John Lloyd on BBC Obama Bias

In an article published this week, John Lloyd – not exactly a voice of the right – argues that Obama supporters can’t place the blame for The One’s unpopularity simply on right-wing media outlets. It’s worth reading in full, but I can’t resist sharing this section:

…the swooning of much of the American and nearly all of the foreign media over Obama as he emerged as the most powerful candidate was bound to stimulate a reaction. Then, and even now – see the tributes to Obama in the past two weeks, including an extraordinary hagiography on his route to power on BBC2 on Saturday 16 January – the conflation between joy expressed at the first black US president and a sober analysis of his governance still goes on. It was a point I made at a self-congratulatory breakfast organised by the BBC on their Obama coverage a year ago – to widespread disapproval.

Excellent. Oh, to have been at that BBC back-slapping Obama love-in when Lloyd killed the morning buzz.

(Kirsty Wark should read Lloyd’s article. She was pushing the “blame Fox News” meme on her utterly dreadful new Review Show last night. Five self-important members of the chatterati talking over each other for an hour in a taxi waiting room. And only one token non-leftie – David Brent look-alike Ross Douthat, a middle-ground anti-Tea Party liberal conservative. There’s BBC balance for you.

Samizdata’s Brian Micklethwait wasn’t impressed either.)

Update. A couple more critical assessments of The Review Show from bloggers JC Thomson and Mantex. The reviewer for The Arts Desk at least wished the programme well but even she admitted it had been “a slightly shaky start” and noted that the panel “was perhaps a little too skewed towards liberals”. When arts luvvies are complaining about liberal bias you know there’s a problem.

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17 Responses to John Lloyd on BBC Obama Bias

  1. David Preiser (USA) says:

    It’s worth remembering that Justin Webb got the nod to replace Ed “Other Projects” Stourton on Today mostly because BBC management liked his coverage of the US elections.


  2. dave s says:

    Right. The BBC and the liberal media have not exactly  helped Obama. Projecting on to him their unreal dreamworld driven by the liberal guilt that infects them to the core of their being. Thus his blackness became the most important thing about him. Watching the election coverage on the BBC I got the impression the US was a black majority country ruled by an oppressive white elite. A reality distortion. Maybe the liberals were nostalgic for the age of apartheid.
    We all need Obama to prove to be a good president. Maybe he will yet be so but all this nonsense about race has to end now.
    I happen to think that his recent move against the banks has real echoes of Theodore Roosevelt’s successful attack on the trusts in the early 20th century. In that he seems squarely in the American tradition of taking on overmighty citizens. In that I wish him well.
    If the liberal media would just get off his back maybe he could do what looks to me to be a near impossible job with more effectiveness.


  3. Martin says:

    I really do hope Fox News get to hear about this. They were attacked last night on the basis of blatant lies.

    Fox did not start the Tea parties, what Fox noted was none of the MSM bothered to cover the Tea Parties or tried to portray them as the work of right wing nut jobs. Fox simply reported on them, after all the turn out at these was huge, why shouldn’t they get reported? This is a grass roots movement. Fox then took on the story of the Tea party movement just like the lefty networks took on the anti war movement.

    Again the BBC seemed to fail to note that in the USA over 90% of the media is up the arse of Barry (including the BBC) and that Fox News is a cable only network it’s doesn’t have the resources of big networks like ABC or NBC (or the BBC) yet has tapped into a feeling in America and its ratings are on the up whilst lefty dross like NBC are on the skids.

    Regarding Barry and Communism, clearly the BBC has never bothered to read Barry’s book, in which he clearly states he hung around with Communists, and many of his closest friends are Marxists and Commies.

    Finally, the BBC spouted the lie from the White House that Fox news is not a news network but a politically motivated mouthpiece for the right.

    Fox like many news networks in the USA have news and commentary, so Fox have Sean Hannity and Glenn Beck, but these do not pretend to be news reporters, they offer comment. But there are plenty of leftie Democrats at Fox as well who get plenty of air time.

    Compare that to the BBC that employ thousands of drug taking lefties but try playing spot the Tory on the BBC (in particular Radio 5)


  4. Mailman says:

    There is a reason why Fox is the most trusted news outlet in the US…they air both sides of the argument!

