Life In These United States – No. 6

Here’s a new one, clocking in at 14:35. Sorry I missed last week, just had no time to prepare anything. As always, this is meant as a rebuttal to BBC reporting on US issues.

Life In These United States – No. 6

(Audio hosted by EyeTube)

SOURCES:

 Weak US job figures for May hit markets

Katty Kay’s tweet

More Sub-Par Employment Numbers

Politifact: Voter fraud means GOP candidates in Wisconsin “need to do a point or two better” to win, GOP chairman Reince Priebus says

Why are Walker allies so rattled by early voting?

Wisconsin Voter Fraud Has Already Happened

Wisconsin voter fraud proves need for ID laws

Wisconsin, 2004

BBC US Election section (click on the map for Wisconsin page)

Wisconsin’s balanced budget comes at political cost

MI Report Chronicles Success of Wisconsin Budget Reforms

On wrong side of issues, Obama avoids Wisc.

Crowd for Clinton-Barrett rally in Milwaukee 10 minutes before scheduled start: 400 people?

Wisconsin Unions See Ranks Drop Ahead of Recall Vote

BBC Changes The Story From Wisconsin, But Censors Even More

More BBC Dishonesty About Wisconsin

BBC Bias And Wisconsin – Again

Greater Wisconsin Political Fund

Letter telling people their neighbors will be told if they vote or not

Letter informing people of their neighbors’ political donations

Escape From New York? High-Taxing Empire State Loses 3.4 Million Residents in 10 Years

Taxrates.com: Florida

State Sales, Gasoline, Cigarette, and Alcohol Tax Rates by State, 2000-2010

Jewish Population of the United States, by State

Obama’s ‘To-Do’ List Finds Few Takers

BBC: Indiana Senator Lugar loses Republican primary fight

Mark Mardell: Lugar defeat shows the Tea Party is alive and well

House votes to approve FDA funding bill

House Vote 247 – House Approves $310 Billion in Cuts

House Vote 177 – Passes Business Tax Cut

Senate Vote 96 – Approves Extension of Export-Import Bank

 

Reporting The US On The Bias

“Cutting on the bias” in wood or textiles means cutting diagonally against the grain so that it accentuates the lines. That’s what’s going on at the BBC’s special section on the US 2012 election. It hasn’t been updated in a couple of days, and here’s how it appears now:

White House propaganda, White House propaganda, and more of it, with a couple of fluff pieces thrown in. The top story at the moment is the BBC’s explanation of the President’s first ad attacking Romney for his association with Bain Capital. It’s become more balanced than it initially was, as people here pointed out earlier this week, and presumably after somebody at the BBC realized it. It’s still not entirely balanced as they’ve got the President’s ad embedded right at the top of the piece, while including only a link to Romney’s rebuttal. The link below that is to a second attack ad on Romney on the same topic. No links to anything from Romney.

The “Latest news” section is slightly out of date, but the bias is still obvious. Besides the news brief about Ron Paul ending his “active campaign”, the other featured reports are about Hollywood feting the President for His recent endorsement of homosexual marriage, a piece about Romney reacting contritely to that Washington Post hit piece – now proven to be less than accurate, although the BBC has never bothered to inform you of that – about him allegedly bullying a homosexual a few decades ago (another score for the White House campaign machine), and a piece lamenting Sen. Richard Lugar’s defeat in the Republican primary for Senate in Indiana. We’re told by “correspondents” that this will make the Senate more partisan than ever. Translation: the Democrat majority won’t get their way so easily. This is a biased position, of course, shown to be all the more ludicrous since the Senate just rejected the President’s own budget proposal 99-0. You can’t get more bi-partisan than that, which is why the BBC has so far censored that news.

The video features also reveal the biased grain in the BBC’s perspective on the US elections. The section on Battleground States isn’t all that bad in general, and I won’t try to read too much into a perceived emphasis on Democrat optimism. But there is a blatant lie in the section on Wisconsin. You have to click on the State in the Battleground feature to read the following:

Barack Obama will be hoping to hold on to the sizeable majority he won in 2008, and will be helped by the state’s strong union movement. The unions have been leading the opposition to new Republican Governor Scott Walker’s controversial bid to restrict workers’ collective bargaining rights. The proposals led to mass protests and a successful attempt to trigger a recall election for Mr Walker’s job.

The bit I’ve bolded is, quite simply, a lie. What Walker did was restrict the right of public sector unions’ rights on collective bargaining. The BBC admitted that part when they first began reporting on this story, yet here they deliberately mislead you to think it’s an attack on all workers, full stop. I simply don’t accept the excuse that this was simplified due to space constraints or because it’s an unimportant distinction. And of course, by “controversial”, the BBC means that the unions didn’t like it. Another issue of bias here is that the BBC gives you only the Democrat unions issue, and not the budget disaster Gov. Walker faced upon taking office, which just as much a concern for voters. The budget concern is why Walker sought to restrict public sector union power and their burden on the State. It’s not all union workers everywhere, only the public sector ones, which is why I maintain that it’s an important distinction. As most people here will know, their coverage of the Wisconsin situation has been extremely biased and at times dishonest. Plenty of background can be found here, here, here, here, and here. I don’t expect the BBC to update this section with the news that the union-backed candidate lost the Democrat primary for the recall, which kind of puts a damper on the whole issue, making the BBC’s take even less useful.

The magazine piece explaining why candidates’ wives don’t win elections is reasonable, no bias there, for a change.

Next up is the piece by Justin Webb – Mark Mardell’s predecessor as North America editor, whose gushing reports about The Obamessiah during the 2008 election won him the coveted seat on Today – explaining why the Republicans aren’t ready to lead. My fisking of ol’ Justin’s piece is here.

Then you get Jonny Dymond’s biased piece telling you how the Republican Party is just for white men, freezing out Hispanics. It’s just one in a series of race-baiting pieces from Dymond, whose remit seems to be proving that Republicans and any opponents of the President are racist. See here, for example.

If you still aren’t convinced that Republicans/conservatives are awful, then you can move on to former Obamessiah activist Matt Danzico’s “bespoke” magazine piece about yet another one of those studies showing conservatives are inspired by negatives while liberals are inspired by positives. The study’s goal was to prove a biological and cognitive difference between liberals and conservatives. I won’t bother to address how this leads us down a path to eugenics, but suffice to say that it’s always liberals these days who want to use “science” to prove that they’re superior. Danzico, of course, slightly misrepresents the findings. Another way of describing the findings can be found in the University of Nebraska’s own school paper: conservatives tend to be more realistic while liberals tend to be more idealistic. I find it amusing that a student journalist spins the study less than an adult professional journalist.

And finally, there’s Adam Blenford’s piece worrying that too many people in the US aren’t registered to vote. Setting up the article by using a Republican as an example of a dedicated voter betrays the bias, if one understands that voter “disenfranchisement” is the primary motivation behind ACORN and Left-wing activists who encourage absentee ballots (Blenford uses the youth vote, another Left-wing target demographic, as his example there), same-day registration, and who attack laws requiring ID to vote, all methods behind voter fraud. Some people here may remember Newsnight hiring Left-wing activist and “investigative journalist” to do a special report telling you that only white Republicans engage in voter fraud, and specifically to disenfranchise black people. He also defended ACORN against charges of voter fraud by saying that, even though they do it, it doesn’t affect elections. If that’s not enough to convince you, just do an internet search with the term “voter disenfranchisement 2012” and see who’s worrying about it and what issues are the focus. It’s obvious.

While not every single report is riddled with bias, much of it is, and nearly every single piece on the BBC’s US Election 2012 page is written from a Left-wing perspective one way or another. There’s no memo handed down to make this happen, no directive from on high. It’s due to the BBC hiring what seem to be exclusively Left-wing staff. If they all think that way, there’s no need for an organized institutional bias: it will happen naturally.

Life In These United States – No. 3

The latest edition of my report is up on EyeTube now (no embed possible at the moment). It clocks in at 15:23. Some stuff the BBC covered badly, and some they haven’t covered at all. Sources are below, and my thanks to all those who took the time to listen to the previous editions.

Life In These United States – No. 3

SOURCES:

BBC report about slowing US jobs growth, “fewer than expected”

Civilian labor force at 30-year low

NY Times report about slow jobs growth and people dropping out of the workforce

Washington Post trying to defend the President on unemployment

Long-term unemployed make up 42.4% of the total people out of work

Commodities and oil down

BBC report on new Keystone pipeline plan

President caves on part of Keystone after trying to put it off until after the election

Sierra Club criticizing new plan

Democrats voting for pipeline approval, too

Canada will just sell the oil to the Chinese

85% of tungsten supply is mined in China

China has 60% of tungsten market

China floods tungsten market to keep prices down and maintain their hold

US could be world leader in mineral supply

Obama Administration’s regulatory agenda hurting mining, energy production

Obama Adminstration still trying for more restrictive mining regulations

Niobium in Nebraska

Government prosecution of student loan default rose 25.7%

Columbia University course on the Occupy Movement

Government screwing up student loan interest rates

Student loan defaults rising

$67 billion in student loan default

The President reads policy speech on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Yes, it’s a violation of campaign law

BBC Censorship: Occupiers Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Bridge Edition

OccupyArrests.com

Occupy violence in Seattle, LA, SF, NYC

Occupiers attack photo-journalists

Katty Kay on the Occupy Movement

The BBC’s Dishonest and Biased Questions For Republican Candidates

Saturday night’s Republican candidates’ debate was on the topic of foreign affairs.  In that spirit, the BBC asked PJ Crowley, a former State Dept. flack, to come up with a list of what the media likes to call “3 am phone call” questions, after then-Senator Hillary Clinton’s campaign ad that was critical about her opponent, when she was running for President, not being ready for major foreign policy decisions.  As this is the BBC handling a US issue, before we even get to the questions there’s a glaring bit of bias and dishonesty.

