BBC to Twitter: Ban the IDF and Hamas

From Breitbart:

The BBC took to Twitter to let the world know that it thinks that there is no difference between terrorists and victims.
If you are unaware of what is going on in Israel lately, Hamas and the Palestinians have been launching rockets into the Jewish State killing women and children in a renewed and sustained attack. Today, the Israeli government and her Defense Force (IDF) have at last had enough. The IDF even took to Twitter to warn the Palestinians that retaliation is immanent.

The BBC’s tweet:


In other words, the BBC is so obsessed with seeing Israel as a warmongering rogue State, they cannot distinguish between the purpose of the IDF’s tweets and those of Hamas. And they’re trying influence Twitter in the process. Yes, the IDF tweets real-time updates of their war efforts to inform the population and news outlets, but also warns people to get out of harm’s way. Because Israel is the superior force and is tweeting results and warnings to Hamas leaders, and all Hamas can do is reply with threats, the BBC naturally sees only David vs Goliath. But the BBC is not supposed to try to influence other media outlets are they? Is this a violation of their Charter?

Your license fee hard at work.

Mardell’s Mandate Muddle

As the US Congress and the President head into negotiations over the looming never-ending budget crisis to figure out how to avert hitting the debt ceiling again, the BBC’s US President editor (a more accurate description than his actual job title) is on the case to give you his muddled view of how US government should work.

America’s fiscal suicide pact

He starts right in with the violent imagery, just to set the proper tone in which you should understand the scene.

America might be forgiven for thinking they suffered a concussion, instead of holding an election, on Tuesday night. The country now has double vision.

The violent imagery is supported by the now-obiligatory context of a deeply divided country, most-polarized-ever-ever-omg. And you’ll never guess whose fault that is.

Republicans in Congress have other ideas. House Speaker John Boehner is insisting tax rises for the wealthy can’t be allowed to happen.

Typical dishonest, class-war rhetoric, straight out of the White House propaganda machine. Actually, this comes naturally to Mardell, no prompting necessary. Boehner is insisting that no tax rises for anyone should be allowed. But since that includes the evil rich, it’s “accurate” to say that he doesn’t want tax increases for them. It’s not a particularly honest description of the proceedings, but I suppose it fits the BBC requirement for “accuracy”. Impartial it is not. Here’s what Boehner actually said:

Boehner today maintained that Republicans want to avert the fiscal cliff without raising any taxes and “in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us.” Next year, he said, “should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform.”

The speaker added that he had a “cordial,” short conversation with Mr. Obama earlier this week and is hopeful that “productive conversations” can begin soon on the fiscal cliff. As he has for more than a year, Boehner said that he’s open to creating more tax revenue, by closing tax loopholes and eliminating some deductions, just not raising tax rates.

That last line sure looks to me like someone talking about increasing tax payments for the wealthy. Only a highly partisan, disingenuous person would describe Boehner’s position as refusing tax rises for the wealthy. Unless we’re playing semantic games about an increase in income tax rates as opposed to just increasing the taxes actually paid. Mardell cleverly left all that out and quoted this instead:

Speaking before the president did so this afternoon, he said: “Everyone wants to get our economy moving again. Everyone wants to get more Americans back to work again. Raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want.”

He called on the president to lead.

So you really aren’t told at all the reality of what Boehner is thinking. Mardell continues:

Mr Obama did, but not in a direction that will delight Republicans. He is using the moral authority of his re-election to push his case. There is nothing new in his call for Congress to extend “middle-class tax cuts” at once. He’s said it repeatedly before the election.

But it’s different now. He has a renewed mandate and his demand has a fresh moral weight behind it. He pointed out even people who didn’t vote for him told opinion pollsters that taxes should go up for the richest.

And here’s where Mardell really starts to get it wrong. The President got fewer votes this time than in 2008. Almost 10 million fewer. Sure, Romney didn’t get as many as McCain did, but the difference wasn’t as great. So who actually did worse? Remember, we’re not talking about simply winning or losing: Mardell said “renewed mandate”, which requires much more than simply winning. Voter turnout was also substantially lower (except for places Philadelphia, which had a turnout that even Sadaam Hussein would have envied) The President may have dominated the Electoral College, but won the popular vote by only 2.5%.  Boris Johnson won his race for mayor of London by a slightly larger amount – 3% – but the BBC described that as a “tight margin”. Go figure. Anyone here expect Mardell to declare that Boris has a renewed mandate? Some projected counts (they’re still counting actual votes in places like Ohio and Florida) expect the President to crack that 3% mark, but that’s it. Still no mandate when it’s a non-Left politician.

When journalists make value judgments like this, it leaves the door wide open to personal opinions influencing their reporting. This is a classic example. In 2004, George Bush defeated John Kerry by just over 3 million votes. The President’s popular vote victory over Romney was – you guessed it – just over 3 million votes. You will not find a BBC report saying that Bush had a renewed mandate in 2004. You’ll find analyses stating that Bush supporters and Christians were saying that, but you will not find a BBC editor or reporter stating it.

Now that he’s established that the President is supposed to get His way, Mardell lays out the doom and gloom if Republicans don’t let Him.

