Consistent double standards

She was fooled. She was duped. Sarah Palin gets the full unquotemarked treatment after listening politely to an imposter’s ramblings. I don’t know when it’s right to switch off a call in disgust, myself. Perhaps if the caller had made remarks about having sex with Palin’s daughter, eh? In the end Palin recognised instantly that she was talking to a radio DJ, and asked too quickly for the DJ’s own mind about their station’s listener call back facility (full audio, not on the BBC, here). The BBC meanwhile should know this only cheapens politics and public life, and that listening politely is a virtue not a vice. I can’t say I can fully defend Palin in this instance, but actually I don’t know what it must be like in her position with all the demands on her time, to be patient and polite and diplomatic in all manner of circumstances. What I do believe is that the BBC is selling this story with intemperate unqualified demeaning language which they would certainly not use of The One.

Another note about these consistent double standards- Martha Kearney rejoices herein a gotcha interview with George Osborne. She says, with a BBC hack’s usual mental rigour:

“What took me by surprise was George Osborne’s immediate admission that he had made a mistake.

I cannot recall the last time a politician did that (without being on the verge of resigning).”

Well let me help the dismal memory of this hackette out a bit- let me take you all the way back to, well, April, and to an obscure and unknown politician called Gordon Brown. I am sure he must have resigned after admitting mistakes? Otherwise we’d know that Martha Kearney’s memory was worth about as much as the BBC’s broadcasting standards and indeed their commitment to impartiality.

Who Controls The Present Controls The Past

“Who controls the present controls the past ….”

Dominic Casciani has been briefed by the Home Office, or Justice Ministry, or whatever they’re called this week, on the underreporting of violent crime. Decent of him to pass the briefing on to us verbatim.

But does this serious error in one particularly crime affect all the figures? No, insist the statisticians and ministers.

What’s more, police chiefs say it’s purely a technical problem with how some forces have recorded violence, rather than how they have investigated incidents and pursued attackers.

They say that all recorded crime is still going down and overall violence in April to June 2008 was down 7% on the same period of last year.

The British Crime Survey, the authoritative rolling study of experiences rather than police records, says your chance of being a victim is at a historically low level.

You’d never know that there were any serious criticisms of the BCS, but let that pass.

It’s the regurgitation of the government spin that’s so misleading. Strange, but “history” doesn’t go back very far when it comes to BBC crime reporting. Not so for all crimes committed in the past, eh ?

For New Labour, statistics tend to start in 1997, when they gained power. A longer time perspective is rare, especially regarding crime. The claim that ‘the risk of being a victim of crime remains historically low’ relates specifically to a comparison of the British Crime Survey of 1981 with the figures for 2003 – as if the nation enjoyed a low crime rate in 1981.

I think this graph, taken from this parliamentary report, may give us more perspective than Dominic Casciani can as to whether crime is “historically low“.

Refreshing new BBC reporting style:

It’s not often I praise the BBC, but can I say how refreshing it was to read the comment made by the BBC’s Matthew Price about the following events from Barack Obama’s campaigning?

Here’s the vid, followed by the text (I have made some minor adaptions for this site’s purposes). The original item is here.

“This has now happened too many times not to mention it.

Barack Obama lost it again today.

Today, the autocue went down.

Now yes, Barack Obama doesn’t like the autocue, he’s not particularly good at reading from it.

And yes, it is hard to speak flawlessly for 20 minutes or so to a crowd of thousands.

And yes, the campaign trail is grueling, he must be tired, I don’t know how he does it.

And yes, he’s up against one of the best orators the modern world has seen.

BUT, surely he should be able to busk the emotional appeal about a young boy in need of healthcare, the part that he should speak from the heart if the teleprompter goes down?

As the Republican pollster Frank Luntz put it in an interview recently (less charitably than me): “Stevie Wonder reads the teleprompter better than Barack Obama.”

Today Barack Obama stumbled, repeated phrases, read from the page, then looked up to the screen and re-read them.

Maybe I’m being unfair, but this is a man who is running for the top job in the country, one of the most important jobs in the world.

Does his inability to think on his feet, to go off the page, count against him?