    The latest example was the Massechusits (sp???) election where their coverage was split 50/50 between Brown and the loser…while the other networks were heavily skewed towards the loser.

    The BBC would do well to emulate Fox, if only the BBC could see past its own self importance! I mean imagine how awesome the BBC would be if they were actually unbiased!?!?!



    • Martin says:

      The BBC like most of the American MSM hate the right and won’t give them airtime. Probably one of the reasons that Talk radio in the USA is dominated by the right and in the UK whilst the most successful bloggers are on the right.

      As others have pointed out when Barry is attacked by the BBC it’s from the left not the opposing view.

      When Howard Dean was on Newsnight the other night Paxo never thought to mention Dean is a raving lunatic. Yet if it had been say Ann Coulter you can bet Paxo would have suggested she’s a raving right wing hate job.


    • David Jones says:

      Fox News won bigtime on the election viewing figures –

      While the other networks averaged between 1 and 2 million viewers, Fox averaged 6.8 million.

      Fox certainly do have lefties on – hours of Alan Colmes in the morning (UK time) has me turning off.

      Although I can’t judge this from the UK, it does seem that Fox didn’t turn Haiti into an entertainment show – – do you remember “Drop the Dead Donkey” and the reporter looking through the rubble with a teddy bear prop looking for a good spot to make his report.

      Murdoch – could Fox come to the UK or could Sky follow the same formula? Please!


  5. George R says:

    Alexander Cockburn, who is of the political ‘left’ , has this to say about Obama. It is much different to the BBC’s long-runnung series of apologetics for Obama:

    “Obama deserves rebuke from Massachusetts”,news-comment,news-politics,alexander-cockburn-obama-deserves-rebuke-from-massachusetts-scott-brown


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    All correct, Martin.  Although I would say that Fox News has plenty of resources these days, on par with ABC but not, of course, anything close to the vast resources of the BBC.

    So we’re all racists again?  Called it.  My comment from Tuesday on the previous open thread, in response to Asuka’s comment about Gavin Esler asking some Democrat why The Obamessiah was having popularity problems:

    Don’t worry, tomorrow we’ll all be racists again, just like before last year’s election.

    I guess there are hundreds of thousands of racist Democrats in Massachusetts.  The Beeboids have no other recourse, really.  Either we’re brainwashed by Fox News, a feat somehow accomplished by only one news outlet among 6 (not counting The Daily Show, an independent Lefitst outfit), or we’re just racist.

    This isn’t the first time the BBC has slandered people like me, and it won’t be the last.

    Don’t forget that The Obamessiah Administration has had at least two known Communists working for the White House:

    Van Jones, “Green Czar”, admitted Communist and signer of Truther petitions.

    Anita Dunn, White House Communications Director, admitted admirer of Chairman Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers.

    And lets not forget that The Obamessiah hung out at the church of Rev. Jeremiah Wright for 20 years, someone who praises Marxism.

    Of course, Fox News reported this stuff while the rest of the mainstream media sat on it, which is why The Obamessiah and the BBC hate them.

    Fox News did not start the Tea Parties.  In fact, it was Rick Santelli of CNBC who first gave them national prominence, not Fox.  All Fox News did was complain that the rest of the US media ignored us, ridiculed us, or slandered us.  Just like the BBC has done.

    The BBC is now lying.  Their behavior has gone beyond merely presenting opinions different from my own.  These are lies, and deliberate misrepresentation of facts and events.  The BBC is now actively working to promote the leader of a foreign country to the British public.  If this isn’t a violation of the Charter and Agreement, nothing is.


    • NotaSheep says:

      The BBC are unaccountable to the public or indeed anyone. In their collective minds they are right and we are wrong and thus it is their rold to show us the error of their ways. I am  starting to belive that the BBC as currently setup is incapable of change and that more radical action may be required to force it to be impartial.

      Moving away from the US coverage, the BBC know the importance of the coming UK general election and the bias will reach levels that even I have not dreamt of.


