Nature or Nurture? Justin Webb Opens His Diary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stone-Age superstitions

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A TANGLED WEBB?

Justin Webb Reveals His Bias And Dishonesty

A TANGLED WEBB

This and That

Justin Webb Reports

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

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

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

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

“I’m Not Very Impartial When It Comes To US Politics! x” said the BBC journalist.

(UPDATED, see below the fold) On Wednesday’s open thread, DB posted a tweet from BBC journalist, Jude Machin, expressing her hope to wake up in the middle of the night to watch her beloved Obamessiah debate His enemy for the first time. The point DB was making is best expressed visually, so I’ll reproduce it here:

UPDATE: As you can see above, someone has forced a little impartiality on Jude after all. Awww. I’m currently having difficulty uploading the screenshot I took at the time, but fortunately DB took one and posted it in the comments below.

(UPDATE to above UPDATE: The above update was written after Machin changed the pic to one of herself holding what appeared to be an Olympic torch, but before the entire Twitter account was killed. I was referring here to the new profile avatar.)

Jude has gone all out in her devotion, it seems. So much for not doing anything stupid, eh, Ms. Boaden? Naturally, a fellow worshiper chimed in with an “Amen, sister!”


…prompting a response from the erstwhile “Obamamama”:


The sister worshiper is Leah Gooding, BBC Newsround presenter.

They’re all at it, and they don’t care about showing it in public. Ms. Gooding doesn’t have the requisite “views my own” get-out-of-bias free card that most of them do, but neither does she have the BBC logo. So she’s probably beyond the reach of the BBC guidelines.

Are these tweets proof of biased reporting/presenting on their own? No. But added all up, they create a profile of the very kind of echo chamber fellow Left-leaning BBC journalist, Kate Dailey, was warning against only yesterday. It has to affect BBC reporting on some level. If they all share the same approved thoughts anyway, it will happen naturally, without conspiracy or awareness.

Time for some more social media training courses, I think. Somebody should ask Helen Boaden if this is the kind of thing she was talking about when she asked staff to engage the brain before “rushing to communicate.

UPDATE AGAIN: Below are the screenshots. I’ve left the above embeds as is, in order to show that Machin’s Twitter account has been sent down the memory hole. That’s why there’s no more profile pic. It’s possible she killed it once I told them I had screenshots. Another round of training is in order, I should think. At your expense.

Jude Machin Twitter Screenshot Obama avatar

Leah Gooding approves of Jude Machin's Obama Avatar

Muslim Brotherhood Calls For Violence – Jeremy Bowen Unavailable For Comment

Thank goodness somebody at the US Embassy in Cairo has a pair:

It was in reply to this, as pointed out by Douglas Murray in the Spectator:

(Screengrab of the US tweet can be seen here. I’ll get to why this is necessary in a minute.)

Isn’t that sweet? One of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Arabic tweets, to which the US Embassy tweet was referring said:

Egyptians rising up in support of the Prophet in front of the American embassy

That’s the caption to the photo of a raging mob from this article on the MB’s official website, Ikwhanonline.  The article itself is a description of the incident, not really an incitement to violence or anything, but it’s revealing of the MB’s real attitude towards the violence nonetheless. I’m sure defenders of the indefensible who are media professional can explain to me how this casual description of violence jibes with their official declaration of sympathy with the US. There was no condemnation until somebody called them on it.

Any offending tweets have been deleted, of course, just like certain Beeboid tweets after they got caught. Notice that, while the MB’s social media staff seem to beavering away most days, sending out tweets practically every hour, sometimes even more often than that, there’s a huge gap of silence between 1:28pm and 11:23pm. Curious. Similarly, there’s an anomalous twelve hour gap of silence on Sept. 12 in the Twitter feed of the MB’s official website. According to Bloomberg, the MB cheekily played innocent when responding to the US Embassy.

