Friday and time for a new open thread….!

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104 Responses to OPEN THREAD

  1. RCE says:

    Apropos ‘Democracy in Egypt,’ did you see that item on BBC News 24 that pointed out that Iraq is the regional model for democracy (after Israel)?

    No, neither did I.


  2. Dabble says:

    News Quiz this evening around 3.30 in – Jeremy Hardy states that he is from the hard left – no surprise there, but when is there EVER anyone from the hard right? And I do not mean the BNP which is extreme left in my book.


    • ltwf1964 says:

      well nazism is national SOCIALISM

      so yes……a bunch of lefties


    • hippiepooter says:

      When is there ever anyone not from the hard left?

      Jeremy Hardy has a lot more in common with the BNP then he would care to admit.  He is a raging anti-Semite.


      • Grant says:

        Posted elsewhere , but Hardy is one reason I gave up listening to the News Quiz and its relentless Left-wing propaganda.
        Another is the incredibly irritating voice and manic girlie laugh of Sandi Toksvig.
        Just a bunch of immature teenage Lefties sitting around indulging in highly-paid mutual preening.


        • Grant says:

          Jeremy Hardy interview in “The Independent” some years ago.
          “I’m good at making salad dressing, apple cider vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, mustard and honey”.
          Pretty normal working class diet really. Wish I could afford extra virgin olive oil. But then, I am not paid by the BBC.


          • matthew rowe says:

            I know the feeling Grant  the worst part is the stupid little twerp thinks he’s down with the poor because can make stuff [that will be the blue peter effect !] and totally fails to grasp, but how could he? the little rich boy no one wanted to play with !
            That the poor have no salad to dress only buy the colmans dry mustard [best in the world ] as it’s cheap and lasts forever! and the only time  we only get close to bees and their ways  is in the back garden !mind i have treid a lot of cider that tastes like vinegar so which one is he trying to make ?


            • Grant says:

              In the same interview Hardy’s good night out is to watch a film with his girlfriend then go to a Thai restaurant for dinner.
              I guess if they went down the dogtrack , followed by fish and chips, they might have to rub shoulders with the working class, God forbid.


  3. fred bloggs says:

    After looking at news stories for the past few weeks, my conclusion is that the bBC will concentrate on being anti coalition/  pro Liebour by omission.  Either not reporting a story because they can justify not bringing it to prominance.  Or here are the facts on bBC side and I will not provide the balancing facts that would negate my bias.

    Here is an example;
    This and several other articles are about the Nimrod decision.

    Here;  is an article that describes the many bad decisions that were taken that led to the decision.

    None of these facts are in the many bBC articles, as it would reflect badly on Liebour who were in control at the time.

    Bias by omission is the name of the game.


  4. George R says:

    INBBC and Muslim Brotherhood.

    INBBC is apparently not concerned with the global connections and and aims of the Muslim Brotherhood (MB), such as:

    ‘The Project’

    A leading expert on the activities of the MB (and here, in relation to its role relating to Turkey and Gaza Flotilla) is STEVEN MERLEY –

    A useful daily reference site about the MB’s global activities can be found here:

    ‘The Global Muslim Brotherhood Daily Report’


  5. fred bloggs says:

    On 24hour news was Camerons speech from Davos.  Cut to Stephanie Flanders and she does a downer on his speech (surprise surprise).  Not reported though are the views of another person who was there a Mr A Blair.  He gave a very neutral comment, saying the weather must have affected things and that getting down the deficiet was essential. When is Flanders going to report this?


    • Martin says:

      Flanders fails to point out that Obama has thrown trillions at the US economy but unemployment is still stuck at 9.5%.

      If you throw that much money at an economy you’d expect some growth, but at some point you have to stop the borrowing and what happens then?

      Real growth comes from the private sector not shovel ready crap that the left are obsessed with.