  7. Phil says:

    Kirsty’s views on Fox News are typical of the elitist and unworldly BBC news dept. The uncritical masses are easily influenced by evil, biased, commercial news organisations which is exactly why we Brits need the government financed BBC and clever people like Kirsty to give us good, honest, straightforward news we can understand. To attract us all  to the channels carrying this true version of the news we get stuff like Eastenders and Flog It. 

    Kirsty and her BBC news pals are as gullible and uncritical as anyone as their adoration for the likes of Blair and Obama shows. The rest of us hardly need guidance from the likes of her. She has the political maturity which reminds me of a 13 yr old adoring the latest pop star for a month before the next one comes along. 


    • Martin says:

      Well said. The BBC had a similar love affair with Bliar up until the Iraq war, there was no questioning (serious questioning at least) of the Bliar administration. Bliar was given a free pass even after all the sleaze started to appear just after his take over in 1997 (the Bernie bung).

      I still think the Tories will be shocked into action over the BBC as we get closer to the election. The BBC will become more and more desperate to see the one eyed mong back in power. The BBC will be unable to control itself.


  8. George R says:

    “BBC thoughts and feelings about President Obama”

    [Extract, from comments on BBC 2 ‘Newsnight Review’]:

    “My third impression was that the chairing of this discussion was incompetent to the point of being ridiculous. Kirsty Wark should be giving a real talking-to. She was far too keen on joining in the discussion with her own opinions, instead of ensuring that all the other people present refrained from all talking at once. One of the reasons I immediately forgave the blond American lady for talking too fast was that she clearly feared that if she talked any less fast, she would not have made any of her points before others piled in, thereby making all points inaudible. One of the great arts of chairing a discussion is knowing when to stir things up by expressing opinions of your own, and when to concentrate on controlling the resulting flow of opinion in such a way that everyone gets their turn and is heard, and it can all be heard by all present. Wark behaved as if all present were too shy to say anything and had to be aroused with some chairmanly provocation. In fact, they all had plenty to say and needed to be arranged in a queue rather than a unanimous scrimmage. Kirsty Wark should, to use a tranport metaphor, have stopped flying her plane and concentrated on air traffic control.
    As a result of this conversational chaos, the programme was hard to follow. So, don’t take my personal impressions as any sort of objective summary of all that was said.
    Ironically, Wark’s incompetent chairing only served to reinforce the impression that the entire discussion was dominated by feeling rather than rationality. It wasn’t, or it wouldn’t have been. But that is what it sounded like.”


  9. Jack Bauer says:

    David Brent look-alike Ross Douthat  

    I remember back in 2008 when the New York Slimes announced with great fanfare that it had replaced Bill Kristol.  Its only CONSERVATIVE opinion columnist; all round clever-dick; DC contacts up the Wazoo; and respected editor of the Weekly Standard. 

    And the giant chosen to replace Bill was… 

    “Ross Douhat.”  

    There was a a collective WTF on all the conservative blogs and talk radio as to: ROSS WHODAT????  

    NO one had ever heard of him. To steal a famous line: he rose without trace.

    Two years later and no one has still ever heard of him.

    Hence he would be the obvious choice by the BBC to represent American conservativism, which is on the ascendency, fyi.

    None of those awful Palin loving, Tea Party/Town Hall attending, anti-Obama, anti-Big Government, anti-statist, socialist opposing conservatives. Nah… it’s Ross Whodat!


  10. John Anderson says:

    Just having the discussion at all shows ridiculous bias.  They showed no such prog a year after Bush started – and will show no such bshow a year after Bamby gets the boot.


  11. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Wait, all is not lost.  They had to dig pretty deep, but the Beeboids found a way to praise Him:

    Africa tourism ‘lifted by Obama and World Cup’

    You see, the world has become a better place since His annointment.


  12. George R says:

    Yet more BBC pro-Obama propaganda NOW on BBC 2 TV; this time reinstating Rev Wright stuff:

    “God bless you President Obama?”


  13. Anonymous says:

    Obama recently said, in relation to banking lobbyists, that if they wanted a fight he’d give them one

    Now where is the media condemnation for the equivalent of “Bring it on” from George W Bush?