirit as it began:


Life in Iraq hasn’t got any better. It’s got worse. Nothing has been achieved there which is very disappointing. There is still no stability despite thousands of innocent Iraqis being killed during the war.”


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Exclamation Mark!

Here’s the blurb to a Mark Mardell report about Obama’s first year:

In a BBC/Harris Poll 20% of Americans would give President Obama an ‘A’ for the job he’s done in year one.
But an equal number of people give him a ‘C’, and the same percentage gives him an F! Mark Mardell reports.

An F! About Obama! Beloved Obama! It’s inconceivable! It’s outrageous!

Update. I see the BBC has flown heavyweight political analyst Richard Bacon over to the States to celebrate the first anniversary of O’s inauguration (written into his latest R5L contract, no doubt). Let’s hope the voters of Massachusetts give him something to really talk about.

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Younge Americans

In September, when US-based left-wing Guardian columnist Gary Younge popped up as a bona fide voice of the BBC on From Our Own Correspondent, I pointed out that he had recently described followers of the Tea Party movement as “(a)nnoying, bizarre, incoherent, divisive, intolerant, small-minded, misinformed, ill informed and disinformed…” In other words, just the sort of prejudice against the American right which finds favour at the Beeb. I noted also the irony of a Guardian/BBC journalist accusing others of living “in a politically parallel world where everyone they know believes the same as they do.”

We’re in the middle of a mini Obamafest at the moment as the BBC celebrates the first anniversary of The One’s inauguration. To balance the many pro-Obama films and programmes made by adoring fans, the Beeb has commissioned a couple of documentaries about Americans opposed to Obama. Amazingly, this project was given to someone with a sympathetic view of the subject matter.

I’m kidding, of course:

In this two-part documentary, author and journalist Gary Younge tells the story of the other side of the Obama phenomenon; the story of those who say that the Obama presidency is nothing but bad news. Younge asks who these people are who feel they have been marginalised by the Obama revolution. He also asks what they don’t like about him and what Obama could do, if anything, to win them over.
Younge spends 10 days travelling through rural Arkansas and Kentucky, talking to anti-tax protesters, fundamentalist Christians and libertarians, country club members and local dignitaries to find out how they view the last year under Obama and what their hopes and fears are for the coming year.

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