CBS News seems to be taking the MB’s side on this one, claiming that, while the US Embassy deleted their tweet, the MB’s own tweets can still be found on their feed. This is obviously not true. But it’s pretty uncool that the US Embassy staff was forced to delete their tweets. This is the same US Embassy which tweeted an apology for the film before the attacks. What a disaster. There’s groveling dhimmitude at the highest levels of the US Government, it seems. The Leftosphere, naturally, is criticizing the US Embassy staff for being childish. I have no idea why nobody else seems to be wondering why there’s a huge gap in the MB’s twitter feed, since the US Embassy in Cairo must have been responding to something a little stronger.

However, MEMRI highlights this article from Aug. 27 by an MB member directly calling for jihad against the usual stock villains, descendents of pigs and dogs, and the US:

Praising The Traits Of The Jihad Fighter

“Fasting [during Ramadan] is one of the most powerful means to educate the human spirit for jihad. Fasting involves a spiritual effort to act in a way contrary to what is accepted, and to completely abandon desires… It also schools the Muslim in patience, resilience, endurance, and sacrifice, which are all traits of the jihad fighter…

Plus there’s a call to liberate Jerusalem. They’re not so innocent as Jeremy Bowen, award-winning BBC Middle East editor, once claimed. Bowen described the Muslim Brotherhood as being “conservative, moderate and non-violent”. Until, that is, he got caught and quickly deleted the word “moderate”. Unfortunately, though, the “non-violent” modifier is still there. This should be enough to cause his removal, but the BBC still views him as their most trusted go-to man on Middle East issues. And they expect you to trust someone who describes the Muslim Brotherhood as moderate and non-violent.

Bowen’s colleague, John Leyne, suggests that this violence could lead to better relations between the US and Egypt. No, seriously.

The filmmaker was removed from his home yesterday – voluntarily, yeah, surrounded by police – for “questioning”. Whatever his real name is, the guy is apparently on probation for a conviction for bank fraud. One requirement of his probation is that he can’t use the internet, or get someone to do something on the internet for him. That’s why the FBI had him brought in. In other words, somebody uploading that trailer to YouTube on his behalf is enough for the President of the US to have somebody investigated and brought in. The man has since been released, which pretty much tells you all you need to know about the people who run US law enforcement right now.

The BBC, which spent a huge amount of energy recently trying to figure out who made this film, has for some bizarre reason censored both the news about this incident, and the news about the twitter stuff. I wonder why?

Again, I fully expect our defenders of the indefensible who are media professional to explain this all to me in detail.

Paul Mason On Paul Ryan

Newsnight economics editor Paul Mason has put together a little hit piece on Paul Ryan. Under the pretext of examining whether or not Ryan’s budget proposals will help the US in fiscal crisis, Mason attacks and demonizes.

Could Paul Ryan’s plans fix US debt?

Hands up all those who think we’re going to get an honest examination of those plans. Nobody?

Mason’s opening salvo tells you it’s an attack. Right away he claims that in a matter of days Ryan has “polarized US politics”. What? Haven’t Mardell and the rest of them been telling us that the country’s politics have been polarized and more divided than ever before since the nasty Tea Party got busy? All of a sudden we’re polarized?

The video clip of Ryan is cut short before we get to actual policy points, allowing through just a statement about cutting spending in general. So far, you’re not informed at all about the actual plans.

First expert commentator: this benefits the President. How does this help examine whether or not Ryan’s plans will benefit or harm the country? Don’t be silly: that’s not what Mason’s goal is at all. His real goal is show that Ryan is bad for the country, and a bad choice for Romney. Whether or not Ryan’s policies help the President in campaign rhetoric is irrelevant to a discussion about Ryan’s plans fixing the debt. But that’s what Mason gives you.

