47 Responses to WHEN BAD NEWS IS NO NEWS.

  1. gunnar says:

    Hi David,

    Here we go:

    “The speculation comes as a Zogby poll suggests Mr Obama’s rival John McCain has a five-point lead over Mr Obama.”

    But then, since when do you put faith into polls and surveys. They are all made up, or not?

    Ah, I noticed that your dictionary of “moral clarity” is still mislead. The Mock the Week post is still not updated. Pot Kettle Black?


  2. Martin says:

    The facts are McCain has been closing the gap on Obritney for weeks.

    We also have a excellent prospect of Hillary Clinton doing her version of the devine wind on the Obritney aircraft carrier at the Democrats convention.

    I’ve always maintained McCain will be the next president. A lot of democrat women won’t vote for Obritney.

    If you watched McCain and Obritney last weekend on the 1 hour special interview, Obritney came across as him namesake. An empty airhead, good at speaking from a prepared speech, but otherwise no idea.

    McCain who can’t deliver a good prepared speech has a much firmer grasp on reality. Also, if Iran and Russia keep causing trouble, that will just show up Obritney’s weakness.

    If you haven’t put a tenner on McCain yet, do so.


  3. gunnar says:

    Hi David,

    Just checked the other link you kindly provided.


    If you click on “Rasmussen” you will discover that they their latest survey shows McCain on top.

    You will also notice that the latest update is start of August.

    Zogby polls are, unfortunately, not included. Having now looked at their website, one also finds that on 14 Aug Zogby saw Obama in front by a 2 point lead. Within a few days this has changed to a five point lead for McCain. A blib? Time will tell.

    A reason for the 5 point lead may be given by the table beneath the overall result (14 Aug).


    Obama is seen better on internal, while McCain has an advantage on external affairs (War on terror, Iraq and Foreign Policy Issues).

    Well, guess what was on the news for most of last week? Let’s see if McCain can capitalise on this.


  4. David Vance says:

    Cheers Gunnar.

    Just a few points. The fact that McCain has a five point lead comes four paragraphs in and then, helpfully, is balanced with another poll showing the Messiah five points ahead of McCain. Fair and balanced all the way.

    Oh, and re your great interest in Mock the Week – keep waiting pal.


  5. gunnar says:

    Hi David,

    Well, I was responding to your “no coverage” claim. Besides that, is this not what you ask the BBC to do? To be balanced and to show all sides?

    Gallup’s daily poll, as the BBC mentioned, shows Obama in a narrow lead.


    Interestingly, McCain gained ground on Obama over the past week (holidays, Russia?). The field work for the Zogby poll was conducted between 14/16 Aug and has an error margin of 3%. In effect, the 5 point lead is not significant and if you like in line with Gallup.

    Doesn’t make a great story, but if I was Reuters I would also want to push a poll that I paid for. Makes good headline and keeps the brand relevant.

    Regarding Mock the Week, I would expect nothing less than a big banner announcement that you got it wrong with the promise that you will check sources more carefully in future. You wouldn’t want a biased article on your website, would you?


  6. David Vance says:

    Hi Gunnar.

    i must confess that when I read a BBC news story entitled “Obama closes in on running-mate” I immediately knew that buried in the copy would be a one liner that McCAIN was ahead in one poll, instantly countered with the news that Obama was ahead in another poll. As you say, the BBC did cover it in their normal manner.

    Looking forward to doing some more posts on thise hilarious BBC satire programmes like Mock the Week with its stellar cast of comedians covering every end of the political spectrum.


  7. gunnar says:

    Hi David,

    Are you now going to change the blog from “no coverage” to perhaps “limited coverage”? While you are at it, you may also write on all the other polls to give readers a rounded view.

    So far, McCain is ahead in one poll and others (plural) show Obama in the lead. What would you have wanted? A stand alone piece of a Reuters/Zogby piece? Wasn’t the tenor on this site, that polls/surveys can’t be trusted when the Crime survey was published?

    Can’t wait for more analysis of the Mock the Week. Hope you will find time to clarify the first post between them.


  8. David Vance says:


    My job is not to provide “rounded views” for simpering leftists. My job is to expose the BBC’s failure to provide rounded views and the fact that it HIDES a major poll showing the Messiah so far behind McCain is just one I am pleased to flag up.

    Now, about that Frankie Boyle, he’s such a laugh – isn’t he?


