Rod Liddle Explains BBC Pro-Euro Bias

The former editor of Today, Rod Liddle, has a brief blog post for the Spectator defending his former colleagues at the BBC against charges of a pro-Euro conspiracy. That sentence doesn’t contradict my headline. As most people here know by now, Peter Oborne wrote recently about how Liddle complained to upper mandarins about the complaints he was hearing about the obvious pro-Euro bias among the talent on his programme. He was told in no uncertain terms by a senior BBC figure that Euro-skeptics are “mad”, so those complaints should be ignored.

How many different topics now have we seen to receive the same treatment, I wonder? Warmism, the EU, open borders, the evil of the Tea Party movement, “Green” Energy, the list goes on. Sometimes it does seem that there is a coordinated effort to get a certain Narrative out there. On quite a few stories, as has been shown on this blog time and time again, the exact same position is taken by the presenter on several different programmes, radio and television, not to mention BBC News Online, essentially across the spectrum of BBC broadcasting. Then there are those quotes on the sidebar of this blog, particularly the one from Jeff Randall, in which he says that the bias is visceral, they don’t even realize they’re doing it. To put it another way, it’s in their DNA (you knew I couldn’t resist that one).

So following up on Robin Horbury’s post about yesterday’s biased performance by James Naughtie, now Rod Liddle confirms it. Liddle heard the show, and has a few words to say on the matter.

The BBC was too wet to have concocted a Euro plot

I heard my name mentioned on the Today programme yesterday, which is always nice, to be remembered by your old manor. The journalist Peter Oborne was castigating the propagandist forces, as he saw them, which back in 2000 attempted to convince of the need for greater European integration and joining the Euro. These were, he said, the Financial Times, the CBI and the BBC, pre-eminent amongst which latter was the Today programme. Jim Naughtie picked him up on this and pointed out that at the time the programme was edited by me, and I could hardly be described as a Europhile (Jim said this with a soft veneer of loathing). He was right; I was editor back then and was mildly Eurosceptic. Oborne responded by saying that I had also complained about pro-Euro bias in the BBC but that my complaints were ignored.

So it wasn’t just Robin and John Anderson who inferred a negative attitude from Naughtie, eh? Liddle continues:

This isn’t quite right; Oborne seems to imply that there was a covert plot within the top echelons of the BBC in favour of the European project, and that’s not true either. It is rather more the case that the civilised, decent middle class liberals who ran the corporation genuinely believed that the Eurorealists were a bunch of deranged xenophobes, one step up from the BNP, and therefore their arguments should be discounted. I realise that covert plot or otherwise the result was the same – a heavy pro-Euro bias, and so you might argue my quibble does not matter. But the BBC’s bias was arrived at through a sort of inherent wet liberalism, rather than an actual plot as such.

And there you have it. This is exactly what this blog has been saying – not just about the Euro, but about a variety of topics – since its inception. There is a self-affirming, ideological groupthink on these issues at the BBC because of the personnel. BBC hiring practices ensure it, BBC editorial policies enshrine it, and the style guide reinforces it. It’s not just us saying this anymore. This will not change until there is a wholesale purge in certain departments, and complete rethink on journalistic practices.

I can’t leave without including one more bit from Liddle:

One part of the Beeb back then which was, however, entirely on board with the Euro project was the Brussels office. We presented the programme from their studio on one occasion and kicked the EU from pillar to post, to the clear discomfort of the resident correspondents. Our team, in the manner of football hooligans, then plastered their office with Just Say No and Referendum Now posters and stickers. I suppose you could argue that this showed clear anti-Euro bias on our part, but it was really just a spirit of mischief and an attempt to remind our Brussels colleagues that the country was not entirely behind the project, as they might have thought.

That last line could have been said about a dozen issues. Come see the bias inherent in the system.

A Beeboid Wakes Up In Egypt

I lost count of how many times during the Egyptian revolution against the Mubarak regime people here pointed out how anti-Israel sentiment was a key issue in the country, and how this was constantly played down by the BBC. I’m sure any worrying here was summarily dismissed by defenders of the indefensible as being typical nonsense from “Israel Firsters” or the inane mewlings of people who see anti-Semitism everywhere à la Jerry Seinfeld’s Uncle Leo.

I’ve also lost count of how many times the BBC has tolerated the notion that Jews anywhere in the world must suffer for their support – or even assumed association – with Israel. We often try to point out the difference between criticism of Israel and demonizing it, and the latter is a problem with BBC reporting. The BBC even censored news of what’s happened to the Jews in Malmö, Sweden, where even the mayor says that whatever happens to them is deserved if they support Israel. The BBC has still never reported any of that. They’ve censored lots of news of violence against Jews in Europe, another example being the story of how the Dutch police had to start a sting operation where cops posed undercover as orthodox Jews as a way to catch the increasing number of people attacking them.

So imagine my surprise when I saw this “From Our Own Correspondent” piece about anti-Jewish sentiment in Egypt. In fact, I was almost as surprised as the BBC’s Thomas Dinham was to see evidence of the rampant anti-Semitism there.

How I was the subject of anti-Semitic abuse in Cairo

Relations between Israel and Egypt have become increasingly strained in recent weeks, and in the Egyptian capital there is a mounting sense of tension, including incidents of anti-Semitism.

Okay, let’s ignore the nonsense about how it’s only a recent thing. Give the poor Beeboid a chance.

Suspicion is a feature of everyday life in Egypt, and a fondness for conspiracy theories is as much a part of the landscape here as the constant traffic jams and their accompanying symphony of blaring car horns.

With the democratic certainties that greeted the immediate aftermath of January’s revolution having faded, however, the climate of mistrust and unease about the hard-won gains of the revolution is becoming increasingly palpable.

As disquiet sets in, so does the fear of foul play, backroom deals and, increasingly, malign foreign influences.