Right at the top of the page, next to his photo, the BBC describes Crowley as “Former US Assistant Secretary of State”.  Partially false.  He was actually the US Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs. The White House officially used that title for him,  In other words, he was a mouthpiece, not a policy wonk or actual diplomat.  His career has been entirely in Public Affairs, not actual policy making. Even CNN referred to him as “State Department spokesman”.  What’s that you’re saying? That CNN link reveals something else the BBC casually left out about Crowley?  You’re right.  They forget to mention that Crowley was fired for criticizing the unfriendly detention treatment of Pvt. Bradley Manning, the Wikihacker who stole all those documents and gave them to St. Julian to publish, in the hopes of harming US foreign policy goals.

The reason the BBC redacted the key part of Crowley’s title is to give you the impression that his opinion carries more weight than it should.  I have a screen shot in case of stealth edit.  So this piece is misleading even before it starts.  They even forgot to mention that Crowley worked for The Obamessiah Administration. So he’s partisan as well, but the BBC doesn’t want you to know about it.  Once again, a vox pops presented as an innocent commentator is anything but the way the BBC wants you to think. (They did mention it at the very bottom, which I missed. My thanks to Craig for pointing out my error)

Now for the questions.  I’m not a Republican candidate, but I’m going to answer them as if I were, just to highlight the bias.

Actually, before getting to the questions, just have a look at the sarcastic, dismissive way Crowley misrepresents the candidates’ various answers.  He even spends a moment belittling the candidates as being ignorant and bashing Bush (calling Musharaf his “BFF”).  So even before you get to the substance, you already know where this is coming from: an attack on the President’s opponents, full stop.

Okay, now the questions.

1. The IAEA this week says that Iran more or less knows how to build a nuclear weapon. Assuming when you become president, there is not yet evidence of an actual weapon, what will your policy be? Will you continue to contain Iran and add pressure through sanctions until it is clear Iran is constructing a bomb? Or are you prepared to act preemptively to prevent Iran from acquiring a weapon?

This is a “gotcha” question.  “Preemptively” can mean many things. It doesn’t have to mean bombing the crap out of Iran, which is what the question obviously implies.  Under my Administration, the US would only act “preemptively” if we had real proof that Iran was about to acquire an actual weapon, or had just acquired one.  But as I said, that can mean many forms of action, both covert and diplomatic, not just bombing the crap out of them, which is what you’re trying to catch me out saying.  So the question is designed for one particular answer, sorry you’re not going to get it.

2. The Bush administration invaded Iraq to eliminate suspected weapons of mass destruction. The Bush administration negotiated an end to the Libyan WMD programme, one of its signature achievements. You all have strongly indicated that Iran should never gain a nuclear weapon. Is the ultimate solution to declare the Middle East a nuclear-weapons-free zone, as called for under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty?

That’s a nice dig at Israel, isn’t it?  Let’s be honest about the subtext of your question.  When you say the “Middle East” as a region, that includes Israel, which is the only country so many people on the Left and in the media are really worried about.  How many times have we heard the whining about hypocrisy in allowing Israel to have nukes but not wanting Iran to have them.  Please rephrase the question more honestly.  Still, such a treaty in that region is sheer fantasy anyway, and not because Israel has secret nukes.

3. Most of you have said that Libya was not a vital interest to the United States and that you would not have militarily intervened. Does that mean you would have preferred leaving Gaddafi in power? If not, then why was Obama wrong?

On this issue, my position was different from that of most of these candidates.  Libya is a vital interest to the US because of the threat of Islamic fascism taking over if Gaddafi was removed.  I think we all know by now that’s what’s going to happen.  But that means the President was wrong to sit on his hands until Secretary of State Clinton and her staff had to convince him that it wasn’t working, and that he was going to continue to butcher his people and plunge his country into chaos.  That’s never good for US interests. Plus, there’s always an economic component to vital national interests: if Libya ends up being a reasonable, stable country on the road to prosperity, that can only be good for everyone. Since the question of military intervention became moot once Britain and France and their coalition were going to do it anyway, it was in the US’s best interest to at least take the diplomatic lead with rebels and any other potential new leadership faction.  That didn’t happen.  We sat on our hands out of fear of the usual complaints of US Imperialism. And look where it got us?  Another potential Mullocracy.  That’s not good for US vital interests.

4. President Bush achieved regime change in Iraq, but at a cost of about $800bn (£502bn). President Obama’s intervention in Libya, achieving a similar result, cost just over a billion. Keeping in mind our current financial situation, as President, what are the lessons learned from both experiences?

Total apples and oranges here.  Regime change in Libya was due to a whole host of factors, only one of which was US strategic bombing.  There was no rebel army waiting to move against Sadaam.  There are huge geographical and tactical differences between the two countries.  There was no Arab Spring-type scenario going on in the region at the time.  The only lesson to be learned here is that this question reveals a willful cluelessness and that the questioner has an agenda to push.

5. If the deficit super-committee fails, defence will take an even bigger hit than the roughly $430bn already planned. Congress may delay sequestration until after next year’s election. In 2013, are you prepared to enact deeper defence cuts to balance the budget? If not, please explain how, if Ronald Reagan could not raise defence spending, lower taxes and balance the budget, results would be different in your administration?

Another apples and oranges question revealing cluelessness and an agenda to push.  Under my Adminstration, there will be all sorts of cuts and reform that will mean we won’t have to decimate Defense.  Repealing ObamaCare alone with save nearly enough money to render this question moot. Furthermore, reducing the Departments of Education, Energy, and Health to shadows of their current selves, along with a complete dismantling and redefining of the EPA will save tens of billions. Getting rid of the insane amount of regulations which harm small businesses and curtail most others will help increase revenues and growth.  Reagan had a completely different economic situation, and didn’t have the massive, sclerotic bureaucracies we have now.  It’s ridiculous to compare the two situations.

6. Will any troops be in Afghanistan in 2016? If so, doing what?

Who knows?  A million things could happen between now and then.  Nobody wants troops there just for the sake of it. Next!

7. You have all declared you are strong supporters of Israel. Are the foreign policies of the United States and Israel identical? If not, name one area where you believe Israeli actions are contrary to US interests. What will you do to encourage a change in Israeli policy?

Another dig at Israel.  One could just as easily say that the foreign policies of the US are virtually identical to those of Britain, France, Germany, South Korea, and Gambia. All those countries surely have one area where we disagree. This question is asked from the perspective that having very similar foreign policy goals to Israel is a problem.  Why?  Ask me a more honest question, and I’ll try to answer it.

(Remember, this anti-Israel mug was the Spokesman for the State Dept. No wonder so many people have been worried that The Obamessiah is going to throw Israel under the bus.)

8. Do you consider climate change a national security issue? If not, as president, what will you say to the president of the Maldives when he tells you that emissions of greenhouse gases by China and the United States threaten the very existence of his country because of rising sea levels?

Climate Change is only a national security issue in that all these draconian rules and regulations forced on us by Warmists are causing serious damage to the economy, and to those of our strategic allies.  If the President of the Maldives tells me that my country is dooming the existence of his, I’ll tell him he’s full of it and needs to find another way to get my country to redistribute wealth to his.

9. Some of you have indicated a willingness to militarily intervene in Mexico to control violence perpetrated by drug cartels. Those cartels are battling Mexican authorities using weapons purchased in the United States, including combat weapons like the AK-47. If the war in Mexico threatens the United States, should we on national security grounds first restrict the sale of combat weapons that cannot be plausibly tied to individual security before putting troops in harm’s way at significant cost?

The reason those drug cartels are using weapons purchased in the US is because the ATF made that happen.  How can you not be aware of this?  Operation Fast and Furious and the rest of it has lead to how many deaths now?  That whole scheme was created specifically to cause the exact trouble you’re now using to demand stricter gun control.  The current Administration has the blood of US border agents and hundreds of innocent Mexican civilians on its hands, and you’re asking me about stopping something that’s happening only because the current Administration made it so?  You bet I’ll stop it, but not what you’re hoping for. Unbelievable.

(Of course the BBC has misled the public on this issue, and engaged in suppressing news which might make you better informed. So they can get away with such an unbelievably, disgustingly biased question.)

10. Congress is considering legislation that would require all terrorism suspects to be tried in military rather than civilian courts. Do you support this legislation? If so, given the strong record of open trials and convictions in civilian courts, why do you think they are not the appropriate venue for at least certain kinds of terrorism cases?

 Yes.  We’re at war. Different ball game.

Thank you for having me here today.  Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.

BBC Censorship: Occupier Ugliness Edition

Has anyone else noticed that the BBC has gone totally silent about the Occupy Wall St. movement in the US? With the exception of a couple stories about the violence innocent exercising of rights in Oakland, where they shut down a shipping port and attacked police were victims of unprovoked brutality from The Man, there has been scarcely a peep from BBC News for days.