There has to be an agreement. If the two sides can’t get behind a plan to cut the deficit there will be pretty horrible consequences.

The ugly phrase “fiscal cliff” has stuck, but it is more like a ticking economic timebomb. The two sides agreed to a suicide pact if they couldn’t reach agreement – tax rises and defence spending cuts the Republicans loathe – as well as other spending cuts that are offensive to Democrats.

The trouble is if the bomb goes off, it is not just the politicians who will be hurt. It is American economy that would explode, probably taking what’s left of the world economy with it.

This is more or less true, and nobody’s denying that we’re looking at trouble here. We then get a bit of “balance”, where the President says this, and the Republicans say that. He even allows that some Republicans might think they, too, have a mandate.

President Obama said that people had voted for action but he would refuse to accept any approach that wasn’t balanced and made the middle class suffer alone. He said there shouldn’t be a long, drawn-out drama.

The Republicans won’t play along, and he will presumably portray them as churlish bad losers who won’t accept the people’s verdict. They will doubtless point out they too (or some of them) also have a fresh mandate.

Note the qualifier. You’re meant to understand that they really don’t have one. So Mardell wraps up with this:

While both Mr Obama and Mr Boehner sounded consensual they were in fact restating their mutually exclusive positions.

They are heading for confrontation, but this is only the first act – they are both stating a hard line, before the give and take of negotiations. They do have to get a move on. The drama can’t run for long before it turns into tragedy for all of us.

Except we already know whom to blame, don’t we? Mardell has already told us: Republicans who want to protect the wealthy. (I remember back when this budget agreement was passed. The US President editor was singing a slightly different tune then.)

But spot the missing upper house of Congress. This happens over and over again with both Mardell’s “reporting” and other BBC coverage: they leave out the Democrat-controlled Senate. Again and again we hear about how it’s all Republicans blocking Him. What about the Senate? And you’re expected to ignore Democrats who side with Republicans on certain issues.

While actual spending is really allocated by the House of Representatives, the Senate also has to pass an agreed version of the budget for the country to actually have one. Yet, unbeknownst to BBC audiences because you were never told, the Democrat-controlled Senate never passed one. In fact, even the Democrat-controlled Senate (it’s worth repeating) unanimously voted against the joke budget proposed by the President Himself. Oh, and let’s not forget either – no matter how much biased Beeboids like Daniel Nasaw would like you to – that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for His first two years in office. No budget then, either. And Mardell once actually referred to that as a Golden Age, because the President was able to ram some things through without a single Republican vote. Who’s really to blame here?

But that’s just the bias part. Now here’s where Mardell really gets muddled.  The real problem with Mardell declaring the President has a mandate is that he’s presenting the whole thing as if the President is king. He does not appear to understand – or perhaps just doesn’t approve – of the way the US government is set up.

There are two issues here. First, is the way the government is split into three separate branches: the Executive (the President and Administration), the Legislative (Congress – both Houses), and the Judicial (the Supreme Court and the lower Federal system). This is what’s known as “Checks and Balances”, the idea being that no one branch has too much power. Never mind that one of the Democrat operatives the BBC had on the panel of their election night coverage didn’t understand that, and thought it meant Republicans weren’t allowed to vote for what they wanted, and the Beeboids were too ignorant to correct her. Mardell certainly doesn’t understand it, and thinks if the President wins – even by a “tight” Boris Johnson-style margin – He has a “mandate”, and the Republicans should bow to it.

The House of Representatives is what is says on the tin: a group of legislators who are there to represent their individual constituencies. They’re not State-wide representatives, like Senators are: they represent a single collection of 500,000 voters in their State. Same as the Electoral College. Representatives are not elected to do the President’s bidding: they’re there to represent their own constituency. If a Republican gets elected on whatever issues, that’s his or her mandate, not a directive to obey the President. Because different States have dramatically different population totals, some have a much greater presence in the House than others. When a State loses population, they lose representation in the House. If more people move there, they get more Reps. The total number of Reps. in the House can change with each election if the national population does. If it seems a bit unfair, it’s meant to be. Sort of.

But New York and California do not run the country, even if the popular vote makes it appear that they might. Nor should they. The House of Representatives is not a mirror of the Electoral College vote, even though their numbers are the same. The House – ideally – represents the wishes of their individual constituencies. Representatives are not meant to be a reflection of some national conscience. This is all connected to another US concept the BBC neither likes nor fully understands: States’ rights. I use the upper case “S” here and always to emphasize the point that most Founding Fathers considered their State to be their country, and wanted that independence preserved. Some of us still understand that. The individuality inherent in the House of Representatives is part and parcel of that concept.

This is also why the Senate, the upper house, exists. Each State gets two Senators, and that’s it. In this way, each State has equal representation. But that’s also why real spending is decided in the House. The Senate is much more than a rubber stamp, though, as they have their own agenda and powers. But that’s all for another time.

What I’m talking about here is the idea that – contrary to how Mardell presents it – an election victory for a President does not actually translate into carte blanche. To really be successful, a President must also bring his political party along for the ride to victory as well. Failing that, he must compromise, triangulate, as, for example, Bill Clinton did. Funny how you don’t see much comparison of The Obamessiah to Clinton these days. That would make Him look petty and partisan and incompetent, though, so the astute BBC analysts tend to refrain from doing it.

