B-BBC contributor Graeme aka Hippiepooter writes;

“As a regular listener to R5L Breakfast, where I took political refuge over a decade ago from the outrageous bias of R4’s TODAY, it stands out when Nicky Campbell and his new co-presenter Rachel Burden are biased, whereas with John Humphrys and James Naughtie it stands out when they’re impartial.

Blatant bias stood out today on R5L Breakfast over the death penalty.

Rachel Burden and Nicky Campbell were incessantly referring to the murderer of Police Officer Mark McPhail, Troy Davis, as being excecuted in the US state of Georgia “despite grave doubts about his guilt”.

Grave doubts? Whose? Not the Supreme Court’s for sure, that had just rejected a stay of execution after the case had been appealed for 24 years. Grave doubts by campaigners against the death penalty that might reasonably be regarded as special pleading? Sure. So why didn’t R5L Breakfast tell us where these ‘grave doubts’ were coming from? They’re doing anti-death penalty special pleading too?

Towards the end of the programme, after having to endure the endless repetitions of unattributed ‘grave doubts’ that is an insult to the memory of Officer McPhail and his family (too early to link to at time of writing, about 02:45:00 when its up), Nicky Campbell interviewed some spokeswoman from ‘Reprieve’ in which he was mainly just feeding her prompts to promote her agitation against the death penalty.

The same one sided coverage was given last night on News24.

According to this report in the New York Times the late Mr Davis took part in an attack on a homeless man and when Officer McPhail intervened Davis shot him dead.*

Hey, BBC, next time you claim to be impartial, please don’t forget to mention ‘despite grave doubts’.

*Court details here

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27 Responses to GRAVE DOUBTS

  1. Will says:

    In addition it was stated by BBC folk that Davis had been “killed” (not executed), the same verb being in respect of the police officer.

    Other items from Beeboid “Business expert” Andrew Verity & impartial expert guest Will Hutton in the first hour were (1) the plutocratic Republicans were standing in the way of absolutely necessary QE in the US, and (2) everyone who was sane agreed that the UK government were going too far & too fast in reducing the budget deficit & the VAT rise should be reversed toute suite. 


    • David vance says:

      Will – Yes, they like to use the word “kill” as the euphemism for murder whilst they use “murder” as the euphemism for kill.


  2. john in cheshire says:

    The only tragedy in this issue is that Mr Davis had to wait for over 20 years to get his just deserts. If there is one thing the USA needs to do it is to make its punishments quicker. It is inhuman to keep someone on death row for long periods. If they are guilty, then execute them. If they aren’t, or if there is a case for a less severe punishment, then so be it. But for what it’s worth, I see no problem with bad people being killed. Dead people don’t harm others.


    • john in cheshire says:



      • Millie Tant says:

        Deserts! You were right the first time, john.  Just deserts are pronounced the same way as dessert apples but spelt as if they were those hot, dry places we call deserts.


    • David vance says:

      Totally agree John. I may be on the BBC this Sunday Morning to discuss this topic on Sunday Morning Live.


      • john in cheshire says:

        I’ll probably  be watching my nephew play football. But I look forward to hearing how your appearance is manipulated by our bbc socialist


    • London Calling says:

      The man largely responsible for delaying these murderers their date with destiny is our very own Clive Stafford Smith, founder of “Reprieve” who earned himself a good living for twenty years delaying judicial process in the US. For some reason he decided to return to ply his trade in the UK and will be found on various BBC speed-dials.

      I love the “Stafford” in the moniker. Guess being “Clive Smith” is a bit too ordinary. Sign of vanity?


  3. Martin says:

    I did post elsewhere on this. There was a white man executed as well who killed a black man by dragging his behind a vehicle. But funnily enough Bianca Jagger didn’t feel the need to mention it nor did the BBC offer any sympathy.

    I’m against the death penalty, but I do get annoyed when twats like Bianca Jagger and the BBC forget the thousands executed in Iran, China and so on.

    Both the men put to death were on death row for years, it wasn’t as if they’d just been convicted yesterday.

    I also notice Campbell and co gave Obama an easy ride, can’t imagine they’d have done the same if it had been GWB still in power.


  4. cjhartnett says:

    Yet no peep about the regular exposition of Sharia Law every Friday after prayers in chop-chop Square there in sunny Riyadh/Medina at a local square near you.
    I`m guessing that Shami, Clive and the other wet lettuces would think that “culturally judgemental” or “patronising”.
    Seems that only the southern states of the USA are the barbaric hicks…so unlike the Chinese too!
    But surely…despite grave doubts…no, that`s the end of the debate until another black on white murder becomes a “miscarriage of justice”! 