After a flurry of encomia impartial reports on how nice and earnest and well-meaning the Occupiers are, the more violent and unhinged they became, the quieter the Beeboids got. Just two days after the original Occupiers hit Zuccotti Park, Daniel Nasaw tried to tie them directly to the Democrat/Union protests in Wisconsin (which the BBC also reported dishonestly), claiming that this was the “birth of a movement”.  It all seemed so wonderfully clear then, didn’t it?

The Occupier activity around the country is one of the most important stories going lately, especially since the Oakland City Council is about to cave in to the violence and now support the Occupiers. But the BBC seems to be censoring nearly all news of it. They’ve gone silent because they don’t want you to know about things like this:

Zuccotti protesters put up women-only tent to prevent sexual assaults

Zuccotti Park has become so overrun by sexual predators attacking women in the night that organizers felt compelled to set up a female-only sleeping tent yesterday to keep the sickos away.*

 Or this:

Occupy protest turns violent outside Washington Convention Center

UPDATE 11/7: Occupy DC becoming increasingly violent, police say

Citing injuries to five people outside the Washington Convention Center on Friday night, the mayor urged the demonstators to show restraint so that their protests are not discredited by violence.

“We will not tolerate behavior that jeopardizes public safety,” Gray said.

Lanier said in a statement that the protesters have become “increasingly confrontational and violent toward uninvolved bystanders and motorists.”
Related Examiner Occupy DC coverage
Jesse Jackson downtown Monday, compares Occupy to civil rights movement
D.C. police chief says Occupy protesters getting more violent

Four of the injured people appear to be protesters themselves. A fifth injured person was a 78-year-old woman who was knocked down while attempting to get around the Occupy DC’s blockade of a dinner for a conservative group Friday.

“That is no longer a peaceful protest,” Lanier said.

And this is coming from the DC police who generally support the Occupiers’ cause so much that the 911 operators hung up on a couple people inside the AFP event who called to complain about Occupiers blocking all exits and preventing people from leaving.

Or this:

Occupy Chicago protesters interrupt Wisconsin governor’s speech here

The Republican governor, who appeared before about 300 people at a public policy breakfast at Chicago’s Union League Club, saw his speech interrupted by union-backed Occupy Chicago protesters for about six minutes before they left the event.

Or this:

Occupy Boston Occupies Israeli Consulate

According to the Twitter feed of @kade_ellis, chants included, “hey hey, Ho ho! Israeli apartheid’s got to go!,” “long live the intifada! Intifada intifada!,” “not another nickel! Not another dime! No more money for Israel’s crimes!,” and “Viva viva Palestina!”

Or this:


A Chill Descends On Occupy Wall Street; “The Leaders of the allegedly Leaderless Movement”

On Sunday, October 23, a meeting was held at 60 Wall Street. Six leaders discussed what to do with the half-million dollars that had been donated to their organization, since, in their estimation, the organization was incapable of making sound financial decisions. The proposed solution was not to spend the money educating their co-workers or stimulating more active participation by improving the organization’s structures and tactics. Instead, those present discussed how they could commandeer the $500,000 for their new, more exclusive organization. No, this was not the meeting of any traditional influence on Wall Street. These were six of the leaders of Occupy Wall Street (OWS).

What on earth? The BBC told me that this was a leaderless movement, which is why the poor lambs had so much difficulty getting a clear message out to the media.

Occupy Wall Street’s Structure Working Group (WG) has created a new organization called the Spokes Council. “Teach-ins” were held to workshop and promote the Spokes Council throughout the week of October 22-28. I attended the teach-in on Sunday the 23rd.

According to Marisa Holmes, one of the most outspoken and influential leaders of OWS, the NYC-GA started receiving donations from around the world when OWS began on September 17. Because the NYC-GA was not an official organization, and therefore could not legally receive thousands of dollars in donations, the nonprofit Alliance for Global Justice helped OWS create Friends of Liberty Plaza, which receives tax-free donations for OWS. Since then, Friends of Liberty Plaza has received over $500,000. Until October 28, anybody who wanted to receive more than $100 from Friends of Liberty Plaza had to go through the often arduous modified consensus process (90% majority) of the NYC-GA—which, despite its well-documented inefficiencies, granted $25,740 to the Media WG for live-stream equipment on October 12, and $1,400 to the Food and Medical WGs for herbal tonics on October 18.

At the teach-in, Ms. Holmes maintained that while the NYC-GA is the “de facto” mechanism for distributing funds, it has no right to do so, even though she acknowledged that most donors were likely under the impression that the NYC-GA was the only organization with access to these funds. Two other leaders of the teach-in, Daniel and Adash, concurred with Holmes.

Ms. Holmes also stated at the teach-in that five people in the Finance WG have access to the $500,000 raised by Friends of Liberty Plaza. When Suresh Fernando, the man taking notes, asked who these people are, the leaders of the Structure WG nervously laughed and said that it was hard to keep track of the “constantly fluctuating” heads of the Finance WG. Mr. Fernando made at least four increasingly explicit requests for the names. Each request was turned down by the giggling, equivocating leaders.

And this is from an Occupier comrade.  Oh, dear, how the anarchists hate it when they get what they didn’t understand they actually wanted.  And only a couple weeks ago they all seemed so warm and fuzzy about their cute little group democracy.  I got the impression from my visit to Zuccotti Park that this is how it was going to be, and it turns out that I was right.

So how about it, BBC?  Where are you?  You were so sure this was an important movement only a couple weeks ago, yet now it’s as if you’re bored and have moved on. Reality not fitting the Narrative?  The double standard between the BBC’s coverage of the Occupiers and their reporting on the Tea Party movement couldn’t be more obvious.  Hey, maybe the BBC’s silence about all this now is a belated attempt to make up for the fact that they censored all news about the Tea Party movement for the first two months of its existence.

What disgraceful behavior for a news organization which claims to be superior to the rest of them.

* I blame Bloomberg and the NYPD for this and not the Occupy movement, to be honest, as they’ve let drugged out homeless men hang out in the park. Although their childish refusal to allow police to do their jobs inside their precious encampment is also a factor. There are rumors that the police actually direct the homeless there with promises of free food.  But that should be a scandalous story in and of itself: evil billionaire politician and oppressive authorities using a sick tactic to secretly undermine the sainted protest with no regard for safety or decency.  How about it, BBC?  Any of you dozen or so intrepid young digital media geniuses looking for a big scoop?  I won’t hold my breath.

The BBC Loves Left-wing Protests

As everyone saw over the last few days, there was a reasonable-sized far-Left protest in New York City against “Wall Street”. The BBC’s coverage of these people was as different from the way they reported on Tea Party protests as the goals of the former are from the latter. In other words, vastly different.

As just one of the most obvious examples, I’d like to see someone show me the Tea Party equivalent of the video the BBC posted in one of their follow-up reports about the Wall Street protest. The opening lines of the voice-over:

“Today, there was a protest march of over 1000 peaceful protesters, some with signs, chanting peaceful slogans….”

The speaker is one of the protesters, given air time by the BBC to describe the protest from his point of view. This is part of an interview with him by the BBC News. Can anyone find me even a single example of the BBC doing this at a Tea Party protest? Also, Spot the Missing Word: “anger”. Where’s the anger, BBC?

Notice that there is talk of arrests, police needing to use force, etc. As always, the violence comes from the Left, yet the BBC ignores it. In stark contrast, please recall just how many times the BBC told us about the “boiling anger” of the Tea Party movement. Every report mentioned the “anger”. Yet when we get BBC reports on far-Left protests, we hear how “peaceful” they are. In fact, the BBC even allows the protesters to define themselves, again a 180 degree turnaround from the BBC’s treatment of Tea Partiers. How many arrests have there been at Tea Party events, BBC? Answers on the head of a pin…..

Let’s also recall the time that Mark Mardell took a silly unique incident of a senior citizen engaging in a momentary physical struggle with a Left-winger, and spun it as the violence coming from the Right. In actual fact, it was the Left-winger who started the physical confrontation, which ended in the older man biting off the Left-winger’s fingertip. Mardell used this to frighten you, and threaten about a looming violence coming from the Right. Which, of course, has never materialized. The offensive, biased top BBC man in the US even questioned the rational behind the senior citizen’s political point of view, and even ended his short post by asking: “And can any Americans out there explain why this debate has got quite so heated?”

Wake me up when he does this about one of these far-Left protesters. It won’t happen, because he and the rest of the BBC understand and sympathize with their motives. On the other hand, when it’s the far-Left on which they’re reporting, the BBC takes great care to make sure to avoid giving you the impression that these people are filled with rage, and give them unchallenged air time to express their intentions. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the likes of Peter Allen saying that these far-Left protesters are “a bit strong for our tastes.”

The best the BBC can do is edit this video report by an actual Beeboid so that it opens with the words “Angry at their treatment by the banks, and by the police.” How have the banks mistreated these people, I wonder? A strange characterization, to be sure. The title of the report shows that these particular far-Left protesters were marching on police headquarters. Did the Tea Partiers ever do such a thing? Of course not. Yet here, the BBC report is sympathetic, not fearful. The anger is shown in a remarkably different light. In fact, here we’re given a justification for that anger, whereas the anger of the Tea Party movement was left up in the air, its rationale even questioned by BBC correspondents.