      • dave s says:

        One of Obama’s big ideas is to cover the US with high speed trains.
        Quite bizarre. The US already has a high speed passenger transport system . It is called the aeroplane. They also have an excellent freight network of railway lines ( passenger trains most unwelcome) especially west of Chicago. This is just make work lunacy and the BBC swallows it wholesale. It will never happen.


    • Grant says:

      Does anyone know how many Beeboids were sent to the pointless Davos talking shop and at what cost ?


    • NotaSheep says:

      Flanders taste in Labour men tends to the younger ones.



    I too was watching Stephanie Flanders.
    Noted how she kept saying ‘other countries’ had a different approach to cuts.
    Then she mentioned Tim geither and noted the latest growth figures from the US saying they were better than ours.
    But she failed to mention the US deficit, its higher unemployment, its terrible housing market and the shellacking Obama got for his deficits.
    If she wanted to look at another country doing well, she could have mentioned prudent Germany under Angela Merkel.


    • Martin says:

      Exactly, the problem with dopey old prats like Flanders, Peston and good old trot Paul Mason is they forget that all that borrowed money has to be paid back eventually.

      For example, we borrowed 160 billion last year, but we also had to pay back 40 billion in debt repayments. That’s 200 billion.

      That is the economics of madness, so no wonder the BBC loves it.


      • Grant says:

        The problem is that the “dopey old prats” don’t believe debts have to be paid. You just default. Who cares if someone else suffers. Typical “something for nothing” Leftie Beeboids.


        • Asuka Langley Soryu says:

          That seems to be a national condition, part of the age of personal irresponsibility. 100% of the students I’ve met recently (granted the sample size is pretty small since I don’t really want to associate with them unless I can’t help it) viewed student loans as something to be deferred for a long time or until they finally write it off.
          The economic illiteracy of people never fails to shock and disgust me. And it’s right through the cross-section of society. It’s not getting better.


  7. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Two words not spoken together in a sentence on the BBC today (hell, not even uttered on their own):  
    Bush Doctrine  
    Yes, I know that St. Jon Stewart and the HuffingtonPost – to name but two of the BBC’s thought leaders on US issues – are working overtime to prove that the riots in Egypt are, in fact, a refudiation of the Bush Doctrine.  But he was right about what the people really wanted, and they were all wrong, regardless of the way it all went down this week.  
    The Beeboids haven’t gotten the email from the White House yet, so they don’t know how to play it for the time being.


  8. David Preiser (USA) says:

    While Emily Maitlis and the rest of the Beeboids keep bleating on about how difficult the Egypt situation is for their beloved Obamessiah because Mubarak is a great ally of the US, here’s an alternative viewpoint:

    Egypt protests: America’s secret backing for rebel leaders behind uprising

    The American government secretly backed leading figures behind the Egyptian uprising who have been planning “regime change” for the past three years, The Daily Telegraph has learned.

    For the past three years?

    The American Embassy in Cairo helped a young dissident attend a US-sponsored summit for activists in New York, while working to keep his identity secret from Egyptian state police.

    On his return to Cairo in December 2008, the activist told US diplomats that an alliance of opposition groups had drawn up a plan to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak and install a democratic government in 2011.

    December 2008?  Who was in charge then, BBC?  Like I keep saying, it was George Bush who got the world thinking about democracy in the Middle East, to the derision of so many at the BBC.  Now we know that getting rid of Mubarak isn’t such a difficult decision for the US after all.

    Instead, He dropped the ball.

    Arabs perceive Mr. Obama as de-emphasizing democracy promotion after George W. Bush tried to make it a centerpiece of his second term, Mr. Hamid said.

    Expressions of “concern” should be condemnation and outrage, Mr. Hamid said. “We are watching history, and Obama is on the wrong side of it.”

    This does not compute with what the BBC said today.

    It is no longer clear the administration can shape events in Egypt, said Jon B. Alterman, director of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. The protests are not a response to any actions by this administration or the last one, said Mr. Alterman, who travels frequently to Egypt.