Then Mason plays an excerpt of Ryan giving the President a hard time over budget issues. This video has been making the rounds of the Rightosphere lately, as evidence of why Romney chose him. So the Beeboids do pay attention after all. But listen to what Mason says next. Ryan wants to cut Welfare and Food Stamps, apparently. And, “says, Ryan, growth would follow.” So that’s it, is it? Crushing the poorest and most vulnerable is Ryan’s recipe for success, eh?

It’s the simplest trick in the world: use the most general terms possible, no details, and claim “accuracy”. In fact, even the mandarins at the government program themselves admit that it’s more about putting back some means-testing as a way to get spending back to 2008 levels. Sure, they describe it as the cruel wresting of vital support for “low-income families”, but that’s their job. They’re not about fixing the debt problem. Mason is giving you a talking point more than he’s giving you a useful fact. Of course, the BBC can claim “accuracy” here, because Ryan’s plan would, in fact, cut expenditure on these programs. The hows and whys are apparently irrelevant.

But that’s not even the real point, is it? This is supposed to be about whether or not Ryan’s budget ideas will save the country. Mason, it seems, has no interest in giving you any information with which to decide for yourselves. Instead, he’s giving you partisan attack points. Then the biased reporting really kicks in.

Mason next shows a clip from Ryan’s recent stump appearance in Iowa. He got heckled, and Mason uses this as proof that “the Democrat half of the country” doesn’t like him. Again, we get no policy statement from him, just the bit where he gets heckled.

I’d like to pause for a moment and ask defenders of the indefensible to show me examples of the BBC showing the President getting heckled and reporting it as proof that a portion of the country has a legitimate objection to His policies.

As for the Ryan clip, all we see is him criticizing the hecklers, which is followed immediately by footage of the President having a great old time meeting some other Iowans. He’s at ease, smiling and pressing the flesh, complimenting the local prowess in sno-cone making, and nearly kissing a baby. No hecklers, no negatives, no hint that part of the country might object to any of His policies.

However, I have to ask if this footage was included in the interests of “balance”? If so, why? This is supposed to be about Ryan and his budget ideas. Actually, Mason cleverly uses this as a segue to support his rather fatuous statement that this election is suddenly about “where you’re from”. It’s bogus because Ryan was teasing. Anybody who doesn’t rely on or trust the BBC for their news on US issues will know very well about just how ugly and violent the Democrats in Wisconsin can get when they don’t like a politician. Ryan wasn’t seriously saying those hecklers could never be from Iowa or Wisconsin. He was just making a weak crack about them being rude. For Mason to take that and spin it into a larger issue of some kind of regional divide is even weaker. Now, one could make a case for the South not being so supportive of the President, but that’s all racism, according to the Left and the BBC, and not because they think Ryan’s budget ideas are sound. But that’s another argument altogether, and won’t help Mason’s agenda.

Then we get a liar from the Washington Post. She plays the class war game, much beloved by Mason and the BBC. The WaPo hack claims that choosing Ryan is proof that Romney wants to cut taxes on the rich, full stop. Once again the BBC can claim the vaguest definition of “accuracy” here, because a tax cut across the board – for everyone – will by definition include tax cuts for the rich. This is, in fact, Romney’s plan, something the BBC leaves out in order to seriously mislead you and grossly misrepresent the facts. Mason gets away with it this time because it’s some US mouthpiece saying it and not him. So where’s the balance, the explanation of even one single relevant detail of Ryan’s or Romney’s plan never mind whether or not it will help fix the debt crisis? Don’t make me laugh.

After this, Mason gives us another White House talking point: it’s Congress’s fault. No mention that the Republican-led House has passed a budget – twice – while the Democrat-led Senate has blocked it and failed to pass one in three years and counting. No mention that the President’s own offerings have been such a joke that the CBO couldn’t even score it and His Plan For Us never passed the laugh test enough for anyone in Congress to even consider it.

