Mark Mardell Visits A Jon Huntsman Gathering And Defends The President On The Economy

The BBC’s US President editor is in New Hampshire to cover the Republican Primary. “It’s the economy, stupid” is the running gag these days about the number one reason why the President might not be re-elected. Among the elite media, anyway. Much of the rest of the country might be worried about His continued assault on gun rights, poor performance on stopping illegal immigration, the constant class war rhetoric, the possibly unconstitutional power grabs and recess appointments, His poor foreign policy record, and His general apparent incompetence to improve anything, but that doesn’t interest Mardell or his fellow travelers.  And we never hear about any of that from the BBC anyway, so it may as well not exist for the purposes of this discussion.

As Mitt Romney solidifies his lead over Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich, where do you think the BBC’s top man in the US goes to keep his finger on the pulse of the people? A Jon Huntsman gathering. Who?

Yes, Mardell went to a gathering of supporters of the candidate who has been at the bottom of the polls from the beginning. Huntsman is now getting a little play in New Hampshire, because that state is full of Reagan Democrats, who basically were the “independents” who voted for The Obamessiah in 2008. To support his attendance at a Huntsman event, he points to an article by the Left-wing (but not identified as such, contrary to what Jane Bradley said they should do) Daily Beast which says Huntsman had his best debate performance yet. In other words, Democrats like him, so Mardell is on the scene. I’d be more impressed if he had found a non-Left article speaking positively about Huntsman.

Now, you might be saying, “Hey, Dave, Hunstman is suddenly on the rise, so it’s logical that Mardell would check out his gathering to see what’s up.” Well, he didn’t do that for Santorum, who rocketed up from the bottom of the polls in Iowa. He went to a Ron Paul rally after a quick stop at a Romney speech. The BBC instead sent Peter Marshall of Newsnight to laugh at Santorum. Contrary to the tone here, Santorum’s rise was discussed with distaste in BBC reporting.

No, Mardell has liked Huntsman from the beginning. He was mentioning Huntsman when the man was not even a blip on the radar, yet didn’t mention Herman Cain until after the first debate, when he dismissed Cain out of hand. Last September, Mardell told an audience at the BBC College of Journalism that he liked Huntsman as a candidate and especially that Democrats liked him. I think that about sums it up right there. But this is at least as much about defending the President as it is about Huntsman.

For his latest, Mardell is talking to some other Republican voters. What’s especially troubling about this report is that Mardell also seizes an opportunity to defend the President on the economy.

Do Republican attacks on Obama strike a chord?

Actual Republican voters in New Hampshire are more conservative, or at least used to be. Reagan lost a primary to Pat Buchanan, for example. The state has, though, seen a serious increase in Democrat voters in the last few years. The problem is that the state also has this rather lax, same-day voter registration deal, so people can switch parties or independents can sign up for one (one has to be registered for a party to vote in the primary) on the day in order to flood the polls for a given candidate. There are rumors that out-of-state Paul minions are coming in to take advantage of this as well. So the particular circumstances of New Hampshire benefit Huntsman more than just about any other candidate.

But Mardell is there more to defend the President than to push Huntsman. So he talks to some Huntsman supporters about their thoughts on the economy. First, he talks to an actual Republican, a business owner and son of a former Republican governor and White House staffer. Chris Sununu definitely blames the President for the bad economy. Mardell, though, questions him.

I put it to him that is fine as political rhetoric, but question whether Obama’s policies have really hurt his thriving ski resort.

Somebody show me an example of Mardell doing this to an Obamessiah supporter.  He let’s Sununu answer the question, but then dismisses it.

Not everyone agrees that the language of the campaign reflects reality.

It’s very clever how he emphasizes that this is “rhetoric”, which devalues the position. In the interest of balance, of course, Mardell then talks to someone who – what a shock – doesn’t like where the Republican Party is going. Donald Byrne is one of those “independents” registering specifically for this primary I was talking about. It would be more informative if he’d found an actual Republican who felt differently, but I guess one right-winger a day is all he can stomach. Tell me if any of the following sounds eerily familiar to everything the BBC has been telling about the Republicans:

He says the language used about Obama is pandering to the base.

“I think the Republican party in the United States has shifted very far to the right,” he says.

“Being a moderate is a negative in this campaign and that’s very unfortunate, because the majority of Americans are moderate and well balanced in their thought process.

“There is too much pandering to these right-wing extreme sides.”

This could have been copied and pasted from any number of BBC reports. Actually, it sounds like a good White House talking point. Wake me up when Mardell finds an “independent” who says that the Democrats have moved too far to the Left, and that it’s bad for the President to pander to Left-wing extremes. No, to Mardell, that’s a good thing, what He should be doing.