The Republicans in the House are there to do the job they were sent to do, not merely the President’s bidding. If they were voted in to avoid taxing us all into oblivion, that’s what they need to focus on. They’re also not required to bend over backwards to compromise if it means doing something they believe will damage the country. Politicians get voted out when they do too much their constituents don’t like. Just ask all the Dems and Big-Government Republicans who got kicked out in 2010 for voting for ObamaCare.

The other party must try to compromise as well. But you never hear the BBC complaining about President “I won”, or that the President is the one drawing a line in the sand with His tax rises for the wealthy. Mardell may write a sentence saying both sides must work together – and he even admits that the President only sounds like He wants to compromise, but doesn’t appear to be just yet – but only after he’s already set you up to assign blame for who won’t. And again: what about the Senate? And why has neither Mardell nor anyone else at the BBC examined why the President never got a budget passed while He had both houses under Democrat control? Could it be because that might force them to learn that Congress isn’t simply a vehicle for a President’s policies? Or perhaps because they might be forced to admit that the President’s own fiscal policies are so ludicrously extreme that even the Democrats won’t vote for it?

Mardell either doesn’t understand how the US government is meant to work, or simply doesn’t care. He pays lip service to the notion that both sides must compromise, but he’s already framed it in the context of Republicans being in the wrong. Yet he’s the man the BBC wants you to trust most on US issues. Don’t.

 

Six Impossible Things

As the US at last gets to vote on the most important election in human history (it must be, to judge from the legion of BBC staff running around over here to cover it), the BBC’s coverage of the whole scene has been making me think of the following from Through the Looking Glass:

‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.

‘Can’t you?’ the Queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’

Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’

‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’

The BBC definitely wants you to believe some impossible things when it comes to the President and the current situation in the US. You’ll most likely hear some of these at some point today during the BBC’s wall-to-wall coverage.

(NOW UPDATED TO INCLUDE LINKS, because defenders of the indefensible have decided to be intellectually dishonest today and pretend they’ve never read anything on this blog. I’ll add more later today and this evening when I have more time. Everyone is welcome to post examples in the comments.)

1. Tea Party-led Republican intransigence has blocked His every move for the last two years, but the President has saved the economy, and we’re on the road to recovery.

2. The country is more divided and polarized than it has ever been before due to Tea Party and Right-wing media rhetoric, while at the same time you’re expected to believe that the President did not begin His term in office by sitting down to the negotiating table and telling Republicans, “I won”, and that He has not said or done anything divisive, ever.

3. The Democrat super-majority in Congress – absolute control of both houses – for His first two years which let Him do whatever He liked (except pass a budget, which even the Dems in the Senate weren’t stupid enough to vote for) without bothering to get a single Republican vote, was a Golden Age of Congress getting things done.

4. The only real reason people are voting against the President is racism, or crypto-racism, even though nobody complained when George Bush had a black man and then a black woman as the second-most powerful person in his Administration, and the Tea Party movement was ready to support Herman Cain. All those people who voted for The Obamessiah in 2008 and are not voting for Him today have suddenly reverted to being racist.

5. It’s perfectly natural for Hispanics to vote for their own kind, and want more of their own kind to come to the US. Any laws which impede that are immoral, and the only reason to oppose this kind of racialist thinking is racism.

6. Romney, like George Bush, is a walking gaffe machine, and the President has made only two minor missteps in five years (including the 2008 campaign).

No, thank you. I’m off to vote as soon as I finish my breakfast.

Don’t Blame Him

As if all the other BBC reporting isn’t enough, they got their (freelance) World Service economics correspondent to ask, in the usual manner of journalists posing a question to which they’ve already decided the answer, if the poor US economy is the President’s fault.

US economy: Who to blame for poor economic performance?

Short answer: No.

Long answer: The economy really isn’t that bad if you consider it in historical context, and no, only some people say it’s His fault for not doing enough to fix it.

The opening section is devoted to telling you how the economy really isn’t as all that bad from an historical perspective. Moreover, the US doesn’t look so bad at all compared to the current European situation, as well as Japan. In fact, the latest quarterly figures show the US has made up all lost ground, and is now doing better than before the recession! Never mind the massive debt, or the continuously rising deficit, or the fact that the latest GDP bump is mostly due to the Fed printing more money we don’t have. So before we even get to assigning blame, we’ve softened the blow considerably, and in fact might even cause some people to wonder what’s the point of assigning blame at all.

This follows on Walker’s report from the other day defending the President on unemployment, where he dutifully regurgitated the latest jobs report without mentioning that previous jobs figures keep getting revised down. So when he then tells you that Romney will be lying if he now claims that the President has presided over a net jobs loss, you don’t actually know the whole truth. Interestingly, the last two lines of that piece are actually a set-up for this one.

In any case, now that Walker has established his premise that the economy really isn’t so bad if you think about it, he sets about pretending to ask if the President is to blame.

For the “It’s not His fault, you see” side, he links to a Bloomberg opinion piece by two economic academics explaining the historical context, and declaring that the current doldrums are nothing unusual. In fact, they say, history tells us this was always going to be the case after such a bad financial crisis. It’s not His fault, you see.

