Mark Mardell Continues to Defend the President

Mark Mardell is still desperately supporting the US President about His behavior regarding Libya. The President still hasn’t made a decision, is in fact hoping the problem is solved for Him, and Mardell is faithfully defending Him.

After explaining how others want action (the Chinese and Russians “have questions”, and Mardell leaves it at that so he doesn’t have to speak a truth which might harm his agenda), he dutifully reports the words of Katty Kay’s personal friend and husband of her business parter, White House spokesman Jay Carney:

“Our position is that action like that should be considered and taken if decided upon in co-ordination with our international partners, because it’s very important in the way that we respond to a situation like we see in Libya, that it be international and not unilateral; that it include the support and participation, for example, of the Arab League and other organisations and countries in the region… precisely so that it is not viewed by those who oppose positive democratic reform as the dictate of the West or the United States.”

Translation: I’m not gonna try it – you try it. Oh, and He’s not George Bush.

Mardell makes the obvious point (granted, part of his job) that sitting on His hands looks bad back home. Then he makes his personal opinion very clear:

It may be grown up, it may be sensible in the long run, but it is so unfamiliar that to many it will look like dithering, not deliberation.

“Grown up” is an editorial appraisal of policy. Of course, by making it epistemic, he probably gets through a loophole in the BBC style guide. But this is so obviously where he stands, especially framed in the context of his other blog posts and reports on the subject in which he comes from the same perspective. Mardell also spells out the correct interpretation for you: it’s “deliberation”, and anyone who thinks otherwise just doesn’t get it.

Why isn’t Mardell asking whether or not the Administration is pressing the Arab League to get off their asses? If, as is alleged here, He would “dearly love” for them to lead the attack on Ghaddafi, surely we’d hear about how much He’s working towards that goal? And wouldn’t Mardell be reminding us of that here, just to support his case that his beloved Obamessiah is actually showing leadership and the fools just don’t see it? If not, one would be forgiven for suspecting that maybe He doesn’t want it to happen at all, or simply has no opinion, and is just waiting for others to do it for Him. Mardell seems uninterested in addressing this obvious point.

Then Mardell spins this against the public and in support of the President:

In a country where some are obsessed with the notion of America’s decline, it will confirm some people’s worst fears.

“Obsessed” is an editorial choice which suggests an excessive, inappropriate, possibly unhealthy attitude. A more accurate and less biased term would be “concerned”. I’d even accept modifying it with “very” or “seriously”, or possibly “overly”, if I’m feeling really generous.

Furthermore, this ignores the argument about the President actually not wanting the US to have such a strong position in the world. In fact, Mardell has been spinning this whole thing away from the idea that it’s, you know, normal for people to want their country to be in the best possible position for economic and security issues. Who wants their country diminished? Why is that considered “grown up”? How maintaining this strong position is achieved (or how one even defines it, I suppose) is of course a topic for another discussion entirely. Here I’m concerned with the idea that people naturally want their country to have the best position possible, and that it’s not right to define this as a being somehow unnatural or incorrect behavior.

The main idea of my last post was that there is a valid reason to be concerned about the President actively wishing to reduce the US’s standing on the world stage. It may be out of a far-Left desire to stop being individuals and let the committee decide what to do, or it might simply be out of a lack of interest and deep understanding of world affairs, and just how much foreign policy can sometimes affect the domestic scene. Either way, it’s a legitimate debate to be had, especially the way He spoke during the election and just how much the BBC and Leftoid media kept telling us that this was pretty much what He was going to do if elected.

Mardell lets the White House get in the last word again, even making sure to tell us that criticism is so bad and unfair that the White House has had to “push back”.

In all, it’s another White House propaganda piece, with personal opinion thrown in, from the BBC’s North America editor.

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12 Responses to Mark Mardell Continues to Defend the President

  1. D B says:

    Good stuff again, DP.

    Not directly on topic, but related, I think –  the 17.45 draft of this BBC report – “Japan earthquake: ‘Radiation pill’ sales surge in US”  – somehow manages to ignore completely how US Surgeon General Regina Benjamin’s comments have added to the unneccessary sense of panic. Every US radio talkshow I’ve listened to today has mentioned Benjamin specifically (and there’s been much mockery), but the BBC journalist who wrote this decided her intervention wasn’t worthy of mention. Is it cos she is Obama’s special appointee?


  2. D B says:

    Obama can’t shake that “voting present” thing, not that you’d ever get such a negative assessment from a BBC correspondent.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      It’s only negative in the eyes of His enemies.  Who are, of course, wrong by default.