Worse still, it’s compared – favorably? – to the recent protests in Madrid. Those were extremely violent and destructive, but since the Beeboids support their political agenda, that’s played way down. Completely unlike the initial BBC reports about the Tea Party movement, there is no editorializing, no suspicious commentary about their motives, no mention of an unseen guiding hand of national organizations.

Side note: I’m very amused to hear that one of the things these people were protesting against are “multi-billion dollar bank bailouts”. Funny how that was an extreme right-wing thing to do back when the Tea Party movement was doing it. Clear evidence of BBC political bias on that specific issue.

When it’s a far-Left protest, the BBC makes sure to show you a special slide-show of the marchers and their interaction with the police, but without the editorializing and fretting that was omnipresent in their reports on Tea Party events. No sneering, no worrying about motives, no insulting with sexual innuendos. Where was the equivalent for a single Tea Party protest? This is a glaring disparity, considering how the Tea Party movement represents a far larger segment of the US than do these far-Left protesters. Sure, many people are unhappy with Wall Street and the mess to which they contributed, but most people in the US don’t want it all shut down like these far-Left types do.

Another BBC report on this far-Left protest mentions their “anger at police”, which is very revealing. Again, the BBC helpfully provides the reason for the anger, as if it’s the police’s fault these people want to commit vandalism and violence. At the Tea Party protests I’ve attended, the rapport between the police and the protesters could not have been more civilized. Because there was no vandalism or violence, or even the remotest of hint of any. Many of us even thanked the police afterwards for their time. Why is the Left allowed – even expected – to behave differently, but not a single peep from the Beeboids?

The difference between the BBC’s treatment of protests from the far-Left and protests from the non-Left couldn’t be more drastic, or more obvious.

How Insane Is Mark Mardell?

This insane:

The president had waved a copy of his hefty American Jobs Act and told them the USA had to catch up with the likes of China and North Korea in spending on high-speed rail and education.

The President of the most successful, most prosperous country in the history of the world says we need to catch up with North Korea, and the BBC US President editor is fine with it. Doesn’t bat an eyelash.

Okay, I admit I’m being mean. Actually, this is a mad typo. There will probably be a stealth edit tomorrow once somebody points it out to him, so I’ve taken a screenshot. If/when this gets fixed, I’ll post it. Be honest: you thought for a moment that the President actually did say that, right?

The President actually said we should emulate South Korea by adding more teachers. Yay, more government spending. I guess it’s difficult to churn this stuff out, especially when one has to go out amongst the great unwashed in flyover country in search of the elusive Obamessiah supporters, so I’ll be charitable here and shrug off this nutty typo.

Anyways, there’s something about China’s high-speed rail that he doesn’t want you to know about. China’s high-speed rail project has so far killed 11 people, and injured a further 89 people. And it’s losing money hand over fist. And Mardell thinks it’s a good idea to emulate? What is it with Beeboids covering the US and China’s autocratic ways?

Mardell sees nothing fishy – or curiously neglects to point it out – in the President’s seeking out the most sympathetic white audience He ever had, back before the 2008 election, when He was still the world’s sweetheart: students.

The president was talking at Fort Hayes art and design college and one pupil, 18-year-old Mel Dodge, told reporters he was an aspiring lyricist and admires Mr Obama’s skills.

“He chooses his words so beautifully,” said the teenager. “That’s why I came out here today, just to hear that in person.”

That’s just the kind of spiritual boost Mardell needed. Actually, it’s a high school in US parlance. Which means some of them will be voting next year – like Mel Dodge – and the rest are potential noisemakers on His behalf. I know this is just a language barrier thing and not an attempt to mislead. But there’s something else fishy here.

As a high school it’s part of the state/city-funded school system in Ohio. His Jobs Plan For Us has a couple lines sending over $350 million specifically to Ohio’s largest school districts (not colleges). Including the Columbus area, which covers this school. Totally targeted pandering. Oops, Mardell forgot to mention that bit. There’s something else about Ohio he doesn’t want you to know:

Ohio is just about the most key swing state there is when it comes to national elections. The President has spent half of His domestic traveling while in office to swing states. He’s visited Ohio fourteen times. Mardell didn’t want to inform you of that lest you start thinking too much about how this was an election campaign stop, geared in part towards unions. But now there must be a semblance of non-partisanship:

He wasn’t so certain about the politics, unsure that the president’s jobs plan would work. He wanted to look at the Republican field as well before he decides how to cast his first vote.

Yeah, sure. Mardell also has a bridge downtown to sell you. His blogpost is just past its midway point, so it’s time for a party political advertisement.

If Mr Dodge is not convinced, it won’t be through lack of White House effort. Senior advisor David Plouffe is just the latest to offer to answer questions by tweet.

This advertisement was brought to you by the Campaign to Re-Elect the President. And your license fee.

I’ve just got a detailed White House email on the beneficial impact of the act on Montana. Why Montana, I know not, but I am sure 49 similar missives will soon be in my inbox.

Yes, Mark, we know you’re well-connected and on the Democrat mailing list. You don’t need to remind us. Oh, my apologies, I’m being rude. The campaign ad is still going.

The president will, I guess, be on the road until this is done or dead.

“I guess.” That’s very silly, and pretty disingenuous. We all know that’s what’s going to happen, because Jay Carney already told everyone last week that the President will “travel all over the country; we’ll be to a lot of different places.” As if he doesn’t know. Hell, the President’s travel schedule is given out to the press, and it shows that He’s going all over the damn place now, mostly to those magical swing states. Just how stupid does Mardell think his audience is? And it’s not partisan at all, no sir. No way you’re going to hear from the US President editor that the only job the President is concerned about creating is His own second term. That’d be a bit too much analysis. Instead, Mardell gives us one of the more obvious signs of his personal political bias:

He is portraying what is a series of pretty partisan, controversial proposals as plain common sense, that no-one of goodwill could resist.

No one of good will, eh? That’s a purely emotional phrase. Mardell is clearly giving an ideological position, supporting the President’s message. Anyone who doesn’t agree with throwing another half trillion dollars down the rabbit hole would resist, based on an entirely different definition of goodwill, but he doesn’t see it that way, and tells you so. So now it’s time to provide “balance”.

In fact, there is intense debate about his ideas.

There you go. One sentence, with a once-in-a-blue-moon link to a known right-wing pundit, Cal Thomas. If this was from elsewhere, I’d say that might remotely be enough to balance out Mardell’s preceding statement that this “debate” obviously means that there are some who are resisting, and therefore have no good will. But as this is a Mardell post, there’s more coming to support the President.

He got backing on Tuesday for more spending from the Congressional Budget Office’s director, who warned cuts could damage recovery.

He got backing, sort of. But the CBO’s “backing” isn’t quite how Mardell presents it. In fact, the CBO boss says that “changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit now but narrow it later in the decade.” Which is pretty much exactly what the SuperCommittee is going to do. Just like in Britain (not including union bosses and UK-Uncut and their fellow travelers at the BBC), nobody really thinks severe cuts are happening this instant or tomorrow. For the US, it’s all about 2013 and beyond, and remember, only in a best-case scenario will there be barely $1.5 trillion cut over the next few years, which is a fraction of the actual deficit we need to cut. That’s why nobody on the fiscally responsible side was really happy about the debt agreement. Hello?!!? Short-term memory, anyone?

The CBO isn’t backing the President in the way that Mardell insinuates, nor are they really repudiating the Tea Party idea and instead siding with Ed Balls and Stephanie Flanders. In fact, what the CBO really says is this (does Mardell think nobody clicks through his links, or does he actually not understand what the following bit means?):

“Attaining a sustainable budget for the federal government will require the United States to deviate from the policies of the past 40 years in at least one of the following ways,” he said. “Raise federal revenues significantly above their average share of GDP; make major changes to the sorts of benefits provided for Americans when they become older; or substantially reduce the role of the rest of the federal government relative to the size of the economy.”

Raising revenues doesn’t necessarily mean draconian taxes only. Growth in industry and consumption raises revenues as well, since that’s all taxed to the eyeballs. So “raising revenues” means a lot more than just taxing the rich even more. And what’s that about changing benefits for seniors? Oh dear, oh, dear. Sounds like austerity and cuts affecting the most vulnerable to me, and as Social Security and Medicaid are going to be just about the biggest government expense in the near and long-term future (aging Baby Boomers joining the rolls, longer-lived population in general), it’s pretty major. Again, this is way more in line with Tea Party ideals than with Krugman/Balls/Flanders. And that last sentence about reducing the role of the federal government speaks for itself, you betcha.

Remember: the CBO boss said “at least” one of these three methods. It’s pretty dishonest to put it as just cuts are bad, m’kay, full stop.

So is that what Mardell thinks supports the President? One could just as easily say that the CBO statement is more about what the SuperCommittee is going to do than about whether or not we should add another half-trillion to the deficit. Oh, hang on: the CBO boss actually was saying this to their faces. The link Mardell provides is about the CBO boss’s first appearance in front of their first official hearing. Nothing to do with supporting yet another Stimulus package at all! Wow. Let’s just shake our heads and move on.