For the racist side blaming the President’s policies, Walker mentions two other economic academics, but links only to a PDF file of the “Romney Plan” on the Romney campaign website. It’s written by the people he mentions, but this is obviously going to raise a red flag with readers. It’s a partisan campaign manifesto, so not to be taken as seriously as the view Walker offers from the other side. Even though he allows as how the other economics experts are sympathetic to the President, an independently researched and published book and opinion piece isn’t even remotely the same thing as an actual party platform. It’s rather disingenuous to present these as apples-to-apples.

I suppose it would be churlish to compare word counts here, like they did for the debates. This is just one more piece to support the BBC’s overall Narrative that there is no legitimate opposition to the President’s policies, and that those who express the desire to vote against Him are motivated by something else.

For a hint at Walker’s personal political views, see this old piece where he sanitizes the political views and writings of that well-known eugenics fan and Stalinist, Bernard Shaw.

Mardell Stares Into The Abyss

Mark Mardell seems to be preparing himself for a Romney win. Of course, it won’t be the President’s fault. From the BBC’s in-house magazine:

Mark Mardell… Our man in Washington

Millions more will turn out for the general election, but Mardell senses a great disillusionment in America and believes that this could be crucial to President Obama’s chances for reelection. Asked for a prediction, he replies that it will come down to turnout. ‘I think if he’s defeated he will be defeated by people who quite like him, don’t like Romney that much, but decide to stay at home [on election day].’

“Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!  (John XIII:38)

What’s this disillusionment about? Why would these people who like Him decline to vote for Him? They’re not racist all of a sudden, are they?

He admits that problems with the economy perhaps stem from American policies rather than presidential decisions….

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.  (Romans IX:30-32)

It’s not His fault, you see. Congress failed Him. The people failed Him. Nothing to do with His policies. However, by blaming the faithful for failing Him, the awkward question of why all those people are voting against Him can be avoided.

Plus a nice delusional dig at Romney:

…but believes that foreign policy will certainly take a different ‘tone’ under a Romney term, with ‘implications’ for the UK.

It’s hard to imagine Romney racking up a bigger body count than the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-in-Chief. How many new countries has the President taken war into again?

Actually, Mardell has always been firmly against the UK helping the US in Iraq and Afghanistan (he mentions them specifically), and for some reason thinks Romney will be George Bush all over again and drag you into new wars. Hasn’t the President been very clear, for example, that He won’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, and that there were “no options off the table”? This is a White House talking point, nothing more. Of course, it could also be a tacit admission that in a second term, the President will let Iran, China, and Russia do whatever they like. Which makes Mardell’s focus on Bush’s wars and the (economic) “It all started in America” meme all the more curious. After all, the President did tell Medvedev to sit tight on the European missile situation for now because He’ll have more flexibility then. But Mardell’s worried about what Romney will do.

Read the rest of it for laughs. His continued bewilderment by us United Statesians would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad and a little tiresome. My favorite line, though, is this:

While Mardell is cautious with his language at times, worried about how it might be interpreted, there are hints that he is a passionate man with strong beliefs.

Understatement of the year. They know it, and Mardell knows it. They just don’t care. But by all means, they expect you to continue to trust them on US issues.

Katty Kay Tweets Political Endorsement

The latest tweet from Katty Kay, BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of what’s left of BBC World News America, and the highest-profile Beeboid in the US:

First of all, Bloomberg is no longer a Republican, hasn’t been for years. He quit that Party and has been calling himself an independent since 2007 – which Katty knows for a fact – so the whole “bi-partisan” thing is false right away. Not only that, but as Katty also well knows, Bloomberg is a life-long Democrat who switched to Republican only so he could run for New York City mayor without having to bribe the Democrat machine in certain outer boroughs because he felt he’d stand out better among the Republican candidates. Quite frankly, Katty Kay is being dishonest when she calls this a bi-partisan ticket.

_______________

UPDATE: Katty’s partisan ticket isn’t even an original thought. She’s merely regurgitating partisan opinion from her friends within the Beltway Bubble:

 

 

 

That’s the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker, btw.

_______________

Just another biased display from perhaps the most hyper-partisan Beeboid in the US. Here’s Katty displaying her advocacy for Climate Change legislation with Mayor Bloomberg himself. And here she is just the other day on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” (where she’s a regular panelist in her official BBC capacity) expressing her frustration with the lackluster message coming out of the President’s campaign. Why trust this woman on anything anymore? A complaint has been sent to the BBC, and since she does work in the US and report on US issues, they can’t give me the brush-off right away.

Note that this is an officially sanctioned BBC twitter account. The logo is featured prominently and there is no “views my own” get-out-of-bias-free disclaimer.

Over to you, professional journalists and media experts who defend the indefensible.

Nature or Nurture? Justin Webb Opens His Diary

Apologies for being two weeks late getting to this, but it’s not time-sensitive, and so here it is now. Justin Webb wrote a “Diary” installment for the Spectator issue published on Oct. 13. They’ve turned off the pay wall for a few weeks since launching the new online format, so for the time being you can read the whole thing here.