  9. Anonymous says:

    Joke of the week ??? — not likely to be aired on “Mock the Week” (much to Goonars dismay I think).

    One sunny day in May 2009, an old man approached the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue , where he’d been sitting on a park bench.

    He spoke to the Marine standing guard and said, “I would like to go in and meet with President Barack Obama.”

    The Marine replied, “Sir, Mr. Obama is not President and doesn”t reside here.”

    The old man said, “Okay,” and walked away. The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, “I would like to go in and meet with President Barack Obama.”

    The Marine again told the man, “Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Obama is not President and doesn’t reside here.” The man thanked him and again walked away.

    The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same Marine, saying “I would like to go in and meet with President Barack Obama.”

    The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, “Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Obama. I’ve told you already several times that Mr. Obama is not the President and doesn’t reside here. Don”t you understand?”

    The old man answered, “Oh, I understand you fine. I just love hearing your answer!”

    The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, “See you tomorrow.”


  10. gunnar says:

    Hi David,

    If your job is “to expose the BBC’s failure to provide rounded views and the fact that it HIDES a major poll showing the Messiah so far behind McCain is just one I am pleased to flag up.” than please do so.

    Not sure how “no coverage” adds to this as you state yourself, that it has been covered. Further you state in your initial analysis, that it is the latest poll.

    If you had checked sources you would have found that the Zogby poll is based on data sampled between the 14 and 16 August, in other words, the finding are now at least four days old.

    One of the later polls is for example to daily Gallup poll showing a 2 point lead for Obama. If you look at this poll than you will see that McCain was extremely close to Obama during the time the Zogby poll was getting their data in; i.e. some convergence.

    Just imagine for a second, if past polling had been the other way around and Obama suddenly gains a lead by 5% although other polls do not come to the same conclusion. Would you have endorsed this poll?


  11. Will Jones says:

    Anonymous: many thanks for the “old man joke”. I’m gong to have a lot of fun with that.

    Keep in mind that if the election was held tomorrow over 70% of Americans would be really surprised.

    Please recall Matt Frei before the election. I don’t think I can bear any more of his “analysis”.


  12. Tom FD says:

    Here’s what they want us to know about McCain:



  13. Hugh says:

    Gunnar: “Doesn’t make a great story, but if I was Reuters I would also want to push a poll that I paid for.”

    Guardian: “US election: Gap closes as McCain and Obama raise stakes”

    Independent: “Obama goes on the offensive as McCain surges into lead at polls”

    Times: “Republican John McCain leads election poll”

    FT: “Poll shows McCain ahead of Obama”


  14. Hugh says:

    The BBC, on the other hand, decided to lead with the speculation that he’d choose his running mate this weekend – about ten hours after Sky, ITN and Channel Four covered it.

    Obviously there weren’t the resources for two separate stories.


  15. Ed says:

    Hugh- do you think you could pass on your email somehow. I’ve actually wanted to contact you for a while but it doesn’t work for me. Thanks a lot.



  16. gunnar says:

    Hi Hugh,

    Fine, let them lead on this. They could also have lead on the other polls that show Obama in lead.

    BTW, I have been told in the past, that it does not matter what other media reports, since they are not meant to be balanced. Now, when the BBC balances a recent poll with other and more recent ones, one is pointed to other media. Why?


  17. David Vance says:


    Relax – the BBC has pointed out this morning that this ONE poll showing McCain in the lead is the result of McCain taking advantage of the Chosen One being on holiday in Hawaii and launching attack ads on him. The cheek of it! T
    The BBC – Obama’s little helper overseas.


  18. Cassandra says:

    On the topic of polls and the BBC(socialism today), I notice a strange abscence of reporting on the polls by YOUGOV/IPSOS-MORI/ICM?
    The figures are:

    IPSOS-MORI shows LAB 24% and CON 48%

    YOUGOV shows LAB 25% and CON 45%

    ICM shows LAB 29% and CON 44%

    So thats a 24 point lead, a 20 point lead, a 15 point lead, all in favour of the Tories!
    The TOADY(freak)SHOW doesnt think this is a story but instead reports on robots performing surgery and exam results, obviously no Tory was invited on but hey, what do the Tories know about edyacayshun eh! I began to think of Gordon’courage’Brown and his robot Alitair’puppet’Darling and I wonder what range Browns automaton can opperate to, does the Darling robot grind to a halt if captain courage travels to far away?


  19. Hugh says:

    Ed, Yes, sorry – I’ve put it in wrong: try “.co.uk” at the end instead of “.com”.