    “The perception is the U.S. government is with the [Egyptian] government and against the street,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anything the U.S. can say or do that would change that perception.”

    BBC gets it wrong again.  Of course, this is the same BBC which provided you with Frank Gardner’s expert opinion that the Muslim Brotherhood is “not that radical”.

    The U.S. has been trying to jumpstart a gradual democratic movement in Egypt for years, channeling tens of millions of dollars in State Department funds to non-governmental organizations inside and outside Egypt, but few groups have emerged that appear to have the kind of structure that could benefit from or lead the current protests.

    For years.  Who was in charge before 2009, BBC?  I’m sure the next 24 hours will be full of Beeboids telling you that this has nothing to do with the Bush Doctrine, and in fact is due to The Obamessiah’s amazing speech in Cairo after he took office.


    • Demon1001 says:

      Of course, if it all goes wrong and some extreme Islamist government takes over (very likely in my opinion) then they will remember Bush’s involvement. 

      Ususal rules will apply: if it’s good then Obama takes the credit, if it’s bad then Bush or Palin get the blame.


      • Grant says:

        Surely even the BBC can’t blame Palin for what is happening in Egypt, …er…. can they ?


        • Natsman says:

          Maybe not, but they CAN blame global warming, and, somewhere along the line, probably will…


        • Demon1001 says:

          I was talking in general for the good and bad comparisons.  But as you say, it is quite possible that they will manufacture a tea-party link to extreme Islamism.  They’re probably still working on the angle.


  9. George R says:

    INBBC anti-American reporting in Pakistan continues.

    1.) ‘Independent’

    “Shooting that has Lahore taking aim at America”

    2.) INBBC’s Pakistani Syed Shoaib Hasan reports:

    “US official Raymond Davis on Lahore murder charges”


    “Our correspondent” [Mr Hasan] “says the incident could inflame anti-American sentiment in the country.”

    INBBC’s Mr Hasan does NOT say:

     the incident could inflame anti-Pakistan sentiment in America.

    And, of course, when INBBC broadcasts to its audience in Pakistan it does NOT say that Muslim sex gangs’ attacks on white girls on Britain (by men of mostly Pakistan origin) could inflame anti-Pakistan sentiment among British people. Double standards, as usual.


  10. George R says:

    Another ‘agit-prop’ weekend for BBC-NUJ-Guardianistas, among the ‘students’ and ‘workers’ of London and Manchester.

    “Students and TUC set to join in city protests”

    ‘Newsnight’s Father of the Chapel, PAUL MASON, is already penning his predictable report, while on the march, with opening words such as:

    “The link between Tunis, Cairo, Davos, Manchester and Petrograd may not be immediately obvious, but on Saturday, while I was on a march, possible a million strong, surrounded by young black activists, many of them women…”


  11. Martin says:

    Dateline has its usual bunch of hard left guests, Toynbee, Barry Twatman and some mong from the LA Times.


    • Craig says:

      At least there was also Jonathan Sacerdoti, making his first – and doubtless also last – appearance. He did well, but faced regular interruptions from Atwan, Polly Toynbee and Esler (and a couple of “I’ll come back to you in a second“s from Esler to boot).

      As ever, Esler indulged the extremist Atwan (the show’s most regular guest), treating him with the greatest respect and giving him both the first and the last word. Counting up the amount of time each guest got and calculating that as a percentage of the show’s discussion shows the extent of this (ongoing) indulgence:

      Atwan – 9 mins 17 secs (41.6%)
      Sacerdoti – 5 mins 16 secs (23.6%)
      Toynbee – 4 mins 7 secs (18.5%)
      Chu – 3 mins 39 secs (16.3%)


      • George R says:

        Yes, Atwan is an anti-Israel, pro-Hamas fixture on Islam Not BBC (INBBC).