I’m interested in observing Webb’s personal opinions, so we can judge if this influences his broadcasting in any way. With this in mind, check out the obvious enthusiasm with which he remarks that Miami is controlled by non-white, non-English speaking people. It’s one thing to make the impartial observation that the region has become this way, and to point out the geographical and political reasons behind it. It’s quite another to express approval.

I am still buzzing with the sheer un-American hedonism of Florida’s finest city. The really good thing about Miami, they say, is how close it is to the USA. Quite right: it is close but separate. It is more than ever the capital of Latin America, home to a Spanish-language media market that extends — carelessly skipping over political borders and anti-immigration fences — through Mexico and Honduras and Nicaragua, down as far as Colombia and Venezuela.

Because he’s judging the entire situation in Miami based on the color of the protagonists’ skin, he approves. Why? Why is it a good thing? By his own admission, ol’ Justin is not a fan of the US. Oh, sure, he likes many of the inhabitants individually, as people. He even thinks his youngest daughter’s flat vowels were so cute that he regrets that she’s lost her US accent now.

But don’t take my word for his biased reporting. Take his, as broadcast in January 2006, while he was still working the US beat. While talking with Stephen Sakur on air, he criticized what he considered to be an anti-American tendency at the BBC and other media outlets, specifically about the false moral equivalency of saying the US was just as bad or worse than any brutal dictatorship. Listeners complained to the BBC about such pro-US bias, and ol’ Justin was compelled to defend himself a few days later. I’ve bolded what I think are the key bits.

Roger Bolton: I spoke to our correspondent this week, and asked if he had gone native

Justin Webb: No, I haven’t, and what I would say to those who complained about me is that I genuinely do apologize to them. It’s not my business to upset and annoy people and its not my business to be seen to be partial or indeed to be partial. And, to the extent that I was in this broadcast, then I think I do owe them an apology.

RB: You agree you were a little partial. You expressed yourself perhaps a little too warmly?

JW: Possibly a little too warmly. But what I was trying to do – and I would say this in mitigation – is puncture an atmosphere which developed, I thought, during this broadcast and which I think does occasionally develop on the BBC, and on other broadcasting outlets, where there is a kind of cosy feeling that somehow if only America would behave differently, then everything in the world would be fine. I think that is a view which does annoy and upset Americans, as I said it did. And it’s not just the White House – it is a broader thing than that – and also a view which is, to put it mildly, open to challenge, and that’s what I hoped to do, so to the extent that I upset people, I do apologize for that and I would ask them to listen to the range of work that I do, because America is such an important place I am on the radio pretty much every day, and I don’t think they could generally accuse me of being someone who is pro-American. In fact, most of the work that I do, frankly, is sceptical, certainly about the Bush administration and, to a wider extent, about American policies and motives. But I do think occasionally, and I would reserve this, in the context of a discussion that is an open, free discussion, not a news program, I do think it is important that we keep an eye on this tendency that I think we do sometimes have just to throw up our hands and take the easy road, which is to suggest that everything would be fine if only the Americans behaved better.

In other words, it’s okay for him to be biased against the US and various factions within but it’s not okay for him to show even a hint of bias in support of the US. It’s amusing also due to the fact that ol’ Justin has also admitted to some culpability for the anti-US reporting from the BBC.

America is often portrayed as an ignorant, unsophisticated sort of place, full of bible bashers and ruled to a dangerous extent by trashy television, superstition and religious bigotry, a place lacking in respect for evidence based knowledge.
I know that is how it is portrayed because I have done my bit to paint that picture, and that picture is in many respects a true one.

He’s also admitted another aspect of his bias, for which he has never been brought on air to apologize.

“I’m rude about quite a lot of people, I was very rude about Sarah Palin which upset some people.”

This charming behavior was a prime factor in his getting that Today presenter job. Here’s another example of Webb freely expressing his opinion in way that he simply wouldn’t be allowed to if the subject matter were different:

Stone-Age superstitions

Eleven-year-old Kara Neumann was suffering from type one diabetes, an auto-immune condition my son was recently diagnosed with.

Her family, for religious reasons, decided not to take her to hospital. They prayed by her bedside and the little girl died.

The night before she died – and she would have been in intense discomfort – her parents called the founder of a religious website and prayed with him on the telephone. But they did not call a doctor.

If Kara had been taken to hospital, even at that late stage, insulin could have saved her. She could have been home in a few days and chirpy by the end of the week, as my son was.

It was an entirely preventable death caused, let’s be frank, by some of the Stone Age superstition that stalks the richest and most technologically advanced nation on earth.

Show me one example of any BBC employee who is allowed to say this on air about Islam. Kilroy Silk mentioned it once, but he didn’t get away with it. Yet ol’ Justin can not only openly “deplore” non-Mohammedan religious belief, but gets promoted for it.

This leads us to the conclusion that Justin Webb loathes much of what he sees as the White United States. This in turn makes him celebrate the scene in Miami simply because they’re not white. There’s no other basis for it, and his own words in the Diary piece make that clear.

Getting back to the Spectator Diary, then, Webb gives us prime fodder to consider what I put in my post title: Nature or Nurture? Lots of energy has been spent both here and around the blogosphere and even in the mainstream press about the nature of the internal culture at the BBC. Lord Tebbitt has gone so far as to suggest that their self-selecting method of hiring like-minded people has created this hive-mind which permits the kind of bias I’ve highlighted here, while simultaneously squashing unapproved thoughts and demanding apologies for bias in the other direction.

