Six Impossible Things

As the US at last gets to vote on the most important election in human history (it must be, to judge from the legion of BBC staff running around over here to cover it), the BBC’s coverage of the whole scene has been making me think of the following from Through the Looking Glass:

‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.

‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’

Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’

The BBC definitely wants you to believe some impossible things when it comes to the President and the current situation in the US. You’ll most likely hear some of these at some point today during the BBC’s wall-to-wall coverage.

(NOW UPDATED TO INCLUDE LINKS, because defenders of the indefensible have decided to be intellectually dishonest today and pretend they’ve never read anything on this blog. I’ll add more later today and this evening when I have more time. Everyone is welcome to post examples in the comments.)

1. Tea Party-led Republican intransigence has blocked His every move for the last two years, but the President has saved the economy, and we’re on the road to recovery.

2. The country is more divided and polarized than it has ever been before due to Tea Party and Right-wing media rhetoric, while at the same time you’re expected to believe that the President did not begin His term in office by sitting down to the negotiating table and telling Republicans, “I won”, and that He has not said or done anything divisive, ever.

3. The Democrat super-majority in Congress – absolute control of both houses – for His first two years which let Him do whatever He liked (except pass a budget, which even the Dems in the Senate weren’t stupid enough to vote for) without bothering to get a single Republican vote, was a Golden Age of Congress getting things done.

4. The only real reason people are voting against the President is racism, or crypto-racism, even though nobody complained when George Bush had a black man and then a black woman as the second-most powerful person in his Administration, and the Tea Party movement was ready to support Herman Cain. All those people who voted for The Obamessiah in 2008 and are not voting for Him today have suddenly reverted to being racist.

5. It’s perfectly natural for Hispanics to vote for their own kind, and want more of their own kind to come to the US. Any laws which impede that are immoral, and the only reason to oppose this kind of racialist thinking is racism.

6. Romney, like George Bush, is a walking gaffe machine, and the President has made only two minor missteps in five years (including the 2008 campaign).

No, thank you. I’m off to vote as soon as I finish my breakfast.

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Don’t Blame Him

As if all the other BBC reporting isn’t enough, they got their (freelance) World Service economics correspondent to ask, in the usual manner of journalists posing a question to which they’ve already decided the answer, if the poor US economy is the President’s fault.

US economy: Who to blame for poor economic performance?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: The economy really isn’t that bad if you consider it in historical context, and no, only some people say it’s His fault for not doing enough to fix it.

The opening section is devoted to telling you how the economy really isn’t as all that bad from an historical perspective. Moreover, the US doesn’t look so bad at all compared to the current European situation, as well as Japan. In fact, the latest quarterly figures show the US has made up all lost ground, and is now doing better than before the recession! Never mind the massive debt, or the continuously rising deficit, or the fact that the latest GDP bump is mostly due to the Fed printing more money we don’t have. So before we even get to assigning blame, we’ve softened the blow considerably, and in fact might even cause some people to wonder what’s the point of assigning blame at all.

This follows on Walker’s report from the other day defending the President on unemployment, where he dutifully regurgitated the latest jobs report without mentioning that previous jobs figures keep getting revised down. So when he then tells you that Romney will be lying if he now claims that the President has presided over a net jobs loss, you don’t actually know the whole truth. Interestingly, the last two lines of that piece are actually a set-up for this one.

In any case, now that Walker has established his premise that the economy really isn’t so bad if you think about it, he sets about pretending to ask if the President is to blame.

For the “It’s not His fault, you see” side, he links to a Bloomberg opinion piece by two economic academics explaining the historical context, and declaring that the current doldrums are nothing unusual. In fact, they say, history tells us this was always going to be the case after such a bad financial crisis. It’s not His fault, you see.

For the racist side blaming the President’s policies, Walker mentions two other economic academics, but links only to a PDF file of the “Romney Plan” on the Romney campaign website. It’s written by the people he mentions, but this is obviously going to raise a red flag with readers. It’s a partisan campaign manifesto, so not to be taken as seriously as the view Walker offers from the other side. Even though he allows as how the other economics experts are sympathetic to the President, an independently researched and published book and opinion piece isn’t even remotely the same thing as an actual party platform. It’s rather disingenuous to present these as apples-to-apples.

I suppose it would be churlish to compare word counts here, like they did for the debates. This is just one more piece to support the BBC’s overall Narrative that there is no legitimate opposition to the President’s policies, and that those who express the desire to vote against Him are motivated by something else.

For a hint at Walker’s personal political views, see this old piece where he sanitizes the political views and writings of that well-known eugenics fan and Stalinist, Bernard Shaw.

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Mardell Stares Into The Abyss

Mark Mardell seems to be preparing himself for a Romney win. Of course, it won’t be the President’s fault. From the BBC’s in-house magazine:

Mark Mardell… Our man in Washington

Millions more will turn out for the general election, but Mardell senses a great disillusionment in America and believes that this could be crucial to President Obama’s chances for reelection. Asked for a prediction, he replies that it will come down to turnout. ‘I think if he’s defeated he will be defeated by people who quite like him, don’t like Romney that much, but decide to stay at home [on election day].’

“Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!  (John XIII:38)

What’s this disillusionment about? Why would these people who like Him decline to vote for Him? They’re not racist all of a sudden, are they?

He admits that problems with the economy perhaps stem from American policies rather than presidential decisions….

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.  (Romans IX:30-32)

It’s not His fault, you see. Congress failed Him. The people failed Him. Nothing to do with His policies. However, by blaming the faithful for failing Him, the awkward question of why all those people are voting against Him can be avoided.

Plus a nice delusional dig at Romney:

…but believes that foreign policy will certainly take a different ‘tone’ under a Romney term, with ‘implications’ for the UK.

It’s hard to imagine Romney racking up a bigger body count than the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-in-Chief. How many new countries has the President taken war into again?

Actually, Mardell has always been firmly against the UK helping the US in Iraq and Afghanistan (he mentions them specifically), and for some reason thinks Romney will be George Bush all over again and drag you into new wars. Hasn’t the President been very clear, for example, that He won’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, and that there were “no options off the table”? This is a White House talking point, nothing more. Of course, it could also be a tacit admission that in a second term, the President will let Iran, China, and Russia do whatever they like. Which makes Mardell’s focus on Bush’s wars and the (economic) “It all started in America” meme all the more curious. After all, the President did tell Medvedev to sit tight on the European missile situation for now because He’ll have more flexibility then. But Mardell’s worried about what Romney will do.

Read the rest of it for laughs. His continued bewilderment by us United Statesians would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad and a little tiresome. My favorite line, though, is this:

While Mardell is cautious with his language at times, worried about how it might be interpreted, there are hints that he is a passionate man with strong beliefs.

Understatement of the year. They know it, and Mardell knows it. They just don’t care. But by all means, they expect you to continue to trust them on US issues.

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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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Daniel Nasaw’s Horrible History Lesson

Daniel Nasaw is one of the handful of Beeboids working the US beat who was actually born and raised here. In his latest feature for the BBC online Magazine, a “From Our Own Correspondent” segment, he visits a Civil War battle reenactment to use as a metaphor for a primary Narrative about the current state of US politics we hear across the spectrum of BBC broadcasting: an historic, extreme polarization.

Nasaw doesn’t so much get the basic relevant history bits of the Civil War wrong as he does the lesson which he’s trying to invent from it.

Antietam: Re-enacting a bloody 1862 US Civil War battle

(Audio “From Our Own Correspondent” version is here, beginning @17:18)

In addition to the morale-boosting effect for the North (it was a strategic draw, really but ended Gen. Lee’s push into Union territory), the Battle of Antietam is pretty legendary because of the carnage, so it’s a good choice for Nasaw to hold up as a symbol of how horrible the splitting of the nation was. Which becomes the problem, as we’ll soon see. First, a bit about the whole reenactment thing, which seems to baffle our not-so-humble correspondent as well as amuse him much in the way natives in exotic locations reenacting colorful tribal rituals amuse the tourists.

It really is a pretty big hobby, as Nasaw says. Lots of groups all around the country – even in places that weren’t remotely involved in the conflict – many with the same kind of enthusiasm and attention to detail as any historical hobbyist group. They can be as hardcore as any bunch of enthusiasts, and relaxed about it at the same time. They’re there mostly to have fun rather than declare their allegiance to any political ideology. Not that the history behind the game isn’t on some people’s minds in many cases.

Unlike Nasaw, who seems to have approached this event from another culture entirely, I’ve actually participated in one of these battle reenactments. As these things happen,  a friend of a friend knew someone involved with the local historical society who was putting on one of these battles. They needed bodies, so I jumped at the chance. Also unlike Nasaw, I had no ancestors involved in the Civil War, as mine didn’t even get to the US until more than almost 40 years after it was over. I ended up dressing for the Confederate (“Rebel”) side, simply because that’s where they needed bodies. I was supplied with a period costume of civilian clothing, not a uniform, as the South couldn’t always afford everything for their troops. This also struck home the fact that – as Nasaw points out but apparently doesn’t accept – many really did come out to fight for their homes and safety of their families more than for any political ideal, or to keep their right to own slaves.

We did a few minutes of actual drills from some period military book, and learned to load and fire the percussion muskets (all replicas, not rifled IIRC) used at the time. Having to stand there furiously attempting to reload after one shot while a wall of guns fired at me from the other side, and the next rank of my team running forwards into the volley to their next spot before taking their next shot, told me in about thirty seconds a whole lot more about why these battles were so bloody and not always conclusive than anything I’d ever read on the subject. It’s all a bit of a joke to Nasaw, but it can be a real lesson. As for who decides who dies when, naturally I asked the same thing he did, but didn’t take offense like he seemed to at being told that was a rookie question.  As it turned out, there were a few veterans in charge of each side who would just occasionally say, “You’re dead….now you can die….we need a couple people to die on this next volley,” and so on. Not a big deal.

Now for why Nasaw is wrong to use the Civil War for the message he wants to get across. First of all, the concern about States’ Rights goes back long before the Civil War, right back to the founding of the United States of America. It was a vital issue debated by the founders for years before and after independence. In fact, the Civil War wasn’t even the first time secession came into the picture. Of course, what’s going on here is that Nasaw is trying cast light on the polarized political situation we’re in today. We keep hearing from our media elites that the country is more divided, political discourse is more polarized than ever before. Mark Mardell likes to cite claims of grizzled veterans that we all used to get along so well, politicians were never so partisan, etc., as part of his proof that it’s never been this bad before. They’re all at it, really, because that’s the same Narrative we hear from the mainstream Left-leaning media in the US. And they’ve been doing it for some time, not just recently. It all started, we’re supposed to believe, when the US elected a black man as President. All those anti-Bush protests and the ChimpyMcBushitler posters and celebrities crying about Bush hating black people after Katrina, that wasn’t polarization, you see. It’s only when a Democrat President – particularly this One – doesn’t get His way that we’ve suddenly gone horribly wrong. For example:

March 2010, Mardell: Is US politics nastier than ever?

January 2011: Jonny Dymond ponders “the anger and polarisation apparent in today’s American polity” in regards to a mentally unstable person attempting to assassinate a Democrat politician and murdering a few people in the process

October 2011, Mardell: US ‘divided society’ protests spread (Oh, hang on, that was about their darling Occupiers’ class-war rhetoric, and no Beeboid was fretting about how they were polarizing politics)

August 2012: Paul Mason says the pick of Paul Ryan for VP has “polarized US politics”

September 2012, Justin Webb: What happened to America’s community spirit?

Andrew Marr’s upcoming special film about the four years of The Obamessiah’s reign will see him push the same Narrative.