  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Why the hell is the BBC so obsessed with the domestic activities of the US?  What right do they have to judge the US, when they refuse to judge Iran, China, Zimbabwe, etc?  
    And what’s more, this is the BBC taking an ideological stance on this issue.  Grave doubts, my ass.  They wouldn’t be doing this if the condemned man was white anyway.
    Piss off, BBC, you have no right to judge the US when you refuse to judge other countries for much, much worse.  Where’s the hysteria over the thousands of dodgy executions in China every year?  Where’s the hysteria over Russia arresting poeple and disappearing them when they speak out against Putin?  Where are the BBC tears shed over what Chavez gets up to?  


    • Barry says:

      Agree entirely.

      In view of recent events over here, we should put our own house in order on the law and order front.

      I was born 60 years ago in a country with a low crime rate and an exceptionally low murder rate. Back then, maybe, just maybe, we might have been able to ask questions about crime and punishment in the US without being accused of hypocrisy. Since then, the pub I used to pass every day on my way to school in Bradford has been firebombed and kids are involved in shooting and knifing incidents on a regular basis.

      We’ve thrown away many of this countries greatest assets and we have the nerve to criticise America?

      The clowns who inhabit the BBC have contributed to the softening up process which has allowed successive governments, not just Labour, to bring about this decline.


    • flexdream says:

      The BBC likes to report on US domestic issues as it’s easy (just suck up news feeds in English), safe (the US respects freedom of the press and of expression) and comfortable (expenses paid trips across the US). It also feeds a smug sense of superiority over Americans which some Britons have aquired to compensate for the loss of a sense of superiority which some Britons used to have from just being British.


  6. D B says:

    I’ve heard the Troy Davis case discussed here and there across the BBC over the past few days but it wasn’t until today that I discovered the jury which found him guilty (in only two hours) was 7 black, 5 white. From the BBC’s coverage I’d assumed this was Harper Lee all over again.


    • Barry says:

      I didn’t know that.

      Sky was no better this morning but that doesn’t let the tax funded BBC off the hook.


  7. pounce_uk says:

    What has interested me on this story is how the bBC while crying out foul play over the execution of a murderer is how these past few days Iran has hung a 17 year old boy and China a Pakistani man. Yet as much as the bBC panders how those two states are somehow superior to the nasty US. For some strange reason they just report the story and leave it at that. No interview with human rights groups, no radio shows ruminating how bad these two countries are and certainly no wide coverage over how they execute 100 times as many people as the US does.Which explains why the Iranian story has gone from the bBC news website.(Talk about half life)


    Funny enough the one state in the middle east which doesn’t have the death penalty is also the one the bBC devotes copious amounts of time informing the world how bad it is.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      100% correct, pounce.  If the BBC excuse is that they expect the US to be held to a higher standard, that means they look at everyone else with the soft racism of lower expectations.

      Defenders of the indefensible will, of course, remain silent.


  8. DJ says:

    Yep, another dose today on ‘(Liberal) Thought for the Day’, where we were told that 7 out of 9 witnesses had recanted their testimony, even though there were actually more than 30 witnesses and those that had supposedly recanted their testimony refused – or were not asked by the defence – to give their new evidence in open court (in other words, US courts are bad because they refuse to condier evidence that is never placed before them). 

    Oh yes, also their no evidence linking Troy the Martyr to the gun used to murder the victim… except he already admitted to shooting someone else with the same gun earlier that night.

    And that’s without mentioning the recovery of Davies’s shorts stained with the victim’s blood – hey, if we’re allowing testimony given years after the fact to defence lawyers with no cross-examination allowed as credible, why get hung up about seizures without a warrant?

    And no, despite the speaker claiming to be opposed to capital punishment on principle, the name ‘Lawrence Brewer’ wasn’t mentioned once.

    In short, an alleged news program gave over a chunk of time to a wholly dishonest activisist to smear the US without even the shred of the ghost of the shadow of balance.

    Meanwhile, the BBC won’t call lunatics who blow up buses ‘terrorists’ as that’s too loaded a term.


  9. AndyUk06 says:

    For decades, the BBC has tried persuading Americans to abolish the death penalty, using their usual argument: lies, deliberate misinformation and hysteria.

    It’s only when left-wing media like the BBC starts lying about innocent people being executed does support for the death penalty falter.   Most ordinary people in many democracies still want it.