    Gunnar: “I have been told in the past, that it does not matter what other media reports, since they are not meant to be balanced.”

    Not by me, I think. Clearly if the Beeb consistently follows the same line as the Mail it’s a problem. Likewise with the Guardian. As it is, it’s frequently to the left of both of them.

    If, however, it’s taking a similar line to the press on both the left and right, as well as the broadcasters such as Sky, you won’t find me complaining too loudly.


  20. Devil's Advocate says:

    Both websites are reporting on polls. Different polling companies. Both are non-stories. There are four polls on the BBC site, one of which shows McCain in the lead.

    I hate stories like this because the data is so inaccurate.

    Yes, the BBC does give Obama far more air-time than McCain but in this case I really can’t see your point.


  21. gunnar says:

    Hi David,

    And your point is? They are polls with different results. As I said last night, the Gallup poll shows gains during the same period the Zogby poll was taken, during the war in Georgia and Obama’s holiday. McCain gained. Let’s see whether he can build on this. Another conflict closer to the election may be benefitial for him (according to Zogby, war on terror, Iraq and foreign relations are his strong points).

    BTW, will you change your factual wrong post or not?


  22. Martin says:

    gunnar: Most of the recent polls have been statistical dead heats. If the candidates are within 2-4 points of each other they are in a dead heat.

    If Obritney was the great hope for America, how come he’s not 20 points ahead like the Tories are in the UK?


  23. gunnar says:


    Good question. Perhaps the difference between Obama and McCain is only marginal? Perhaps Obama image is only driven by the media? Or perhaps the country is a bit polarised?

    McCain is getting more votes from the highly religious:


    No easy answers.

    @ Hugh,

    Being left of the Mail is not difficult. Did you mean the Mirror?


  24. Hugh says:

    No, my point was it would be as much of a problem if the Beeb showed a consistent right wing bias.


  25. James says:

    haha obritney, never gets old


  26. Mark says:

    So you complain that the BBC is biased because they don’t mention the Zogby poll.

    Then when someone links you to the story where they do mention the Zogby poll you complain that the story also mentions other polls.

    What you appear to want is the BBC to report the Zogby poll and not mention any others.

    Sounds like you have no problem with bias at the BBC, you just want it to be biased towards stuff you like.


  27. Niallster says:

    Not BBC bias but David Coverdale on Radio 2 just said he now has dual citizenship and will vote for The Obamassiah becasue he’s African American.

    No racism there then.


  28. JohnA says:

    A rounded picture of the past week’s US election news would have :

    1 McCain wiped the floor with Obama at Saddleback – acknowledged even by the liberal New York Times and Washington Post

    2 This added to the worries about Obama’s wet remarks about Georgia.

    3 All this is reflected in the strong TREND towards McCain in the polls. Zogby for example has moved 15 points, likewise the LA Times poll moved by a huge amount. Sure, just looking at one poll could be a misleading blip – but there really is an undeniable TREND in recent polling. And the average of polls carried by Real Clear Politics shows this very clearly. In other words – the Obama bubble looks like it is bursting.


    Of course the biased BBC hacks would steer clear of reporting that Obama is in hot water for lying on TV about his abortion position re. letting near-term babies die if they survive the abortion. And the Beeb would not report that his links with terrorist or communist mentors / patrons like Ayers are increasingly coming into focus – including a direct attack by the MCCain campaign yesterday re. Ayers. And no sign from the BBC that Hillary could upset the applecart in a big way next week in Denver.

    All these latter pointsd are airily ignored / suppressed by the BBC. But when they fail to report clearly the straight poll data – especially the severoty of Obama’s downward trend – that is covering up the truth.


  29. Roland Deschain says:

    If Obritney was the great hope for America, how come he’s not 20 points ahead like the Tories are in the UK?
    Martin | 21.08.08 – 9:17 am |

    What makes you think the Tories are the great hope for the UK?


  30. Pete says:

    I expect the BBC is showing the poll with Obama ahead to forestall a repeat of the embarrassing Guardian letters to US voters campaign of four years ago.

    After all, it doesn’t make much difference what poll the BBC shows. Nobody in the US will be reading it.


  31. archduke says:

    “JohnA | 21.08.08 – 12:51 pm”

    smoking gun – documents expose Obama’s “infanticide” vote



  32. Martin says:

    Roland Deschain: I’m not. But clearly millions of people DO.