        ‘Harry’s Place’ had this on him, a couple of months ago:

        Abdel Bari Atwan, Hatred, Lies and LSE


      • Asuka Langley Soryu says:

        Ought I find it shocking that a fierce proponent, advocate (and no doubt facilitator in some capacity) of genocide such as Abdel Bari Atwan is a regular guest, treated with deference and sage-like respect, on one of the BBC’s shows? Because I don’t. In fact it’ what I’ve come to expect.


  12. ltwf1964 says:

    one to look out for this week…..

    monday BBC 4 at 10PM


    “looking at the dissenters who challeng the prevailing view about climate change.Its aim is to understand the reasoning of sceptics such as Viscount Monckton of brenchley2

    it says here…..

    this will be the same Lord monckton who demolished an econutter with ease and the footage put up on youtube

    this should be worth the value of the tv licence fee alone -whatever a tv licence is…….


    • Buggy says:

      Hurrah ! It’s on right after Glee !  πŸ˜€

      University Challenge, Hotter Than My Daughter, Glee !, then Econutters In A Twist.

      Excellent. (Puts hands together Monty Burns-style).


  13. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    Gameshow Nikk yesterday on Radio 5 Listeners.

    (One of) 5’s employment correspondents was on jawing about no surprises here employment.  Tebbit, who was being interviewed, said ‘Of course, when we talk about budget cuts don’t forget that public sector debt will be higher next year than this year.’

    ‘Oooohhh’, jumped in Gameshow, ‘that’s highly contentious’.

    ‘Yes, contentious’, his employment chap duly echoed.

    In Gameshow-speak, ‘highly contentious’ is code for, ‘I am a pretrendy leftie, and I disagree with that’.

    ‘That’s not an opinion’, said Norm, rather majestically, ‘that’s a fact’.

    Which of course it is.

    Oi, Gameshow, try and do the teeniest, weeniest bit of background reading, particularly as you fancy one of the ‘big’ current affairs jobs at al-beeb.

    I used to refer to Gamesho as ‘helium-weight’, but I see from a quick glance at the periodic table that ‘hydrogen-weight’ is more appropriate.


  14. David Preiser (USA) says:

    China blocks ‘Egypt’ on Twitter-like site

    A search for “Egypt” on the Sina microblogging service brings up a message saying, “According to relevant laws, regulations and policies, the search results are not shown.”

    Hey, Matt Frei:  Is this kind of autocracy you’ve been pining for?


  15. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The BBC accidentally showed the following sign held by some protester outside the Egyptian embassy in London:

    “Mubarak Zionist-UK Lackey Out!”

    The full text was visible only for a split second before the camerman realized what he was doing and lowered his aim.  Funny how this viewpoint hasn’t been heard at all during the BBC’s coverage of the protests in Egypt.  Nobody is saying a single word about this.


  16. David Preiser (USA) says:

    “Student” with a foreign accent screaming into a BBC microphone among the protesters just now saying that todays so-called “student” protest is about bringing down the Coalition Government.

    He said that the students couldn’t do it all themselves, and they needed the strength of the trade unions to have success.  He did say the “militancy” of the students was going to help.  Then we heard from some Labour luvvie granny who complained about how the cuts were harming the children.  Beeboid smiling and nodding along the whole time, natch.

    The whole thing was a Socialst Worker thing from the start.  Once everyone realized that the students’ original complaints about tuition fees was based on lies fed to them by the Leftoid media and far-Left activists, they had to give up the charade and it’s now come to this.

    Yet, the BBC is still reporting it as a protest against the increase in tuition fees, essentially lying to you all about what’s really going on.


  17. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The following caption appears below the BBC’s photo (#3 of 7 in the slide show) of Aaron Porter being escorted to safety by police:

    President of the National Union of Students, Aaron Porter, was led to safety by police after protesters surrounded him in Manchester. Students and trade unions had held a joint rally in the city.