I’m sure everyone has seen or heard other examples as well. So what’s the most obvious historical example of the US being divided? Exactly. Because subtlety isn’t a quality trait with media types bent on getting convincing you about their world view, Nasaw needs to spell out just how relevant this is to today’s situation. It’s where he delves into the issue of States’ Rights and slavery that he gets it wrong.

Long before Lincoln was elected, slavery was a known problem. In fact, while quite a few founders were slave owners, quite a few more were not, and even the top figures who owned slaves at the time knew it was a bad idea. However, there’s a significant economic dimension to the problem as well. Slavery was actually kind of dying out because the trade became less economically viable, but the arrival of the cotton gin kept it going long after its sell-by date, to the point where it was becoming massively difficult to shift the South’s economic engine away from it. The South would have had to diversify economically eventually, but it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. Nasaw, like so many who don’t actually understand the history, sees the Civil War as being exclusively about protecting slavery and the concept of States’ Rights as a smokescreen behind which to hide it. Although it’s watered down in the printed version, in the audio version Nasaw is more explicit about this (beginning @19:18:)

“That’s the familiar slogan wielded by Americans who want to whitewash the stain of slavery from the War’s glory.”

Well, yes and no. While it’s true that slavery was the key right which led to the secession, it’s not something that’s been a major issue from the start. There’s also the fact that many in the South have a particular cultural heritage they want to defend (this feeling might just be familiar to some of you, no?) which has precious little to do with slavery. That gets suppressed every time someone whacks them with the slavery cudgel, which leads to no small amount of resentment. Plus we mustn’t forget the trials of the Reconstruction, when much of the South was occupied militarily and politically by the North. In some places they tend to teach that era of history as if Gen. Sherman left only last week and the remains of buildings are still smoldering in the streets. That’s caused a scar on the regional psyche which goes far beyond a single issue. In short, there’s much, much more to the whole thing than slavery alone. But that muddles the issue, and gets in the way of the metaphor you’re meant to have jammed into your brains. It’s possible that Nasaw is simply unaware of all this, didn’t learn anything other than the standard liberal tropes (history being not only written by the victors but updated by future elites), and really does see it in the simplistic terms he lays out here due to ignorance and not just pure ideology. In “reporting” from this biased perspective, he’s denigrating millions of United Statesians.

Nasaw gets a Civil War expert to tell us that today’s debate goes all the way back to the War, it actually goes back much further. Of course a Civil War expert is going to focus on his area, and of course this makes it a nice red herring. It’s here where Nasaw starts to make some offensive parallels. His goal is to make a direct tie from today’s Tea Party protests and critics of ObamaCare to those desirous of keeping slavery going. He wants to show that it’s the same mentality, the same people, the same belief system. That’s how he sees it, and that’s the story he set out to tell.

I probably don’t need to point out how this also ties right in with the overall BBC Narrative that there is really no legitimate opposition to the President’s policies and that all those complaints are really driven by crypt0-racism, but reminders can be found here, here, here, and here.

While many of the Founding Fathers were slave owners, many equally felt that it was wrong, and that it was something that would eventually have to go away. But more important than that specific issue is that, besides the North-South divide we know about today, there was also originally a kind of chasm between the wealthy Eastern States – industrial and mercantile Northeast, coastal trade cities, etc. – and the poorer, rural West. When I say “West”, however, I’m using it as defined at the end of the 18th Century. Back then, the western parts of Kentucky and Tennessee were a largely unexplored frontier. In other words, very rural, and not wealthy. Even in the country’s early years there was a kind of resentment from those States.

Added to this strain is the more obvious cultural division between the more industrial, mercantile North and the largely agrarian South. Different European heritages also played a part. A further cultural difference was that many in the Southern region looked to Republican Rome for an example of how things should work. This was fine for a largely agrarian nation, not so much for an increasingly urban and commerce-driven one. So there was an innate suspicion of too much central government power from the very start, and for a variety of reasons. Slavery was not the only causus belli.

In fact, the State of New York under Governor Clinton (not the guy from Parliament-Funkadelic, and no relation to the former President) threatened to secede back in 1788 because he felt the ratification of the very Constitution we’re talking about today actually went too far in curtailing his own State’s autonomy. That was all about finalizing borders and maintaining the independence of a country – a State with a capital “S”, which is why I tend to write it that way – which he had been enjoying until then. Like several other key figures, he accepted it once they added the Bill of Rights. Even more important was Clinton’s objection to the new Federal Government imposing a national tariff on foreign commerce, New York’s cash cow. In other words, very much like the kind of objection involving States’ Rights and the Federal Government’s ability to tax commerce we heard about ObamaCare in front of the Supreme Court. More secessionist noise was going on under President Jefferson a few years later for other reasons, which is partly why Clinton was brought in as his Vice President (Somebody ask Paul Mason about a VP pick polarizing the country, right?). Yet Nasaw wants you to focus exclusively on slavery when discussing the concept.

Basically, the Civil War was the culmination of all this stuff, which had been brewing for more than 75 years. The right of secession had long been accepted. The irony of the early instigators of the Revolution’s feelings of being slaves to the British Crown while owning slaves themselves wasn’t lost on them. They knew, but were for reasons best left to people much more intelligent and informed than I, ultimately incapable of sorting it out early on. Lessons hadn’t been learned well enough, the South became too economically dependent on free labor, a lot of people in power didn’t want to suddenly have hundreds of thousands of opposition voters appear on the scene all at once (like in Mississippi, for example, where blacks would have instantly outnumbered whites) and the rest is…well, you know.

But Nasaw doesn’t seem to know any of this. All he sees is a chance to equate slavery enthusiasts with people who oppose a Federal Government wanting to “reform healthcare systems”. The very term “reform” is loaded with positive connotations, a biased perspective on its own, although that’s a discussion for another time, and one we’ve had before anyway. Any opposition, then, to new powers of the Federal Government are similarly tainted. This stifles debate even before it begins. When a couple of the people he meets object, Nasaw sneers. He gives the game away when he asks those playing the Union side if they feel “morally superior” to the Rebels. It’s all black and white to him (no pun intended, although it’s pretty unavoidable).

If one is going to have an honest discussion about the origins of the States’ Rights debate, one has to go way past the Civil War, all the way back to the years before the founding of the country. The concept is entrenched in the US Constitution for a reason: it was vitally important to the founders, who had been debating the topic for years already. It’s about something far beyond a single issue, even one as culturally and morally important as slavery. To simply dismiss the whole thing by tainting it with support for slavery, full stop (subtext: You’re A Racist!), does a disservice to the audience, to the debate itself, and to the nation’s history.

I understand that no humble correspondent can be an expert on every subject, and it’s impossible to do in-depth research for every story. But this is a clear example of a reporter having a preconceived story he wants to tell, one that is exactly in line with the perspective put forth by nearly every other report on the subject, and really screwing with history to get his point across.

 

PS: Amusingly, Justin Rowlatt’s preceding segment about Las Vegas’ economic struggles gives you in a few seconds more information about the looming economic catastrophe in China than pretty much all other BBC reporting in the last few months put together. Unfortunately, though, he’s yet another Beeboid who see that the money has run out but is unable to grasp why that is.

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Mardell Redistributes His Political Ideology

This post from Mark Mardell has to one of his most misguided and biased efforts yet. In an attempt to get his readers thinking that quasi-Socialism is in fact a very American ideal, he plays coy, pretending that he’s only asking a question, as if he’s merely opening debate on the topic and doesn’t have a position. It’s quite obvious that he does, although as we’ll see, his understanding of it is rather bizarre. His ultimate goal, of course, it to prove that Mitt Romney is wrong.

Is redistribution a foreign idea to the US?

Mitt Romney, in the wake of his “47%” comments, told Fox News that government redistribution of wealth is an “entirely foreign concept” to Americans.

He repeated the point today: “I know there are some who believe that if you simply take from some and give to others then we’ll all be better off. It’s known as redistribution. It’s never been a characteristic of America.”

I am not sure whether Mr Romney means that such ideas come from abroad or just that redistribution is alien to American values.

But he is on to something.

What Mardell means is that Romney may have hit on something that will appeal to the uglier instincts of the voters.

Despite being factually wrong, he has hit upon a central reason why American politics can seem so very different to what happens in Europe, including in Britain. Specifically, conservatism here is very different from conservatism there.

See, when I said that his goal was to prove that Romney is wrong, it wasn’t just my biased inference. “Factually wrong”, eh? How so?

There is a large section of the American right, indeed of the American people, which does not accept the grand central bargain of post-war politics across the other side of the Atlantic.

And we all know how well that has worked out, don’t we? Or is the sad situation in Greece and Spain, and the general death spiral of the Euro something Mardell hasn’t quite grasped? He’s writing as if Euro-style Democratic Socialism is the correct way to go, and those who don’t accept it are on the wrong side of history. So how is Romney wrong?

The Republican candidate of course protests too much. In a technical sense, any system of taxation involves a redistribution of wealth, from the individual to where the government chooses to spend it.  

Ah, here we go, Mardell is going to demonstrate how Romney is wrong.

Of course, hundreds of years ago it was distributing the wealth of the masses upwards to the kings and lords. But nowadays, even if every citizen paid exactly the same in a minimalist state there would still be redistribution to defence manufacturers, or to the police force, or whatever.

???????

This is a joke, right? Some under-educated teenage prankster has hacked into Mardell’s blog and stuck this in, right? Can he seriously believe that the basic business of government – defending the borders, keeping the peace, or whatever – is the same thing as the kind of wealth redistribution we’re all talking about? I mean, technically, using tax revenue to fund government agencies like the military and the police meets the definition of the word “redistribution”, but that’s got absolutely nothing to do with the concept that’s causing all this debate. Yet Mardell seems to equate anything the government is supposed to do on the most basic level with everything it can do if it wants.

In other words, he’s claiming that Romney said that not funding basic local services is the real American way. Which couldn’t be further from the truth.

Mardell has actually revealed his misguided beliefs before. In March, he displayed a serious misunderstanding of the entire argument against the individual mandate of ObamaCare, which forces people to purchase health insurance or face a serious tax penalty.

The centrepiece of Obama’s changes to the healthcare system is what’s called “the individual mandate”.

This means that Americans have to buy health insurance, just as in most countries you have to have car insurance if you drive.

The opponents say the government can’t require people to buy services, any more than they can make them buy bananas.

Notice how he doesn’t understand the difference between health insurance and car insurance, or the concept of commerce. The Supreme Court thought otherwise. Even the liberals on the Court understood how Mardell is wrong. As Justice Kennedy would point out in the hearing, when one buys car insurance, one has already engaged in commerce by buying the car. ObamaCare is forcibly creating commerce just so they can regulate it.

Furthermore, car insurance is first and foremost about protecting other people against what the insurance policy-holder might do. All the other coverage is subsequent. Not so with health care. Yes, the Court eventually upheld the individual mandate, but my point isn’t about whether or not it’s constitutional. The point is that Mardell’s analogy is wrong, that he has a poor grasp of the subject, and that his personal belief system shows through in his commentary. In fact, he also showed this same misguided opinion in this piece, where he says that the Individual Mandate is:

weird jargon for an accepted fact of life in most countries, that everyone has to have health insurance, just as in most places everyone has to have car insurance if they want to drive.

His bias on the issue makes him criticize the opinion of people on which he’s reporting. Even if he provides space for the other side of the argument, he’s not supposed to take sides. Yet he does, repeatedly. Like when he declared that the Supreme Court’s approval of ObamaCare was “good for democracy”. He’s a titled BBC “editor”, so that means he’s allowed to write opinion pieces. How or why one is supposed to separate his opinions from his allegedly impartial reporting, I have no idea.