Back on solid ground here. This is the normal way of things in any Arab/Muslim country, as anyone who has spent more than five minutes anywhere in the region would know. To be fair, this kind of magical thinking – believing the most outrageous, quasi-supernatural causes for anything and everything – exists in many parts of the less developed world, from Africa to Asia. So good for Dinham for using those keen journalistic instincts to notice.

Dinham begins to relate his experience of sitting at a restaurant in Cairo, and beginning to notice the suspicious stares of the Egyptian men around him. A conversation soon starts, and he discovers they think he’s an Israeli. He doesn’t take it very well.

I was shocked. In nearly six months of living in Syria, where orchestrated hysteria about Israel is integral to the very identity of the state, I had never heard the accusation surreptitiously levelled against me.

Neither am I from Israel, nor am I Jewish, but as someone of unmistakably European appearance, I have found myself constantly associated with Israel in Egyptian eyes.

Dinham seems to miss the point here. Anti-Israel sentiment is spread in many ways in Egypt, not just by the government. And here it’s time to clearly separate the notion of legitimate criticsm of Israel from demonization. Most of this is demonization, not criticism. There’s the Muslim Brotherhood for a start. In fact, half the anti-Mubarak noise we heard during the protests was about how wrong he was for making peace with Israel. Assad and the Syrian government have never had to worry about that accusation, so there’s much less reason for people in Syria to be fretting over Israel the way Egyptians do, especially now. If he thinks it’s just the government who spread this stuff, he’s seriously out of touch.

So his story continues. A few days after this, a nearby bridge collapses, making a loud noise, and immediately the locals suspect foul play. Like I said, this is to be expected from people with this magical mindset. Dinham now expects it, too. But then he tries to play it down.

Israel is just one of a panoply of worries that exercise the conspiracy theorists that frequent Egypt’s cafes.

The standard fare of political gossip tends to revolve around the trial of [former President Hosni] Mubarak, internal corruption, and the causes behind the dire economic woes Egypt is currently experiencing.

A prosecuting lawyer at Mr Mubarak’s trial even introduced the novel idea that the ex-president had died years ago, and that the man on trial was none other than an impostor.

Again, this is typical of that mindset. The more wild and supernatural the idea, the more it spreads, and the easier it is to use as an explanation for just about anything. So Dinham doesn’t quite get this, and plays down the Israel angle.

I would hazard a guess that Israel struggles to make it into the top-five political issues discussed in Egypt.

“Political issues”. The problem is that the anger towards Israel is anything but simply political. Does he not realize this?

Israel has probably been less of a concern than the rising power of Shia Iran in the region, which apparently worries many in this overwhelmingly Sunni country, partly thanks to a constant stream of stridently sectarian rhetoric broadcast from Saudi Arabia.

Sounds like somebody has spent too much time speaking with the educated elite, and not so much with regular people.

In the Byzantine politics of the region, hearing strident opposition to Israel and its greatest regional foe, from the same person, almost in the same breath, is commonplace.

Again, magical thinking, not rational. This the result not of legitimate criticism of Israel, but of a relentless campaign of demonization, where Israel is the sole instigator, genocidal, always to blame, the root cause of all ills in the region. No surprise to us, but obviously very confusing to Dinham. So he’s been shrugging it off the whole time, staying inside the elite thought bubble. Until now.

Nevertheless, a strong and sometimes violent dislike of Israel is a fact of Egyptian life, something I was unfortunate enough to discover after a cross-border raid by Israel killed several Egyptian security personnel.

The Israelis had been chasing a group of gunmen who had attacked an Israeli bus close to the border between the two countries.

He’s not blaming Israel for starting it, for a change. He’s just saying the event was a catalyst for what was to come, which is probably correct.

While walking in the street someone pushed me from behind with such force that I nearly fell over.

Turning around, I found myself surrounded by five men, one of whom tried to punch me in the face.

Fortunately, Dinham had an intelligent response:

I stopped the attack by pointing out how shameful it was for a Muslim to assault a guest in his country, especially during Ramadan.

I applaud this. It makes a wonderful counterpoint to what I heard on the BBC News Channel back when Muslims in Paksitan Afghanistan started killing people out of anger against the idea that Pastor Jones in Florida was thinking about burning a Koran. At the time, Huw Edwards was speaking with some MCB mouthpiece about the incident, and expressed his concern that the response from the Muslims was less “nuanced” than some would like. The MCB guy said the violence was perfectly understandable because it was the end of Ramadan, and as people had spent the last month deep in prayer and spiritual contemplation that it was only natural that they’d want to kill. I’m not making that up, and we’ve heard that excuse a lot. So it’s nice to see a BBC journalist stating that violence in Ramadan is not acceptable. In any case, Dinham’s enlightenment continues:

Relieved that a seemingly random assault was over, I was appalled by the apology offered by one of my assailants. “Sorry,” he said contritely, offering his hand, “we thought you were a Jew.”

Too bad his colleagues aren’t equally appalled when this happens all over Europe.

Shaking his head in disbelief on hearing the news, an Egyptian friend sympathised: “That’s stupid, you are obviously not a Jew.”

The chilling implication I was left with was that, had I been Jewish, the assault would have apparently been justified.

Congratulations, Thomas Dinham. Welcome to the real world. We’ve only been saying this for years, while the BBC has tolerated it, played it down, and swept it under the rug. Let this be a lesson to all Beeboids. Jews everywhere are expected to suffer because of Israel, and the demonization of Israel is a direct cause of anti-Semitism and violence against Jews worldwide. Not criticism of Israel, mind, but demonization. There’s a difference.

It’s time the BBC was honest about it.

ROTTEN TO THE CORE

This is the last inthe “drama” called the core. Give it a listen from 6 mins onwards
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/console/b01490q8
public sector = good
private = bad
Even Sky gets a bizarre mention in a lefty rant on wonderful nature of publicsector provision.
And its great someone reviewed the background of that “oil analyst”




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.