This is his pitch to the US electorate about why they should vote for him. Surely he should be able to deliver it without notes?

Frankly today, I cringed when he stumbled, and felt embarrassed for him.”

Weight coverage not broad enough…

This concerns one of the most mind-numbing BBC coverage areas of recent times: the fat issue. The BBC just loves an opportunity to wax on about swollen numbers of fatties. The mass of stories are contradictory, tendentious, and depressing. There are stories like this from the deterministic point of view- and stories like this from the social conditioning point of view. All the time the BBC infuriatingly racking their brains about how to rid themselves of the offending fatties, without ever considering that eating and lifestyle need balancing.

And then a completely different sort of story comes along. A heartwarming story (heart-burning story?) of an eater that would have made my Grandmother proud who also happens to be a world-beating athlete. What’s that I hear from the BBC? A chirping of crickets? A blanket of absent coverage?

WHAT’S AN INVASION BETWEEN FRIENDS?

As has been pointed out, Russia has just invaded Georgia with 150 tanks rolling across the border. Sky has it as the lead story – the BBC has the Olympic opening ceremony as its lead story. World class broadcasting, eh? If you want news, best avoid the Olympic broadcaster. Clearly given the HUGE investment that the BBC has made with OUR money, viewers are going to have the Olympics shoved down their throat, like it or not, invasions or otherwise.

Just Asking…

Why is the article about accepting a role for Sharia in UK law given more prominence (with picture) on the BBC World News page than on the BBC UK page (where there is no picture, and it appears in the “other top stories” section. Oh, and the main story is something or other about a badger cull)?

Update: Great link here from George R for those who wish to explore further. Looks like one to bookmark.

The fightback continues… against Boris

The BBC is leading the way in blunting the Conservatives’ revival with this special coverage of… well, what exactly about Ray Lewis? Headlined “Mayor’s aide in sex claims enquiry” it’s never clear what the sex claims are in fact. The article is filled with something else on the financial side apparently pursued by the oh-so-upright Church of England back in the 90’s. It’s basically a mess of conflation. The usual suspects, the rat pack of journos, can be heard on the BBC’s televised clip from Deputy Mayor Ray’s press conference- Jon Snow et al getting very snooty indeed. Boris is getting a going-over and the BBC is desperate to be in the vanguard.

I didn’t notice this level of zeal, or even any interest at all, in the case against Lee Jasper.

ACCURACY UP IN SMOKE

. I was reading the latest instance of Nanny Statism, faithfully reported by the State Broadcaster. This wheeze involves paying smokers in the poorest areas of Dundee £150 worth of groceries from the NHS if they are able to give up cigarettes. Let’s leave aside the obvious stupidity of this which I am sure the more ingenuous Dundee smokers will quickly exploit. The BBC plainly states “There are 36,000 smokers in Dundee, about half of whom live in poverty. “ Wrong. There are not. The BBC is referring to the Government and NGO definition of relative poverty – a left wing invention in recent years to enable them to shakedown more of our taxes for their favoured client groups. In repeatedly making this claim the State Broadcaster advances a leftist agenda proving once again that it cannot be trusted to give us just facts rather than spewing out propaganda.

NO MORE RED RIBBONS?

Even the left-wing Independent reports that 25 years after after the outbreak of Aids, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has accepted that the threat of a global heterosexual pandemic does not exist. In the first official admission that the universal prevention strategy promoted by the major Aids organisations was profoundly flawed Kevin de Cock (His real name, honest!), the head of the WHO’s department of HIV/Aids said there will be no generalised epidemic of Aids in the heterosexual population outside Africa.

Dr De Cock, an epidemiologist who has spent much of his career leading the battle against the disease, said understanding of the threat posed by the virus had changed. Whereas once it was seen as a risk to populations everywhere, it was now recognised that, outside sub-Saharan Africa, it was confined to high-risk groups including gay men, drug users, and prostitutes and their clients. The contrast with the propaganda pumped out by the likes of the BBC over the years could not be greater. Remember this? Oddly enough, the BBC does not seem to have picked up on this sensational news. I wonder why? No more red ribbons?

THOSE SLEAZY TORIES.