Mardell then writes a couple of paragraphs demonstrating that he actually does know the difference between progressive wealth redistribution and basic government spending. Which makes it all the more ridiculous for him to conflate the two as he does elsewhere. He opens the next section of his piece by again using biased terminology, although very cleverly begins what he thinks is an epic takedown of Romney with this setup:

But he is right that in America has only slowly embraced anything that looks like redistribution of wealth. After all it was that arch-reactionary, Otto von Bismarck, who introduced the world’s first welfare system, including the old-age pension, in Germany in the 1860s.

America didn’t get anything like it until Franklin Roosevelt – FDR – brought in the New Deal, including a pension for the poorest in 1935.

Maybe it is something about presidents with three initials, but the real expansion of redistribution came with LBJ’s Great Society.

“Embraced”. And then he uses von Bismarck as some kind of “Mikey likes it” example of the palatability of wealth redistribution. Gosh, if an “arch-reactionary” can like it, what’s my problem, right? Never mind the vastly different political, social, cultural, and economic heritage of an only recently largely feudal Europe and the clean break, independent-minded heritage of the US.

Richard Nixon built on this, but many conservatives have never accepted the changes.

The one time Leftoids use Nixon as a good example of anything. Yawn.

This is in contrast to Europe, where both main political traditions after World War II seemed to broadly agree that while Soviet Union-style socialism didn’t work, capitalism if left to its own devices produced inequalities which if not softened could prove dangerous.

Dangerous when? How? Shut up, just accept the Gospel.

We know from Mardell’s infamous appearance at the BBC College of Journalism that he believes that Britain is superior to the US because of this difference.

He then holds up “Butskellism” and Mrs. Thatcher as still more proof that Conservatives ♥ wealth redistribution (his line about how she actually didn’t destroy the welfare state after all ought to shock a few BBC producers and favored edgy comedians, no?). Again we see that Mardell is showing his own personal bias on this political issue. Look, he’s saying, proper Conservatives and reactionaries (Tea Partiers take note) have long embraced wealth redistribution. Those who still reject it are wrong-headed.

Mardell then makes a fatal error.

Until a few months ago it was a core part of Mitt Romney’s argument that President Barack Obama was leading the US towards a “European-style entitlement society”.

Until a few months ago? Never mind that Romney’s only been the actual nominee for about three weeks, as he’s been the de facto nominee for a few months now. Mardell is suggesting that Romney hasn’t mentioned it much since, I suppose, Rick Santorum dropped out. Even so, during the Republican challenge for the nomination, the candidates were picking apart each other and not really focusing too much on the President. However…..

Mardell opened this piece with a mention of Romney’s recent interview on Fox News. Apparently he didn’t he notice that Romney said this:

Obama, supporters, ‘more European than American’ in outlook

Oops. Did Mardell miss this part? Not understand it? Ignore it entirely because it didn’t suit his agenda for this article? I mean, what does Mardell think that whole 47%er thing was about? Think it’s only just now popped back up? Think again:

June 27: “He’s taking us down a path towards Europe.”

Sept. 22: ‘European socialist policies not right for US’

In reality, it’s still a core part of his argument. I have no idea why Mardell chose to say that. Quite frankly, it destroys his credibility. Finally, this being a Mark Mardell report for the BBC, he has to get in a dig at the Tea Party movement.

The Tea Party stands for “taxed enough already”, but it was given life by one man’s revulsion at the Obama administration’s financial help for home owners who couldn’t pay their mortgages – a classic redistribution of wealth.

The “one man”, as Mardell’s link shows, is Rick Santelli, the CNBC reporter whose rant from the trading floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange gave the name to a movement which had already quietly started about a month earlier. But, contrary to Mardell’s narrow mischaracterization, Santelli was talking about sub-prime mortgages which should never have been given out to people who – as we now know – could not have afforded them in the first place. It was that whole Fannie Mae-Freddie Mac propping them up which led to the disastrous debt bubble which crashed our economy. Santelli’s point was that this was the government promoting bad behavior by supporting the idea that it was okay to get into massive debt that you could never pay because the Nanny State would take care of it.

Instead, Mardell wants you to think this was about the government merely stepping in to lend a warm helping hand to those temporarily in need, tending to the poorest and most vulnerable. So he demonizes millions of people for their “revulsion” (an emotional term chosen to manipulate you against them) for something he believes he’s already established is right and just and already accepted by proper Conservatives. Because that’s how he sees it.

His personal political ideology informs his reporting from start to finish. It leads him to misinterpret, misrepresent, and misunderstand what’s going on.

Now for an alternative viewpoint about the US and the inherent “revulsion” at “classic redistribution of wealth”. It’s a quote from early United Statesian icon Davy Crockett. Yes, that Davy Crockett. It’s rather long, but well worth your time, and hopefully you’ll get a better understanding of the US perspective than anything the BBC’s US President editor can provide.

SEVERAL YEARS AGO I was one evening standing on the steps of the Capitol with some other members of Congress, when our attention was attracted by a great light over in Georgetown. It was evidently a large fire. We jumped into a hack and drove over as fast as we could. When we got there, I went to work, and I never worked as hard in my life as I did there for several hours. But, in spite of all that could be done, many houses were burned and many families made homeless, and, besides, some of them had lost all but the clothes they had on. The weather was very cold, and when I saw so many women and children suffering, I felt that something ought to be done for them, and everybody else seemed to feel the same way.

The next morning a bill was introduced appropriating $20,000 for their relief. We put aside all other business and rushed it through as soon as it could be done. I said everybody felt as I did. That was not quite so; for, though they perhaps sympathized as deeply with the sufferers as I did, there were a few of the members who did not think we had the right to indulge our sympathy or excite our charity at the expense of anybody but ourselves. They opposed the bill, and upon its passage demanded the yeas and nays. There were not enough of them to sustain the call, but many of us wanted our names to appear in favor of what we considered a praiseworthy measure, and we voted with them to sustain it. So the yeas and nays were recorded, and my name appeared on the journals in favor of the bill.

The next summer, when it began to be time to think about the election, I concluded I would take a scout around among the boys of my district. I had no opposition there, but, as the election was some time off, I did not know what might turn up, and I thought it was best to let the boys know that I had not forgot them, and that going to Congress had not made me too proud to go to see them.

So I put a couple of shirts and a few twists of tobacco into my saddlebags, and put out. I had been out about a week and had found things going very smoothly, when, riding one day in a part of my district in which I was more of a stranger than any other, I saw a man in a field plowing and coming toward the road. I gauged my gait so that we should meet as he came to the fence. As he came up I spoke to the man. He replied politely, but, as I thought, rather coldly, and was about turning his horse for another furrow when I said to him: “Don’t be in such a hurry, my friend; I want to have a little talk with you, and get better acquainted.”

He replied: “I am very busy, and have but little time to talk, but if it does not take too long, I will listen to what you have to say.”

I began: “Well, friend, I am one of those unfortunate beings called candidates, and…”

“’Yes, I know you; you are Colonel Crockett. I have seen you once before, and voted for you the last time you were elected. I suppose you are out electioneering now, but you had better not waste your time or mine. I shall not vote for you again.’

This was a sockdolager… I begged him to tell me what was the matter.

“Well, Colonel, it is hardly worthwhile to waste time or words upon it. I do not see how it can be mended, but you gave a vote last winter which shows that either you have not capacity to understand the Constitution, or that you are wanting in honesty and firmness to be guided by it. In either case you are not the man to represent me. But I beg your pardon for expressing it in that way. I did not intend to avail myself of the privilege of the Constitution to speak plainly to a candidate for the purpose of insulting or wounding you. I intend by it only to say that your understanding of the Constitution is very different from mine; and I will say to you what, but for my rudeness, I should not have said, that I believe you to be honest. But an understanding of the Constitution different from mine I cannot overlook, because the Constitution, to be worth anything, must be held sacred, and rigidly observed in all its provisions. The man who wields power and misinterprets it is the more dangerous the more honest he is.”

“I admit the truth of all you say, but there must be some mistake about it, for I do not remember that I gave any vote last winter upon any constitutional question.”

“No, Colonel, there’s no mistake. Though I live here in the backwoods and seldom go from home, I take the papers from Washington and read very carefully all the proceedings of Congress. My papers say that last winter you voted for a bill to appropriate $20,000 to some sufferers by a fire in Georgetown. Is that true?”

“Certainly it is, and I thought that was the last vote which anybody in the world would have found fault with.”

“Well, Colonel, where do you find in the Constitution any authority to give away the public money in charity?”

Here was another sockdolager; for, when I began to think about it, I could not remember a thing in the Constitution that authorized it. I found I must take another tack, so I said:

“Well, my friend; I may as well own up. You have got me there. But certainly nobody will complain that a great and rich country like ours should give the insignificant sum of $20,000 to relieve its suffering women and children, particularly with a full and overflowing Treasury, and I am sure, if you had been there, you would have done just as I did.”

“It is not the amount, Colonel, that I complain of; it is the principle. In the first place, the government ought to have in the Treasury no more than enough for its legitimate purposes. But that has nothing to do with the question. The power of collecting and disbursing money at pleasure is the most dangerous power that can be entrusted to man, particularly under our system of collecting revenue by a tariff, which reaches every man in the country, no matter how poor he may be, and the poorer he is the more he pays in proportion to his means. What is worse, it presses upon him without his knowledge where the weight centers, for there is not a man in the United States who can ever guess how much he pays to the government.

So you see, that while you are contributing to relieve one, you are drawing it from thousands who are even worse off than he. If you had the right to give anything, the amount was simply a matter of discretion with you, and you had as much right to give $20,000,000 as $20,000. If you have the right to give to one, you have the right to give to all; and, as the Constitution neither defines charity nor stipulates the amount, you are at liberty to give to any and everything which you may believe, or profess to believe, is a charity, and to any amount you may think proper. You will very easily perceive what a wide door this would open for fraud and corruption and favoritism, on the one hand, and for robbing the people on the other.

No, Colonel, Congress has no right to give charity. Individual members may give as much of their own money as they please, but they have no right to touch a dollar of the public money for that purpose. If twice as many houses had been burned in this county as in Georgetown, neither you nor any other member of Congress would have thought of appropriating a dollar for our relief. There are about two hundred and forty members of Congress. If they had shown their sympathy for the sufferers by contributing each one week’s pay, it would have made over $13,000. There are plenty of wealthy men in and around Washington who could have given $20,000 without depriving themselves of even a luxury of life. The Congressmen chose to keep their own money, which, if reports be true, some of them spend not very creditably; and the people about Washington, no doubt, applauded you for relieving them from the necessity of giving by giving what was not yours to give.

The people have delegated to Congress, by the Constitution, the power to do certain things. To do these, it is authorized to collect and pay moneys, and for nothing else. Everything beyond this is usurpation, and a violation of the Constitution.”

I have given you an imperfect account of what he said. Long before he was through, I was convinced that I had done wrong. He wound up by saying:

“So you see, Colonel, you have violated the Constitution in what I consider a vital point. It is a precedent fraught with danger to the country, for when Congress once begins to stretch its power beyond the limits of the Constitution, there is no limit to it, and no security for the people. I have no doubt you acted honestly, but that does not make it any better, except as far as you are personally concerned, and you see that I cannot vote for you.”

I tell you I felt streaked. I saw if I should have opposition, and this man should go talking, he would set others to talking, and in that district I was a gone fawn-skin. I could not answer him, and the fact is, I did not want to. But I must satisfy him, and I said to him:

“Well, my friend, you hit the nail upon the head when you said I had not sense enough to understand the Constitution. I intended to be guided by it, and thought I had studied it full. I have heard many speeches in Congress about the powers of Congress, but what you have said there at your plow has got more hard, sound sense in it than all the fine speeches I ever heard. If I had ever taken the view of it that you have, I would have put my head into the fire before I would have given that vote; and if you will forgive me and vote for me again, if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot.”

