Good Morning Scotland

is Radio Scotland’s flagship morning news programme.

Yesterday, the US Government passed a USD87 billion programme for operations in Iraq – of which is USD18.6 billion is for genuine civil and economic reconstruction. This money is paid as grants (not loans), so does not need to be repaid.

To discuss this significant event with the BBC’s Derek Bateman, the BBC wheeled out Martin Lewis, announced as a ‘US-based political commentator’. They could have announced him as ‘arch self publicist and Beatles historian.’ Read more here .

A few things stood out from the bizarre discourse that followed. Firstly, the tone is always to attack the US government for everything, as Bateman says

“The [US] government is spending more on Iraqi healthcare than American healthcare”

This may be true, but an alternative way of looking at this is it shows the commitment of the US to the country it now occupies.

Lewis chips in with

“the package was passed by voice acclamation, without a proper, formal vote…”

which went unchallenged by the BBC’s Bateman. For me, this was a nice little smear, implying a stitch-up in the Sentate to its Scottish listeners. American readers of this blog will be able to explain better than I that there is nothing sinister about this procedure.

And then comes the following from Lewis, again unchallenged

“During the election in 2000, George Bush said he didn’t believe in nation building abroad…yet here he is investing a huge amount at a very time when the American economy is fragile”

I seem to recall four hijacked airliners, around 3,000 dead people, and the most grievous attack on American civilians in living memory. Maybe, just maybe, this caused a total rethink of American diplomatic and defence policy. Also, although the US is building a very large budget deficit, the US economy is reporting very strong rises in GDP and confidence at the moment.

The question is this : is this bias? Possibly, in that the correct angle to approach any story is that US policy is wrong or corrupt (if you work for the BBC). It is certainly lazy journalism, and does not inform or serve it’s listeners well.

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15 Responses to Good Morning Scotland

  1. Dan says:

    it’s not lazy journalism, it’s good old BIAS.


  2. Dan says:

    the same goes for this scottish ‘investigative’ reporting:


  3. Random Numbers says:

    the package was passed by voice acclamation, without a proper,
    formal vote

    Accaimation votes are passed whever the opposition to a bill or ammendment does not ask for a formal vote or quorum call. They are passed that way in the House and Senate all the time, whenever the opposition to a bill doesn’t really want a formal count.


  4. David says:

    Good post, unfortunately marred by the misspelling of the possessive “its.”


  5. Ken says:

    This brings up a subject which I have a very good memory about. When I lived in Britain and then again in Ireland (subject also to BBC spewing), I was often stunned to see (and hear on BBC radio)so called prominent American “experts” from such and such organization being trotted out as authoritative on the subject matter being discussed. As always, they would spew the left political line.

    And similar to this BBC Scotland report, these “experts” were almost always total frauds dug up by BBC to tow the party line (i.e. Anti American, Anti Republican). Our media in the US has (note: collective nouns in the US take the singular verb)lots and lots of so called experts reporting every day and I have been exposed to the lot of them. But I can tell you, the “experts” trotted out by the BBC were always a complete mystery to me.

    How do I become a BBC “American Expert”? Sounds like a good paying gig.


  6. Sandy P. says:

    Umm, only about $20 b is for Iraq, the rest is for the military.

    And someone’s not paying attention to our economic indicators, either.

    Barring a “death blow during Ramadan” against NY, DC and/or LA (via Debka) we’re about ready to kick ass economically.

    Econopundit and hobbsonline have good econ stuff. I haven’t checked Meghan McArdle/Jane Galt lately.


  7. Sandy P. says:

    Yup, voice vote is the coward’s way out. Which describes our Senate pretty well at this point in time.


  8. Sandy P. says:

    I’m mailing Radio Scotland w/my corrections.


  9. Sandy P. says:

    I also suggested that, “(M)aybe the Beeb should ask itself, “Why do our subscribers not want to fund us?” A little self-examination might get to the “root causes.”

    I also offered to be a US-based political expert for free.


  10. colin says:

    “the package was passed by voice acclamation, without a proper,
    formal vote”

    I guess it is possible for matters to be passed in the Commons in this way. The speaker calls for a vocal response. If all say “aye” then no division would be necessary.

    Any suggestion that it is being approved in an improper manner by the Senate ignores its near 50/50 composition.

    And another thing –
    Anti-war folk complain of all the contracts going to US firms – doesn’t that follow when the US taxpayer is paying the bill?


  11. Susan says:

    Umm, US public healthcare spending in FY 2000 was about $400 billion. This includes funding for Medicare (healthcare for the elderly); Medicaid (healthcare for the poor); and Veterans’ healthcare, Center for Disease control, hospital subsidies, and other public spending.

    Undoubtedly spending has gone up since FY 2000. So no the US is not spending more money on Iraqi healthcare than on our own.

    Took me 2 minutes of Googling to find a US gov’t report on healthcare spending. What’s with the “professional” journalists at the Beeb? Can’t invest 2 minutes of time to check out your outrageous falsehoods, eh boys ‘n girls?

    Moronic fuckwits, writ large.


  12. Andy Whittles says:

    Colin (above) makes a good point, and I have to say if it were not for the space I’ve already taken on this blog today I’d have written about another 2 articles, because I was hopping mad this morning.

    It is almost *never* pointed out that the American taxpayer is footing the bill, and to have some of the money circulating in American firms seems quite reasonable to me. If it was a loan, I’d feel differently, but grants are a different kettle of fish.


  13. Eric Jablow says:

    As any C-SPAN viewer knows, quite often the the House of Representatives meets as a “Committee of the Whole” (thus relaxing certain debate restrictions), votes to report a bill favorably to the House (tantamount to passing it), and then adjourns the Comittee. The House (as itself, not as the committee) then votes on the bill. Since the voters are all the same, a roll-call vote would be superfluous.

    And, what is the quality and effectiveness of debate in the Scottish Parliament?


  14. Susan says:

    I sent a note to Derek Bateman, pointing out his outrageous error regarding healthcare expenditures in the US. Typically, I did not receive any response.

    Note to Ken: The BBC once interviewed Lyndon LaRouche as an “anti-war” “American Expert”. I kid you not. They played it absolutely straight, presenting LaRouche as if he were a respected political authority in the US. Not a word about LaRouche’s bizarre conspiracy theories, many of which have to do with the British Royal Family.


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