It’s like re-living the early 1990’s again with the BBC in its default position of leading the charge against the sleazy Conservative Party. The lead story today is actually located in the 1990’s with the shock horror! news that Conservative Party chairman Caroline Spelman has admitted using her MP’s parliamentary allowance for payments to her children’s former nanny. Spelman told BBC’s Newsnight that the money, paid in 1997 and 1998, was for secretarial work the nanny did. Following on from the revelations concerning Conservative MEP Giles Chicester, it’s like the good old days are back. A story that is TEN YEARS OLD is the single most important issue for the BBC this morning. Now I have no sympathy at all for our rapacious political caste and the fact that they abuse their expenses does not surprise me in the least but this is OLD news. I am sure the beleaguered Mr Brown will be thanking the BBC for doing all it can to shift the news agenda away from his serial woes. Naturally Labour MP’s are squeaky clean when it comes to their own use of parliamentary expenses. Mr Speaker Michael Martin is a good example of Labour financial propriety I suppose.

All the bad news…

I don’t know whether the BBC will devote a report to the fact that May has been among the least violent of the Iraq war- it could be confirmed as the producing the lowest US casualty figures depending on events today and tomorrow. I don’t know if they’ll register that the six month figure for that is the lowest for any period since the fighting began in 2003 source. Iraq could be arriving at peace.

What I do know is that the BBC will report this against the backdrop of bad news, pre-announced bad news– covered in some depth. Somehow the BBC’s attitude for statistics tends only to work in selected directions.

CONTRASTING HEADLINES.

It’s been quite interesting reading the lead stories in most of the Sunday press today concerning the alarming prospects for PM Gordon Brown and then comparing these with the BBC. With gloom and doom everywhere as tales emerge of plots and intrigues, Gordon Brown can at least gain small comfort in the re-assuring BBC headline that there is “No appetite to oust Brown as PM.” From Jabba the Hut (Prescott) to Postman Pat (Johnson), the BBC has helpfully provided a forum for those selected to calm Brown’s nerves. It looks to me that the BBC wants to see Brown survive, but only if he moves to the left.

Culture of corruption?

As people have been pointing out in the comments (thank you very much), The Feral Beast has revealed that emails which led to the exposure of ex-London mayor Red Ken Livingstone’s racial right hand man Lee Jasper had already been handed to the BBC’s Tim Donovan and rejected as “of no news value”. One year after Donovan’s rejection, this “non-news value” was turned into scoop-of-the-year by an old friend of this blog’s, Andrew Gilligan*. Jasper resigned, Red Ken lost the mayoral election- and the BBC were left counselling their public “And what is your concern about Boris?”

I wonder why the BBC didn’t consider Red Ken’s corrupt crony a newsworthy story. Maybe, in the light of recent stories about BBC junketing, they just thought it was business as usual in NuLabour’s Britain? As DB rightly points out in our comments, Donovan certainly considered it a story later on, but I did notice that in Donovan’s account the potential criminality of Lee Jasper and misuse of hundreds of thousands was well in the background of the story.

*This blog-member is happy to acknowledge Gilligan’s success, having rather worried about putting the boot in when Gilligan was floored by Hutton.

A COMMERCIAL BREAK!

I hope this short commercial break will not affect your enjoyment of B-BBC but I wanted to take a few moments of your time to tell you about my new book called “Unionism Decayed” and to explain why I think it has a direct relevance to this site. For over ten years, I have watched the role the State Broadcaster has played in the relentless and merciless perversion of democracy in Northern Ireland. I have seen the bias, the spin and the neo-Stalinist questioning of the character of those people like myself who oppose putting murderers into government! I watched the BBC’s chief political correspondent jump ship and become part of the very administration that he was supposed to impartially report upon. I watched BBC behaviour during a crunch referendum that was bias incarnate. Worst of all, I have seen how the BBC can help crush the spirit of freedom by acting as a compelling echo chamber for an immoral appeasing government. It’s all detailed in my book along with my own political journey over this period. If you are interested in reading about this, please email me here and I will provide you with pricing details. My final observation is that you can be sure that the views I express are verboten on Al Beeb – the terrorists friend – so perhaps that is the finest recommendation I can have?