But the president’s plan is ideologically objectionable to most Republicans, even more so now that he has revealed how it would be paid for: by taxing what they would describe as “wealth creators” and what Obama would call the rich, oil companies and corporate-jet owners.

It’s ideologically objectionable to Republicans, but not to anyone of “good will”. How biased can you get? Actually, the President has already caved on the corporate jet issue (perhaps Oprah had a word in his saucer-like?), but never mind. Mardell must have missed that memo. I think a less ideologically blinkered person would mention small businesses as well, as they provide the vast majority of jobs in the country.

This is bound to get messy. The White House has confirmed that they will accept parts of the bill being passed.

What’s that last bit supposed to mean? I thought compromise and bi-partisanship were supposed to be the new American dream? Why is he warning about compromise and bi-partisanship? Weird. Unless one would be unhappy with the President giving in one iota to the nasty Republicans.

The danger for Obama is a loss of his simple message.

What simple message? Where did we see a simple message? Mardell sounds like he drank the Kool-Aid here.

He could get drawn into the wrangling and the less attractive aspects of compromise. He needs all the clarity his lyricism and beautiful words can conjure.

So compromise is bad now. Curiously, only a few weeks ago it was the one thing that would have saved us from a credit downgrade. And just the other day Mardell was telling us about how ashamed someone was of Congress for their failure to work together. Now he thinks its best for the President if He convinces everyone to do things His way, without stooping to compromise. You know, that’s just what the other of his concerned voter in that post said. Funny, that. It’s almost as if there’s an agenda here.

By the way, that post of his saw Mardell visiting Democrats in Indiana, and he kind of forgot to mention that it’s another important election swing state.

In the end – wacky typos aside – this is all typical biased reporting. And sloppy and dishonest at that, one of Mardell’s worst. What’s the emoticon for putting one’s head in one’s hands and weeping quietly?

Compare And Contrast: BBC vs. Muslim Brotherhood Edition

It’s pretty sad when the Muslim Brotherhood’s Ikhwanweb is more informative and balanced than the BBC. Compare and contrast:

Fire and graffiti attack on Palestinian mosque in Kasra

with

Settlers torch mosque in Al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah

Both pieces talk about how this was a (misguided and wrong, in my view) retaliation for the Israeli Government’s razing of some illegal Jewish settlements in the area.

The BBC reports that the Hebrew graffiti threatens further attacks, while Ikhwanweb just says the settlers left racist graffiti. It looks like it’s supposed to say something like “Mohammed go away”, but my Hebrew’s a bit rusty and this may be vernacular. There’s apparently other graffiti not shown in either report, so there isn’t enough information to draw a proper conclusion about who is more accurate.

I should mention here that the Jerusalem Post reports something not mentioned by either the BBC or Ikhwanweb: the mosque was not in use, and there were no holy books inside. Unhelpful context, that.

Ikhwanweb, whose sympathies are not in question and who do not claim impartiality, report Palestinian eyewitness accounts that IDF forces abetted the arson crime, while the BBC instead reports rumors of the IDF training settlers to fight Palestinians. The openly anti-Israel Muslim Brotherhood reports eyewitness accounts (whether one beileves them or not, at least they’re trying), while the allegedly impartial BBC instead makes an inflammatory statement. There is some training going on, in fact, and the BBC uses this to plant the idea in the reader’s mind that the Israeli Government is actually responsible for this and future violence. Even though the training is for defensive purposes.

The BBC report closes with the required (yes, BBC, it’s required, and I challenge anyone to prove that it isn’t, and no whining about proving a negative: this is included nearly verbatim in every report about settlements) boilerplate copied and pasted from the style guide:

There are some 500,000 Jewish Settlers living in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Settlements are regarded as illegal under international law, although Israel disputes this.

Meanwhile, the more informative and balanced Ikhwanweb closes with this:

Since the incident, more and more Palestinians have criticized the Palestinian Authority which rules the West Bank, accusing security services of not fulfilling the ”duty of protecting the mosques”.

One Palestinian man Mohammed Abdurrahman condemned the West Bank security services for the inability to protect the mosques at a time when the services have effectively persecuted Palestinian resistance fighters in the West Bank.

No mention of this at all by the BBC. They’re too busy stoking up anger against Israel. And there’s no obligatory moaning about the number of Jewish settlements or legal judgments about them from Ikhwanweb.

One is tempted to say that the Muslim Brotherhood is more interested in accuracy and balance about the Israel/Palestinian conflict than the BBC is. Once again it seems that the Corporation’s editorial policy and innate bias cause them to demonize Israel at every opportunity, although the BBC disputes this.

Whither Canada? More BBC Censorship

Recently, I talked about a few states in the US that had actually taken strong steps towards fixing their own economies, even moving into surplus, by decreasing spending, entitlement reform, and tax breaks. The BBC censored all information about this, never told you. This is unfortunate, as it would have provided a useful context in which to consider the national budget situation. Ohio, Wisconsin, and South Carolina did exactly the same thing as what Mark Mardell claimed the extremist Tea Party movement forced into the national debate on how to deal with the budget crisis, and forced it on a President who wanted to spend, spend, spend, instead. Yet those states all seem to have made the correct decision. And the BBC remains silent, as it doesn’t fit the Narrative they want to tell about economic policy.

While the BBC is busily spreading blame around for the US budget fiasco and debt agreement (to everyone except the President, of course), it seems to have escaped the astute Beeboids’ notice that there’s another country in North America which seems to be doing a bit better. It’s right there in the title of the relevant section of BBC News Online: US & Canada.

Canada, as it turns out, is doing better than the US for pretty much the same reason. Has the BBC mentioned this at all? No they have not. It’s true that they didn’t have the same kind of sub-prime mortgage crisis, but as a largely resource-based export country, if others aren’t buying – particularly the US – they’re not going to do well either.

In April, the BBC had this to say about the major issues of the Canadian election:

Conservatives are seeking to make the economy the dominant issue in the election. Canada fared much better than the US during the recession, but unemployment is still high at 7.8%.

Mr Harper has promised to provide tax breaks for corporations and manufacturers and tax credits to encourage small businesses to hire new workers.

Mr Ignatieff opposes corporate tax reductions offered by Mr Harper, but Conservatives retort that eliminating the planned reduction in the corporate tax rate amounts to a tax increase, which would be harmful to the recovering economy.

Sounds familiar, no?


Liberals want to establish a cap-and-trade system to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and are also seeking increased funding for social services including for poor seniors, carers and early childhood education.

Mr Ignatieff has unveiled a plan to promote affordable housing and reduce homelessness. But the proposed funding comes from a public-private partnership fund for infrastructure investment which Liberals say is unproductive, but which city governments around the country argue is an important funding stream.

Does this boilerplate sound familiar? It should, as it’s the same way the BBC always champions the farthest Left social policies. Like they did in their Q&A about the US debt agreement.

The chief sticking points have been Republicans’ resistance to tax rises and calls for much bigger spending cuts than the Democrats favour, and Democrats’ desire to shield healthcare programmes for the poor and elderly and the Social Security pension programme from cuts.

The poor and elderly. Just another version of the “poorest and most vulnerable” who are always hit hardest by the latest policy on offer from the Conservatives.

Notice, though, that in the above brief description of Harper’s plans, the BBC News Online sub-editor grants space to his opponent on the Left for a rebuttal. Yet when it’s time to outline the Liberal plans, not only do they get a lengthier, more detailed explanation, but no space is given to any objection from the Right.

Harper and the Conservatives won, obviously, so how is Canada doing now? Well, the Canadian dollar spiked a couple cents higher than the US dollar after Harper and the Conservatives won the election – funny that, eh, BBC? – and after dropping down to a more normal level, has recently come back up to dead even with the US dollar.

On a local level, the Province of Saskatchewan followed the kind of sound fiscal policy advocated by the supposedly extremist fringe Tea Party, and changed their economy. In 2007, the Saskatchewan Party won a majority, after 16 years of rule by the liberal New Democrats. They won on a platform of tax relief, entitlement reform and deregulation, along with pledges to use the cash gained on education and road infrastructure. It seems to have worked because the province has since had an increase in people moving in, more jobs. Instead of throwing the cash around as “stimulus”, they paid off their debts, and Standard & Poor’s raised their credit rating to AAA in May.

So this is yet more evidence that it can be done the way the Tea Party movement suggests. Again, the BBC is utterly silent on something that doesn’t fit the Narrative.

Nationally, Canada’s debt is down to 35% of GDP, and the only reason it’s that high is because Harper did throw some cash around a couple years back at the start of the recession. But now the jobless rate is the lowest it’s been in two years, since they started adding jobs again after the financial crisis. Wages rose as well. Imagine that. Canada allows certain resource extraction techniques – fracking, for example – that the US won’t because of fealty to the environmentals, and so creates more jobs, and produces more. These aren’t difficult concepts, but are anathema to the BBC ideologues.

Even the New Democrats slashed spending to reduce the deficit, which was so bad that at one point, 36% of revenue was used to pay off interest on it. Eventually, Canada reduced its deficit by a combination of economic growth – not spending, but actual growth – and spending cuts. No draconian taxes, no new crushing regulations, no massive spending increases.