AS IS SEE IT….

Biased BBC reader “As I see it” has provided us with the following thoughtful analysis – give it a read!  

It is my contention
that there is a left-wing bias in the output of the BBC.


I happen to have a group of friends with whom I meet at regular intervals for a
particular leisure activity. (And no, it doesn’t involve either caravanning or
dubious sexual practices in secluded locations – nor does it combine the two.
So don’t try to guess).


The point is the members of this group are all employed in charities, trades
unions and the public sector and they are all fairly staunch Labour supporters
– indeed in most cases longstanding party members.


Some may regard my keeping up with these people as masochism on my part but I
find it fascinating. (And no, as I already explained there is nothing in the
least exotic about this activity).


I recall meeting up with these people in the dying days of the last government
at the time when they knew they were staring down the barrel of defeat. After
thirteen years of power the political situation was causing some soul
searching, I can tell you. Needless to say they are not particularly strong on
the economics. They tend to focus on social, political and media issues.
 

What
had gone wrong they asked?


Not personally coming to this debate with the view that the fall of the Brown
premiership was entirely a bad thing, I nevertheless threw in my two-pennyworth
as a bit of a digression. I put forward the contention that the BBC had only
ever seemed to criticize the Blair/Brown government from the left. I was not
surprised with the general response that this was some form of heresy. You see
Labour supporters on the one hand tend to convince themselves that there are
actually too many conservative voices on the BBC – however they still see the
old Corporation as a pretty hallowed institution. In other words although they
say that they believe it is not left-wing enough for them they still don’t see
any pressing need for change. A suspicious position don’t you think? I think it
is odd, given that people on the left usually tend to be pretty iconoclastic
when it comes to British institutions. They certainly don’t hold back when it
comes to wanting change in the Police, the! Monarchy, the House of Lords,
Devolution, etc, etc. When it comes to the BBC they seem to want more of it!
 

Despite the reluctance of most to openly admit the truth that the BBC’s centre of
gravity is several steps to the left of where the British general public stand
there were still one or two guilty nods and winks of recognition to my
observation that the Labour government had only really been criticized by the
BBC from the left side of any debate.

In order to persuade anyone who may remain unconvinced I would cite two topical
examples that show up how the BBC is out of kilter with the outlook of the
British public: the AV referendum and the recent rioting.


The AV Referendum. This was not a simple left ‘v’ right debate. In fact it was
much more interesting than that. The Conservatives were against it but so was a
significant section of Labour MPs – a section of what you might call old
Labour. Ed Miliband and his new leadership were in favour, even though he might
have been supposed to be in the process of reconnecting with traditional
supporters and wishing to differentiate himself from the aloof and metropolitan
Bairites and New Labour, he still came down squarely on the side of something
that was dubbed “progressive”. Now there were political and tactical
complications but the debate was framed as one pitching “progressives” against
British tradition and the existing constitution. Now don’t forget the public
were still seething from the MPs’ expenses scandal and might have been thought
to have been keen for some new politics – yet the referendum revealed only a
tiny section of the British public would vote f! or this so-called
“progressive” measure. In the event the metropolitan “progressives” were left
high and dry. I don’t suppose we will be having any further referenda on other
cherished progressive propositions of the BBC liberals any time soon. I’m sure
the British publics’ views on EU membership, capital punishment, global warming,
immigration, etc will all now continue to go untested for the foreseeable
future.
 

It was a similar situation with the issues surrounding the August riots. There
was an obvious disconnect between the BBC opinion and the British public
reaction on all the relevant issues. This was apparent from the initial
‘careful now, stand off’ Police control methods, to the typical profile and
motivations of the rioters, right through to the handing down of sentences by
the Courts.


Now there are those in the BBC and their supporters on the left who will cling
to the concept that the BBC is there to challenge our views and to come with
ideas from ‘left field’.


I wholeheartedly disagree. These left-liberal views have had a fair old crack
of the whip and look where we are now.


It must be time that the licence paying public should tell the BBC enough is
enough. Please stop visualizing yourselves as being some elite cadre leading us
dumb prols ever leftward by the nose. Please get back to the basics of what we
pay you for: informing and entertaining us.”

A DAY IN THE LIFE…

Here’s a jolly good analysis of a day in the life of the BBC from a regular B-BBC contributor;

“Never ones to let an opportunity slip, at death o’clock this morning R4 gave us some thoughts from the BBC’s World Service (unavailable on listen again for some reason)…..Israel’s recent attacks on Gaza have made Hamas reconsider its two year cease fire and what its response will be to Israeli aggression. 

Moving quickly on we are informed the Turkish Prime Minister, Erdogan (him of the bayonets, helmets and barracks…oh and he said ‘Islam means Jihad’) was going to visit Somalia bringing untold relief to the people…..the question is what will the hard line al Shabab group make of the ‘moderate’ Erdogan?…….then onto Syria…whilst Israel had no right of reply in the first report the Syrian government were allowed to plead self defence to their actions in shooting civilians….and all through the day the BBC have been pressing the belief that oil sanctions against Syria will only harm the civilians there and do no harm to the regime….and strangely we hear absolute! ly nothing of Turkey’s recent attacks on the Kurds….Over 30,000 people have been killed in the last 10 years, 8,000 Kurdish villages wiped out and mass movement of refugees….most of this has been done by Turkey….proof recently surfaced that the Turks had used chemical weapons on the Kurds…but the BBC remains silent.

Onwards to glory and Excess Baggage leads the charge with Sandi Toksvig venturing into Istanbul…where of course Western and Eastern culture live in perfect harmony and Turkey would make a valuable new member of the European club….just lock up your daughters, wear a stab vest and carry a gas mask.