This brings us to the question: Is it then the innate nature of the people hired, or does the BBC’s internal culture nurture such biased behavior, to the point where people who otherwise wouldn’t be so far to the Left have, as many have suggested about Nick Robinson, gone native? With ol’ Justin, I’d say it’s a bit of both.

Six years ago my mother died and that change came to me that comes to us all when the parents are gone; we are grown up, fully, whether we like it or not, or are ready to cope with it or not. My mother’s birthday was this month and I have rather shamefully failed — yet again — to gather her remaining friends and relations together for some kind of memorial event. But it occurs to me that she, as a socialist, pacifist Quaker, with an admiration for punitive income taxes and Chinese communism, would still have appreciated a birthday mention in the pages of The Spectator. She had a sense of humour, you see: so Happy Birthday, Mum. And although history has yet to smile on all your political programmes, I note, as a dutiful son, that a crisis of capitalism has indeed occurred and that admiration for China, or at least a desire to fly there, animates Conservatives as much as it did you.

We see here that Webb was raised not only Quaker (which, contrary to a certain defender of the indefensible’s assertion, clearly hasn’t made him tolerant of minority religions other than Mohammedanism), but Socialist. This and his LSE education seems to have blinded him to reality, and made him stupidly say that the financial crisis of 2008 was a “crisis of capitalism”, when in fact it was a crisis of capitalists and not-so-capitalist politicians. He would never suggest that Stalin’s mass starvations and purges, or Mao’s devastating Cultural Revolution, or Pol Pot’s killing fields, or what Mugabe has done to Zimbabwe, were crises of Communism or Socialism. He’d say the same thing the rest of the apologists do: these were acts of men, a beautiful ideology ruined by some bad apples. Never mind the clear unawareness that China’s economy, built on smoke and mirrors, is not very far away from its own disaster.

So Webb was born and raised (and then educated) to be a Socialist. Was he similarly prepped to be a Beeboid? He wasn’t raised to be one, but it’s certainly, to borrow from Helen “Hugs” Boaden, in his DNA:

BBC’s Justin Webb reveals his real father was newsreader Peter Woods

Woods was married with two young children when he had an affair with Webb’s mother, Gloria Crocombe. Webb had no contact with his father except for a brief encounter at the age of six months but always knew his true parentage.

It will come as a shock to no one here that this was during the period when there was a very free sexual attitude at the BBC and, as Mark Thompson admitted, had a “massive Left-wing bias”. As for Beeboids having affairs and fathering children out of wedlock, well, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.

(Side note: Interestingly, Webb’s trajectory seems to be mirrored by his successor, Mark Mardell. Like Mardell, ol’ Justin was the BBC’s Brussels-based Europe editor before taking up his US position.)

Is his BBC journalism biased? Yes. It’s been documented here over and over again. Here are just a few examples:

A TANGLED WEBB?

Justin Webb Reveals His Bias And Dishonesty

A TANGLED WEBB

This and That

Justin Webb Reports

This blog has been observing Webb’s bias since at least 2005.

Ol’ Justin was born and bred to be a biased Beeboid. He sought out the BBC like a salmon instinctively returning to its spawning ground. And his biased journalism got him elevated to one of the most coveted spots in BBC broadcasting.

There’s something wrong with the corporate culture which creates this. The left-leaning culture has been there for decades now, and they continue to hire like-minded people, and crack down on unapproved thoughts. That’s what needs to be investigated if the BBC is ever to learn the proper lessons about not only how Jimmy Savile was allowed to get away with what he did, but how the BBC has become such a biased broadcasting organization.

PS: Justin Webb isn’t the only genetic Beeboid. Aside from the Dimbleby dynasty, BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones was not only similarly sired by a Beeboid, but is married to the Co-Chair of the Trust. One has to wonder if, like at certain universities, there’s a legacy admission clause.

Presidential Debate LiveBlog

Why not? For those staying up real late or are in a more convenient timezone, I’m going to attempt to make some real-time comments on the most important debate in human history (unless the President loses, in which case debates don’t really matter). Regional ale will be involved. Then we can look at the BBC’s own live text coverage and compare.

(NB: Page is set to refresh automatically every two minutes. Apologies in advance if that screws up anyone in the middle of a comment.) (Yeah, like anyone’s even paying attention. Get over yourself. -ed)

03.36

I’m calling this one for the President. He didn’t say much that worked, or much that was even really true. But he made contact on pitches and Romney missed a lot.

03.35

Oh God, bad ending from Romney there. Too pleading.

03.34

Hmm, decent dig at the most partisan President in ages. We’ll see if that sticks with anyone.

03.34

Romney missed so many opportunities here. He’s like A-Rod sitting on fastballs and getting called out on strikes, waiting for something gift-wrapped that will never come.

03.32

Plus a class war meme. The rich must pay their fair share. Who defines that?

03.32

What spending don’t you think we need, Mr. President? How are you going to maintain the strongest military in the world when you just told us you were going to cut it way back?

03.31

Back to Bush again. Who buys this besides the Beltway dopes and the HuffPo?