Basically, Canada is on very solid footing now, while the US is in the toilet. Canada followed sound fiscal policy, very much like that advocated by the Tea Party movement, has reduced its debt substantially, and is thriving. The US tried the opposite, and tanked. The BBC tried to tell you that it was a crazy minority trying to force this stuff into the conversation for ideological purposes. Not once did Mark Mardell or Stephanie ‘Two Eds’ Flanders or any other Beeboid provide the example of Canada as something to consider while trying to understand the debate in the US. Not once were you told that there have been success stories which contradicted the President’s agenda.

They’re trying to push the White House Narrative that the downgrade and current mess is all the fault of the Tea Party, without ever acknowledging that things would be even worse had we not voted in some people with a clue and forced Congress to face reality. It wasn’t going to happen otherwise, and instead of telling you that, the BBC has spun it the other way.

In sum, the BBC has censored news of economic success caused by conservative fiscal policy because it does not suit their ideology and the Narrative they want to tell you. You’re not given the information you need to form an opinion, and in fact are at times told the opposite of what’s true.

I always say you can’t trust the BBC on US issues, but now it seems that there’s not much to trust them on for anything to do with North America.

Speaking of which, Mark Mardell’s official title is “BBC North America editor”, yet when was the last time you heard him mention anything about Canada? In fact, when was the last time you heard him talk about anything other than the President and His plans and speeches? It’s been a while. Time for a new, more appropriate title for him. I’ll leave it open to everyone else for suggestions.

The BBC and The Obamessiah: The Veil Lifts Ever So Slightly

Something very interesting happened the other day: BBC News Online allowed through an article that was slightly critical of the President, and even pointed out His escalation of Bush’s war policies. Because the BBC is generally relentless in their positive coverage, support, and plain old propaganda on behalf of the White House, I thought it was important to give credit where it’s due, even if there are a couple of problems with the piece. If it wasn’t such a rare event, it wouldn’t seem so remarkable. But it is.

Andrew North is actually allowed to frown, if only gently, at the fact that a Noble Peace Prize winner was the deciding vote in starting yet another war. Even the sub-editor tasked with writing the headline gets into the act.

Libya: Barack Obama’s step from Nobel winner to warrior

Why it took Andrew North to do this and not the BBC North America editor, Mark Mardell, I have no idea. Mardell is the one who is supposed to be giving his insight on these things, explaining the issues to us, helping create that rapport with the US the BBC wants you to have.

North begins by outlining the current wars He’s running:

It probably wasn’t what the Nobel committee had in mind when it awarded the Peace Prize to President Barack Obama two years ago.

Two months later he ramped up the war in Afghanistan, sending in 30,000 extra US troops.

Now he has ordered massive air strikes on Libya – with United Nations backing, but still with the United States in the lead.

Judged by his actions, this supposedly anti-war president looks almost as warlike as President George W Bush.

If you include Mr Obama’s increased use of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, he’s got the US involved in more conflicts than his much-criticised predecessor.

I have to say I’m impressed. This is the first time I’ve seen this presented in a BBC report. There have been others mentioning various elements individually, but no one has put it together like this and actually point the finger at the Nobel laureate this way. Of course, it’s a bit silly to say that the current President is “almost as warlike” as His predecessor when the very next sentence contradicts it by saying that He is involved in even more conflicts, but I’ll let that slide. After all, one can’t expect a believer to abandon his faith all in one go.

Then we get the obligatory defense:

Judged by Mr Obama’s words though, he is in plenty of internal conflict over his decisions.

Far from beating the drums of war, he keeps highlighting the risks and promising US action on Libya will last “days not weeks”.

He is conflicted, alright. He ran on a platform of shrinking the US’s position in the world (whether one likes it or not, that’s what it amounts to), and allowed the media to define His foreign policy goals as being dialogue and smart diplomacy above all else. President Teddy Roosevelt used to say that a good policy was to “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” (He didn’t originally use it in regards to military action, but it came to be used that way later.) The current President, however, wanted to speak softly and carry not a stick but a big carrot.

One can imagine how difficult it must have been for Him, then, when the world asked Him to bring out the big stick of US military force. He must hate it. North’s analysis of the hows and whys, though, seems to misunderstand what’s really going on.

Take a glance at the opinion polls and you can see why.

Less than a week since the first cruise missiles were launched, the clock is already ticking on how long Americans will back him.

Polls by Gallup, CBS and CNN since the attack show Mr Obama’s approval ratings hovering around 50%.

Now, I can find a couple of other polls which show His approval ratings even lower, but it’s only a few percentage points, and not not worth splitting hairs over. We all know this is more or less where His ratings have been for some time, even dipping a couple points below 50% here and there, which is key to North’s goal here. What he’s trying to do is point out how odd it is that His approval ratings are still so low.

Hardly encouraging, when the start of a military campaign is usually the high point of public support.

This is where North’s analysis goes off the rails. The public isn’t displeased with the fact that He’s started a military campaign, per se, but with the way he dithered deliberated for weeks while the rest of the world (including the Secretary of State and other officials) was wondering if there was anyone at home. North then makes an astonishing comparison:

Surveys gave President Bush 90% approval ratings when he went into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

Even for the early stages of the 2003 Iraq invasion, his ratings were over 60%. They went downhill from then on.

Now, I don’t believe that North thinks that we United Statesians are such warmongers, always calling for what Mardell described as an “unapologetically aggressive America storming ahead”, full stop, regardless of the circumstances. So when the President starts yet another war, North doesn’t expect us to foam at the mouth and wave the flag and worship our leader, just because we’re happy for another bit of the old ultra-violence. It’s very clumsy, but North is setting up the reader to understand that, while the public had a reason to be overwhelmingly in favor of invading Afghanistan, there is no such motivation this time.

Alternatively, it might be that many in the country have been unhappy with the way He’s acted for the last month and more. Contrary to Mardell’s belief that we’re mostly a bunch of knuckle-dragging warmongers, “obsessed with the notion of American decline”, many of us wanted the President to lead when asked to do so by the Libyans themselves, as well as by the UN. As I’ve said before, it seems a bit silly to claim that only extremists want their country to have a strong international position (which, please, let’s not define as merely blowing up and occupying whatever we want, whenever we want, but rather something more prosaic and diplomatic). Standing with Muslims hoping for freedom is exactly the kind of thing He promised in that infamous Cairo speech, and of course He never expected to have to actually do it.

But that would only explain part of why His approval numbers are not in the stratosphere. North invites us to “dig deeper”, and notice that only 47% of the public actually approve of the military action against Libya.

North earns more points in my book by actually pointing out the hypocrisy contradiction between the words of Candidate Obamessiah and His incarnation as President:

“We need better judgment when we decide to send our young men and women into war,” said one of the candidates in the 2008 White House race.

He listed three key benchmarks: “an imminent threat”, protecting “American interests” and a “plan to succeed and to exit”.

That candidate of course was Barack Obama. Does President Obama meet his own benchmarks in going into Libya?

North goes on to point out that only 40% of us think Libya is important in this way, and many more are unsure. It’s fair to say that this is a bipartisan thing. Lots of people on both sides of the political spectrum don’t think it’s necessarily a priority for us. Militarily, strategically, it really isn’t. But there’s more to geopolitical strategy than where one puts the troops. There is also the notion that the US could have put our money where our mouth is and taken the lead – like everyone was asking us to – in helping Muslims gain the freedom and independence they were asking for. If we had started this no-fly zone stuff a month ago, things would be very different now. Ghaddafi wouldn’t have been emboldened so much, wouldn’t have had time to strengthen his military position, wouldn’t have watched us blink and felt like he could go the distance. The US military could have done the exact same thing they’ve done in the last few days, and then backed off and handed the reins over to NATO or Cowboy Dave or whomever, and the President would have looked like a star.

But that’s not what happened at all. Instead, the President made us look weak, and made Himself look feckless. To everyone except Mark Mardell, of course, who was recently trying to tell us He was a genius and the only reason the stupid United Statesians were upset is because He made the UN relevant again. He’s still defending the President on his blog now, but that’s a matter for another time. Back to Andrew North:

Leading that charge is the Republican House Speaker John Boehner, but rumblings of discontent are being heard from the Democratic side too.

Rumblings, eh? Too bad North didn’t find space to mention all those Democrat Congressmen calling for His impeachment, or the anger of Michael Moore, or – *gasp* – St. Jon Stewart.

The President is not looking good to very many people these days. And it’s not just because He’s doing something some people don’t like. It’s because of a total lack of leadership, communication, and capability in this situation. People on both sides have seen it and commented on it, yet North only focuses on the fact that many people don’t think we should be going after Ghaddafi as the reason why His approval numbers aren’t up. That’s only part of the story, and certainly not the real lesson to be learned here.

Still, though, I want to give Andrew North and his boss credit for even daring to point out that the President has escalated Bush’s wars, killed more people with drones, and started yet another military action, all in the face of the Nobel prize.

And to his credit, North even emailed the Nobel committee asking for comment. No surprise that they didn’t respond.

So, is this a sign that the veil is being lifted ever so slightly? Is it dawning on the Beeboids that He isn’t everything they thought He was? I’m not sure, as this piece is mostly about how the public simply don’t approve of the war on Libya, and not about how He handled the situation for the previous six weeks or so. But it’s pretty clear that there’s a separation between what North is saying here and the Narrative we keep hearing from Mardell and others. The agenda has not been forced all the way through. So there may yet be hope.