    Why was he in need of police protection?  What’s the significance of the trade unions here?  The BBC isn’t telling.  It wasn’t mentioned in the video report I saw on the News Channel earlier, either.


    • dave s says:

      The answer is in his name. Although according to the BBC anti Semitism cannot and does not exist in any student and public sector worker alliance. It was probably Christian fundamentalists.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        The BBC has to keep it quiet because the Labour leader – hand-picked by the unions – is a Jew.  Oh, dear.


        • dave s says:

          The horrifying thing is you are right. This country has become institutionally anti Semitic. Israel will soon be the only safe haven.


          • james1070 says:

            Harrys Place covers this


            The BBC and Guardian are silent. Even Mr Porter admitted this had happened. Oh, it was ‘Asians’ who were shouting the abuse.

            As reported in the FT

            Mr Porter told NUS members in an e-mail: “Just before the march started, I was surrounded by a particularly vicious minority of protesters more intent on shouting threatening and racist abuse at me rather than focusing on the issues. Instead of standing together and fighting the cuts, they instead chose to pursue me along Manchester’s Oxford Road and drive me away from the start of the march. As a result, under the strong advice of the police, I had to withdraw myself from the rally.


            • David Preiser (USA) says:

              Beeboids are waiting for instructions….sorry….a response from Labour before moving forward.  Good thing there’s no Today tomorrow.


              • dave s says:

                A real conundrum for the devout beeboid. A Jewish student leader. Oh dear. Sleepless nights all round. Hope they have sorted out the approved line to take by Monday. If in doubt blame Sarah Palin , Mrs Thatcher or Henry V111.


                • john says:

                  I am amazed dave s that the “students” had either the wit or wisdom to work out that Aaron Porter was not a raving left-wing Islamist after all. Athough he had been doing an excellent job of sounding like one of the most uninformed idiots the BBC have interviewed in some time. (Let’s just hope he’s not studying economics !)
                  However he’s now history (and I doubt he was studying that either) but on the fashion side (ah! that’s what he was probably studying !) courtesy of the BBC pictures, didn’t the impoverished knowledge seekers look resplendent in their designer apparel (no doubt especially commissioned for the riot) ?


          • NotaSheep says:

            Worryingly you may be right. How do I break this to Mrs NotaSheep?


    • hippiepooter says:

      As far as I’m aware, then BBC has made no report on the anti-Semitic abuse that Aaron Porter suffered.  We’re talking about two days after Holocaust Memorial Day.  
      We really have come to something, haven’t we?


    • hippiepooter says:

      As far as I’m aware, the BBC has made no report on the anti-Semitic abuse that Aaron Porter suffered.  We’re talking about two days after Holocaust Memorial Day.    
      We really have come to something, haven’t we?


    • hippiepooter says:

      As far as I’m aware, the BBC has made no report on the anti-Semitic abuse that Aaron Porter suffered.  We’re talking about two days after Holocaust Memorial Day.    
      We really have come to something, haven’t we?


  18. David Preiser (USA) says:

    The BBC picked up a wire service report about yet another Palestinian teenager getting shot and killed by ghastly Israeli settlers. Since it’s the BBC, I assumed there was something they weren’t telling me.  And I was right.

    BBC version:

    Witnesses say the man was attacked by four Jewish settlers. Israeli officials say they are looking into the incident.

    Then there’s a line about how many settlers there are, to paint the picture of an overwhelming wave of brutality, supported by Jon Donnison’s statement that they’ve all been heavily armed by the Israeli government.  A nasty picture indeed.  Then the BBC has this from the victim’s cousin:

    His cousin, Omar Qadous, told the AFP news agency that the incident occurred as they were farming near their village.

    He said one of a group of four settlers standing on a nearby hilltop opened fire, hitting Uday in the chest.

    Now here’s what the BBC doesn’t want you to know, from the very AFP report this BBC sub-editor is twisting to suit an agenda:

    Settler sources told AFP that the violence erupted when Palestinians began throwing stones at the settlers and then shot at them, prompting the Israelis to return fire, hitting the two Palestinians.