He laughingly replied:

“Yes, Colonel, you have sworn to that once before, but I will trust you again upon one condition. You say that you are convinced that your vote was wrong. Your acknowledgment of it will do more good than beating you for it. If, as you go around the district, you will tell people about this vote, and that you are satisfied it was wrong, I will not only vote for you, but will do what I can to keep down opposition, and, perhaps, I may exert some little influence in that way.”

“If I don’t,” said I, “I wish I may be shot; and to convince you that I am in earnest in what I say, I will come back this way in a week or ten days, and if you will get up a gathering of the people, I will make a speech to them. Get up a barbecue, and I will pay for it.”

“No, Colonel, we are not rich people in this section, but we have plenty of provisions to contribute for a barbecue, and some to spare for those who have none. The push of crops will be over in a few days, and we can then afford a day for a barbecue. This is Thursday; I will see to getting it up on Saturday a week. Come to my house on Friday, and we will go together, and I promise you a very respectable crowd to see and hear you.”

“Well, I will be here. But one thing more before I say good-bye… I must know your name.”

“My name is Bunce.”

“Not Horatio Bunce?”

“Yes.”

“Well, Mr. Bunce, I never saw you before, though you say you have seen me; but I know you very well. I am glad I have met you, and very proud that I may hope to have you for my friend. You must let me shake your hand before I go.”

We shook hands and parted.

It was one of the luckiest hits of my life that I met him. He mingled but little with the public, but was widely known for his remarkable intelligence and incorruptible integrity, and for a heart brimful and running over with kindness and benevolence, which showed themselves not only in words but in acts. He was the oracle of the whole country around him, and his fame had extended far beyond the circle of his immediate acquaintance. Though I had never met him before, I had heard much of him, and but for this meeting it is very likely I should have had opposition, and had been beaten. One thing is very certain, no man could now stand up in that district under such a vote.

At the appointed time I was at his house, having told our conversation to every crowd I had met, and to every man I stayed all night with, and I found that it gave the people an interest and a confidence in me stronger than I had ever seen manifested before.

Though I was considerably fatigued when I reached his house, and, under ordinary circumstances, should have gone early to bed, I kept him up until midnight, talking about the principles and affairs of government, and got more real, true knowledge of them than I had got all my life before.

I have told you Mr. Bunce converted me politically. He came nearer converting me religiously than I had ever been before. He did not make a very good Christian of me, as you know; but he has wrought upon my mind a conviction of the truth of Christianity, and upon my feelings a reverence for its purifying and elevating power such as I had never felt before.

I have known and seen much of him since, for I respect him—no, that is not the word—I reverence and love him more than any living man, and I go to see him two or three times every year; and I will tell you, sir, if everyone who professes to be a Christian lived and acted and enjoyed it as he does, the religion of Christ would take the world by storm.

But to return to my story: The next morning we went to the barbecue, and, to my surprise, found about a thousand men there. I met a good many whom I had not known before, and they and my friend introduced me around until I had got pretty well acquainted—at least, they all knew me.

In due time notice was given that I would speak to them. They gathered around a stand that had been erected. I opened my speech by saying:

“Fellow citizens—I present myself before you today feeling like a new man. My eyes have lately been opened to truths which ignorance or prejudice, or both, had heretofore hidden from my view. I feel that I can today offer you the ability to render you more valuable service than I have ever been able to render before. I am here today more for the purpose of acknowledging my error than to seek your votes. That I should make this acknowledgment is due to myself as well as to you. Whether you will vote for me is a matter for your consideration only.”

I went on to tell them about the fire and my vote for the appropriation as I have told it to you, and then told them why I was satisfied it was wrong. I closed by saying:

“And now, fellow citizens, it remains only for me to tell you that the most of the speech you have listened to with so much interest was simply a repetition of the arguments by which your neighbor, Mr. Bunce, convinced me of my error.

“It is the best speech I ever made in my life, but he is entitled to the credit of it. And now I hope he is satisfied with his convert and that he will get up here and tell you so.”

He came upon the stand and said:

“Fellow citizens—It affords me great pleasure to comply with the request of Colonel Crockett. I have always considered him a thoroughly honest man, and I am satisfied that he will faithfully perform all that he has promised you today.”

He went down, and there went up from the crowd such a shout for Davy Crockett as his name never called forth before.

I am not much given to tears, but I was taken with a choking then and felt some big drops rolling down my cheeks. And I tell you now that the remembrance of those few words spoken by such a man, and the honest, hearty shout they produced, is worth more to me than all the honors I have received and all the reputation I have ever made, or ever shall make, as a member of Congress.

“NOW, SIR,” concluded Crockett, “you know why I made that speech yesterday. I have had several thousand copies of it printed and was directing them to my constituents when you came in.

“There is one thing now to which I will call your attention. You remember that I proposed to give a week’s pay. There are in that House many very wealthy men—men who think nothing of spending a week’s pay, or a dozen of them for a dinner or a wine party when they have something to accomplish by it. Some of those same men made beautiful speeches upon the great debt of gratitude which the country owed the deceased—a debt which could not be paid by money, particularly so insignificant a sum as $10,000, when weighed against the honor of the nation. Yet not one of them responded to my proposition. Money with them is nothing but trash when it is to come out of the people. But it is the one great thing for which most of them are striving, and many of them sacrifice honor, integrity, and justice to obtain it.”

(Source)

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Censoring The Gaffe-O-Matic

Yesterday, the President of the United States made a campaign appearance in Florida (the same day He got hugged at a pizza joint, video of which the BBC dutifully has up, and will have for days). He made yet another classic gaffe, but this is a video you will not see on the BBC:

“Three proud words: Made In The USA”

Yeah, it’s an easy mistake. We all know what He meant to say. But that’s not the point. The point here is that there are no Beeboid tweets at all. Not from any of them who laughed at Sarah Palin for “refudiate”. When the President of the United States – who has a history of eye-watering errors, if you get your news from somewhere other than the BBC – makes yet another dopey slip, the BBC is silent, and BBC staff see nothing worth tweeting or even retweeting. Probably none of the Left-wing media outlets or pundits or bloggers or activists they all follow mentioned it, so nothing to retweet.

But when someone who holds no public office, is not running for office, runs no major organization, and holds no position in any political party tweets an accidentally made-up word, the BBC is all over it. Several Beeboids tweeted their laughter (can’t provide links as old Biased-BBC comments are unavailable, and I can’t seem to search for tweets by date – if I find them I’ll add them). Worse, the BBC’s top journalist in the US, Mark Mardell made a snide reference to it in one of his blogposts.

Most ridiculous is that the BBC World Service did a full segment on it. A tweet. Not a speech, not an interview, not a press conference. A tweet.

The thing is, the President really does have a history of silly gaffes like this, yet the BBC remains silent every time (with one exception, which I’ll get to later). No Beeboid thinks it’s worth tweeting, or even feels someone else’s comment is worth retweeting. Why is that?

At the risk of creating a straw man, I’d have to suggest that one line of defense would be that Sarah Palin had a media reputation for gaffes, while the President does not. So media people report in that context. Another Palin goof, haha. But the President? We all know what He meant, He’s the smartest man in the room, etc., nothing to see here. It’s as if they don’t see any of His mistakes.

In order to counter this and demonstrate that there really is a history of bad slip-ups which create the historical context of a gaffe-prone politician, here’s a partial list of Obamessiah gaffes which the BBC has censored (in no particular order):

When the President was negotiating that awful debt ceiling deal with the Republicans, He said this: “Don’t call my bluff,” the president said. “I am not afraid to veto and I will take it to the American people.” The BBC mentioned the heated negotiations, but censored that bit out.

He called the Malvinas the “Maldives” (two gaffes in one, actually, as not calling it The Falklands betrays our greatest ally).

Claimed He’d visited 57 States.

Said in a speech at a NATO gathering, “I don’t know what the term is in Austrian…”

Said that Lincoln was the “founder of the Republican Party”, when he was in fact one of the founders of a local chapter.

Refered to Hawaii as being “in Asia”, at an Asian economic summit – in Honolulu.

Called Auschwitz a “Polish death camp”.

Signed in with the wrong year in the Westminster Abbey guest book: 2008 instead of 2011.

Spoke out of turn when toasting the Queen, speaking over the band instead of following instructions. Actually, the BBC did report that, but they initially tried to blame the band for it and not Him.

Referred to the “Intercontinental Railroad”.

Said that “The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries.”

I’m sure others can come up with more, since there’s plenty. The BBC did report two gaffes that I’m aware of. One was when He accidentally said it was great to back in Kansas, when He was actually in Texas. The other was more of an unfortunate joke rather than a real goof like the rest of these.

Basically, the President really does make a lot of stupid errors like this, at least as many as George Bush or Sarah Palin. It’s only partisan blinkers which keep certain people from seeing it. One can complain that He may be smarter and whatever else than either Bush or Palin, but that’s irrelevant to the count of the gaffe-o-meter. He makes these errors, and the BBC not only refuses to report them, but the Beeboids themselves betray their bias by not laughing at Him on twitter or on air the way they do with Republicans, even those who hold no public office and are not running for any. The Obamessiah does have a history of gaffes, and each new one is just as worthy of reporting as a single tweet by a popular civilian.

Defenders of the indefensible are invited to find tweets of a BBC employee laughing at the President for any of these mistakes. Daniel Nasaw’s concerned tweets about Biden’s repeated misuse of “literally” don’t count, but I’ll give them an honorable mention. I’m talking about the President Himself.

Now come on, do what you’re good for. Prove me wrong.

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BBC Censorship: DNC Taken Over By The Israel Lobby Edition – UPDATED

(SEE UPDATE BELOW) With all that website space taken up with Mark Mardell’s encomium to Bill Clinton, a dishonest attack piece on Govs. Jindal and Haley, and Kate Dailey’s furrowed-brow musings over Elizabeth Warren’s mewling about horrors of “income inequality” (making sure not to mention Warren’s fake Cherokee ancestor controversy), the BBC News Online editors had no more room to report that the convention bosses had to force an acknowledgment of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital back into the Party platform. That must be the reason why the BBC seems to have censored the controversy from all news outlets.

Along with putting back the term “God-given” talent, it took three votes from the delegates to get the language restored to the platform. Party bosses who were not under the thumb of the Israel Lobby had removed the acknowledgment of Jerusalem, and what must be either public, media, or Israel Lobby pressure made them want to put it back. All censored by the BBC.

********************

UPDATE: The BBC has now posted an article on it. Jonathan Marcus must have been filing this while I was writing my post.

Democrats’ headache over Jerusalem status

How to describe the city of Jerusalem has caused controversy at this week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, with confusing scenes on the convention floor as a vote was held on the issue. BBC Diplomatic Correspondent Jonathan Marcus explains why.

“Confusing scenes”, eh? Well, that’s “accurate”, alright. Some people were confused by what happened. But that’s all the BBC will allow you to know. They decided to keep censoring what actually happened: the majority of the crowd voted No, but the Party bosses decided to go ahead anyway. This is what democracy looks like?

Marcus reports claims that the President Himself personally intervened to get Jerusalem put back in. He also admits at last that the President said when running for election in 2008 that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. But then we get doublethink: the President’s personal position is not the same as the US Government’s position. Can He be in two places at once as well?

Who decides the Government’s position on issues, then? Hillary? She’s already said Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, so it’s not her. So who? Valerie Jarrett? Michelle Obama? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? The family dog? Marcus doesn’t explain.