It’s a rare occasion, so I think it’s worth noting.

Congressman Allen West (D-FL) Speaks Truth To Islamic Power. Any Thoughts, BBC?

Republican Congressman for Florida, Col. Allen West vs. the Executive Director of the Center for American Islamic Relations (CAIR). No prizes for guessing who comes out on top. Unless, that is, you work for or defend the BBC, in which case this video clip will make your head explode.

The only time the BBC actually mentioned Col. West before was right before the elections last November, where Kevin Connolly (he who insulted hundreds of thousands of people on air and online with a sexual innuendo) briefly discussed one of West’s campaign ads, in which Candidate West tries to discourage voters from choosing his opponent by tying him to the President (not counting the separate page where they posted the ad with a short blurb). He barely got a mention for his victory on election night, as if he didn’t exist and wasn’t a huge smack in the face of the BBC’s lie about how racism is a main factor in the Tea Party movement.

Connolly was unable to process the information even then, and made the following very revealing statement:

It is a common enough practice in tight races where the presence of a political big-shot can tip the balance.

What makes the ad unusual is that it is paid for by a Republican candidate, Allen West and he is gambling that Mr Obama’s intervention in the race will be a plus for him and a negative for his Democratic rival, Ron Klein.

It’s unusual for a Republican to do this? Um, yeah, NO. This is Beeboid Connolly simply unable to grasp the concept of a black man not slavishly (oops!) siding with another black man in politics. Of course, the BBC generally supports and understands people voting along racial lines: when it’s non-whites doing it. So it’s only natural that Connolly would be confused by this black man opposing a black President. Connolly is so out of touch that he also said this:

The biggest single factor contributing to those declining ratings is the economy. There is an iron rule in American politics that when unemployment is high, as it is here in Florida, the presidents gets a pummelling.

But there is more to it than that. Somehow the two signature achievements of Obama’s first two years in the White House are being made to feel like electoral liabilities.

Somehow the “two signature achievements” are made to feel like liabilities? As if those “achievements” aren’t connected to the crap economy in any way? His bias prevented him from grasping two simple concepts. Thankfully, the BBC has since transferred him out of the US.

In any event, don’t hold your breath waiting for the BBC to report this, or anything positive about Congressman West at all. They sure as hell don’t want you to know about this. In fact, this is a discussion forbidden on BBC airwaves by anyone.

The BBC and the Dreyfus Affair

On January 13, 1898, an open letter by renowned writer Émile Zola was published in the French newspaper L’Aurore. Zola reacting to the unlawful conviction and imprisonment of a Jewish officer in the French Army, Alfred Dreyfus. He accused the government (and, one was meant to extrapolate, the press and society) of anti-Semitism, and declared that this prejudice is what led to Dreyfus’s imprisonment in spite of the facts of the case. It’s still known today as “The Dreyfus Affair”.

In his letter, Zola pointed out judicial errors and highlighted the lack of real evidence in the case. He went on to condemn the general anti-Semitic attitude of the government and many in society which led to the false accusation of espionage. He also stated that the General in charge of the investigation withheld key evidence which would prove the charges were false. In fact, Zola found that another man was to blame for the crime, but since charging him would also have implicated the Army brass, they sat on the story. Someone had to be a scapegoat, and they pointed the finger at someone, simply out of the convenience of prejudice. The Army even tried and acquitted the actual guilty man. Stop me if any of this is starting to sound familiar.

Another dimension to Zola’s point was that the entrenched anti-Semitism in the government, army, and society in general is what caused the crime against Dreyfus. Unfortunately, he was soon convicted of libel for it, and was sentenced to prison. He fled to England, where he stayed until the sitting French Government fell apart. Dreyfus served time at Devil’s Island, but eventually was able to get his case retried. He got a happy result in the end, but it took years and a lot of struggle.

Like the French Army more than a century ago, the BBC is blaming an innocent person for inciting a crime perpetrated by someone else. Even in the face of evidence that the murderer in Tucson had completely different influences, the BBC still accuses Sarah Palin of inciting him to attempt the assassination of a government official. In fact, the BBC tried to censor the news that Jared Loughner was left-wing and had been angry with his intended victim since 2007, long before anyone ever heard of Sarah Palin. In other words, in spite of all the evidence telling them that there’s no possible way the perpetrator of the crime could have been inspired by the words and deeds of Sarah Palin, they accuse her anyway. By extension, they are accusing the Tea Party movement and pundits and leading figures on the political Right for these murders. But they need a scapegoat for the story they want to tell, and found one out of convenience. All in the face of the evidence, and all due to their political and personal prejudices.

Let’s get the first line of defense out of the way. The BBC believes itself to be a special organization, one which stands apart from the rest of the worlds’ media. It’s at least part of their justification for the license fee. Thus, I would say that it would be unacceptable for them to claim that, as the rest of the media is making the story about political rhetoric, so too should the BBC, and that it’s perfectly acceptable for them to ignore the facts of the case and change the story to suit the Narrative.

If we’re to accept the BBC is what they claim it to be, then we expect that the BBC ought to rise above petty politics in the case of a tragedy which was so clearly due to mental illness. Mark Mardell should have followed his own advice from back when that Muslim Major committed mass murder at Ft. Hood, and demurred from pointing fingers at easy targets. The BBC News producers should have held their staff back from declaring a Right-wing cause for this crime in the exact same manner in which they restrained their staff from immediately blaming Islamic Jihad on such crimes when reporting on that Palestinian with a bulldozer, the attempted bombing of Times Square, the attempted bombing of that London night club, when MP Stephen Timms was stabbed, and Maj. Nidal. In those cases, the BBC was among the last to associate the crimes with the influence of Islamic Jihad, and often even warned against such a connection. All in stark contrast to the way they’ve reported on this case in Tucson.

Or did they not have to be reminded of their duty to journalistic integrity in those cases? Is there an instinctive move to defend in some cases, but attack in others, regardless of the facts involved?

Now, the BBC seems to be relentless in this attack of convenience on their political enemies. In spite of the evidence that Loughner was clearly mentally disturbed and dangerous, and had targeted Rep. Giffords since 2007, the BBC still wants to make the story about Sarah Palin, the Tea Party movement, and many others on the Right of the political spectrum. They surely haven’t failed to take advantage of a crisis. A weak attempt to make this about the larger issue of the nature of political rhetoric in the US doesn’t alter the basis of their reporting, or the overall tone of the coverage across the spectrum.

I submit that this behavior is due to an inherent political prejudice at the BBC, specifically in the News department. I include World News in this, as they all share footage and resources so much as to be virtually indistinguishable when reporting on international stories. They all sign off as reporting for BBC News in any case.

In spite of known facts that the murderer in Tucson had no connection to Sarah Palin or the Tea Party movement or Fox News, and was in reality mentally disturbed and had a wide range of influences, they are making the story about the non-Left elements only. Why not discuss his interest in Mein Kampf or the Communist Manifesto, BBC? Why not use this as an opportunity to discuss how society needs to improve the way we look after the mentally ill? No, instead the BBC uses this as a chance to attack their political enemies.

The fact that the BBC is now giving air time to Keith Olbermann, someone who is known not for his journalistic integrity but almost exclusively these days for his venomous political vitriol, tells you all you need to know about the bias at the BBC.

It’s an intellectual failure, and a failure of integrity. It’s not enough to start admitting after two or three days of stories focusing exclusively on blaming political rhetoric from the Right that the murderer had other issues. The damage is done, and the real story buried deep beneath a mass of political attacks. The BBC has done an equivalent of the Dreyfus Affair here by accusing and convicting Sarah Palin and Right-wing pundits of directly inciting murder, in the face of known evidence to the contrary. They leapt to accuse before the facts were out, then ignored and suppressed the facts which pointed in another direction, simply because that would hurt the Narrative, the story they wanted to tell.

In short: BBC, j’accuse!

Nothing short of an apology from the BBC is going to fix this, and nothing short of a wholesale change in personnel at BBC News is going to prevent this from happening again and again in the future. They should start with those in the US.

INTELLIGENCE MISSING!

Wondered if you came across this televisual delight from the State Broadcaster? It’s the “Intelligence Squared Debate” and as balanced as you would expect…

“An Elected House of Lords Will Be Bad For British Democracy”. Nik Gowing chairs, with speakers Vernon Bogdanor, Shami Chakrabarti, Sir Simon Jenkins, Lord Adonis and Polly Toynbee and Billy Bragg.

Oh joy. Thanks to the brave B-BBC reader who valiantly watched at least some of this leftist tripe.

Sometimes The BBC Doesn’t Censor News From The US – When It’s An Approved Thought

Most people here will be well aware that the BBC censored news of the beginnings of the Tea Party movement in the US for about two months before the reality of nationwide, simultaneous protests on April 15, involving hundreds of thousands of people, forced them to report it. I first mentioned the issue on an open thread here back on Feb. 19, 2009, even before anyone started calling them “tea parties”. They were anti-tax protests first and always. And even when the BBC at last reported it, Kevin Connolly worked to discredit the participants by hinting at dark forces behind it, suggesting that this was not, in fact, an independent, spontaneous grassroots movement. Connolly went further than that, and highlighted the skin color of the majority of participants, implying a racist element behind the motivation of the people involved.