Mason gives us one last generality, that Ryan wants to cut spending in order to promote growth. “But that is one major throw of the dice.” Yes, that’s one opinion: Paul Mason’s. Which is the whole reason the BBC has these titled “editor” positions. It gives them an excuse to allow opinion-mongering in place of real reporting. Not a single second of actual reporting is in evidence here. Instead, it’s carefully selected and edited footage to support Mason’s opinion of Ryan’s fiscal conservatism.

Now that I’ve spent time playing the ball, it’s time to play the man. We know for a fact that Mason is a Marxist, and supports the Occupy movement. We know his political opinions from his tweets and his books and his support for and participation in far-Left organizations and conferences. All that on its own would be enough to cause concern over his capability for impartial reporting, except the BBC doesn’t accept that. Yet now we see his opinion being offered on air, and it’s the same one we see from his extracurricular activities. His personal political bias informs his “reporting”. It’s as plain as day.

Your license fee hard at work, promoting the domestic agenda of the leader of a foreign country.

Mark Mardell – Anti-War Correspondent

Sometimes Mark Mardell just can’t help but express his opinion on world affairs. This time he’s expressing his disdain for the way US troops will continue to engage in military action in Afghanistan even though a decision has been made by the President to hand full military control over to the Afghan Government in 2014. The fact that he simply doesn’t understand what this means shows just how naive and ideological the man is.

Mission, sort of, accomplished

After the obligatory dig at George Bush, Mardell gives us an analogy to show us what he thinks about the whole state of affairs. He likens the troop draw-down and continued military policing of the country to the pointless butchery in the last few hours of World War I after the armistice had been signed. No, this highly-paid, world-traveled, expert journalist actually doesn’t know the difference between a cease-fire and the gradual handing over of power to a new government after military reconstruction.

I have been asking some of those involved whether the end in Afghanistan amounts to a prolonged version of much the same thing.

For the next two years British and American soldiers will be risking their lives for a war that we know will end in 2014, no matter what.

See what I mean? He really doesn’t get it. And he’s not done expressing his opinion. Of course, being a clever, trained journalist, he uses the rhetorical device of asking a question behind which to hide his opinion.

Has Nato masterfully spun an acceptance of defeat and subsequent retreat into something that looks a bit like victory?

Defeat? Al Qaeda has long been broken into the tiniest of pieces, really no longer existing, the Taliban we’re fighting bears little resemblance to those who ran much of the country 12 years ago. This is obviously a definition of “defeat” I wasn’t previously aware of. It’s not a perfect, obvious victory in that we haven’t created a stable environment like we did in Germany or Japan after WWII. But Mardell doesn’t see any of that. He sees only continued fighting, ergo it’s a defeat.

So outraged and confused is he by the fact that young men will continue to die for what he sees as someone merely hitting the “off” switch, that he goes to Ft. Bragg to question the last batch of US troops preparing for their tour of engagement. Fortunately, most of the soldiers seem to understand what they’re up against, and can grasp the larger picture better than the man the BBC expects not only you to trust about US issues, but expects their own young journalists to trust for lessons on how to be a correspondent.

The soldiers seem to understand that there are larger issues at play in the long term, but also realize that doesn’t discount everything that’s gone on the whole time. To Mardell, though, the fact that there are larger issues at play is proof that this war never should have happened, and needs to be shut down. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Mark Mardell report without the reflexive praising of the President, and he doesn’t disappoint:

It seems obvious to me that Obama has been pretty hard-headed, deciding to end a war when it was clear to him that it couldn’t be “won” in a conventional sense.

This view is supported by an important article by David Sanger in the New York Times.

Here we see the appeal to authority. Because he realizes most of his readers won’t know who Sanger is, he even explains that authority for us.

Sanger’s record is impressive. He gets the inside story more often than any other Washington journalist.

People who do know who Sanger is, though, will know that he mostly just likes hands-on, authoritative Presidential behavior in this matters. He like Clinton’s quasi-personal approach, mocked Bush as “Incurious George”, and expressed his disappointment when the current President dithered on Libya and then led from behind. Funny how Mardell wasn’t appealing to Sanger’s authority then, eh? So now when the President has acted decisively, Sanger is pleased. Mardell is especially pleased because on this occasion his beloved Obamessiah has done something with which he agrees.