No mention whatsoever, though, that this controversy has been ongoing for months. It’s just a political football, Romney was going to use it as an attack angle, etc.

Having said that, I’m very glad to see the BBC busting the dual loyalty myth about Jews. I applaud them for being brave enough to say that, because I expect they’ll get swamped with complaints about them being controlled by the Zionist Entity. They get complaints from both sides, you know.

********************

As anyone can see from the video, at least half the delegates didn’t want this to happen. There’s no way to know if most of the objection was about the “God-given” bit or about Jerusalem, but only one of the issues has been an ongoing controversy. And there’s no way the BBC doesn’t know about this.

Useful Jew and Party chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz told the press that this was done “to maintain consistency with the personal views expressed by the President and in the Democratic Party platform in 2008″.  In other words, there have been enough complaints about the fact that the White House position says the fate of Jerusalem should be left up to the Palestinians and Israelis to fight it out (I paraphrase slightly, of course) which directly contradicts what Candidate Obamessiah said in 2008. White House mouthpiece (and personal friend of Katty Kay) refused to say what the Adminstration’s official position was when pressed on it. Worse, The Obamessiah Administration decided last year to remove “Jerusalem, Israel” from passports of US citizens born in Israel, because that defines the city as the capital. The White House also redacted all references to Jerusalem from photos of a Biden trip there, replacing it with “Israel”. So they had to force it back in there.

CNN’s video, with the text in question visible on the big screen, can be seen here.

So the Israel Lobby got to the Dems, and the BBC is silent. I’m not surprised, really, because reporting this now means they would have to admit there has been a controversy at all about the President and Jerusalem’s status. They’ve been censoring news of that all along, so can’t really start talking about it now. Too messy, and it makes Him look bad.

I find this silence interesting. In May of this year, HardTalk brought in anti-Israel activist Norman Finklestein to declare that most United Statesians were fed up with Presidents being controlled by the Israel Lobby. In October 2009, the BBC discovered a Jewish Lobbying group of which they can approve: J-Street, whose goal is to fight against the influence of the pro-Israel Lobby. This was actually the second time the BBC discovered this “new” group. They made a similar report in April 2008. Sometimes, the BBC does approve of Jews trying to influence US foreign policy. In 2007, the BBC reported on the controversy over a book about how bad the Jewish Lobby is. The article opened with this:

The power of America’s “Jewish lobby” is said to be legendary.

So why the silence now, when this has been in the mainstream news? Because it makes the President look bad, and makes the Democrats look anti-Israel. I’m not sure why the BBC cares about the latter, but they definitely care about the former. So you’re not informed about real controversy and are instead treated to manufactured ones about “income inequality” and fake Christians.

Your license fee hard at work, supporting the leader of a foreign country.

 

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Where Ignorance Is Bliss

The opening night of the Democratic National Convention and the First Lady’s speech were a rousing success, according to Mark Mardell, the BBC’s US President editor. And his ignorance is on full display.

For Michelle, the personal is political

Mardell has been seeking inspiration for months, and seems to have found it. But first, a little sneer while making a lazy attempt to compare Michelle Obama’s speech to Ann Romney’s:

Both women stressed their husband’s compassion. Both talked lovingly about their love. Both talked about their early life with their husbands in relative poverty. Tell me, is a coffee table found in a rubbish lorry and an ironing board as a dinner table a requirement for keeping down with the Joneses?

It’s very amusing to see this sniffing at class war rhetoric from a man who has no problem using it himself. Just the other day he was reporting that Mitt Romney made a statement “from his lakeside vacation home”, as if it mattered from where he was, and writing as if taking the day off was something strange and unlike how most Americans marked Labor Day. Mardell knows perfectly well what this is all about. and has played his part in creating the environment.

Obviously the main rap on Romney is his wealth. That’s just about the only thing the Dems have on him, really, so it’s a no-brainer that Ann Romney would have to play that game. But the First Lady? It’s especially amusing that Mardell’s readers will be confused by why Michelle has to “keep down with the Joneses”, with all her talk of struggle and a working-class background. The BBC has censored all news of her lavish vacations, and the backlash caused by them, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop, yet has fawned all over her expensive designer dresses without shame. Unbeknownst to those who get their news from the BBC, there’s a lot of concern in the US about the Obamas, particularly Michelle, being out of touch, with their Martha’s Vineyard dalliances, fancy clothing, and expensive parties. Mardell can’t point out why the First Lady would even bother with this angle, because then he’d have to reveal a lot of unpleasant things. Can’t have that. So he moves quickly on.

Here’s Mardell suggesting that the President should be a cynical manipulator. He quotes this from Michelle Obama’s speech:

“Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it… and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”

And then says this:

Note, by the way, that last part – there is a big appeal to the gay vote here. Just think how powerful that would have been, if Obama had announced his support for gay marriage in the middle of last week’s Republican Conference, if Joe Biden had not blown it for him, and forced his hand.

Yes, just think how powerful that would have been in the President had been able to cynically manipulate voters’ dreams like that and use what they say is a human rights issue for political gain. Is that the kind of Hope that inspires Mardell? Would it be even more courageous of Him to wait until the right political moment?  Mardell isn’t even thinking about that. All he sees is political angles and theater. What’s more is that it gives him away as a supporter – of both the issue and the President – moaning about a missed opportunity.

Now about that ignorance. Mardell acts surprised at the major focus on women voters.

It is ironic that just as the convention got underway there was some evidence that women are going off Obama. ABC’s pollster Gary Langer writes about the new opinion poll under the headline “Obama’s popularity dips underwater”.

It is, he says, “the lowest pre-convention personal popularity of an incumbent president in ABC News/Washington Post polls since the 1980s.”

But the dip in the women’s vote is perhaps even more important.

Ironic? I don’t think that word means what you think it means. It’s only ironic if they don’t know about it.

Whether the Democrats knew about the polling evidence or not they had designed their first day to allow women to tell stories portraying President Obama’s re-election as important for them.

Is he kidding? Of course they know all about this. Who imagines that Mardell has some poll data that the White House doesn’t? They probably get the press release before he does. It’s actually a sad statement on how out of touch with reality the BBC’s top man in the US apparently is. The President has been concerned about the female vote for months.

Last year His stock among women voters was slipping, and the Dems were happy to see a rise in approval from them in February of this year. If there wasn’t an ongoing concern, it wouldn’t have been news in March that He was “gaining in popularity“.

In May, Romney started to do better with Republican women, which helped close the overall popularity gap between him and the President, who was actually losing ground among women. Like I said, it’s been a concern for months. Where has Mardell been?

Of course the Democrats were going to make a big focus on women this week. They’ve only been unsuccessfully pushing the Narrative that the Republicans are engaging in a “War on Women” for most of this year. That was part of how Rep. Akin’s foolish remark got such top billing that people could be excused for thinking he was the third man on the Republican ticket.

MSNBC sure was aware of the connection between the “War on Women” Narrative and the focus on women at the convention. They’re about as in lockstep with the White House as you can get. Did Mardell not know about this? He gets the same campaign emails as everyone else. What is he thinking?

As if this isn’t enough evidence for him that the Democrats know all about their need for focus on women voters, even without the very latest poll result. Why does he think they have two different abortion activists – one from NARAL and one from Planned Parenthood – speaking at the convention, plus the infamous Sandra Fluke, who wants the government to pay for her birth control?  Alert people knew as soon as Akin’s statement hit the fan that the Dems were going to make the “They want to steal our lady parts” a key message at the convention. Two weeks ago people were reporting that they were filling the speakers’ list with women. And you know Mardell and the Beeboids saw the speakers’ list long before I did. Furthermore, women have always been a Democrat core target. Women swing voters more or less gave one election to Bill Clinton (see: “Soccer Mom”). Where’s Mardell been hiding?

No, this is silly. It’s just plain ignorance on his part to wonder if the White House machine knew about the latest poll, or if it was mere coincidence that the first night focused on women like it did. What a failure.

On second though, though, what if Mardell isn’t so ignorant and is playing some kind of game here? What would be the journalistic purpose of feigning ignorance? I’d have thought being more honest about the whole story would make for a more interesting report. Knowing the full facts and background would make both Michelle Obama’s speech and the rest of the evening’s proceedings make more political sense. Mardell knows her speech was political, so why hide what’s behind it? Is he protecting her and the President by declining to mention why she had to “keep down with the Joneses”? Is he somehow protecting the President by acting as if this dip in popularity is sudden and unexpected and by playing the Party for Women they’re acting ironically?

Maybe someone else can explain what he’s thinking here. It’s a very poor effort either way.

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Katty Kay Spreads Unsubstantiated Rumors Of Racism (Later Substantiated)

Look that the garbage Katty Kay is reduced to (re)tweeting, because she apparently has nothing of substance to say about the Republican National Convention last night:

 

“Allegedly”. It’s from the far-Left (naturally, as Katty retweets little else) Talking Points Memo. It’s just a claim, no video, no proof. But the BBC’s Washington correspondent, anchor of BBC World News America, and well-paid representative of the BBC on shows like “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and as regular guest host for NPR’s Diane Rehm show, has no problem spreading this as yet unsubstantiated rumor. Because it suits her agenda and biased worldview.

UPDATE: It’s substantiated now. RNC staff admit what happened, and the BBC has rushed to report it. The offenders were tossed immediately. Of course, in the interests of “balance”, the BBC finally mentioned the existence of Mia Love. Having now done the bare minimum, they still refused to tell you about the great reception she received, or that today she’s the top search query on Google. BBC very much not with the news trends on this one. I wonder why? Artur Davis’s appearance is still being censored from BBC output.

What’s most disgusting about what Katty’s done here is that it distracts from something the BBC seems to have overlooked in their coverage of the RNC: Mayor of Saratoga Springs and candidate for the House from Utah, Mia Love, gave a speech which received a rousing reception.

 

 

Anybody think the crowd was filled with racists? Not only that, but Artur Davis, The Obamessiah’s 2008 campaign co-chair, also spoke last night. No reports of monkey chants or anything. Yet Katty Kay wants to help spread rumors to make you think Republicans are racist. Even if it’s just one lone idiot doing it, Katty wants to discredit the entire Party.

This is not professional behavior, but sadly is what we’ve come to expect from her. Keep in mind that, unlike the other Beeboid twitterers we like to bust for bias here, Katty’s page is an official, BBC-sanctioned account, with logo and everything. There is no “views my own” get-out-of-bias-free disclaimer here. This is not the out-of-school, anything goes, stuff which BBC management has decided is outside their jurisdiction. This is a BBC-sanctioned Twitter account, and Katty is officially representing the the BBC here.

UPDATE: Funny how Katty isn’t tweeting about how some lovely Democrats defaced Mia Love’s Wikipedia page by calling her a dirty, worthless whore’ and ‘House Nigger’. (screenshot of the offending text at the link). Wikipedia has since sent it down the memory hole, but you can still see the evidence that there was an offensive edit they had to fix. But Katty’s interested only in spreading rumors harmful to Republicans, not real evidence of acts that make Democrats look bad.

Come to think of it, where are the mentions of Mia Love or Artur Davis in the BBC reports about last night’s convention launch? Nothing from Mardell, nothing in the pictures the BBC posted, nothing from Mark Mardell, nothing in the video clips. It’s like it didn’t happen. Which, of course, is the impression the BBC wants you to have.

Apparently, their fellow travelers at MSNBC cut back to the studio for commentary when Love and Davis took to the podium, so their audiences weren’t allowed to see them. Does anyone know if the BBC did the same thing during their broadcast? Do BBC audiences have any idea that they even exist?