    However, in the USA millions of people clearly don’t think Obritney is the great new hope.


  33. Martin says:

    JohnA: When John Kerry ran into trouble with the swift boat people and the book ‘Unfit for Command’ the BBC totally ignored it.

    Yet it was the ONE factor that really did for John Kerry. So when Bush won we the brits were told it was a ‘shock’ and Bush must have cheated (again)

    That’s how the BBC see’s the world. It expects the world to react as it reports.

    Of course Americans are very clever at voting and they can see through the lies and spin from the liberal media.

    That’s why I still maintain McCain will win in November.

    And don’t forget Hillary. If Obritney loses, she will get another crack at President in 4 years. That will be her last chance. Anyone who thinks she really wants Obritney to win is an idiot.


  34. JohnA says:

    Billy Joel

    So – the BBC FINALLY concedes the Obama poll lead disappearing – a full week after things really started to look grim. A full week after anyone following the polls had seen the Obama lead disappearing.

    And they give us this belated conclusion in an article on the website – not exactly mainstream TV or radio news.

    Also, if you read the link you posted, there is not a single word about the severe negatives that could finally destroy Obama’s chances – Rev Wright, Ayers, Rezko rtc. Sanitised as usual ?

    And no mention of the highly effective (and true) McCain ads mocking “The One” as an empty suit.

    Even on the Georgia point, the article simply says that Obama was absent in Hawaii, leaving the field clear to McCain. That is not what the US voters saw. Obama did make a comment – and it was total wet equivocating rubbish. So wet that his team had to change the “policy” dead quick.

    Obama was shown once again to be totally ignorant and inexperienced – whereas McCain knew immediately what was happening, has a lot of prior knowledge about East European affairs and tensions with Russia.

    Be fair – the BBC has puffed Obama up, has given undue airtime to his policy wonks, has under-reported his serious flaws, his inexperience, his moral equivocations on so many issues, his extreme left-wing voting record, his sleazy past associations with nutters like Ayers, Rezko and Wright (and a few more douchebags) – and his tendency to whine “racist” every time he is challenged,.


  35. JohnA says:


    I follow US elections closely. Therefore I know that I cannot rely on the BBC for full and fair coverage.

    A lot of the articles you link to are from 2008, or do not directly deal with the Swift Boat undermining of Kerry.

    I clearly recall that at the time the BBC TV and radio output – so-called “news services” – failed to cover the Swift Boat question properly, even though it was clearly torpedoing the Kerry campaign. It was given little prominence by the BBC at the time.

    And when it was mentioned – they always seemed to defend Kerry, seldom to enquire properly into the arguments of the Swift Boat personnel who saw Kerry as Unfit to Command. If ever a Swift Boater was interviewed – it was a hostile interview.

    The BBC carries on the same line right now. On Newsnight last night, Kirsty Walk was interviewing Jerry Corsi about his new book attacking the entire Obama record. The current US best seller. Wark spent a lot of time on ad hominem false attacks on Corsi (“you are a Truther”) and repeating the Obama campaign’s rebuttals of Corsi. Corsi had hardly any chance to state his own views and damaging facts about Obama.

    And in the same programme – to underline the endemic bias – Wark interviewed a succession of people arguing the case for a suspected terrorist, took it as read that he had been tortured simply because he said so (as per the Al Q training manual) – and failed to have a single voice against the line-up on the alleged terrorist’s side.


  36. JohnA says:

    Among the articles that Gunnar linked to is this delicious pice by Matt Frei on John McCain :



  37. Hugh says:

    I like this bit of vintage BBC impartiality: “his constant and admirable support for immigration reform”.

    But the big question is, does Frei believe that immigration reform is a good idea? Damn those impartiality rules; we’ll never know.


  38. gunnar says:

    Hi JohnA,

    I responded to Martin assertion that the BBC ignored Swift boat.

    Once you click past the recent mentionin gs you will discover that this was reported at the time.

    Didn’t see Newsnight. Will get back to you on this, if I get a chance to catch up.


  39. JohnA says:


    My point is that there was little headlining of the Swift Boat affair, little assessment of the serious damage it was doing, little attention paid to the substance of the Swift Boat arguments – that Kerry had serially lied about his military service, and that he had traduced his comrades whern he returned to the US fro Vietnam.

    The entire BBC approach to it was to treat it as a nasty and unfair Republican strategy.