    As a matter of fact, the AFP report provided both the Palestinian point of view, and the Israeli version.  The BBC chose only one, and censored the other.

    Now I can’t wait for Tuesday’s “The Ultra Zionists” on BBC2.  Should be a treat.  Agenda?  What agenda?


  19. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Mubarak is making some bad decisions now.  The Atlantic has someone live-blogging the events, and has good sources.

    I’m thinking that the sooner he screws it all up, the sooner the military can take over temporarily, which would set a great example for other Arab dictatorships not named Iran.


  20. David Preiser (USA) says:

    What the BBC isn’t telling you:

    95% of Egyptians see Islam influencing politics is a good thing.

    85% of Egyptians think Islam has a positive influence on politics in their country.

    At least three-quarters of Muslims in Egypt and Pakistan say they would favor making each of the following the law in their countries: stoning people who commit adultery, whippings and cutting off of hands for crimes like theft and robbery and the death penalty for those who leave the Muslim religion.

    The country is split practically 50/50 over approval of Hamas.  They don’t much like Al Qaeda, but that’s only because the Muslim Brotherhood doesn’t either.

    Not a good picture, and one the BBC seems to be trying to gloss over.


  21. pounce_uk says:

    I can never get my head around the bBC. Actually I can they are nothing more than real life examples of f-ing students who feel that the world should be run by nice people. You know like Hezb-allah, China and of course..Labour. Which probably explains their coverage of the cutting up of the Nimrod fleet along the lines of a warcrime.. But while the bBC has shed many a crocodile tear over the demise of this nice aircraft that has cost over £4 billion they haven’t bothered mentioning that at that cost the plane is more expensive than a space shuttle ($1.7 billion) why the B2 bomber comes in at todays prices at  $2.87 billion each and that includes everything including support. But hey why bother telling the truth when you can spread lies about the present government.


  22. Demon1001 says:

    This is from the BBC’s sister paper (I know not technically the BBC itself) but it shows how completely one-sided their views can be,  I don’t know how much truth there is in it but I noticed they are still blaming Palin for the shooting of Giffords by that Left-wing nut-job.


  23. George R says:

    “Gerald Warner: World Service cuts are a break-up call for the BBC”

    (Two-page article in ‘The Scotsman’.)


  24. Demon1001 says:

    See how hypocritical the BBC are when it comes to one of their own.  I’ve nothing against Groves but what he says is stronger than the comments by Keys and Gray.  But because he’s not on Sky, it’s alright what he says apparently. It shows the BBC agenda was to have a go at Sky using any dirty tricks possible.  We also need to keep our eyes out for man-bashing on the Beeb too – a few complaints will show how two-sided they are.


    • Guest Who says:

      Ah, but one entity is held to the highest standards by commercial considerations and market forces.

      The other is… ‘unique’.


  25. Guest Who says:

    ‘Commentators’, eh?

    Now, who would be the leader of the blame pack?

    I fly no flag for the coalition in many areas, but having an establishment comprising a government machine, which we fund, and have voted for, actively being sabotaged at every turn by a media machine, which we fund uniquely, and never voted for, seems perverse.


  26. Guest Who says:

    OK, most here will grasp the threats and weaknesses, and struggle with strengths.

    That leaves opportunities.

    Probably best to squander near exhausted brand goodwill and £4B on petty social engineering and personal spats, then, Aunty?

    But there is some irony in having a small minority imposing on a small minority who impose on the rest of us.


  27. George R says:

    Islam Not BBC (INBBC) and Moscow murders:

    -don’t mention ‘Islamic jihad’.