Considering just how much effort has been spent – by Democrats and their supporters in the media, especially including the BBC – over the last five years (I’m including the 2008 election campaign here) trying to tell you that any opposition to The Obamessiah is based on racism, one might think it’s a big deal that Love and Davis both spoke at the national convention. At least the BBC could have mentioned them just to sneer at such blatant tokenism, right?

Please, defenders of the indefensible, at least show me evidence that the BBC didn’t censor these people’s presence entirely. The BBC wouldn’t be so dishonest, would they?

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Mark Mardell Inadvertently Exposes Himself And His Colleagues

I apologize in advance for any unpleasant images that title may have evoked. As most people here will know, I’m wont to complain about how Mardell is little more than a British mouthpiece for the White House Press Office. I’ve written at length about how this or that report or blogpost from him is supporting the President’s cause, spouting White House talking points, etc.

This time, though, it’s Mardell himself explaining what the White House talking points are. And it doesn’t take much to see how he and his BBC colleagues are in lock-step with the White House propaganda machine.

Mitt v Isaac in Tampa

One has to feel a little sorry for the BBC’s US President, though. He was supposed to be wallowing in a political event, reporting on Romney accepting the nomination and whatever negative stuff he can imagine. But the Republican convention has been delayed because of the storm, so is stuck having to make something up instead. He’s got copy to file one way or the other, so I suppose the White House talking points have to get in there somehow. However, in casually laying these point out, Mardell inadvertently reveals himself and his colleagues for the White House shills that they are.

First, Mardell cleverly tries to use the storm as a metaphor for the impending doom he wants you think Romney’s campaign senses. They’ve been battered and put off message recently, he explains, and Romney is going to face a tough crowd. No, really.

The house band blast out a sound check, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer rehearses a walk and talk for his show. Everything in the vast auditorium is bathed in blue and red lights, atmospheric, but curiously reminiscent of emergency vehicles at a crash scene.

Yeah, it’s a bit ham-fisted, I know. But it’s not easy churning this stuff out on demand, you know. In any case, this is a not so subtle introduction to the White House talking points. In fact, it’s one of them: Romney is in trouble already.

Still, Republicans are crossing their fingers that there’ll be no accidents this week. They hope that Isaac will miss and Mitt will be a hit.

Who at this point – outside the Beltway and the HuffingtonPost, anyway – still thinks the Republican Party is going to turn on Romney and they won’t rally around him for the goal of unseating the President? This is a mentality from six months ago. Sure, Mardell was right all along that most of the Republican Party and sympathetic conservatives and independents wanted just about anyone but Romney. But that was then and this is now. There’s no way that lingering animosity towards him outweighs the desire to prevent the resurrection of The Obamessiah.

Now for the talking points. I’ll let the BBC’s US President editor explain:

He may not applaud all the statements coming from the floor when the convention does kick off. He has a tricky path to walk.

He might want to convince the conservative base that he really is one of them. But he doesn’t want to play into the hands of the Democrats who are determined to depict him as a scary reactionary in thrall to nutters and cranks.

Nobody is going to depict Romney as a reactionary. Mardell is straining here. But “nutters and cranks”? That’s pretty much how most Beeboids describe the Tea Party movement. But now that Mardell has laid it out there for you, pay attention from now on to how many of the usual BBC suspects start saying that on air.

President Obama, apparently determined to distract attention from the economy, said in an interview this weekend that Romney had “signed up for extreme positions”.

You mean like how BBC economics editor tweeted that Romney had gone “so extreme” by picking Paul Ryan as running mate?

The Obama campaign team pulled out all the stops to link Romney’s name to that of the once obscure congressman Todd Akin, who coined the ugly phrase “legitimate rape”.

You mean like how you and your colleagues pulled out all the stops to spread the story all over the place and link Romney inextricably with Akin? In a way, I should point out, that you don’t do with things that might make the President look bad.

By the time they were through, the uninformed might think Todd Akin was the third name on the ticket.

So would BBC audiences. He’s really writing my jokes for me.

The president’s campaign went into overdrive to highlight an awkward joke Mr Romney made about his birth certificate, suggesting he had strayed into “birther” territory.

You mean like how BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News America tweeted that Romney’s joke was “dangerous”?

But they’ve already been buffeted off message in the last week by Mr Obama’s accusations.

Really? Is that why polls now have Romney as tied with or even slightly ahead of the President? So where is Mardell telling you that the President is equally in trouble, campaign on the back foot, after all the missteps like “You didn’t build that”, or the harshly criticized bogus ad accusing Romney of being responsible for a woman dying of cancer, or the Democrat mouthpiece who accused Romney of committing a felony – both of which the President Himself had to dance around deal with a question about it at His recent press conference? Don’t make me laugh. The BBC censored all news of it save for one brief mention by Mardell in a blog post. Which he, naturally, defended.

See, it’s not just me saying this or that is a White House talking point. This is the BBC’s top man in the US, a life-long political junkie, highly trained and an experienced journalist with close contacts in the White House, who regularly receives press releases and emails and all the relevant information, telling you that these are White House talking points. Which he and his colleagues then dutifully support.

Oh, and the whole idea that Romney is in trouble and needs to get his game going for this convention? Don’t take my word for it that it’s a White House talking point: read it on the White House website.

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The BBC Continues To Be A White House Lackey

The BBC has been busy this week trying to carry the President’s water over various incidents. US President editor Mark Mardell has been especially active defending the President and attacking His enemies. And the youngsters at BBC News Online Recdep have been equally busy making sure some things are reported at length, while other things are censored entirely.

Before I continue, though, let me state first that this is not, contrary to what defenders of the indefensible love to claim, about me simply wanting the BBC to say only what I want to hear, or report from a Right-wing slant. This is about the failure of the BBC – specifically its top people in the US – to report not only accurately, but honestly, and give you some semblance of the whole picture. It’s also about how the biased reporting makes the BBC appear to support the President of the US, rather than being an impartial, honest broker of news.

The latest example is the foolish remark by Rep. Akin about rape and pregnancy. Naturally, since it’s been a big deal in the US mainstream media, the BBC is all over it, with no fewer than five features about it. currently at the top of the US & Canada (Who?) page:

Romney calls for Akin to drop out

Mardell: Obama’s opportunity

Missouri residents on row

Todd Akin: “I was medically wrong”

Akin’s apology ad

(There have probably been at least two more news briefs going up since I’ve been trying to put this together while the site goes up and down). Contrast this with the amount of BBC coverage of two other big recent election stories. The President’s “You didn’t build that” statement (I hesitate to call it a gaffe, because He meant it) was censored entirely by the BBC, except for a single brief mention of it in one Mardell blogpost. Yes, Mardell was defending the remark, trying to explain the context.  The other big story, one which has been all over the news was even brought up in the recent surprise Presidential press conference (more on this later), was the falsehood put out by a Democrat Super-PAC that Romney was directly responsible for a woman dying of cancer. The BBC has censored that completely.

These issues harm the President, make Him look bad. So the BBC isn’t interested in covering any of it. Yet this story about one Republican candidate for Senate – not even about Romney, not even connected to his campaign, mind – is a top priority for them. Even Katty Kay got into the game by tweeting that Missouri was an important State for Romney. It continues to be the biggest target for the Democrats this week, but that ought not make it a top news priority. Or do political targets dictate newsgathering now?

Back in January, Mardell managed to defend, sort of, Romney for his quip about how he loved to fire people. Actually, he didn’t defend Romney at all. Rather, he said that it was wrong to call the statement a “gaffe”, because it was really just clumsy and wrong for Romney to say it. Actually, it’s not really a defense at all, just the pretense of one.

A couple of days ago, VP Biden told an audience of African-Americans – descendants of slaves – that Romney and Ryan wanted “to put y’all back in chains”. Mardell defended him. In fact, he starts out by seeming to call any criticism of Biden over this remark “mud-slinging”. He curiously said that the mainstream media played down why the remark caused an uproar – the slavery reference – which is a joke. Everyone knows why it was a bad thing to say, which is why the media went into overdrive to protect Biden from the backlash. What’s much worse, though, is that Mardell had the nerve to suggest that Biden said it “perhaps inadvertently”. No, that’s simply not credible. Of course Biden knew exactly what he was saying, hence the pandering “y’all” thrown into the mix. Otherwise, Mardell is suggesting that Biden is as dim and unqualified to be VP as he thinks Sarah Palin is. I don’t believe that for a moment. Mardell here is basically telling himself – and you – a little white lie.

The defense continues. Suddenly people who saw this as race-baiting and wrong are, according to Mardell, “too sensitive”. Apparently the BBC’s top man in the US is unconcerned that people like Artur Davis (the co-chair of the President’s 2008 election campaign) and Doug Wilder (Democrat former Governor of Virginia) found Biden’s remarks to be deliberate, and offensive. The BBC wouldn’t dare suggest that the Black Coalition of Georgia Republicans are too sensitive to racial issues, would they? What Mardell really means is that white Republicans are making a mountain out of a molehill. He’s thus dismissing the objections of black people out of hand. And it’s not like he has no idea these people exist.

Actually, Biden’s dopey utterings have gotten worse. He opened his remarks in Virginia by saying that the Dems can “win in North Carolina”, and last week asked at a campaign stop, “’Folks, where’s it written we cannot lead the world in the 20th Century in making automobiles?’  Imagine if Sarah Palin had said such a thing. The BBC would have been all over it: Beeboids tweeting ecstatically, two separate online articles, plus a Mardell blogpost. But when Biden does it….nada.

It’s actually worse than you think. Biden’s idiocy has gotten so bad that his staff is actively trying to censor press pool reports and keep reporters from getting too close. This is from Politico, ladies and gentlemen, a favorite read and retweet source for both Katty Kay and Mark Mardell. They know all about this, but don’t want you to know. No, it’s much more important to whip up hysteria over Rep. Akin’s terrible remark about rape and pregnancy.

Let me repeat: I don’t want the BBC to report negatively about Biden, while supporting or sweeping Akin under the rug. I want them to report both accurately and honestly, without trying to defend one or the other. Explaining the potential damage or why one or the other is controversial is fine, but that’s not what you’re getting from the BBC, is it?

Speaking of difficulties with the press, people here may remember three weeks ago when Mardell was grumbling about how Romney wasn’t so friendly with the press during his visit to Poland. Apparently there wasn’t enough access granted, and his press man lost his temper with the pool reporters. Mardell was all over that. In fact, it was so important to him that he whipped up a second negative piece about it. His friends getting censored by Biden’s staff? Radio silence. You don’t need to know about that.

Worse, the President Himself actually didn’t give a press conference at all for eight weeks. No questions taken at all. Instead, He’s been hitting the local media, morning radio DJs, and the like. He’s been doing that instead because they bow to instructions in advance about what He wants to talk about. Where’s Mardell on this? He knows about it, but doesn’t want you to know. Again, I don’t merely want Mardell to attack the President: I just want him for once to report the whole picture, both sides, and not only negatives about one side, while providing the defense for the other.

And this is where the water-carrying becomes really obvious. Remember all those times Mardell was moaning about how things have gotten so negative, so nasty, and blamed the Tea Party or Republicans for it? There was another attack from Team Obamessiah last month, this time accusing Romney of committing a felony while at Bain. They even held a conference call with reporters to push it.

The other day, the President finally did grant an audience give a press conference where He took questions from reporters. It didn’t go so well for Him because one of them had the audacity to ask Him about the negative, ugly tone of His campaign. This was about both that bogus ad and the felony charge. The President tried to dodge responsibility for it. Previously, His campaign denied knowledge of it. Then they had to admit they knew. At the presser, the President showed that He knew all about it, while trying to claim that He didn’t, and that it was no big deal. Did the BBC report that? No, of course not, because that would mean you’d know about the ugly ad itself, or the bogus felony charge, which makes Him look bad. So they’ve censored this as well, in order to maintain radio silence about the ugliness coming out of the White House.