Wasting no time we jump aboard a train in the Interrail Tales where we hear that the HST trains in Europe are marvellous, and did you know Europe is great and everyone is so alike…..why can’t we all just get on? If only we had HST trains in the UK perhaps we wouldn’t riot!

Then the intrepid Mark Mardell ‘From Our On Correspondent’ goes on Safari to wildest USA to investigate the ‘delights of the Republican infighting…the wacky races that are the Republican primaries….it all makes good copy!’ Indeed where would be without Mardell’s insights….he does give us a warning though…he admits to professional disdain towards the Republican primaries….never would have guessed…..and he goes on to insinuate and smear with snide remarks that Michelle Bachman would probably like to execute gay people and thinks slavery should continue for blacks who don’t convert to Christianity.

The Republicans are cartoon caricatures that even Republican voters don’t want and who are only waiting for a more sensible Republican candidate to come along…presumably one that Mardell has personally vetted and endorsed….must be Black, a Democrat and Muslim…preferably gay and with a spending problem.

Finally of course there was an earlier discussion about the riots on the Today programme….Justin Webb trying to persuade us that the riots were of course a result of a class battle, a new long term war with the poor rising up ….and he seriously suggested the magistrates were on the other side merely defending the interests of the upper classes rather than dishing out righteous justice.

The fact that he brought in Tariq Ali to buttress his arguments tells us all we need to know when a superannuated old Trot like Ali is deemed a reasonable source of opinion….conveniently he did indeed trot…out the old lie…..poverty caused the riots along with the all pervasive urges to buy buy buy in this consumer society…and of course the poor rioters can’t afford all the stuff they want….so they steal it…it’s only fair….the MPs do just the same….moral equivalency…MPs fiddle their expenses, inner city yoof burns down homes and businesses and kills a few people….all the same thing really.”

An Alternative Perspective Not Heard On The BBC, And Context For The Debate

It seems like we’re about to get a deal of some sort to temporarily alleviate the debt crisis. I say temporarily, because there’s no telling how it’s all going to work out over the next two years. In any case, it’s not done yet, so it’s a couple days early to start mocking the BBC’s coverage with “Lo! The Conq’ring Hero Comes”. What I’d like to do is provide some examples of the exact same budget issue the country has been experiencing at the state level. The BBC has mostly ignored all of this. It’s important, though, to bring this up for two reasons.

1. Spending a moment on how individual states solved their problems provides some helpful context with which to understand the national debate.

2. The reality of what’s gone on at the state level basically puts the lie to what the BBC has been telling you about the national issue.

First up, Wisconsin. Many people here will remember the BBC’s wild-eyed coverage of what went on in Wisconsin a few months back, when a Republican governor was, as the BBC put it, trying to pass an anti-union budget. Searching this blog for Wisconsin-related content will provide plenty of evidence of the BBC’s biased coverage, telling you how awful Gov. Walker’s plan would be for honest public sector workers. I don’t even want to get into how the BBC censored all news of violent and hateful rhetoric from the Left, in stark contrast to the way they focused on every fringe outlier in the Tea Party protests they covered.

In any case, the state had the same budget crisis the country is facing: too much spending, not enough money coming in. The Governor and the Legislature decided to cut spending. The BBC wasn’t happy. So it’s important to check in now to see how things turned out.

Apparently, pretty well. It seems that, by saving money, the state was able to save lots of teachers’ jobs they were going to lose the way things were going. Not only that, but the state itself went from being deep in the red to nosing into the black. It’s possible, you see, if you don’t listen to the likes of Ed Balls or Harry Reid or Mark Mardell. I’ll let the Lt. Governor of Wisconsin, Rebecca Kleefisch, explain.

(After just looking at her and hearing the first three words out of her mouth, tell me Ms. Kleefisch wouldn’t absolutely drive the Beeboids like Justin Webb insane.)

Who’d have thought, eh? Not the BBC.

There’s something else they never told you about the situation in Wisconsin: the Democrats’ budget would have added $1.7 billion in spending, leading to a $1.4 billion deficit. Yet the BBC advocates against people who oppose this kind of thing. Mark Mardell has described the national version as borrowing enough money to continue governing. No other viewpoint on the issue is allowed without qualifying it as “extreme” or “right-wing” or “protecting the wealthy”. So Wisconsin is one example of the BBC’s ideology causing them to get it wrong when they reported on the beginning of the story, wrong in the middle, and then go silent when the result is something that goes against their ideology.

It would be very instructive in figuring out the national debate if one were to look at a concrete example of a success. No wonder the BBC censors it.

Let’s look at another example, one which the BBC barely touched on because there was no loud union agitating to support: Ohio. This state is worth looking at because it’s one of those bell-weather states, which many pundits watch to predict national voting trends (probably a variety of reasons for this, but that’s for another time).

Ohio hasn’t been doing well in recent years. Last year, unemployment was one of the highest in the country, and had a negative credit rating from Standard & Poors. However, last November, Republican John Kasich got elected – with the help of a Tea Party trend in the state, where they won a majority of Congressional seats and state legislature spots. Care to guess the result? The BBC won’t tell you, so I will:

After getting elected, Gov. Kasich (a former Congressman and then…*shudder*…a Fox News talking head) passed a budget which reined in spending. S&P raised the state’s credit rating.

Standard & Poors Ratings Services upgraded Ohio’s debt rating just one day after it put the United States on “creditwatch negative” on what it calls a rising risk of policy stalemate in the debt limit negotiations.

For Ohio, the rating was revised from “negative” to “stable” after Gov. John Kasich signed a new budget the ratings agency says will essentially balance the state’s finances for the next two years. S&P also said Ohio is experiencing a modest economic recovery which has stabilized revenue.

In making the upgrade, the agency also assigned a “AA+” long-term rating to Ohio’s $416.75 million general obligation bonds.