    1.) self-censored INBBC report:

    “Russia ‘identifies’ Domodedovo airport bomber suspect”

    2.) ‘Telegraph’ report:

    “Moscow airport bombing: why a terrorist mastermind is sending chills down spines “When a man wearing a black baseball cap blew himself and 35 others up at Russia’s busiest airport last Monday ordinary Russians were sure it was the work of Islamist terrorists. ”


  28. Guest Who says:

    There is a key sentence that explains, if not excusing, much:

    Yet I have never, ever, anywhere in the world, heard anyone say a bad word about the World Service.’

    Just because you don’t want to recognise anything outside the bubble, doesn’t mean it can’t exist.


  29. Guest Who says:

    Blooming heck.

    Just did my daily surf and stumbled across a new post from Andrew Neil!

    Luckiliy a few managed to comment before it was shut down.

    Order is restored.


  30. hippiepooter says:

    At least good old Press TV can be relied upon to report anti-Semitic chants against Aaron Porter:-


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      One other thing missing from BBC reporting is that the “students” want Porter out because he doesn’t like to advocate violence.  They want violence.  The BBC likes to play that down.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC is more important than food and clean water.  Awesome.


    • Guest Who says:

      Have to say I am enjoying the irony failure of those saying that our money is better wasted on the BBC than overseas despotic tinpot dictators.

      So… the only difference is that it’s p*ssed away on our own homegrown variety?


  31. George R says:

    No doubt, Islam Not BBC (INBBC) will report on the state of Egypt’s Coptic Christians, in due course.

    “Heaven help the Coptic Christians in Egypt”


  32. Craig says:

    Andrew Marr was slurping up to Obama’s Homeland Security Secretary, Democrat Janet Napolitano:

    “You yourself, before you took on this job, were a famously highly successful governor of Arizona.”

    Was she?

    He also couldn’t stop himself bringing in criticism of Sarah Palin’s language in connection with the completely unrelated murders in Tucson:

    “But what about the level of rhetoric? Sarah Palin came in for a lot of criticism for the blood libel comment and so on. Do you think the time has come for people on all sides of the political debate to tone it down from now on? That actually it got overheated?”

    Though we now know for sure that the rhetoric of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck & co had nothing to do with Loughner’s killing spree, still we’re getting BBC interviewers putting questions like this.


  33. Craig says:

    Another contrasting pair of interviews on the Marr Show.

    The big interview was with Ed Balls. A volley of questions for the first few minutes, then the foot taken fully off the accelerator for the closing half of the interview. Some good questions but plenty of let-offs. Balls was trying to avoid answering the point that the Darling cuts would have begun in 10 weeks time anyhow, and Marr should have kept trying and gone for the kill. He chose not to and asked a question about the 50% top rate instead.
    With Andrew Lansley, it was a closely-fought battle all the way, with Lansley, who I always used to think was one of the worst Tory performers (due to some weak appearances on Question Time), robustly countering all of Marr’s Labour talking points. Marr was trying very hard to talk in apocalyptic terms about the government’s NHS reforms – “the demolition of so much of the structure of the NHS in England”, “chaos”, “…but not (expected you to) blow up the administration”, “this is a big bang change”.   Finally, a factoid. There has been a Labour politician on every edition of the Andrew Marr Show since 10th October last year (15/15). Not so for the two Coalition parties, who have (jointly) been unrepresented twice. (Separately: the Tories 10/15, the Lib Dems 4/15).


  34. Craig says:

    Along with another installment of its Derry Diary (a monthly feature from Londonderry), complete with obligatory mention of ‘Bloody Sunday’, and another segment about The Great Phone-Hacking Scandal Of The Century (or was that Grey and Keys?), Paddy O’Connell’s Broadcasting House gave us an opinion piece by a left-wing academic:

    “When an earthquake hits we turn to seismologists. When capitalism shakes we hear from economists. As the biggest economic brains in the world have been meeting in Davos, we wondered who is doing the better job – is it those who track the earth’s own physical forces or the one’s who measure mankind’s deepest economic disasters? We’ve the views now of Professor Yanis Varoufakis from the University of Athens.”