One thing Mardell neglected to tell you about Byrne is that he hosted a Huntsman gathering at his own home last month, and that he doesn’t like Romney’s strong talk against China. It’s pretty obvious that a software entrepreneur with a vested business interest in dealing with China is going to like the former Ambassador to China who sucked up to them. The “pandering” to extremists Byrne was talking about was, in fact, about anti-China rhetoric and not, as Mardell wants you think, specifically about the US economy. So a little dishonesty from Mardell there to help his Narrative.

To further defend the President on the economy and convince you that the fiscally conservative position is actually an extremist one, Mardell found a big-government Republican and economist who worked for the first President Bush. You won’t be surprised to learn that he says that the debate between Keynesian and Milton Friedman economics is silly. It’s more between Keynes and Hayek, but Friedman is a big American name, so we’ll accept that. In any case, Mr. Bastani says that neither approach works, and anyways Keynesian economics has become the middle ground. If Mardell asked him if anything the President has done might have harmed the economy, we aren’t told.  Did he censor that bit, or did he just not bother to ask at all? Either way, you’re left with a specific Narrative.

That’s the same message you’ve heard over and over again from a number of Beeboids, isn’t it? How many times have we heard “Two Eds” Flanders say it? How many times has the BBC gotten Blanchflower or some other Left-wing pundit to say this? Mardell himself has said (at that now infamous BBC CoJ appearance) that the British public support endless deficit spending, and that the President is “the last Keynesian standing”. He thinks that’s the answer. So he went out and found people to support his own personal position.  And we know his own personal position, because he revealed it in front of the BBC CoJ camera.

Both these reports from New Hampshire were written from his own personal viewpoint: Huntsman is the good candidate, Keynesian policies are best (it’s a misunderstood Keynesianism, actually, as the man himself never promoted an endless, infinite deficit),  the other Republican candidates are extremist, and that any talk of the President hurting the economy is mere rhetoric.

As a result, you’re not informed about what’s going in New Hampshire, but you do get a message.

UPDATE: In case there’s any doubt about the reality of Huntsman’s supporters, here’s a video of some supporters who think he’s practically a Democrat. Notice how they whine about evangelicals just like Mardell and the other Beeboids do.

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8 Responses to Mark Mardell Visits A Jon Huntsman Gathering And Defends The President On The Economy

  1. Span Ows says:

    I look on the bright side, our US cousins are finally seeing mardell for waht he is and he knows he’d get his ass kicked if he attends a well known Rep shin dig.


  2. Span Ows says:

    …also, “right wing extremists” – on the inadequate linear political spectrum – in the US isn’t even the equivalent of the ‘mild right’ of the UK Conservative party.


  3. James M. Gowland says:

    I love some of the comments posted on the BBC site to Mardell’s article: 14. keysie1690 
    9TH JANUARY 2012 – 13:28

    “Why has Mardell gone to the campaign of the candidate who came last in Iowa? In any case, this article really contrasts with the BBC’s hysterical excitement during Obama’s campaign. How it also contrasts with the more hystrerical smears of the highly successful grass roots Tea Party movement.”


  4. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Result: Romney wins by a clear margin, with nearly 38% of the vote. Ron Paul comes in a sort of close second, at  23.6%. Huntsman, the candidate whom Mardell has been watching most keenly since last summer, was a not very close third, 16.7%.

    Notice how Mardell doesn’t tar Huntsman with the “not-Romney” epithet, completely unlike he’s spoken about every single other Republican candidate.

    My bet is that Huntsman’s showing is a fluke reflective of New Hampshire’s peculiarities, as I said in the main post.

    My thoughts: If nothing else, Paul’s strength is the fiscal conservative angle, which can only help remind Romney that he needs to clean up his act on economic policy and assure the public that he won’t be as profligate as the President or his predecessor. That won’t win over all the Paul supporters, as at least half of them care as much about his extrme “End the Fed” position, his ostrich-like foreign policy and anti-corporate and anti-Israel stance as they do about more straightforward fiscal conservatism.

    As I said in the post, the excuse that Mardell is showing you all facets of the Republican race by focusing on a different candidate each time doesn’t wash, since he left Santorum alone in Iowa. Huntsman was a useful tool for his agenda.

    I think that Huntsman is being used – and this one result is going to be used – as proof that the public really wants a centrist, really doesn’t like the “extremist rhetoric” Mardell claims you’ve been hearing from Romney and the rest of the Republican Party.  In other words, Mardell and the other 55 Beeboids in the US want to create a specific impression for you that the US public wants a centrist, moderate candidate.

    Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.


  5. Wayne Xenocrates says:

    The time has come to do more than preach to the converted on this site.  Never mind Mardell, the BBC is now making the whole of Britain a laughing stock across the world.  Most of us now realise the depth of distrust we all have because of the bias that now exists in our national broadcaster.   It is now no longer funny or just irritating it is a disgrace verging on the criminal.  Yesterday’s BBC news was an anti-government pro Milliband Labour party broadcast without a shred of shame or recognition for the one sided diatribe.  Even the local news is tainted with every opportunity taken to denounce the terrible impact of ‘the cuts’ and never ever a word of how we must put the country’s finances straight after 13 years of misrule and financial incompetence.


    Mr Cameron is able to stand up every week at QT and giving us his best efforts to explain where the problems are and what he is trying to do and is then promptly ignored or pulled apart by the BBC’s negativity.  It is of course not just the BBC, ITV and Sky reporters all come out of the same melting pot of socialist utopian dreamers.  Why oh why does he not stand up to them?  His interview with Marr at the week-end was weak; he was constantly interrupted and in my opinion walked all over.  He has started to show some spine with Europe and now the arrogant Scotsman Salmond.  For goodness sake Cameron show some spine with this traitorous organisation the BBC, for the countries sake if not your own.


    • Louis Robinson says:

      Remember this? The BBC in its role as self-appointed “informer-in-chief” ran an interview in May with a potential Republican candidate for the US presidency. This was it – the chance to tell the public something important about the race. So guess who they chose to talk to? Was it Newt Gringrich, Jon Huntsman, Ron Paul,Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Michele Machmann. Herman Cain, Gary Johnson, Tim Pawlenty or even Haley Barbour who was considering a run? Not even close. Here’s their judgment call:



  6. Geyza says:

    I would like to take the opportunity to congratulate Ron Paul for his strong second place in spite of all the mainstream media, and GOP elite’s hostility towards him and his supporters.

    In the former land of the free, his message of Freedom, Liberty, sound money and bringing the troops home is finding a natural resonance and is picking up more and more support by the week.

    I am not so nieve as to believe that Ron Paul stands any chance of winning the nomination, because the GOP will NOT give him the nomination this time.  Even if he had more delegates, the convention in August will block him, BUT, whereas 4 years ago he could safely be completely ignored, this time he has enough support to make a difference and cost the republicans the race. 

    Get real! There is not a cat in hell’s chance that Romney can beat Obama by selling exactly the same corrupt corporate greed and totalitarian authoritarianism and capitulation to the FED and world bankers and pushing more and more wars overseas, that Obama is offering.

    Ron Paul will take 15% – 25% of their vote away.  The Ron Paul supporters will NOT vote for Romney at all.  Many of the far-right Christian fundies, will NOT vote for Romney, and why the hell should Democrats, when Obama is already delivering what Romney would deliver as President?  The only difference between them is skin colour.

    No, Ron Paul will not win the nomination, Romney will, and Obama WILL win the second term and nothing will change from the totalitarian trajectory that Bush was on…

    However, the philosophy of freedom, liberty, genuinely free markets (not corrupt corporatocracies), ending the disasterous Federal Reserve and getting the hell out of policing the world, is a philosophy which is growing fast, is very popular and will propel its next genuine advocate into the whitehouse in 2016.

    Americans loving freedom? Who would have though it?  It is a crying shame that more Americans do not seem to know what freedom actually is.  Living in a country post the signing of NDAA, where Americans can now be siezed, detained forever, or executed, without reason, charge or trial based on the whim of the President?  That is not Freedom.  That is totalitarianism.

    Ron Paul is the only candidate in the race who opposed it!


  7. cjhartnett says:

    Last nights PM had a piece for Columbine, and was full of praise for the Sure Start type thingy going on and targetted at those “vulnerable” children.
    No mention of Ritalin/anti-depressants etc, of course; as being factors.
    On Todays World at One, there`s another piece on some Mississippi Sure Start thingy as well…share croppers from the 60s schemes in youth work etc ( wasn`t listening!).
    So-obviously when you`re helping the vulnerable-spending public money-coughing up to bribe and buy off tomorrows psychos like we do here-the BBC will shine upon you ans smile beatifically.
    And-of course: praise Obama and slate the tardy Tories at one fell swoop!
    Well…at least the USA isn`t ALL bad-as long as it thinks it is Sweden as the BBC would prefer, thank you very much!