Next comes the required “balance”. Mardell quotes John McCain’s disapproval of setting a date for withdrawal. Never mind how so far this piece is really two against one – Mardell and Sanger in support of the President’s decision to withdraw, and McCain against. And it’s about to get much worse. Where does Mardell go for the final say on the matter? Does he seek out a foreign policy expert? A military historian? A seasoned diplomat? No, becaue none of them with any credibility would call this a defeat, which is what Mardell thinks. To find somebody who agrees with him, he asks an Occupier:

The many anti-war protesters who gathered on the streets of Chicago believe the real problem is the exact opposite.
Riot police and protesters clash in Chicago The Nato summit has attracted many anti-war campaigners to Chicago

Among them is Occupy Washington’s Kevin Zeese. He says soldiers are going on fighting their way towards a deadline for one reason.

“That’s what happens when you lose a war. It is like Iraq. This is how you get out when you lose.

Mark Mardell: BBC anti-war correspondent, and dishonest Beeboid. Why am I calling him dishonest this time? Because Kevin Zeese isn’t just an Occupier or merely one of a number of anti-war protesters: he’s also executive director of the anti-war activist group, “Come Home America“, and co-founder of “Voters for Peace”. The man the BBC expects you to trust most on US issues doesn’t want you to know that, because it would detract from the credibility of his piece, so he left that out. Neither he nor his editor want you to know the truth, because it’s with Zeese that Mardell agrees most of all.

Covering Up The Cover-Up

(UPDATE: See below) The BBC has posted a news brief about the recent seizure of more than 250,000 rounds of assault weapon ammo being smuggled from the US into Mexico. Not a single mention of the massive story of Operation Fast & Furious, the scandal involving the ATF and the US Justice Dept. deliberately allowing weapons to be sold to arms dealers working with Mexican drug cartels in order to create a body count with which they could inspire more interest in stricter gun control laws.

As this blog has shown, the BBC has barely touched on this scandal at all, and has in fact censored most news about it. Here they’re doing it again. The scandal is highly relevant to this story of ammo smuggling, because the ammo is for the kinds of weapons sold to cartel gun-runners on orders from the US Government.

The BBC even has the gall to mention that the Mexican President is calling for stricter US gun laws, but deliberately censors information about how this has come to pass. They even bring up the body count meme, which is exactly what the gun control advocates in the Government wanted. Yet they censor the actual story behind it all.

The Beeboids behind this know exactly what they’ve done here, and why. This was a deliberate editorial decision to censor news for ideological purposes.

UPDATE: Now the truck driver’s boss says it was a legal shipment to Phoenix, and the driver took a wrong turn. Apparently an ammo sales company in Phoenix claims they ordered the stuff and it’s their shipment. Presumably the ATF is no longer telling them to sell it to gunrunners, so it’s legal stuff going to legal buyers. We’ll see.

If this turns out to be true, we can fully expect the BBC story to “evolve”, right? They don’t go running off to report sensational stories without waiting to see if the facts are correct, right?

OFF THE RAILS!

Biased BBC’s Alan writes;


“Richard Bacon was onthe other day talking about the Queen’s 60th Jubilee and Andrew Marr’sprogramme about it .Bacon thought Marr too obsequious and reverential -.whatwas needed obviously was more scandal and provocative, damaging revelationsabout the Queen. However he did think the Panorama programme on US tent cities was good:

richard bacon @richardpbacon
‘That Panorama was bloody good’

The irony of the tent cities in America of unemployed people is when youcontrast them to the posturing pseuds of the Occupy tent cities. The‘Occupiers’ are anti-capitalism and business whilst those in the last resorttent cities would love a job and for capitalism to kick in again at full blast. 