“After a significant decline through the recession, Ohio’s economy is steadily recovering,” according to S&P’s statement issued Friday.

Who could have imagined? No need to borrow more, no need for class war. Well, actually Ohio did repeal its estate tax. The class warriors hate that.

Contrary to the opinions espoused across the spectrum of BBC broadcasting, neither Wisconsin nor Ohio needed to borrow more money to continue governing, and spending cuts had positive effects. And none of that “too much, too soon” nonsense. Oh, and the credit rating went up not because of more borrowing but because of a solid short-term plan. Again, not what the BBC has led you to believe.

Texas, with its Republican governor and legislature, has had a budget surplus for like three years running. And that state has led the country in job creation by a long mile. And – oh, the horror – it’s a low-tax state. No wonder Rick Perry is a popular dark horse candidate for President these days. I know, the BBC never told you any of this.

How about Nikki Haley in South Carolina? Yep, now there’s a budget surplus. Is she a “Tea Party darling” too, BBC? Wake me up when they acknowledge her accomplishment. Same goes for Mitch Daniels in Indiana.

So there you have some reality, some context in which to understand the national debate on the debt crisis. Real solutions, real results, all the opposite of the BBC’s propaganda. Did any of these Governors send out the attack dogs like the President has? Did any of these Governors demonize their opponents the way the President has? No, for they are leaders, not mere instigators, and what’s more, have actual plans and sound policies, not just speeches and rhetoric.

This is the reality at the state level, and thank goodness the Founding Fathers had the wisdom to enshrine the level of state autonomy that they did. Too bad the BBC censors news of things that don’t fit their ideological agenda, while telling you the opposite is the only way to save the country.

Who’s being intransigent again, BBC?

BBC Busted For Narrative BS – From ‘Media Myth Alert’

W. Joseph Campbell, proprietor of the Media Myth Alert blog has busted the BBC for the same kind of Narrative-supporting BS we often call them on. It’s worth featuring here.

BBC calls Hearst vow apocryphal, quotes it anyway

Apocryphal but still quotable.

That’s how Britain’s venerable broadcaster, the BBC, treated the mythical anecdote about media titan William Randolph Hearst and his purported vow to “furnish the war” with Spain in the late 19th century.

In an article posted online yesterday, the BBC described Hearst as the “definitive [news] baron” and declared:

“He’s credited with the invention of tabloid journalism in the 1890s when his New York Journal began a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World. He also had a reputation as a warmonger.

“‘You furnish the pictures and I’ll furnish the war,’ goes an apocryphal instruction he was supposed to have sent in a telegram to an illustrator in Havana.”

That’s right, the line is apocryphal. What, then, is the point in using it? As a none-too-clever, back-handed way of buttressing the dubious notion that Hearst and his newspapers were capable of fomenting a war?

That’s sloppy journalism from a leading international news organization.

As they say, read the whole thing.

Someone at BBC News Online instructed Peter Jackson and Tom de Castella to whip up a piece that would give everyone the idea that nasty Uncle Rupert might be responsible for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they used an apocryphal quote to help create that context of a press baron “known” to have instigated war, knowing full well that’s what they were doing.

“Apocryphal but still quotable” = “Fake, but accurate

The Beeboids are that arrogant. Journalistic standards? Yawn, it’s for the ankle-biters. If it’s for a just cause, anything goes. They have their agenda, and they know they can get away with it.

U.S. Government Shut Down Blues – A Dishonest BBC Song, Part 2

UPDATE: A stealth edit? The BBC article now includes MillerCoors’ statement that they filed the paperwork beforehand. They don’t tell quite the full story, but this more or less negates my claim. News Sniffer doesn’t have it yet, so I can’t prove anything as I didn’t take a screenshot.

In case there are any lingering doubts, here’s more proof of the BBC’s bias and dishonesty when it comes to reporting on the budget crisis in the US. They’ve put up a report about a problem caused by Minnesota’s shut down f the state government.

Minnesota shutdown puts MillerCoors beer sales in doubt

Beer giant MillerCoors may be forced to stop selling 39 popular beers in stores and bars in Minnesota because of the state’s ongoing government shutdown.

The company failed to renew their brand label registration before a budget dispute prompted a shutdown on 1 July.

This is in fact serious business. They’re going to have to start actually removing product from shells state-wide, which is a very, very costly undertaking on top of the revenue loss. Now, being fan of real ale and proper beer in general, I’m the last person to shed a tear over people being deprived of this cheap swill, and the possible boost in business for real craft brews, of which there are plenty in the region. But that’s beside the point. What I’m complaining about here is the reason the BBC reports for this happening:

State employees who process alcohol licence renewals were laid off when the government shut down, Minnesota official Doug Neville said.

Oh, did he, now? Since this is a US issue, my first instinct is not to believe what the BBC reports when it comes to obviously partisan politics. Neville could be merely protecting a Democrat government. So let’s see what the local paper has to say about it:

The company tried to renew in mid-June, but the process got delayed when they wrote a check for too much money. Green said they sent in a new check, which the state received on June 27, but nonetheless got a letter three days later saying their brand licenses had expired.

“We believe we’ve followed all applicable state laws on this,” Green said.

In other words, this is happening not because the state employees who process the paperwork were laid off due to a government shut down (caused by nasty old Republicans preventing saintly Democrats from saving the state, no doubt), but by general incompetence on both sides. The BBC is in no doubt whose fault it is, and they don’t want you to have any doubts either:

The government shutdown in Minnesota began over a budget impasse.

The state’s Democratic Governor, Mark Dayton, had called for spending cuts and tax increases, while the Republican-led legislature rejected higher taxes.

Well, at least they don’t call the Republicans “newly empowered” this time. Must look into getting that style guide updated. In any case, the BBC reports that Neville claimed that the paperwork wasn’t done because the employees were laid off, but clearly that’s not what happened. In fact, this looks an awful lot like the Minnesota state government deliberately obstructed the license renewal and is damaging businesses across the state to score political points.