How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya now, BBC? Will you ever be an honest broker of news about US issues? Or is it going to be Pro Obama At All Costs until November 6? (Not Nov. 2, like Michelle Obama just said, at which the Beeboids will not be giggling on air.) It’s not bias to report about the two attack ads. No need to judge them, just report that they exist, and that they’ve caused an outcry. But the BBC can’t even do that anymore. It’s not just Mardell, either. There are other BBC journalists tasked with proper newsgathering in the US. They’re all responsible for this failure.

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Paul Mason On Paul Ryan

Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason has put together a little hit piece on Paul Ryan. Under the pretext of examining whether or not Ryan’s budget proposals will help the US in fiscal crisis, Mason attacks and demonizes.

Could Paul Ryan’s plans fix US debt?

Hands up all those who think we’re going to get an honest examination of those plans. Nobody?

Mason’s opening salvo tells you it’s an attack. Right away he claims that in a matter of days Ryan has “polarized US politics”. What? Haven’t Mardell and the rest of them been telling us that the country’s politics have been polarized and more divided than ever before since the nasty Tea Party got busy? All of a sudden we’re polarized?

The video clip of Ryan is cut short before we get to actual policy points, allowing through just a statement about cutting spending in general. So far, you’re not informed at all about the actual plans.

First expert commentator: this benefits the President. How does this help examine whether or not Ryan’s plans will benefit or harm the country? Don’t be silly: that’s not what Mason’s goal is at all. His real goal is show that Ryan is bad for the country, and a bad choice for Romney. Whether or not Ryan’s policies help the President in campaign rhetoric is irrelevant to a discussion about Ryan’s plans fixing the debt. But that’s what Mason gives you.

Then Mason plays an excerpt of Ryan giving the President a hard time over budget issues. This video has been making the rounds of the Rightosphere lately, as evidence of why Romney chose him. So the Beeboids do pay attention after all. But listen to what Mason says next. Ryan wants to cut Welfare and Food Stamps, apparently. And, “says, Ryan, growth would follow.” So that’s it, is it? Crushing the poorest and most vulnerable is Ryan’s recipe for success, eh?

It’s the simplest trick in the world: use the most general terms possible, no details, and claim “accuracy”. In fact, even the mandarins at the government program themselves admit that it’s more about putting back some means-testing as a way to get spending back to 2008 levels. Sure, they describe it as the cruel wresting of vital support for “low-income families”, but that’s their job. They’re not about fixing the debt problem. Mason is giving you a talking point more than he’s giving you a useful fact. Of course, the BBC can claim “accuracy” here, because Ryan’s plan would, in fact, cut expenditure on these programs. The hows and whys are apparently irrelevant.

But that’s not even the real point, is it? This is supposed to be about whether or not Ryan’s budget ideas will save the country. Mason, it seems, has no interest in giving you any information with which to decide for yourselves. Instead, he’s giving you partisan attack points. Then the biased reporting really kicks in.

Mason next shows a clip from Ryan’s recent stump appearance in Iowa. He got heckled, and Mason uses this as proof that “the Democrat half of the country” doesn’t like him. Again, we get no policy statement from him, just the bit where he gets heckled.

I’d like to pause for a moment and ask defenders of the indefensible to show me examples of the BBC showing the President getting heckled and reporting it as proof that a portion of the country has a legitimate objection to His policies.

As for the Ryan clip, all we see is him criticizing the hecklers, which is followed immediately by footage of the President having a great old time meeting some other Iowans. He’s at ease, smiling and pressing the flesh, complimenting the local prowess in sno-cone making, and nearly kissing a baby. No hecklers, no negatives, no hint that part of the country might object to any of His policies.

However, I have to ask if this footage was included in the interests of “balance”? If so, why? This is supposed to be about Ryan and his budget ideas. Actually, Mason cleverly uses this as a segue to support his rather fatuous statement that this election is suddenly about “where you’re from”. It’s bogus because Ryan was teasing. Anybody who doesn’t rely on or trust the BBC for their news on US issues will know very well about just how ugly and violent the Democrats in Wisconsin can get when they don’t like a politician. Ryan wasn’t seriously saying those hecklers could never be from Iowa or Wisconsin. He was just making a weak crack about them being rude. For Mason to take that and spin it into a larger issue of some kind of regional divide is even weaker. Now, one could make a case for the South not being so supportive of the President, but that’s all racism, according to the Left and the BBC, and not because they think Ryan’s budget ideas are sound. But that’s another argument altogether, and won’t help Mason’s agenda.

Then we get a liar from the Washington Post. She plays the class war game, much beloved by Mason and the BBC. The WaPo hack claims that choosing Ryan is proof that Romney wants to cut taxes on the rich, full stop. Once again the BBC can claim the vaguest definition of “accuracy” here, because a tax cut across the board – for everyone – will by definition include tax cuts for the rich. This is, in fact, Romney’s plan, something the BBC leaves out in order to seriously mislead you and grossly misrepresent the facts. Mason gets away with it this time because it’s some US mouthpiece saying it and not him. So where’s the balance, the explanation of even one single relevant detail of Ryan’s or Romney’s plan never mind whether or not it will help fix the debt crisis? Don’t make me laugh.

After this, Mason gives us another White House talking point: it’s Congress’s fault. No mention that the Republican-led House has passed a budget – twice – while the Democrat-led Senate has blocked it and failed to pass one in three years and counting. No mention that the President’s own offerings have been such a joke that the CBO couldn’t even score it and His Plan For Us never passed the laugh test enough for anyone in Congress to even consider it.

Mason gives us one last generality, that Ryan wants to cut spending in order to promote growth. “But that is one major throw of the dice.” Yes, that’s one opinion: Paul Mason’s. Which is the whole reason the BBC has these titled “editor” positions. It gives them an excuse to allow opinion-mongering in place of real reporting. Not a single second of actual reporting is in evidence here. Instead, it’s carefully selected and edited footage to support Mason’s opinion of Ryan’s fiscal conservatism.

Now that I’ve spent time playing the ball, it’s time to play the man. We know for a fact that Mason is a Marxist, and supports the Occupy movement. We know his political opinions from his tweets and his books and his support for and participation in far-Left organizations and conferences. All that on its own would be enough to cause concern over his capability for impartial reporting, except the BBC doesn’t accept that. Yet now we see his opinion being offered on air, and it’s the same one we see from his extracurricular activities. His personal political bias informs his “reporting”. It’s as plain as day.

Your license fee hard at work, promoting the domestic agenda of the leader of a foreign country.

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Mardell On Message

At last, someone at the BBC has mentioned the President’s “You didn’t build that” gaffe, which has haunted His campaign for a couple of weeks at least. The revealing Collectivist statement has inspired a series of mocking responses from small businesses and ads from the Romney campaign. It was in all the major US media outlets – they had to come to His defense, after all – yet the BBC censored all news of it: until now. The BBC’s US President editor mentioned it in his latest online article, and yes – what a shock – he comes to the President’s defense. But first, the bias in Mardell’s editoria before we get to that part:

Mitt Romney’s economic open goal

The opening paras are more or less simple statements of positions, not a big deal. However, Mardell immediately starts providing support for the President’s side.

Alan Krueger, chairman of the council of economic advisers, issued a statement saying “today’s employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression”.

The CEA existed originally to provide objective economic analysis to the President. The problem with that scenario, though, is that the President appoints the three members, who are then approved by the Senate. These are policy advisers, not statesmen or people in charge of anything, so there’s not much danger of them not being approved for the job.

In this case, though, Krueger is the third chairman in three years for the President. Although he’s ranked among the top 50 economists in the world, he’s Left-leaning, known as a “labor economist”. Krueger is one of Leftoid dreamboat Paul Krugman’s colleagues at Princeton, with a focus on trying to prove that we must raise the minimum wage, and other Leftoid shibboleths, like “inequality”.

The second member, Katherine Abrahams, wrote her doctoral dissertation on….wait for it…”Vacancies, unemployment and wage growth”. Anyone sensing a pattern here? While her main focus in recent years has been about time management, she also, according to her bio, has maintained an interest in labor market, as well as how government grants increase college enrollment. Shocking, I know.

The third member of the CEA, Carl Shapiro, was an academic at Berkeley, and was promoted from within the Administration, where he was advising the DOJ on how to go after businesses engaged in anti-competitive practices. Not necessarily hard Left, but since the current DOJ is one of the most politicized in history, it’s not hard to guess which side his recommendations will favor.

In short, the CEA is not exactly the most objective group going these days. When Krueger says that we’re clearly on the right path, one must take it with a very large grain of salt and assume that this is a statement coming from the Administration, and not from an objective third party. Yet Mardell doesn’t qualify that at all, and expects you to accept it as such. So already you’re being led to believe one side versus the other.

After that, every negative is qualified, “balance” obligingly provided.

The figures are in fact a mixed bag. Unemployment is up to 8.3% from 8.2% But 163,000 jobs were added, more than expected.

First the negative, but then the “unexpected” positive. Not the other way around, which wouldn’t be as supportive.

So the familiar political battle for interpretations is sharper than usual.

But it is not hard to stand back. It is pretty clear that the shaky recovery is continuing to move in the right direction, but that unemployment is a stubborn, serious and long-term problem.

No, it’s not so clear to those outside the bubble. If it was pretty clear, the President’s job approval would be a bit better, and those jobs added wouldn’t be so “unexpected”. Perhaps this is just another case of that typical mindset of our betters: if we don’t agree with them, it’s just because we don’t understand, or the message hasn’t been disseminated well enough. Mardell, though, obviously firmly believes things are on the right track. But just in case:

A shock from Europe or the Persian Gulf could crush the shell of this recovery’s snail-like progress.

It’s not His fault, you see.

When President Obama was elected he never dreamt the economy would be in such a poor state by this time in the election cycle.

Really? Do tell. This can be interpreted in two ways. One could accept that He had no idea how bad things would be because it’s all out of His control, He could never have known that even His best efforts couldn’t save us all. Alternatively, one could accept that He had no idea how bad things would be because of His poor grasp of economics, His far-Left ideology, and that His policies would fail and fail again. We know which perspective Mardell is coming from.

It is only in the last few months that his team seems to have understood that he is fighting for his political life against a strong “feel-bad” factor.

“His team”? What about Him? What happened to that amazing genius who strode among us like a giant, who ran the most perfect election campaign ever, ever, ever? Are we supposed to believe He had no idea? This is either evidence that He’s supremely arrogant and clueless, or that someone is shifting blame. It’s not His fault, you see.

Now Mardell must be the good proselytizer and give you the Gospel:

President Obama’s basic argument is simple. Without his actions, including spending to stimulate and save industries, the economy would have gone down the drain.

The president claims what is needed is more Obama – notably “an extension of middle-class tax cuts” and a Congress that will pass his American Jobs Act, to help public-sector hiring.

Ah, borrowing and spending, and public-sector hiring.

It is not my job to judge competing economic policies, but even if he is absolutely right, as a campaigning position it is pretty lame.

No, but we know your judgment anyway, don’t we? It’s not his job to judge, “but…”, which means we’re going to get his opinion. We know Mardell thinks the President most definitely is “absolutely right” (an editorial emphasis) because he told the BBC College of Journalism just that (beginning @5:51 in). But even he knows this isn’t the most inspiring message. We’ve seen before how Mardell can mope when the President fails to inspire him. And it’s killing Him now.

“It could have been worse” is not a great rallying cry.
While blaming Congress may be popular, it is peculiar as an argument for re-election.