The BBC does love to use a programme about one thing to slip in its Marxistworld view about something else. A good example recently is this:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p00ncxkd/Toughest_Place_to_be_a…_Series_2_Train_Driver/

What should have been a programme about a man’s struggle to master a trainbecomes a social commentary on living conditions and business practises inPeru.

“The metals and minerals carried by this train brought new wealth to Peru andmake up 60% of its exports but this is a divided society with millions livingin poverty. Passing through one of Lima’s largest slums the train is regularlyattacked by people venting their frustration at this growing inequality.”  (Really? Who says they’re not just vandals?)

The programme was run through with these sentiments attacking the miningindustry overlaid with sad music providing a soundtrack to the ‘desperateplight’ of the people….‘on this wild frontier nothing stands in the way ofthe mining industry‘……‘starting to realise that the main thing is to getthis valuable mineral to the ports to ship them off to the rich countries,China and America, not bothered about anything except getting this stuff to theports and the ships…’

Presumably before the mining industry brought massive numbers of jobs andwealth to the country they all lived in vast wealth and harmony….the influxof money for exports has curiously meant less money for Peruvians?

BBC logic suggests that industry and business are bad things, but the government isfailing to create jobs and growth which are needed to stop the youthrioting….so we need industry and business because they are good things. Immigration is good for the economy and is therefore good ….but the growingeconomy is bad for the environment and is therefore bad. Though US immigration is bad as it is ‘hoovering up’ all the world’sresources…unless of course it is poor Mexicans without whom American societywould collapse without all those maids, nannies and gardeners.

Twitter Me This

Ranting about biased Beeboid tweets has become something of a favorite past time around here recently, and deservedly so.  DB’s trap shooting in particular has provided some real gems, and several other people have brought biased tweets to our attention. The problem, though, is that, with one exception, ultimately the BBC employees revealing their bias remain unaccountable, unaffected by any controversy, and the biased behavior continues unabated.  They have no problem openly laughing at us.

We know that the official BBC guidelines abjure openly biased utterances on social media.  The catch phrase is “Don’t do anything stupid”.  They make a distinction between “official” Twitter accounts and personal ones.  Only the “official” ones (NB: pdf file), which require the approval of management and are allegedly monitored by a senior editor, are required to follow BBC guidelines of impartiality.  If we take a broad constructionist interpretation, this means that anything which is not strictly prohibited in the text would be permitted.  Thus, all those personal accounts can use the “opinions my own” disclaimer as a get-out-of-bias-free card, even though they openly state their positions at the BBC.  It’s pretty obvious that there’s a massive grey area here, and I seriously doubt that BBC management has spent much time trying to draw a line between them.

I have my doubts because we know from Mark Mardell’s appearance at the BBC College of Journalism that they accept that their use of Twitter “doesn’t follow BBC guidelines” (@36:45).   I don’t know how much more proof we need.

The reason I bring this up is because there’s been a highly relevant incident recently at the Washington Post.

Jennifer Rubin, the lone non-Left voice at the paper (she’s a blogger and not even a reporter or editor), recently retweeted a blog post by “Bad Rachel” about the release of Gilad Shalit, which was full of rather unfortunate anti-Palestinian vitriol.  There was naturally a backlash, and Patrick Pexton, the WaPo ombudsman, chose to publicly chastise Rubin for it.  He admits that he always gets a load of complaints that the paper even allows a conservative voice in its pages, which is pretty funny.  But what he said was instructive. Remember, this is about a mere retweet, and not somebody telling George Osborne to [email protected]#$ off or calling for support for Occupy Wall Street:

But how responsible is Rubin for it? She didn’t write it. It did not appear anywhere in The Washington Post — online or in print. It appeared on Abrams’s independent “Bad Rachel” blog, and then Abrams broadcast it on Twitter.