What Neville really means is that the paperwork can’t be redone now (or since the day after MillerCoors got their expiration notice) because the employees are laid off. But that’s not why it got canceled in the first place. Except you don’t know that because the BBC didn’t give you the information you need.

Why did the BBC leave it out of context like this? Don’t they know what actually happened? Or do they know all too well, but censored the facts out in order to support their Narrative? The “More on this story” links at the bottom currently go to national sources, not local ones. Yes, I realize these change as they are updated on some schedule, but the only valid links should be local papers. Both the Time and CNN items actually tell the truth, so why can’t the BBC? It’s not good enough to lie in the report and only put a link to the truth at the bottom. Curiously one wire report has the Neville quote about the employees being laid off.

Once again the BBC reports on a US issue from the anti-Republican perspective, even allowing a little white lie in the process. And hey: if this is really down to sloppy churnalism necessitated by the 24/7 news cycle we demand from them, then what’s the point of it? Once again I say that the BBC can just shut down its entire newsgathering service on the US and simply replace them all with a news aggregator. You’d get more information that way, and less bias.

Delingpole Gets It

Hacking into voicemails is not so different from scrabbling around in dustbins searching for something to whip up into a scandal; well, perhaps one step further. The press may well be reflecting our appetite for tittle-tattle, but they created it in the first place and exploited it cynically and self-servingly ever since. Hacking into Milly Dowler’s voicemail when they knew she had probably been murdered, or interfering with serious police investigations was undoubtedly a step too far, but don’t let them pretend that the steps leading up to the extreme, grotesque intrusion we have now weren’t leading in exactly the same direction all along.

I’m sure this whole business is getting on everyone’s nerves. We’re all fed up with watching hacks, celebrities and broadcasters precariously balancing on their moral high horses. They’re blinded by the sanctimonious superiority they’ve suddenly adopted, so they don’t understand that their self-appointed mandate to moralise on behalf of the ‘victims’ makes you want to punch them in the face.
As soon as the media filters the news through its intrinsic limitations, in terms of education and attitude, there’s a danger of distortion, be it deliberate or not. So we need choice. If the BBC is campaigning for its own monopoly, that’s very wrong.

James Delingpole (H/T George R, thread on similar topic, below) sums it all up really well.

The BBC is at Least a Thousand Times More Evil and Dangerous than Rupert Murdoch

“And of course, the house leftists at the BBC (most of them recruited through the pages of the left-wing Guardian newspaper, which BBC employees tend to believe is also the ONLY newspaper) want to keep it that way. That’s why they have been pushing the “scandalous” Murdoch revelations so hard; that’s why Labour leader Ed Miliband and Tony Blair’s ex-enforcer Alastair Campbell and socialist ex-Prime-Minister Gordon Brown and the pathologically left-wing Twittersphere and, yes, the Guardian newspaper have been so eager to join in the fray. Sure they hate Murdoch, that’s a given. But what they hate far, far more – because they fear it – is the possibility that British audiences should be exposed as US audiences are to dangerously conservative concepts like freedom and small government.”

Please do read it all.

Those Oh So Sensitive BBC Editors…..

It’s a tough job, trundling through BBC’s Editors Blog (did Goebbels have something similar at his Propaganda Ministry?) but two items are worthy of note.

Firstly a tear stained piece from Jeremy Hillman, editor of the BBC News business and economics unit. Jeremy was soooooo upset about George Osborne suggesting

the BBC’s approach to reporting the economy was relentlessly to focus on the bad news and the most gloomy statistics.

Hillman went on to produce a fistful of examples in an attempt to derail Osborne’s case, par for the course for any BBC suit when faced with accusations of bias. Then he sits back smugly thinking he has proved his point.

Actually Sarah Montague, despite Hillman’s spin about consciously downplaying Padoan, did indeed home in on the Padoan remarks so obviously she didn’t get the memo.

But we all know what Osborne was really getting at – not that they ignored positive items about the economy from third parties but the whole question of tone and emphasis which is why he used the word “relentlessly”. Ever since the Coalition took office the BBC’s overarching leitmotif has been CUTS rather than savings and one only has to watch any QT audience to see how successful that campaign has been.

However the good news is that Osborne’s comment touched a nerve. I guess that this issue has been raised at several North London dinner parties recently because Hillman and his pals realise that Charter Renewal is beginning to appear on the horizon and they cannot afford to upset a senior cabinet figure. Let’s hope that other government big cheeses start getting under sensitive BBC skins on a regular basis.

Then this abject apology re the Israeli Dog Stoning story from Nathalie Malinarich, world editor of the BBC News website

We failed to make the right checks. We should never have written the article and apologise for any offence caused.

Don’t worry, luv – we know why you failed to make the right checks…..while you were all busy filling in your expenses forms a breathless young graduate trainee rushed in and blurted out “those crazy religious bigoted Jews – as well as murdering helpless innocent Palestinians they are now going after helpless dogs…”

It fitted into the BBC’s anti Israeli narrative so perfectly you just couldn’t resist it…c’mon, Nathalie…is the Pope catholic? Those Jews aren’t they evil?

The Dishonesty And Political Advocacy Of Justin Webb

The latest BBC article about the US economic situation is by that well-known economics and business expert, Justin Webb. Yes, he went to the LSE, so must surely be qualified to prescribe a cure for what ails the US.

But first, his dishonesty:

I should make it clear that my reporting of the United States, in the years I was based there for the BBC, was governed by a sense that too much foreign media coverage of America is negative and jaundiced.

Too much foreign media coverage, eh, Justin? You mean like this?