03.31

Wow, no Benghazi. Right there it’s a big victory for the President.

03.29

Someday the Left will stop thinking they’re running against George Bush. Then again, Labour and the BBC still think they’re running against a return to the Thatcher era. If only, eh?

03.29

Romney = Bush! ZZZzzzzzzzzzz.

03.28

Where did trillion come from? He’s just making stuff up now. Nobody bought His trillion claim last time.

03.28

Mr. President: What you define as Government assistance isn’t the same thing as managing a bankruptcy.

03.27

Romney finally got around to mentioning Solyndra, but he didn’t do it right.

03.26

The President better not pin His hopes on people checking the record on this one. He thought GM didn’t go bankrupt.

03.25

Wait, we’re going to rehash the GM bankruptcy error and not Benghazi?

03.25

Interesting riposte from Romney there about how attacking him isn’t a real policy.

03.24

Lame attempt to connect Afghanistan/Iraq to trade focus on Asia-Pacific. That makes no sense.

03.23

Clean energy technology? The bankrupt ones?

03.23

I feel like I’m watching Question Time and waiting for someone to blame Thatcher. No mention of Benghazi? Moderator bias?

03.22

The only reason Romney just pulled that one out of the fire is because he’s finally citing real ugly details about China gets up to.

03.21

Romney’s right about China’s massive malware problem with the hardware they sell us.

03.18

Tariffs on steel, eh? China isn’t even buying right now. Their demand is dropping like a stone.

03.17

Yes we have seen jobs shipped to China. We’ve also seen China dumping cheap solar panels here. All thanks to you.

03.16

China? Running out of time for Benghazi. Is Romney seriously going to let this happen?

03.15

We stood on the side of Democracy? Hell no. You stood on the sidelines of Democracy.

03.14

Platitudes about treating women with respect from the Pres. Like He’s done anything of the sort.

03.14

Romney’s really not doing a great job of portraying the absolute mess in the world as it actually is. Who prepped him here?

03.13

Yes, we sure do know the President’s position on drones. He’s got the highest body count of any Nobel Laureate, probably including Begin and Arafat.

03.12

The President is winning so far mostly because Romney is letting Him.

03.11

We’re already an hour into this, and no mention of Benghazi. Romney’s running out of time.

03.11

Tenuous connection between draw-down in Afghanistan and hiring veterans back home, but I get what He means. I don’t know enough to say how right or wrong that is.

 

03.09

Building bridges and schools. FDR and Ron Paul fans take a drink.

03.09

The President is dodging the question about Afghans being clueless as well. Waffle, waffle, come on, man. Whoops, nation-building at home again. What was the question?

03.08

Um, no it wasn’t. The surge in Afghanistan was not that connected to a withdrawal from Iraq.

03.07

We’re still giving aid to Pakistan? Where’s it going?

03.07

Two gimmes for the President from Romney right there: The Surge, and he’s dodging the question about what if the Afghans are still useless. Can He make contact on either one?

03.05

Good moderation again. They can’t just keep rebutting endlessly every time.

03.04

When that woman’s husband was killed on 9/11, the President was still attending “God Damn America” Church. Just sayin’.

03.04

Oops, the President just pretty much said Pakistan was working against us. He’s right, of course. But they get upset when He says that.

03.03

The President going back to the flip-flopper changeup. Good idea.

03.00

What if Bibi made that 3am phone call? If Benghazi is anything to judge by, the President would call-forward it to Hillary.

03.00

Supporting Democracy? I don’t know which is worse: the President’s support for it overseas, or at home.

02.59

Missiles on Sderot from Hamas? BBC audiences will be shocked to learn that it’s a problem.

02.58

Meh, skipping Israel isn’t relevant when the President was trying to reach out to Muslims. Swing and a miss.

02.57

Uh, oh, the President just screwed up big time. When He came into office, Iran was resurgent but at its weakest point? Where’s that teleprompter?

 

02.56

Um, no. You did make a very apologetic speech. Why do you think they loved you in Cairo?

02.55

Good dig about the Green (almost) Revolution. Can Romney bring it home, though?

02.54

Here we go. Calling the President out on what He really said. He hates that.

02.54

President doing well so far, better than Romney, because He has the advantage of being in office and having specific incidents He can point to. Not, as Mardell said, because of experience vs. a neophyte. So far, anyway. Wait until we get to Benghazi.

02.52

Nice challenge to Romney about having the same ideas there.

02.51

Okay I guess they both have to do this “last resort” dance. Yawn.

02.50

Don’t either of these guys think it’s important to talk about how all the Sunni Arab countries don’t want the Shiite Persians to go nuclear? Is Israel the only reason to do anything?

02.49

Good moderation so far. Best of the lot.

02.48

So why does Iran think the President is going to let them slide?

02.48

Iran won’t get nukes, eh? Your mouth says “no”, but Iran says your eyes told them “yes”.

02.47

Dumb question, I think. Maybe it was just an excuse for both candidates to pander to the Jewish Lobby. This benefits nobody.

02.46

Really bad condescending attitude there from the President. “We have these things called aircraft carriers…” Doesn’t look good. I guess he forgot to mention that one newfangled technology He likes most: drones.