Some readers suggested that because an employee retweeted this link, The Post somehow condones genocide against Palestinians. That’s nonsense. The Post’s journalism and its editorials show a deep commitment to human rights around the globe, from Russia to China, to North Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and beyond.


It’s also worth noting that the rules of objectivity that apply to editors, reporters and bloggers in The Post newsroom do not apply to Post opinion bloggers and columnists. Post opinion writers are given greater leeway to say what they want. That’s how it should be. If the opinion section were too politically correct, it’d be dull.

So we see here a distinction between columnists and opinion bloggers.  But is the BBC’s distinction between “official” Twitter accounts and the rest of them equally valid?  I would say not, as people like Matt Danzico and Mark Sandell and Jane Bradley are not opinion bloggers or op-ed writers for the BBC.  Yet they reveal their bias and, in the case of Bradley, seem to be proud of it.

The Washington Post ombudsman then lays out the official guidelines:

Social-media accounts maintained by Washington Post journalists — whether on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or elsewhere — reflect upon the reputation and credibility of The Washington Post’s newsroom. Even as we express ourselves in more personal and informal ways to forge better connections with our readers, we must be ever mindful of preserving the reputation of The Washington Post for journalistic excellence, fairness and independence.

He again points out that writers hired specifically for their personal opinions are not included in the “journalistic excellence and fairness” bit, but that their public behavior reflects on the credibility of the WaPo nevertheless.

With this example in mind, one has to ask if the BBC should similarly be concerned about how the constant stream of biased tweets from Beeboids from a number of different departments and job levels reflects on their credibility.  Does the “opinions my own” disclaimer really excuse all of it?  Does the Washington Post – a paper so biased that the previous ombudsman apologized for their pro-Obamessiah bias during the 2008 election, and the publisher had to apologize for trying to organize dinner parties at her own home to provide personal access to Administration officials – have more integrity than the BBC?  Unless they rein in this partisan behavior, I would have to say yes.

If nothing else, the sheer volume of biased utterances from the Left and the fact that there has yet to be a single example of a Beeboid tweet from the Right shows that the BBC is full of Leftoids, and the groupthink is endemic. Intellectual diversity at the BBC seems to be practically non-existent, and their public behavior with social media proves it.

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.

The Bias Of Katty Kay Revealed On MSNBC

A couple days ago, BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of what’s left of BBC World News America, Katty Kay participated in a panel discussion on Chris “Thrill Up My Leg” Matthews’ show on MSNBC. Unlike the BBC, MSNBC has no Charter & Agreement requiring them to provide balance and remain impartial, and the panel is even more weighted to the Left: John Heilmann from New York Magazine, Katty, Helene Cooper from the New York Times, and Time Magazine’s Richard Stengel. The host himself is now infamous for his over-emotional statement on air of devotion to the President, and has spent much of the time since His election viciously attacking any opponent.

Before we get to the video, I have to say that it’s certainly not Katty’s fault that this is a far-Left echo-chamber, or that Matthews has a specific partisan agenda to push and assembled this panel accordingly. But she is responsible for her own words and behavior. Therein lies the danger of being a talking head on these panels. It’s all opinion-mongering, and there’s no escaping that the whole point of appearances like this is to give opinions on stories. Sometimes that’s not a big deal, like when a pundit is asked to predict how things might turn out, or explain a couple of angles a politician might take on something. But that’s not what’s going on this time.

Since she’s not actually on the BBC here, and is not performing any BBC-related duty, defenders of the indefensible can claim that she has no obligation to be impartial. All I can do is present this from the BBC’s own rulebook, and let people judge for themselves:

BBC News and Current affairs staff, BBC correspondents on non-staff contracts and freelances known primarily as presenters or reporters on BBC news and current affairs programmes, must remain impartial when speaking publicly or taking part in similar events, such as a public discussion or debate.