    Here’s a couple of quotes from his website that show you where Prof. Varoufakis stands politically:

    My break from Britain occurred in 1987 on the night of Mrs Thatcher’s third election victory. It was too much to bear. Soon I started planning my escape.

    In 2000 a combination of nostalgia and abhorrence of the conservative turn of the land down under (under the government of that awful little man, John Howard) led to me return to Greece.

    These op eds from non-BBC types are rare on Broadcasting House, but when they happen they have never once (in the year or so since I’ve been listening) been given by a right-winger. We’ve had an anti-capitalist alternative budget from Ed Mayo of Cooperatives UK, a report on trade unions from a socialist historian and a ‘radio essay’ by Richard Reeves of Demos on why inheritance tax is a good thing.

    Typical Broadcasting House then.


  35. Martin says:

    Just caught a bit of John Pinhead on Radio 5, he introduced some bird from the Progres think tank. Not a mention of its political leanings, so being as it wasn’t introduced as a ‘right wing think tank’ as the BBC always does I knew it was a leftie one.

    So here is what their website says.

    Progress is the New Labour pressure group which aims to promote a radical and progressive politics for the 21st century. Founded in 1996, we are an independentorganisation of Labour party members and trade unionists.

    So why didn’t John Pinhead say that?


  36. Guest Who says:

    Always worth a reminder that the BBC’s ‘narrative enhancing’ of ‘news’ takes place well before the edit suite kicks in…

    ‘Last week, I was called by three different television researchers looking for 1) a defence of the two sacked Sky sports presenters; 2) an attack on Sayeeda Warsi’s speech about Islamophobia; and 3) sympathy for the proposed law in Lithuania that would restrict the propagation of material about homosexuality.

    The conversations always end the same way. When it becomes clear that I’m not going to ham up the role of Angry And Stupid Right-Winger, the researcher breaks in impatiently with: “Right, let me just have a quick word with my editor and I’ll call you back”.

    Don’t they use search engines at the BBC?’

    The malign influence of personal agenda in pre- and post-production is as poisonous as it is pervasive.

    As to that final question… no. Like all else, they only function within the bubble, and hence probably use the BBc internal search, which is a) restricted to group think and b) utter sh*te.

    If spokespersons can decide not to appear because of rampant stitch-up practices, and the BBC decides who does not appear based on intoning approved mantras only… why can I not decide to equally ‘opt out’ of the unique funding system that has created this system?


  37. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    al-beeb have 36 reporting staff in Davos to cover the (non-) event vs 3 for ITV and a whole 1 for Sky.

    A droid reports that this was necessary ‘because of the number of outlets we have’.

    In non-droid speak this translates as,

    ‘We have severe duplication of costs because we have severe duplication of costs.’

    Or, to put it another way,

    ‘We have lots of money, it’s your money, it’s free money, what else do you expect us to do with it other than spend it.’


  38. Jim says:

    Damn, what’s a govt to do?

    When you’re cutting you’re accused of not being ‘progressive’ enough. And yet when you’re lifting the income tax threshold and bringing others into the top rate tax bracket at the other end it’s ‘nurses and underground drivers to pay more tax’! You can’t have it both ways beeboids, what’s it to be?

    I don’t agree with the more top end tax part as I personally think it stifles ambition, but if you’re a leftist broadcaster you’ve got to make up your mind what your meme is surely? πŸ˜€

    Quite funny on the Today show this morning. Interviewer couldn’t get the chap from the CBI to complain that the govt plans for growth were ‘not detailed enough’, nor would he say anything other than he expects the budget to lay out the detail. Which of course is where it should be done, but the lack of Labour fodder quotes was palpably disapointing.

    And to top it off the guy from the IFS stuck to what the numbers say and not what the beeb wanted him to say over the income tax issue. Indeed, he very nealry went as far as confirming the govt view that it is ‘progressive’ – but I doubt he would have left the studio alive if he’d done something like that.