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.

Israel In The Crosshairs Of The BBC

There’s plenty of other stuff on this blog about the BBC’s unbalanced bias against Israel after the President’s speech yesterday, but here’s one glaring example of their entrenched anti-Israel attitude.

This article about Netanyahu’s visit to the US and audience with the President includes an analysis inset from Wyre Davies, in which he sneers at the Israeli PM and at what he perceives to be trained seals in Congress, as well as at the nasty old Jewish Lobby. Surely there is a less snarky – less editorializing and impartial – way to describe the situation? In the middle of the article itself, though, the News Online sub-editor slips in this other bit of Davies’ wisdom:

Israel’s claim to being the only democratic state in the region has also been undermined by the dramatic developments of the “Arab Spring” anti-government uprisings, our correspondent adds.

Let’s consider the twisted logic here. Davies – approved by the BBC – is saying that protests against Arab dictators have (Davies uses the past tense, and so will I) already undermined Israel’s claim to being the only democracy in the village. In other words, according to the BBC protesting against dictators diminishes the democratic position of the only non-dictatorship.

And this isn’t the first time I’ve heard this Narrative from a Beeboid. Kevin Connolly, having departed his former post as US correspondent where he insulted thousands of people on air with a sexual innuendo to become a newly-minted Middle East correspondent, said the exact same thing two weeks ago.

Now if, in a few months’ time or so, an Arab/Muslim country actually achieved a state of democracy as a result of all these Arab Spring protests (which would be great and fine with me, regardless of the resulting government’s attitude towards Israel or the US), then there would be some validity to the BBC’s position. At this time, though, there is no such thing. In fact, the protests highlight the very fact the BBC says is undermined by them. But since BBC groupthink is that Israel is the worst of the bunch and the root cause of all strife in the Middle East (even as the President tells them to cut the crap), they see it exactly backwards.

The anti-Israel sentiment entrenched at the BBC twists their vision into seeing black as white. Protests against dictators undermine the idea that Israel is the only non-dictatorship in the region? Only in the minds of Beeboids. Sadly, it’s a set Narrative, clearly prepared in advance, with the latest opportunity seized with gusto. They want Israel to be undermined, to be diminished, to be delegitimized, and see it happening even where it’s the exact opposite.

Bin Laden’s Death: Illegal Assassination or Legitimate Target? Depends On Who’s President…..

Have Your Say, 2001:

Can state assassinations be justified?

US President George Bush has told the CIA to find and destroy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda terrorist network.

The president has given the agency the green light to do “whatever is necessary” – which could include an assassination attempt – and has given it £700 million in funding to carry out the mission.

The operation will include the CIA working with commandos and other military units to act immediately on intelligence uncovered by American spies about enemy targets.

Should the CIA have been given the go ahead to assassinate Bin Laden? Can such actions ever be justified?

Have Your Say, 2011:

Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden dead: Your reaction

BBC News website readers in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been sharing their views on the death of al-Qaeda’s founder and leader, Osama Bin Laden.

Osama Bin Laden evaded the forces of the US and its allies for almost a decade, despite a $25m bounty on his head.

Enough said.

UPDATE May 3: Der Spiegel asks the question the BBC has curiously stopped asking:

Was Bin Laden’s Killing Legal?

BBC Censorship: Spot The Missing President Edition

One today’s ‘B’ stories is about all the Gulf Coast fisherman complaining that BP isn’t dealing fairly with them, isn’t paying enough compensation, won’t let them into meetings for a negotiation. Nasty old BP, oil destroys communities, etc. There’s also a round of Spot The Missing Word.

The News Channel just let a Louisiana oysterman have a three-minute rant about how evil BP is. Beeboid Emma let him go on uninterrupted, and only after he was finished did she close with one sentence about how BP created a $20 billion fund for this.
Did you spot the missing word?

The Obamessiah made this deal with BP behind closed doors. There is no room for the fishermen to negotiate, or increase the money of the fund, or anything else. Unsurprisingly, He was the top recipient of campaign cash from BP.

The BBC doesn’t want you to know any of that, and has censored all mention of His involvement from all reports today about this issue.

Significant Strands of Opinion

In his new online magazine The Commentator, Robin Shepherd writes about the BBC in the light of the recent observations about the BBC by Michael Buerk and Peter Sissons. He concludes:

“Three possible strategies come to mind: work to reform it; work around it by pressing for a freeing up of the regulatory environment so that a robust competitor can be established in the private sector; or work to abolish it.”

The first has been tried. That is no reason not to try again. But the rot runs so deep that we may have to face the prospect that the BBC is simply unreformable.”

I’m not certain who has tried to reform the BBC. I understand it has been tinkered with from time to time; a new appointee here and there, a few MPs have grumbled. Then there’s this website as well as frequent references on other websites where the BBC’s bias is taken as read. (Or should that be red.) But this hardly constitute a *strategy*.

The second is a good idea regardless of what the BBC does. In an open society it is deplorable that the state should dictate who can say what in the public domain. The airwaves should be free.

Whatever regulatory restrictions there are that prevent robust competition, the BBC will always have the upper hand, as the residual effect of its reputation for excellence and impartiality still lingers in the public’s perception, despite its own suicidal efforts to squander the lot.
Look at the way everyone sneers at Fox Sky CNN etc. The only one they praise is Al-Jazeera.

“Looking to the long term, the third (Working to abolish it)
is a less remote possibility than it might currently appear. While today’s political establishment is largely supportive of the BBC, there are significant strands of opinion taking shape within it that have grave misgivings about the way things have been going.”

We are ‘a strand with grave misgivings’, but so what? Where’s the motivation for a parliamentary decision to scrap the licence fee, or whatever it would take? Politicians and the BBC need each other, so MPs are hardly likely to be so radical.

I must say I regret the disappearance of the BBC spokespersons who used to engage with us here on B-BBC. One of them implied that doing so was frowned upon by the powers that be, so a fatwa of some sort might have been decreed. On the other hand, they might have dismissed us as a bunch of right-wing mouth-frothers unworthy of whatever credibility any of their precious attention might bestow upon us.
People complain that we don’t want unbias, only our kind of bias. As has been noted, true impartiality is strictly for inanimate objects. There is one kind of bias that we should embrace, bias towards ’good’ and against ‘bad.’ We certainly differ over what constitutes good and bad, but meddling with omissions, emotive language, selectivity and disproportionate emphases in news reporting is irresponsible and dangerous.

Finally, I saw some comments on Guido’s blog, and I’ve seen similar here too, to the effect that some people don’t see why they should care about the Middle East. About The Commentator:

“Israel, arentcha sick of hearing about it? It’s alright in small doses to keep informed about what’s going on, but it’s tedious having it front and centre on a new centre right site. Boring.”

and:

“ The reast of the world would be happy if the whole bloody middle-east were just to fuck off and die, quietly please.”

People boast about their own ignorance when they haven’t got the brains to see that they should be ashamed of it. We can’t all be interested in everything, I know, and it takes all sorts etc., and no doubt such people have opinions about something or other, otherwise they wouldn’t bother to comment on a blog. But I wonder what has made them think that displaying perverse bravado is a good idea, rather than a gigantic embarrassment.