Mardell is little more than a campaign junkie, and spends most of his time on election issues. Is this worthy of the title “North America editor”? He knows there’s an open goal for Romney here, and just can’t help himself but play defense.

If Obama wins he is likely to face an even more intransigent bunch on the Hill.

“Intransigent”? Because they don’t let Him get His way anymore. We’ve heard that term time and time again since the 2010 mid-terms. Yet we never heard Mardell – or any other Beeboid, for that matter – refer to Congress as a “lapdog” or “rubber stamp” back when both Houses were easily controlled by the Democrats and they were able to ram through ObamaCare and other laws without needing a single Republican vote. Congress doesn’t exist simply to grease the skids for a President’s every desire. Did the BBC refer to the Democrat-controlled Congress under Bush as intransigent when they didn’t let him get his way? I forget.

The thing is, only the House of Representatives has a Republican majority and Speaker. The Senate is still controlled by Democrats. It’s rather dishonest to lump both houses of Congress together in this way. Especially since quite a few Democrats have sided with the Republicans on things like the Budget and

Actually, when Mardell writes that warning about the President facing that awful obstacle in a second term, he’s continuing to write from writing from the perspective that His Plan is “absolutely right”, but He might not get His way and save the country.

After all this, we at last get to the first mention by the BBC of the “You didn’t build that” gaffe. Naturally, since it makes the President look bad, what has been a major story in the US media doesn’t merit its own report, and Mardell dutifully provides the balance by first gently sneering at Romney’s recent ruffling of a few British and Palestinian feathers.

The Romney team has focused its recent campaign around Mr Obama’s contention that “if you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen”.

Their previous onslaught targeted his remark after the June unemployment figures that “the private sector is doing just fine”.

The often-quoted remark, that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth, is nearly right.

In these cases it is when the president reveals his underlying contempt for his opponents.

What? Contempt for His opponents? No. It’s contempt for private enterprise, for economic freedom, for individuality. It’s contempt for anyone who doesn’t believe as He does, that the State is all. The President revealed what worried many of us back in 2008: He’s a Collectivist at heart. If we take Mardell at his word, though, it means that private enterprise, free market proponents, and independent businessmen are the President’s opponents. This is not a good recipe. It also highlights the President’s far-Left political beliefs.

Slavishly, the BBC’s US President editor then defends Him, reading out the White House explanation:

Mr Obama’s point was that even entrepreneurs rely on the government many Republicans so despise: they are educated using taxpayers’ money, travel to work on federally funded roads and so on.

No, those who were allowed to hear the full speech – which the BBC has censored entirely – know all too well that He went much further than that. It was much more revealing than Mardell and His supporters in the mainstream media want to let on, hence the mad scrambling to explain it away, walk it back, and attack Romney over his recent trip.

His remark about the private sector is an unwise dig at the demand for deeper cuts in government spending – in June and July unemployment figures are higher because the government is shedding workers – 9,000 in the latest figures.

Both comments suggest Mr Obama’s irritation with his opponents’ strident anti-government message.

The lurid characterisation of his politics by some of them (my inbox this morning contained a warning of his “Marxist agenda”) obscures the fact that he probably is to the left of most America voters.

He does, in a rather centrist European social democratic way, believe in government as an enabler. Many Americans instinctively don’t.

“Lurid”. “Despise”. “Strident”. No emotive terms, no editorializing there, then. Yeah. But what a giveaway. Someone at the BBC at last admits, after years of claiming that He’s a moderate, a centrist, that the President is pretty far to the Left. When Mardell says “centrist European social democratic”, it betrays his own perspective that the US is wrong for being to the Right of Him. He’s a centrist in Mardell’s mind, and you’re getting analysis from that perspective. This is not impartial, not objective reporting. Nor do we expect that from Mardell at this point in the game.

At last we get to Romney’s policies. Sort of. In case there are any lingering doubts in his readers minds, Mardell starts off by saying that there are “questions” about Romney’s policies, and that the situation in the UK proves that they’re wrong anyway.

There are questions about his policies. And as the British government has found out, even if tax cutting, spending cutting, red-tape scrapping is the right way ahead, it takes a painfully long time to work.

Note that Mardell doesn’t write “even if…..is absolutely the right way ahead.” Nope, that was reserved for the President’s Plan For Us. Does the President’s big-government, Statist Plan take a “painfully long time to work”? We aren’t told. Mardell doesn’t dare speculate there, does he? I wonder why.

Mr Obama’s charge is that these are the very policies that led America into the current mess.

Again we get a White House talking point, and have yet to see a single one from the Romney campaign. I don’t think Mardell even realizes he’s doing it. It’s reflexive, what he does naturally, and what’s expected of him at – and clearly approved by – the BBC. And anyways, the last few Bush years certainly were not full of “austerity” measures. Bush ramped up the spending, increased our debt. Either Mardell isn’t aware of this because he was busy as the BBC’s Socialist Europe editor at the time and had no idea, or – more likely – he doesn’t want you to know so doesn’t point out that the President might possibly be wrong about it. If this was supposed to be a piece about the President’s weakness and a way in for Romney, there sure is an awful lot of defending the President against that weakness and only a brief mention of what that weakness actually means.

Some readers may at this point still be worried that the President won’t come out on top in the end. Fortunately, Mardell provides that ray of hope:

Opinion polls show them level pegging, but in the really important swing states Mr Obama is ahead.

I’ve long said that this election will be about two very different visions of America. I still think I am right. But character may be just as critical.

Many polls suggest a majority don’t like Mr Obama’s handling of the economy and think Mr Romney would be better on the issue, but give the president higher scores when it comes down to what they call “likeability”.

Even though Mardell still has to admit now that there’s trouble ahead, he provides that last bit of optimism.

This election really is wide open.

America may feel let down by Mr Obama. It has yet to be convinced by Mr Romney.

Whew! That’s a relief.

That open goal has plenty of blocking from Mardell, anyway.

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SHOCKER: Mark Mardell Spins Romney, Then Plays An Obamessiah Campaign Video

This is why I call Mardell the BBC’s US President editor instead of his official title, BBC North America editor. Mardell’s report about Romney’s trip to Israel leaves out the most important thing he said, and the second half of it is devoted to defending the President on the domestic economy issue.

Mitt Romney: US will stand with Israel

In the accompanying blurb, the BBC mentions that Romney said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Yet Mardell strangely left that out. Why? He instead says that Romney’s show of support for Israel and strong stance against Iran is less about appeasing US Jews and more about portraying him as being stronger on foreign policy than the President. This is actually correct, and I’m left wondering why Mardell strayed off the BBC reservation here. He’s previously fretted over the Jewish Lobby, so it’s interesting that he doesn’t see them as the main factor here.

First, though, let me whine for a moment about Mardell’s offensive use of the term “Wailing Wall”. While I don’t expect him or any Beeboid to use the Hebrew, ha Kotel (literally, “the Wall”), as showing that much respect is reserved for Muslim holy sites, I do expect him to use the correct English term, “Western Wall”. The “Wailing Wall” is an outmoded stereotype, which comes from non-Jews observing the orthodox Jews’ style of praying. To the uninformed, it was said to sound like wailing. Plus, there’s the historical emotional connotation of this being the only part left standing of the Holy Temple, the only actual holy site in all of Judaism. This is also the only part of the Temple Mount at which Jews are allowed to pray, or even wear religious garb. Mardell should show more respect, and the BBC ought to educate it’s staff better, the way they do for Muslim issues. To many Jews today, the term “Wailing Wall” is offensive. The New York Times (admittedly with more concern for its Jewish audience than the BBC ever could have) uses the term “Western Wall”, and Mardell has no problem taking a page from their playbook when he refers to Bibi Netanyahu as Romeny’s “old friend”, so one would have thought he’d at least get that right as well. But no, he uses an outmoded stereotype temr instead. Whine ends.

It’s especially curious because he fails to mention Romney’s statement about Jerusalem, which is meant to speak to Jews everywhere, and specifically US Jews who are worried about the President’s increasing betrayal of our ally on this issue. Did I say “betrayal”? Yes I did. Has the BBC reported this? Of course not.

We all know by know that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not approved by the BBC’s editorial policy. Several people here have shown how they refuse to show it on, for example, the Olympics page for Israel. Yes, everyone knows it’s “controversial” because the Palestinians don’t accept it, and that the Muslim World hates it and wants Jerusalem to be Judenrein, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Knesset is in Jerusalem and it’s the functioning capital of the country. Outside factors do not decide the capital for any country. The BBC, of course, bows to the Muslim position here, and decides not to acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty on the matter.

Fortunately, the BBC has reported elsewhere that Romney said that about Jerusalem, and used the dodge of reporting other press reports about it as a means of showing how awful it was without having to make any messy editorial decisions themselves. Yes, the Muslim press is all about anger at appeasing the Jewish Lobby. So why does Mardell omit what many see as the most important statement Romney made? Could it be because he knows this will highlight the President’s increasing betrayal of a US ally on this issue?

I say betrayal because that’s exactly what it is. In 2008, when running for President, Candidate Obamessiah said Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Now, He’s been distancing Himself increasingly from that position. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that His press secretary (personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News Ameirca, Katty Kay, and husband of her friend and business partner) refused to answer reporters questions about it. Watch the video below:

Yes, you saw that bit at the end right: the President now says that Jerusalem is up for grabs, going back on His word. No wonder the BBC’s US President editor didn’t want to admit what Romney said. If any defenders of the indefensible want to say that doesn’t matter because it’s in the blurb or on that other website page featuring Muslim anger about it, remember that most people will see only Mardell’s video report and not the website text, and so most will remain blissfully unaware of it. And for those wishing to play the source and not the ball, attempting to dismiss this because of who made that video, dispute this quote if you can, and dispute the video evidence above of the President’s original statements and Carney’s sad display.

In reality, Romney’s trip to Israel was meant to show everyone in the US who cares – remember, we hear about how evil Evangelical Christians are equally concerned about Israel’s safety just like the nasty old dual-loyalty Jews are – that he will not betray Israel like the President has been doing. Regardless of which side of the issue one is on, the facts of both candidates’ positions and behavior are there. Mardell spun all that away very nicely.

But that was only a fraction more than half of Mardell’s report. The rest was spent defending the President against the charges that He can’t handle the economy. In fact, Mardell merely states a few words of Romney’s criticism – the only acknowledgment by the BBC anywhere of that “You didn’t build that” gaffe!!! – then plays about ten seconds of the President’s own campaign video rebuttal, complete with the President Himself smiling and speaking to the camera. This is the BBC’s tacit admission that it was a big deal after all. Mardell then closes his report by saying what he thinks Romney’s stop in Poland will cover.

Basically, the President gets a chance to speak for Himself in a report about Romney, while Romney’s campaign gets only Mardell uttering one sentence from their side. In the end, Mardell spins away Romney’s trip to Israel, refusing to mention the most important issue from it.

UPDATE: Oh, dear, it seems I’m 100% wrong on this one. As we know, the standard line on things like this from defenders of the indefensible is that the BBC can’t be biased because other media outlets are reporting the same way. The killer line:

Instead of sending political reporters who report on politics, the foreign affairs reporters might have given us serious reporting on the international issues raised when the Republican nominee for president traveled abroad.

While Romney was in Israel, for example, he proposed a U.S. policy fundamentally different from the one President Obama has given us. Most of the political reporters on the trip missed the significance of the announcement.

Missed, or censored? So either Mardell is a useless tool who just follows along with what his DC Beltway colleagues say, he deliberately censored the key bit out to protect the President, or he’s just a poor political analyst and doesn’t deserve his job. But the BBC expects you to trust him anyway.

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