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

Who said that? Justin Webb in a ‘From Our Own Correspondent’ piece for the BBC. So who said this:

Some Tea Party folk hate Obama, but the movement is a symptom of something much deeper and more worrying for all Americans: they kinda hate themselves.

Justin Webb, in the Mirror (h/t David Vance of this parish). That was back when Webb and the BBC were pushing the lie that the mass murderer who attempted to kill Rep. Giffords in Tucson was a right-winger whose actions were inspired by the Tea Party.

And then there’s this gem:

Washington correspondent Justin Webb said that the BBC is so biased against America that deputy director general Mark Byford had secretly agreed to help him to ‘correct’, it in his reports. Webb added that the BBC treated America with scorn and derision and gave it ‘no moral weight’.

Foreign media, indeed.

Now on to the main point, ol’ Justin’s political advocacy masquerading as expert analysis.

This is a story of debt, delusion and – potentially – disaster. For America and, if you happen to think that American influence is broadly a good thing, for the world.

The debt and the delusion are both all-American: $14 trillion (£8.75tn) of debt has been amassed and there is no cogent plan to reduce it.

Denial? No cogent plan? He’s talking about the Democrats, most especially the President, who initially refused to cut any spending at all. Only that’s not what ol’ Justin wants you think. No, so long as he can convince you that it’s a bi-partisan denial, he can get away with the dishonesty.

In fact, Paul Ryan has had a cogent plan out for a while now. It’s only that Justin doesn’t like it because his personal political beliefs lead him elsewhere. To claim that nobody has one is simply a lie.

Webb’s first expert source is Jeffrey Sachs of Columbia’s Earth Institute. Even without guessing the political leanings of an organization with such a name, we can figure it out because Sachs himself says that Keynes was the “greatest political economist of the 20th century”. How convenient that it matches up with Webb’s LSE schooling.

Sachs says that the debt simply must be brought under control. Seriously, that’s it. No cogent plans offered. It’s as if Webb thinks that many people don’t realize this and need experts to tell us. What the hell does he think the Tea Party movement has been about? Oh, that’s right, I forgot: racism.

Next expert up is someone whom Webb describes only as an “author and economist”, Diane Coyle. What ol’ Justin doesn’t want you to know is that she’s also the Vice Chair of the BBC Trust and is married to BBC technology maven Rory Cellan-Jones (who was it here that coined the phrase “incest interview”?). Sure, she was an adviser to the Treasury during Thatcher’s Government, but did mostly foreign policy analyses and predictions, so not much of a Conservative. Her own website shows her involvement in Left-leaning philosophies. Her new book, “The Economics of Enough”, is all about countries living above their means and how over-spending and too much entitlement expense is not a good recipe for a secure future. Obviously ol’ Justin knows all about her book and its viewpoint, or he wouldn’t have brought her into the discussion. Coyle also offers no answers, only an explanation of one part of the problem and an emphasis that it’s really, really scary. Again, nothing new here, nothing added to the discussion of what to do, and certainly no proof that we’re all in denial, as Webb claims.

The third expert voice is just someone from the Council on Foreign Relations quoted to reinforce Webb’s contention that what happens to the US affects the whole world. Again, this assumes that the reader has no idea and Webb thinks you need an expert opinion to convince you that he’s right. Talk about underestimating the intelligence of the audience.

The only person identified by his political association is….wait for it….Republican David Frum. He’s a favorite of the BBC because he has shifted Leftwards and criticized George Bush. Webb quotes him as an example of stupid Republicans (read: Tea Party denialists and other enemies of the President) who are in denial of the problem.

This is, of course, a lie. Everyone knows there is a problem, which is why there’s such a huge budget battle on Capitol Hill right now. Who does Webb think he’s kidding here? Frum, in fact, is the only one of the voices Webb brings in who actually offers some kind of solution. Only he doesn’t like it, so dismisses it as denial. If there’s a simple solution, it must be no good because the problem is so complex and horrible. According to Justin, anyway.

So what’s this all about? A bit of scare-mongering. But before Webb gives us the answer, he first has a little attack on Alaska. What he says about the state being over-subsidized is true, even if Sarah Palin never existed, so I won’t say he’s focusing on Alaska only as a dig at her. What he is doing, though, is trying to use Alaska as a cudgel with which to beat the non-Left citizens and politicians of the US. He calls us hypocrites because Alaska exists as it does, and is mostly politically conservative. This is not a logical argument, but that’s what he’s saying. At no point does Webb show a Republican or Tea Party voice saying that we must keep federal subsidies at all cost while cutting spending on the poor. It’s just something he made up. Oh, and of course because he can’t resist it, he gets in a little ad hominem at the Tea Party:

The Tea Party movement talks of cuts in spending but when it comes to it, Americans always seem to be talking about cuts in spending that affect someone else, not them – and taxes that are levied on others too.

Yet another lie. The Tea Party movement is made up of people from all walks of life (except public sector unions and far-Left ideologues), many of whom will be affected by spending cuts no matter what Webb claims. He’s really parroting the union talking points you’ve been hearing from Bob Crow and Ed Miliband. No surprise, really.

Finally, ol’ Justin’s solution: more taxes, especially on the rich. He says that it’s Sach’s view the politicians are too scared to raise taxes because the evil rich don’t like it.

America’s two main political parties are so desperate to raise money for the nation’s constant elections – remember the House of Representatives is elected every two years – that they can do nothing that upsets wealthy people and wealthy companies.

So they cannot touch taxes.

Actually, they can: they can cut them. But that’s not part of ol’ Justin’s agenda here. So he closes with a little more dishonesty.

In all honesty, I am torn about the conclusions to be drawn. I find it difficult to believe that a nation historically so nimble and clever and open could succumb to disaster in this way.

Yeah, right. He has an opinion, which is why he’s trying to push the lie that nobody has a budget plan. The Democrats don’t have one that will fix the deficit, but the Republicans do. He just doesn’t like it so wants you to think nobody has one.

