While they’re eager to tell you the latest updates from the White House spokesman, celebrity gossip, irrelevant death tattle, a human interest story about a US Communist who moved to the paradise of China, every new detail on a celebrity rape case, and a non-story about how a manufacturing increase really isn’t one (but it made for a good opportunity for a headline to mislead the lazy reader into thinking that The Obamessiah’s economy is on the mend), there are quite a few things going on in the US that might be of more interest and import.
The BBC’s North America editor has been rather silent since his last dismissal of a newly-declared Republican candidate for an election that’s 18 months away. One would think there are a number of issues on which he could comment. For example:
Public sector unions versus the Government is the biggest story in Britain right now (in between live coverage of Kate & Wils’ Canadapalooza, I mean). One would think that the exact same issue coming to a boil in a few US states would be worth your attention. Only the BBC has been silent about the events in Wisconsin and Ohio.
Many people here probably remember a few months back when the BBC actually did report on public sector union protests against the evil Republicans who (insert NUT/PCS talking point about attacking the poorest and most vulnerable here). As was pointed out here at the time, the BBC’s coverage was biased in favor of the unions and censored news of violence and unlawful behavior by union supporters which might harm the cause in the public eye. The point is, though, that the BBC though you should be informed about the union’s cause, all the way until they lost. Then….silence.
The problem for the BBC is that it turns out that at least part of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s victory has, contrary to the protests at the time, in fact been good for schools. One school district even went from a $400k budget deficit to a $1.5 million surplus. Sure, there are about to be 354 teachers and a number of desk-jockeys laid off because of budget cuts, but there is also going to be a big increase in school vouchers. More independent schools equals more choice for students and parents, and more jobs for teachers: if they’re worth it.
Seeing as how this is directly relevant to what’s going on in Britain right now, this ought to be of interest to you. Except it’s on the wrong side of the Narrative.
In Ohio, another Republican Governor who defeated the incumbent Democrat in November just passed a major state budget in which he cut a lot of stuff and practically made up for a $6 billion+ deficit over the next two years – all without raising taxes. This is the exact opposite of what the President just recommended (and about which the BBC made sure to inform you), and the kind of plan which Justin Webb told you doesn’t exist.
If that’s not enough to make this story relevant, then consider that Ohio is considered by most pundits to be the poster child of “swing states”. Where Ohio goes in mid-term elections, so goes the rest of the country in the next general election. You can bet that Beeboids assigned to the US know all about this concept. They have no problem covering the early fits and starts of the election campaign itself (we’ve already had plenty of coverage of the Republican debate, speeches, appearances, Sarah Palin, etc.), but the BBC is going to be shy about mentioning this because Ohio made a major turn towards Republicans last November, taking the Governor’s seat, as well as winning most of the state’s Congressional seats, and a bunch of other top offices. And yes, the state legislature is majority Republican now. This budget is the exact kind of thing the Tea Party movement has been pushing for over the last two years and more, in a state which is often looked to as a weather vane for the country, and the BBC remains silent.
California has such severe budget problems that they’re practically bankrupt (when did you last hear about this from the BBC?), and need every last dime they can scrape up. So what did the State Legislature do? They passed a law requiring sales tax on online sales from Amazon.com. Sounds simple enough: install a new tax where none existed before, raise loads of revenue. Except Amazon told them beforehand that if the tax was enacted, they’d shut down the accounts of all the Amazon Affiliates in the state because it would Amazon’s profit (this was really about big brick-and-mortar retailers fighting their online competition). So when the tax went into effect the other day, about 25,000 people logged on to find out their accounts were shut down.
Result: The $151 million in income tax these people pay every year just vanished into thin air, in exchange for….um….no sales tax revenue for the state. California, by the way, is run by a far-Left Governor and a Democrat-controlled State Legislature. Whether one agrees with Amazon or California, this is a pretty major deal that has more informative news value than a special feature comparing Michelle Bachmann with Sarah Palin. Although that depends on what one’s newsgathering priorities are.
While Justin Webb can tell you that the Republicans don’t have a plan to reduce the debt, and only raising taxes on the rich is the way forward, nobody at the BBC is going to tell you that The Obamessiah’s plan to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – the failed institutions which fueled the mortgage crash that led to the economic crisis we’re all still dealing with – will cost 2.5 times more than He said it would. $317 billion down the toilet, to prop up two failed government-funded organizations, which will only continue the damage they’re doing to the housing market.
His big stimulus package? All that “quantitative easing” Stephanie ‘Two Ed’s Flanders was sure would work? Didn’t do a thing. $2 trillion (!) down the tubes, all thanks to ideology. Not a word from the BBC. Again, this is exactly the kind of thing that fueled the growth of the Tea Party movement, and you can bet will be relevant in the coming election.
The BBC did find time today to mention that corn prices have dropped due to a bumper crop, suggesting that this is a sign that food prices will finally start to drop as well. Except they don’t tell you that ethanol subsidies have screwed things up so badly that both political parties voted at last to drop the massive tax breaks for ethanol farmers. These subsidies mean less people grow the corn we (and beef cattle) eat in favor of “dirty corn” for fuel, so food prices go up. The In this case, the Tea Party-inspired Republicans actually voted to raise taxes. One would think this kind of flip-flop is something the BBC would be eager to report with cries of “hypocrisy!”, never mind how it’s totally relevant to the story of a temporary drop in corn prices. Only they don’t think it’s worth your interest. Why?
Remember last week when the President announced he’d release 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to help reduce skyrocketing fuel prices? It turns out that He learned a lesson from last year’s Gulf Oil Spill and waved the Jones Act to allow foreign ships to come in and deliver it. One would have thought this is the kind of smart move the BBC would tell you about. Only they’d have to remind you of one of His errors they censored before, so never mind.
That’s enough US news for now, so I’d like to ask everyone here two questions:
1. Does the BBC, with all the staff assigned to the scene, keep you informed on US issues you think are important?
2. What kind of stories does the BBC ignore which you think they ought to report?