And then, of course, he insulted all of us with a sexual innuendo, which remains on the BBC website to this day.

After that, the BBC again ignored the growing movement, and refused to acknowledge its success in affecting local issues and elections, until Scott Brown surprised them. At that point, the BBC occasionally acknowledged the existence of the Tea Party movement, but – with the lone exception of one video report by Katty Kay – their reports were uniformly negative, suggested racism, and tried to portray extreme fringe elements as representative of the entire movement. You all heard about Christine O’Donnell nearly every day for weeks and weeks, yet during the campaign the BBC censored any mention of Col. Allen West until a few days before the election. Even Katty’s report from January focused on “anger”, and the majority of BBC reports at the time were full of quips about “boiling anger” and whatnot. Anger is okay when it’s against things the Beeboids don’t like, but not when it’s against their beloved Obamessiah.

The BBC’s censorship and subsequent attempts to minimize the impact of the Tea Party movement in the minds of their audience got so bad that it led to Emily Maitlis declaring during the BBC’s coverage on the night of the recent mid-term elections that the Tea Party movement had “come out of nowhere”. Only to those who trusted the BBC for their news on US issues, dear. The link to Katty Kay’s report from Jan. 2010 refers to the Tea Party movement as “new” (fourth one down), even though it was nearly a year old by then and had had some political success. I’m sure most here will remember just how biased and negative their reporting was during the weeks before the election. They spent more time looking for racists under the bed than covering the issues at hand.

In stark contrast, the BBC wasted no time at all in enthusiastically reporting an alleged grassroots anti-Tea Party movement calling itself the “Coffee Party”. Contrary to the BBC’s portrayal as an innocent group of people, it was in fact started by a former New York Times hack and dedicated campaigner for The Obamessiah’s Presidential bid, who used her media connections to gain support and hype. Hardly the grassroots darlings the BBC wanted you to believe they were. The article also quoted one of her own colleagues in support, even though that colleague was well aware of the Coffee Party’s partisan makeup. Of course, Kate Zernicke was quoted because she had written a partisan hit book about the Tea Party movement.

Still, the BBC reported the existence of the movement within days of its launch. However, as the movement was not in fact a genuine grassroots movement and was merely yet another partisan group competing for the attention of loyal Democrats and far-Left activists, it was more or less stillborn, and went nowhere. The BBC’s utter silence on the Coffee Party after that initial glowing report is testament to how useless it was, for if there was even one tiny success the BBC surely would have reported it with equal vigor.

Now there’s another non-partisan group, calling themselves “No Labels”. There was a forum held in New York City on Monday, presenting itself as a non-partisan group of people dedicated to reaching across the aisle and “working together”. The BBC, of course, sent Katty Kay to cover it, and set about informing you immediately, declaring the group’s desire to reduce partisanship for the common good. Once again their editorial double standard is revealed.

Funny how this notion that we should stop the partisanship and work together for the common good is exactly what St. Jon Stewart wanted with his “Rally to Restore Smugness”, for which the BBC gave prominent and favorable coverage when it happened (but remained completely silent after it clearly didn’t have the effect they’d hoped). And funny how suddenly everyone wants to work together now that the Democrat President is in trouble. Where were all these people a few years ago? No, it’s only good to work together when it benefits the Left, which is why the BBC immediately reported this as a true movement for bi-partisan happiness.

Here’s what the BBC doesn’t want you to know:

The BBC website article says the founder is Mark McKinnon, “Republican consultant”. In fact, it was founded by political consultants from both sides, including former finance director of the Democratic National Committee Nancy Jacobson, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s failed Presidential bid. Oh, and that Republican guy worked for Bush and on McCain’s campaign, but dropped out of working on campaigns in 2008 because he didn’t “want to work against an Obama Presidency”.

So the truth is that both founders want to support the Democrat way. The BBC censored not only McKinnon’s support for Him, but also censored the fact that someone besides a Republican founded and came up with the idea for the group.

Without these key pieces of information, the BBC audience has no idea that this might be anything other than an actual bi-partisan group. Something else the BBC decided you didn’t need to know was that the discussion panels were moderated by MSNBC talking heads. MSNBC is a dedicated opponent of the Tea Party movement and its prime-time stars are as hyper-partisan as it gets. But hiding this information allows the BBC to present the “No Labels” event as something other than what it actually is. And nowhere does a single one of the many astute BBC correspondents in the US dare suggest that this sudden desire for bi-partisanship has anything to do with supporting a Democrat President. Oh, and they also misrepresented Mayor Bloomberg’s political leanings. He’s a life-long Democrat who switched to Republican for his first run for mayor (no bribing of Democrat Brooklyn and Queens leaders required), and then declared himself Independent recently when he went back on his promise and against the will of the people and ran for a third term. He’s only non-partisan in that he stands for himself and his own desire to create a legacy for himself more than for any political party.

Katty actually talks to Joe Scarborough, but does not mention his MSNBC association. One positive point here: she allows him to speak of his disappointment that the President is more partisan than we were made to believe. He admits that he initially bought into the Hope and Change™, so not much of a Republican these days. Oh, but that point is deducted right away because this is followed by a statement by the President about His desire to work together. Whew! A narrow escape, there. The BBC almost let a tiny criticism of Him slip through unchallenged.

Naturally, Katty Kay takes time in the accompanying video report to remind everyone of the “angry, energetic extremes of the Tea Party movement” (guess whose name appears on the signs her editor chose to put in at that moment), and that “the point” here is to be lovely and work together. She’s clearly advocating for a cause here. None of the “activists” she speaks to are identified, yet they all share the dream of working together to advance the President’s agenda, “for the good of the country”. Why aren’t any of them named and affiliations displayed on screen, I wonder?

But guess what? The Tea Party movement is also made up of not only Republicans but a healthy percentage of Democrats, and Independents. As many as four in ten, as it happens. Tea Party groups even backed a few Democrats in the election. The BBC never told you about any of that, did they? No, because the Tea Party movement stands for fiscal conservatism, and against the President’s and Democrat leadership’s massive tax and spending policies, policies which the BBC supports.

The BBC censors news they don’t like, and then works to discredit the people involved when reality forces them to report it, while eagerly and immediately announcing it when people hold approved thoughts. All at your expense.

Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.

Matt Frei’s Musings Are A Riot.

Matt Frei mused during the violent student riots on Wednesday about what he saw as a relevant problem with higher education costs in the US.

Could UK students’ rage find echo in US?

Frei realizes there’s a disparity between the amount of money over which at least one student attempted manslaughter, and the amount required to attend a top US school. However, he doesn’t seem to understand the situation in the US, even though he actually states the problem himself.

Until now, Americans have tolerated this tuition-for-debt pact because they could expect to earn healthy salaries once they entered the job market. But graduates are standing in ever-longer lines for jobs that no longer exist.

The first sentence is more or less accurate. It’s not entirely true that absolutely everyone ends up in debt, as there are a variety of forms of means-tested grants for state schools, and all universities have various scholarship opportunities, not to mention the myriad other private and non-profit organizations which give out annual awards. All of that obviously exists to make up for the lack of a universal free ride in the US, which is one point any US student angry about tuition fees would not have in their favor. At least the UK students have that claim of unfairness. But that gets right to the heart of the problem, and why Frei misses it completely.

Frei is right that there’s a problem with jobs available for new graduates. In fact, as I’ve said before, there’s a looming higher education bubble in the US. But he seems to think that now students ought to be paying less for degrees for jobs that don’t exist, as opposed to the idea that maybe there’s no reason to get certain degrees in the first place.

Liberal Arts colleges will find that they have to shift their programs to more practical, career-path degrees, rather than the current, more abstract degrees. In addition, many schools are poorly run, and seem to exist primarily to enroll as many students as possible and milk them for all they’re worth, and don’t seem to care if they ever graduate. Does that sound familiar? Then there are the for-profit institutions which entice people to go into debt for their useless degrees. The US Government is already going after them, and the free market will take care of the rest.

The BBC covered the riots from a position of sympathy with the cause. That was evident from the way everyone who condemned the riots was asked if they at least understood the anger behind them, as if the BBC took the position that the cause itself was just, and the person condemning violence still needed to acknowledge this. Violence over free education for the next generation of (insert joke about useless bureaucrat coordinator here)? Is the public sector supposed to provide more jobs for these people? Will violence be justified if not?

So what about the next generation of doctors and lawyers those students were warning would disappear without free education? I don’t know about doctors, but there are a whole lot of law students in the US who were led down the garden path. There’s definitely a shortage of jobs for law graduates, and many law schools are in trouble. In fact, there’s some talk of the current law school system – in which students take on astronomical debt in the hopes of landing that high-paying associate position – as being unsustainable.

And there’s that BBC shibboleth again. If the cause of free education – or, in the US, lower priced – is worthy of violence, who is going to pay for all of it? If all those graduates can’t get jobs, what’s the point? How will they then pay taxes to cover the next generation? Matt Frei and the BBC aren’t interested. They’re stuck in juvenile divine right mode. As ever, the realities of sustainability escape them. This is a huge US story which has direct relevance to current events in the UK, yet the BBC doesn’t see it.

So Matt Frei, too, muses about violence for the wrong reason. He thinks that higher education prices should be lower so that students can continue to get useless degrees for which there is no work.