But America, as well as being a place of hard work and ingenuity, is also no stranger to eating competitions in which gluttony is celebrated, and wilful ignorance, for instance regarding (as many Americans do) evolution as controversial.

Ah, yes, the classic Justin Webb attack on the religious beliefs of non-Muslims. Except one’s views on evolution have nothing whatsoever to do with economics. It’s just something ol’ Justin threw in to belittle us, a non sequitur, as if he thinks one negative plus another negative equals more negatives, and that’s all there is to proving a point.

The debt crisis is a fascinating crisis because it is about so much more than money. It is a test of a culture.

Yes it is. But I don’t think it’s what Justin wants it to be. But his last line reveals his ignorance in a major way, and pretty much discredits his entire missive.

It is about waking up, as the Americans say, and smelling the coffee. And – I am thinking Texas here – saddling up too, and riding out with purpose.

Careful, Justin, you might just get what you wish for. Texas, you see, is the one state where they’re adding jobs and the economy is growing. In fact, 45% of jobs created in the last two years (i.e. during The Obamessiah Administration) have been in Texas. Because they’re doing it from a low-tax, help business, clean out draconian regulation, fiscally conservative position. Oops.

I think ol’ Justin has no idea about this at all, and was just trying to sound folksy, using an Americanism to add authenticity to his viewpoint. Fail.

HELLO!

Hi folks! Just to let you know I am back from holidays, suitably refreshed and ready for battle (Oops, is that the wrong sort of language to use, oh well…)

Managed to completely avoid the BBC during the past week or so and that was a small but merciful relief. That said, I did watch Sky 24hr News which was almost as bad as the BBC. It carries the same smug left of centre analysis of that typifies the BBC – and was cloying about Michele Obama’s recent electioneering pilgrimage to meet Saint Nelson in South Africa. Lord knows what the BBC coverage was like but I found Sky presenters lost all objectivity on the issue, hailing her as some sort of modern icon and role-model.

Of course the BIG difference is that I have a choice when it comes to Sky. I can choose not to pay for it. Alas the Biased BBC offers me no such freedom, demanding that I pay for the bias it churns out with such monotonous regularity.

The point of this blog is not just exposing the hypocritical unprofessional bias that pervades the State Broadcaster – though that is in itself a very useful service. We also exist to help raise awareness that it is WRONG to have a State Broadcaster extort cash from us in order that it can propagandise in ways that many of believe to be utterly wrong. Bias is not the only problem, making us fund it is even worse.

Ignorant US People Astonish Katty Kay

Check out Katty Kay – taking over for Matt Frei as alpha Beeboid at BBC World News America since he left for Channel 4 – telling Mayor Bloomberg of New York that she is “astonished” to learn that more and more people in the US are turning away from Warmism.

“What is it with the American public opinion that seems to fly in the face of all the scientific evidence?”

Calm down, dear. Substitute any other political issue and the Beeboids are usually equally astonished by American public opinion. But never mind.

First of all, it’s not that the people don’t believe the climate changes. That’s BS Number One from the Warmists. Of course the climate changes; we all know that and it’s not in dispute. The question is whether or not it’s caused mostly by human activity. The science on that is being debated all the time, yet the BBC acts as if it’s not, and only whackos don’t get it.

The reason I call this BS #1 is that the very euphemism the Warmists have forced into the discussion – “Climate Change” – is disingenuous. What they all really mean is Anthropogenic Global Warming. The “science” of AGW, invented by people whose careers and fortune depend on it becoming fact, is what Katty is talking about, and not about whether or not the earth’s climate changes or was in a warming trend for a while. But because the Warmists have already won the argument – if you’re using their terminology, they’ve already won the argument, even if you’re still talking – Katty and the BBC can get away with saying that people like me don’t believe in “Global Warming” when in fact it’s that we don’t believe that building one more clean coal plant will sink the Maldives. The recent record cold temperatures around the US probably don’t help. But that’s only weather, yeah.

The reason they switched terms is because “Global Warming” can mean all things to all people. There is no cause or effect implied. Yet we know the BBC and all Warmists believe the cause is human activity, as the topic of this discussion between Kay and Bloomberg proves. As the term itself is dishonest, this BBC segment is dishonest and Katty and Mayor Mikey are dishonest for using the term.

Mayor Bloomberg, of course, is a committed Warmist and an über-Nanny Statist. Don’t even get me started on the behavior he’s banned against the wishes of New Yorkers. Hell, even the fact that he’s mayor right now is undemocratic, because he went against the voters – and his own promise – and twisted enough arms to change the term limit rules so he could buy a third election run for mayor a third time (and I speak as someone who happily voted for him the first time, knowing full well that he was a RINO Nanny). So this guy is the perfect example of an elite ruling class forcing his own personal wishes on a helpless public. No wonder the BBC wanted to talk to him. As soon as Bloomberg says “reduce consumption”, you know where he and the BBC stand. All your personal freedoms are belong to us.

I’m not going to bother getting into more details of Katty’s interview with the mayor, because it’s beyond the point. The BBC – as admitted by Jeremy Paxman in the sidebar – long ago took sides in the debate, and actively works to pursue a specific political agenda. Carbon emission regulations, coal plant permits, government subsidy/investment in various technologies, and the regulations for the entire automotive industry are all political issues. Even if we’re talking about seat belts in cars or helmets for motorcycles, creating a law about any of it is a political issue. No matter which side one is on, it’s done in the legislature by – in theory – democratically elected representatives, and these laws can be changed or repealed entirely by the next batch of democratically elected representatives if that’s what the voters want.

It doesn’t matter which side of the Warmism debate one is on. Legislation is political, full stop. The BBC always takes sides in this specific political issue, and deliberately chooses disingenuous language to support it. And as seen here, they do political advocacy posing as news and information.