    The fact is this: unless the public get to read the trial transcripts in death penalty cases, they have no way of knowing the truth. The BBC certainly won’t tell them.

    It’s nigh on impossible to receive a death sentence in the United States these days unless you do something completely over-the-top like shoot a copper in full view of dozens of witnesses in a Burger King parking lot, shortly after shooting at a passing car while leaving a party. Which is exactly what Troy Davis did.

    A jury of seven blacks and five whites took no more than two hours to convict Davis of murder, as well as other crimes and later sentenced him to death.   Only 22 years later his sentence was administered — no more of the shenanigans that keep the legal profession fed and drunk and taxpayers on the hook.
    The BBC claim there are “grave doubts”.  Davis pulled out a gun and shot two strangers in public.What “grave doubts” or other physical evidence are they expecting?  No houses were broken into, no cars stolen, no rapes or fistfights went with the shootings.  Where would you look for DNA? And to prove what? 

    It’s true that most of the evidence against Davis was eyewitness testimony. That tends to happen a lot when you shoot someone in a busy Burger King car park.

    Eyewitness testimony seems to have got a bad name in recent years, but the testimonies in this case did not just consist of total strangers trying to distinguish one black man from another, several of the eyewitnesses knew Davis personally.

    The eyewitness testimony established the following:

    Two tall, young black men were harassing a vagrant in the Burger King car park, one in a yellow shirt and the other in a white Batman shirt. The one in the white shirt pistol-whipped the vagrant with a brown revolver.  When a policeman yelled at them to stop, the man in the white shirt ran, then turned around and shot the cop, walked over to his body and shot him again, smiling.

    Some eyewitnesses described the murderer as wearing a white shirt.  Some said it was a white shirt with writing on it.  And and some identified it as a white Batman shirt. Not one witness said the man in the yellow shirt pistol-whipped the vagrant or shot the cop.

    Several of Davis’ friends testified — without recantation — that he was the man in the white shirt. Several eyewitnesses, both acquaintances and strangers, specifically identified Davis as the one who shot Officer MacPhail.

    Now the BBC claim that there are “grave doubts”, in spite of the fact that 34 witnesses were presented against Davis, which gives you some idea of how punctilious the BBC is about establishing their facts in death penalty cases.

    Among the witnesses who did not recant a word of their testimony against Davis were three members of the Air Force, who saw the shooting from their van in the Burger King drive-in lane. The airman who saw events clearly enough to positively identify Davis as the shooter explained on cross-examination, “You don’t forget someone that stands over and shoots someone.”

    With death penalty opponents like the BBC so fixated on race (Davis was black) it ought to be noted that many of the witnesses were  themselves black. The first man Davis shot in the car that night was African-American.

    This might seem baffling to the average beeboid brain but there was a simple reason more than 12 courts looked at Davis’ case and refused to overturn his death sentence: he was guilty as hell.


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Here’s visible proof of the BBC’s bias on this issue.  (screen capture at the bottom of this comment) The top item at the moment in the “Features & Analysis” feed in the lower right of the page of this latest idiotic post by Mardell (more on that later) is this gem:

    Death in the Age of Twitter
    Why social media couldn’t save Troy Davis

    Couldn’t “save”.  This implies that he should have been.  This is an ideological position, and makes a specific policy statement about the law and legal action in a sovereign nation.  Please, defenders of the indefensible, show me one example of the BBC making the same judgment and taking the same kind of ideological stance against a similar incident in any other country.

    The article itself is full of it:

    Troy Davis’ execution and the limits of Twitter

    The whole thing is advocating for one side of a legal issue, as well as championing the “innocent” side.  We read of vacuous celebrities pushing the lie that there was no evidence, and the overall theme from Kate Dailey is that a Twitter outcry proves that people don’t want the death penalty and this was an innocent man sent to an unjust death.  No balance, no insight, just promoting one side.

    The BBC is taking a clear ideological position here, and making a specific policy stance about an issue in a foreign country.  Biased from start to finish.


    • hippiepooter says:

      Kate Dailey in your link writes:-

      “On the night Troy Davis was executed for the death of officer Mark MacPhail”

      Yeah, that’s right.  As anyone who isn’t a racist knows, Officer McPhail suffered an accidental death and racists decided to pretend it was a murder so they could pin it on an innocent black man.

      I do hope I haven’t misunderstood the message this paragon of BBC virtue was trying to convey here.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Yes, Davis was executed for “murder”.  The cause of the “death” Dailey casually sanitizes for her partisan agenda.


    • Barry says:

      Trial by Twitter

      2000 years to get to this!