Now to the video:

Notice how Matthews misses Perry’s joke and claims this is embracing extremism. The first words out of the New York Magazine guy’s mouth are, “The Republican Party right now is a very ideological party.” And the Democrat Party isn’t? Matthews goes on to disparage Perry, and we can see the tone from the outset. Angry, extremist, mean, ideological. Matthews really piles on, blatantly misrepresenting the message of the movement: “We don’t believe in evolution. We don’t believe in Climate Change.” He says this is the language of the Tea Party. Nods of agreement all round, and no protest at all from Katty Kay. She agrees with the characterization that this is what the Tea Party movement is about. If she thought differently, she would have said something.

This has not and has never been the language of the Tea Party movement. The last two and a half years have been about fiscal responsibility. Katty actually later acknowledges this fact, but only after she says that the movement is all social conservatives. Once again I have to state emphatically for any lurking defenders of the indefensible waiting for a gotcha moment: Of course there are plenty of social conservatives in the movement, and of course these issues concern them. Yes, social conservatives have also tried to jump on the bandwagon and co-opt the movement’s energy for their own ends. But the inspiration, the driving force, the raison d’être of the Tea Party movement is fiscal conservatism and nothing else. Remember – and I sympathize with those who get their information on US issues from the BBC who were kept in the dark about this for months – the whole thing started as an anti-tax movement and grew into an anti-ObamaCare and anti-Socialism/Big-Government movement. Nothing else mattered. No social issues inspired this, none of the hundreds of spontaneous protests around the country were about social issues. It’s simply false to portray the movement and the millions of people supportive of it as social conservatives first and foremost. Yet the BBC Washington correspondent plays right along. For her to go along with it and abet Matthews’ smear is biased behavior, and, I believe, a breach of the BBC’s impartiality guidelines for correspondents.

Since a few genius pundits have been comparing Perry to Reagan, the discussion shifts to that idea. But things are different today than they were in 1980. “There seems to be a meanness of spirit,” Katty opines. Yes, she’s making a distinction between Reagan’s campaign and the rougher tone of today, but she’s also acting as if it’s only the Right which is acting this way. When did Katty ever frown at the President for saying “Punch back twice as hard”, or instructing His supporters to argue with opponents and “get in their face”, or for crying, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”? Never, and she wouldn’t dream of doing so. In fact, she’s pretending here that it never happened. I suppose that’s to be expected, seeing as how the BBC has censored this news, not allowing you to know about it. This is a BBC Washington Correspondent revealing what she thinks about the Tea Party movement and the Republican Party, and it’s exactly as biased as we’ve all been saying about her work for the BBC.

At one point, Katty states that Perry’s joke was actually him being mean, and that the public doesn’t like that sort of thing. Clearly she misses the point, just like the rest of these Leftoids. From nearly the very beginning of the movement, the Mainstream Media and Leftoid blogosphere have tried to characterize Tea Party people as being angry and mean. People here may recall just how many BBC reports on the movement (just click on anything in the Tag Cloud on the right side of this page with “Tea Party” in it, and you’ll see what I mean) focused on “boiling anger”, etc. So this is nothing new. Then there was the racist angle, thankfully absent from this particular discussion. The thing is, many in the movement have taken the approach of humor with it.

For example, the host of one Tea Party event I attended was a black man, who greeted the crowd by saying, “Hello all you racist rednecks!”. Perry is doing the same thing here. And the Leftoids on the panel simply don’t get the joke, as they’re the very people who actually are making the smear which Perry’s playing on. The crowd in the video obviously gets it, but the BBC Washington correspondent very obviously doesn’t.

There’s also the inevitable mention of Katty’s arch-nemesis, Sarah Palin, who is never far from her thoughts. It’s much harder now for Palin to enter the race, apparently. Glad that’s straightened out.

I’ve made a quite a few posts and comments on this blog highlighting the bias of Katty Kay’s reporting and interviewing manner on the BBC. Her personal opinion revealed here in her capacity as a pundit reflects my charges exactly.