  3. Craig says:

    Excellently fisked David.

    As you say, Mardell’s other blog posts have left it very clear where this particular “impartial” BBC reporter stands on the issue at hand.
    As well as the give away use in this post of “it may be grown up, it may be sensible in the long run”, in his last post he wrote:

    A no-fly zone probably wouldn’t help the rebels an awful lot. But that is not its purpose. It would ease troubled souls in the West and satisfy those who feel something must be done without being over concerned about the consequences or logical implications of that something.

    In other words, he’s openly arguing that it’s the wrong policy, merely useful for soothing a few restless, reckless. illogical Western consciences. It’s a “gesture” that is “more about self-validation than problem solving”. The French and the Brits are “gung-ho” over the policy. They want “Top Gun over Libya”, unlike the “earnest” Obama and his “concerned” spokesman.

    An earlier post puts Mardell’s position just as plainly, though he pretends to be reading the president’s mind:

    I suspect the Obama administration sees it as rather a distraction, dramatic and headline-grabbing, but neither as effective as putting legal and financial pressure on Gaddafi’s henchman, nor as urgent as easing the crisis on the border.

    In the article before that – the one about “Cameron’s no-fly zone fervour” – Mardell openly criticizes the British prime minister’s “sabre-rattling”:

    Mrs Clinton’s testimony made it clear she thought America should lead the world through what she called “smart power”.

    The UK still has to get used to a world where that doesn’t always imply smart missiles.

    Very little of this squares with the concept of impartiality.


  4. Craig says:

    “Mardell lets the White House get in the last word again…In all, it’s another White House propaganda piece, with personal opinion thrown in, from the BBC’s North America editor.”

    Mardell’s skills as a propagandist are pretty good, but he’s a bit clunking and obvious when compared to the much subtler but just as relentless Mark Easton. 

    Easton also gives the last word in his latest post to someone who shares his ideological outlook – Danny Blanchflower – but, unlike Mardell, he allows that last comment to say what he, Mark Easton, is really driving at without having to actually say it himself: “Don’t trust that Tory!!!”


    • Guest Who says:

      It’s pretty much SOP. And effective, if not very ethical.

      If you can’t (in theory) come out with something partisan on your own account, simply quote someone saying what you would like to. To, er. make a point.

      In writing ad copy, it’s the headline, subhead, first para and last para that matter.

      It’s not hard to create the message you want accordingly, even if seemingly covering everything.


  5. Jim Hanson says:

    Here is a link to a transcript of the entire exchange between Jay Carney and Chip Reid (who is not a conservative) that Mardell excepts from:

    You can hear the frustration as Reid asks:

    Q On no-fly zone, what exactly is the U.S. — the administration’s position before the Security Council?
    MR. CARNEY: Our position, Chip, remains that we are evaluating a number of options, military options, including —
    Q But a decision has to be made now.

    And later in the exchange these frustrated questions:

    Q Is the President satisfied to follow, not lead, on deciding whether to do it?
    Q But wouldn’t it be fair to say — accurate to say the United States is still sitting on the fence on this? Isn’t it time to make a decision, yes or no?

    Anf finally:

    Q Doesn’t there come a point to make a — where you have to make a decision?

    What Mardell is neglecting to mention is the growing frustration, even among the liberal media, with Obama’s self-inflicted irrelevence in the im[portant issues of the day.

    Along with dithering over the Middle East, on the Sunday after the situation in Japan grew worse Obama wandered off in the afternoon to play golf and then headed of to a press dinner.

    This week, while saying nothing useful about Libya, the Middle East in general, Japan or the raging budget battles in Congress, he’s wasted time blithering about bullies and video taping his choices in a college basketball tournament. Next he’ll be jetting off to Rio for a few days with that lard-assed nag of wife of his.

    The man is in over his head. He simply can’t handle the pressure of world and national affairs and sdo he retreats into trivia. Mardell is a sap for trying to cover for Obama’s monumental incompetence.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Mardell is obliquely acknowledging that frustration  He’s explicitly saying that those criticisms are wrong.  It’s ideological loyalty.


  6. Jim Hanson says:

    Ooops, many typos in my previous post. Sorry about my feeble proof reading skills.


  7. DP111 says:

    In under two years we could see Sarah Palin as POTUS with Lt Col Alan West as VP.

    I wonder how many in the BBC will seek psychiatric help.