02.45

Heh, Romney’s obviously been reading the Hertiage.org stuff on defense spending. He almost quoted this word for word.

02.44

Did Romney mention SeaQuest? I never liked that show.

02.43

The President doesn’t actually understand the math here on defense spending.

02.41

Medicaid is an open goal for the President there, if He’s on the ball.

02.40

Getting rid of ObamaCare? A cheer just went up across the land. Not at BBC HQ, though.

02.40

President jumped in too early there on Romney’s term and Mass. education. He should have waited.

02.38

The President has the gall to make fun of someone’s budget proposal? Rejecting His budget proposals is the most bi-partisan act Congress has made in the last four years.

02.37

When the President says “teachers”, read: “teachers’ union”. Hello, Wisconsin!

02.37

Education is worse.

02.36

Here come the President’s platitudes again. Take a drink if He says solar power. No wait, it would be more appropriate if you poured your drink down the drain.

02.35

How did a foreign policy question turn into domestic energy policy?

02.35

12 million jobs is fantasy. Don’t waste my time.

02.34

The President just made that up about Romney complimenting Cheney.

02.34

You’re going to raise spending and debt every year for the next four years. What responsible plan?

02.33

What plan? Manufacturing back to our shores? BS! GE is sending jobs over there left and right. Guess which company’s CEO is the President’s jobs czar.

02.32

What? How are we stronger? We’ve lost ground on nearly every single foreign policy goal.

02.32

Hey, Romney: deep military cuts are part of the silly debt agreement we made last year. It will happen because no other plans have been made.

02.31

It must be weird for the two candidates to sit there and feel like they’re talking to the moderator. It’s gotta be hard to feel like you’re connecting to anyone like that.

02.30

This debate thing works better when the President isn’t calling on teacher to shut Romney up.

02.29

Romney missed a chance there to remind everyone that Candidate Obamessiah said in 2008 that massive debt is unpatriotic.

02.28

Decent line from Romney about why the US leads. Not sure how it will sell with Mardell.

02.27

Ron Paul fans are loving the President right now.

02.27

The Egyptian youth want unicorns and rainbows. And He’s the President to give it to them!

02.25

No you haven’t. The Egyptian President is calling for Shariah.

02.25

Yeah, Syria works for the President, doesn’t work for Romney here.

02.23

What gall for Capt. Dithering to talk about why we shouldn’t have pulled out of Libya. He didn’t even want to go in. Steady thoughtful leadership, my arse!

02.22

Nice handover to the Pres. there by the moderator. Maybe it’s easier for him than it was for Jim Lehrer to quickly do it low key because he’s so close to them in this format.

02.21

If I take a drink every time somebody mentions Israel, this is going to be a really difficult evening.

02.20

Oh boy, both of them pandering on Israel now. Do they have to outdo each other on this?

02.19

Dude, we are arming the Syrian opposition already. You know that.

02.19

Good mention of Turkey by the Pres. there. Needs to expand from the “Israel is our friend” reasoning.

 

02.18

Um, Syria is far from isolated……

02.17

Nation-building here at home? What does that even mean? He stumbled over trying to say what it means, which means that was a phrase He memorized with no substance.

02.16

Jooooish Lobby alert.

02.16

Oops, stupid remark from the Pres. about why keeping troops in Iraq is a bad idea.

02.15

President is rebutting better now. So far this format is working okay.

02.15

Nice riposte from Romney about that open-mic remark to Medved. That’s preparation.

02.14

The Pres. has been reading the Left-wig blogs about how the best angle to attack Romney is the flip-flopper thing. Take a drink if He says “Romnesia”.

02.13

Um, we do have troops in Iraq to this day.

02.12

WTF? Russia is cool now? How’s the reset button workin’ out for ya now, Mr. President?

02.12

BBC audiences will be shocked to learn some of what Romney’s saying about Mali and those other countries.

02.11

Foreign aid? Translation: handing money to kleptocrats.

02.10

The President is showing some angry face. He needs to relax that, doesn’t look good.

02.10

Um, less and less countries are standing with us. Which is part of the problem.

02.09

Good opening from the President as well, esp. the bit about making us safer and getting rid of the AQ brass. Since it’s Him, the Beeboids won’t be complaining about exactly how He “went after” those trying to kill us.

02.07

Damn, Romney spiked the Bin Laden football already! Do I take a drink?

02.07

Decent opening by Romney on what many of us hoped to happen with the Arab Spring. Let’s see if he can make connections that will make any sense.

02.05

Take a drink every time the President spikes the Bin Laden football.

02.04

Two minutes, but how many words?????

02.03

Was Bob’s remark about not sharing the questions a little swipe at Madame Crowley?

02.03

Here we go. Ah, Bob Shieffer (sp?). He should be better than the last two, hopefully not quite as permissive as Lehrer.

01.56

I haven’t even noticed who the moderator will be tonight. Can’t be any worse than the last two.

01.36

Ah, that’s better. Back in ten.

01.34

Did I turn off the stupid social media stuff?

01.32

Seems to be working. Tune back in at 9:00pm EDT (-5hrs GMT) or 1:00am UK time. Anyone still up please feel free to contribute in the comments.

01.30

Test?