  40. deep throat says:

    JohnA | 22.08.08 – 1:04 pm

    The entire BBC approach to it was to treat it as a nasty and unfair Republican strategy.

    Well it’s worth remembering that Senator John McCain at the time called the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth “dishonest and dishonourable” and called upon the White House to issue an unequivocal condemnation of their TV ad.

    It’s also worth bearing in mind that in Vitenam John Kerry commanded two Swiftboats • crewed by eleven men. Nine of those eleven, who served directly under Kerry’s command, appeared supporting him at the Democratic Party Convention. Another was already dead.

    By contrast, not one single one of the Swiftboat Veterans for Truth who appeared in the attack-ad had ever served on the same boat as Kerry.

    And one one might also remember that Ted Sampley, leader of Vitenam Veterans against John Kerry had form. In the 2000 election primary season he had led a similar campaign against…. you guessed it…..John McCain, calling him the ‘Manchurian Candidate” suggesting McCain, during his time as PoW in Hanoi, had been brainwashed by the Viet Cong and sent back to become President, whereupon he would be reactivated as a Communist tool.

    Meanwhile it emerged that the founder of ‘Swiftboat Veterans for Truth’ had originally been recruited to smear Kerry back in 1971 by the Nixon White House. Tricky Dicky’s former White House Counsel, Dan Colson, who became a born again Christian in jail, confessed all:



  41. deep throat says:

    And another thing • you say :

    I follow US elections closely….. I clearly recall that at the time the BBC TV and radio output – so-called “news services” – failed to cover the Swift Boat question properly, even though it was clearly torpedoing the Kerry campaign.

    If you follow US elections as closely as you claim, you’ll have noticed that John Kerry won 48% of the popular vote.

    So the SV4T cannot really be said to have ‘torpedoed’ his campaign very effectively.

    After all, George W. Bush WON the 2000 election with a smaller share of the popular vote • 47.9% .


  42. Martin says:

    deep throat: Bush was unpopular in 2004, Kerry should have walked it. He didn’t.

    Kerry put his military service to the front “I’m John Kerry and I’m reporting for duty..” I seem to remember him saying.

    Well the Swift boaters put an end to that lie.

    I just love you leftie losers who keep sticking your head in the sand.

    The Democrats should be miles ahead. The US economy is not doing so good, millions have lost their homes and they are fighting two ‘unpopular’ wars.

    Yes Obritney can’t open up a decent gap? How come? John MCain is old, he’s not a great orator and he belives in staying in Iraq.


  43. Will Jones says:

    Deep Throat: JohnA is quite correct. If you followed the US elections a little more closely you would know that 2nd place with 48% is the same as 2nd place with 0%.

    The closeness of the loss is a greater proof of the effectiveness of the sw4t.

    As an aside, I served for a year in Vietnam and if I had received a purple heart for each injury that was treated with a bandage, I would have gotten to go home early just like Kerry.


  44. Jack Bauer says:

    So the SV4T cannot really be said to have ‘torpedoed’ his campaign very effectively

    Huh? That reminds me of an old joke told by truth starved Russians during the cold war.

    Pravda reporting on a track race between the Soviet President Kruschev and US President Kennedy, which the American wins.



  45. JohnA says:

    deep throat

    The whole point is that the BBC did not give thorough coverage of the Swift Boat issue – even the Dems admit that it sunk Kerry. So does Kerry himself.

    We can argue about the merits of what the Swift Boat attacks claimed, or what Kerry siad in defence, – but the BBC did not give us any chance to judge the merits, it largely ignored the whole issue even though it was central to the judgmebts that voters took about Kerry.

    (By the way – where are Kerry’s military records ? $ + years and counting ….)

    Many many American voters listened to both sides of the matter and then took the view that Kerry totally lied about his Cambodia-at-Christmas stuff, grossly exaggerated his claims to bravery in claimed actions, and appeared to have wangled undeserved Purple Hearts and a an extremely quick discharge.

    And then set about traducing his comrades in the notorious Winter Soldier hearings, following this with a goodwill trip to the enemy in North Vietnam.

    Some patriot !

    Kerry had a commanding early lead in the polls, Bush was deeply unpopular and up against the sort of lies that Dan Rather tried to fabricate.

    Kerry was without any doubt torpedoed by the hundreds of Swift Boat personnel who attacked his crooked record.

    Because the BBC was biased against Bush – it totally misread the 2004 election.

    And so far it is doing a great job at misreading the 2008 election.