Syria Crisis Raises Question of Mark Mardell’s Bias And Accuracy

As the President of the United States continues to fail in drumming up international support for bombing Syria, and the failure to win now-vital Congressional approval looms on the horizon, the BBC’s Mark Mardell is having a crisis of faith in which he reveals personal bias on the US, war, and the President. He also makes serious factual errors which reveal either his incompetence as a journalist or that a deep personal bias has clouded his judgment.

Syria crisis raises question of US role in the world

Right away, Mardell spells out his dilemma.

The president is clearing his desk, going all-out to persuade for a vote that he has said is vital for America’s credibility.

It is also a critical moment for American perception of itself as a power in the world. But in the details of the debate over Syria, the biggest questions and the larger picture are in danger of being lost.

In essence, it’s whether the world needs a super cop. And whether the US should simply assume that role.

I laughed out loud at this point. A little more than two years ago, back when the President was dithering deliberating over whether or not to send some humanitarian missiles at Libya, Mardell was engaged in contemplation of what he believed was the President’s internal personal struggle:

  • The tug between not wanting to be the world’s policeman and being the only guy with the gun and the muscle to stop a murder.

  • The whole-hearted desire to act in concert with other countries, and the realisation that implies going along with stuff they want to do and you don’t. (Being dragged into a war by the French, imagine.)

  • Not wanting to be out front when many world structures are designed in the expectation that like it or not, America will lead.

  • Intellectual appreciation that the ghost of Western colonialism is a powerful spirit never exorcised, and frustration that an untainted liberal interventionism hasn’t grown in other countries.

It took a long time for Mr Obama to decide to take action, and the route he has taken, a genuine commitment to acting with other nations with the US in the lead, has made for the appearance of more muddle. Now it is time for clarity.

How’s that working out now, Mark? Guess who demanded action first, and who’s our only ally now. Remember when Mardell was worried that the President had accidentally painted Himself into a corner with that “red line” business”? Just the other day, the President, like a child being asked who scribbled with crayons on the wall, told the world, “I didn’t didn’t set a red line: the world set a red line.”  Now Mardell seems to have happily forgotten about his original concern and dutifully shifted blame away from Him. Trapped In A World He Never Made.

The BBC’s top analyst of US affairs has been consistent in his anti-war stance, his defense of the President, and in placing blame anywhere except on Him. Most recently, we saw Mardell in Ohio, reporting about a couple of town hall meetings held by a Congressman, where he found a way to blame George Bush, sort of. Hyper-partisan, intransigent Republicans currently in Washington also shared the blame. Any lack of trust in the President Himself seemed non-existent.

Notice that Mardell portrays Rep. Johnson as having been “unimpressed” by the Administration’s secret intelligence briefing simply because neither the President nor Vice President were there. He says that Johnson merely “had to wait a while to find out” about what the situation was with the chemical weapons, and solid evidence of an actual war plan. Mardell plays his skepticism as personal pettiness, not as a perhaps sincere objection based on legitimately reached opinion. In fact, here’s what Johnson actually said in a public statement, which Mardell would have been given:

“Given how important this Congressional briefing was for the President to make his case for taking military action in Syria, I was surprised that neither he, nor the Vice President, nor any cabinet level official was in attendance.  The decision on whether or not to commit American troops and risk American lives when the United States is not directly threatened is a difficult one, and the President has the heavy burden of convincing the Congress and the American people of its merits. I left this afternoon’s briefing with more questions and concerns than I had when I arrived.”

Sure, he was surprised that nobody of any importance was there. But this appears to be a case where the President and His Administration demonstrated the contempt in which they hold Congress. This wasn’t a snub just at Johnson, it was a snub at all of them. And the bit I’ve bolded is rather important, don’t you think? And it’s not just Johnson who came away skeptical. Congress didn’t actually get satisfactory answers, and even top Democrats say so. Why would Mardell censor that piece of information? No wonder the President is now “clearing His desk”, as Mardell put it today.

Back to the Top Cop thing. Mardell goes on to explain what he sees as the two justifications being used for dropping a few bombs on Syria.

The first is national interest. Mr Obama says Syria does not pose an immediate threat to the US, but its willingness to use chemical weapons threatens its allies and bases in the region.

Less frequently his administration has suggested such weapons could fall into the hands of terrorists who could use them against America.

It is pretty obvious, the bigger the world power the more its vital interests may be harmed by something happening a long way away. If the whole Middle East is in uproar, it might not make a whole heap of difference to Paraguay or Latvia.

The argument for national interest is pretty clear. The desire to intervene for what you might call ‘moral reasons’, is far more murky.

Much of this is fair enough. It doesn’t take a genius to grasp the concepts. But why are moral reasons more murky? Because China and Russia don’t agree. No, really.

Mr Obama and even more forcefully Secretary of State John Kerry have said that the world can’t stand aside and witness such suffering. Particularly not when it breaches, if not international law, then international norms.

It is noticeable that it is senior politicians in the US, France and the UK who are keen on this argument of liberal interventionism. It is not just Russia that won’t go along with it. China won’t either.

On a recent trip there, I became convinced that this is fairly genuine. Academics and ordinary people find it baffling that America wants to impose its values on the rest of the world.

China forcefully repeats that it wants the denuclearisation of its ally North Korea. But it is reluctant to force the issue.

So we’re supposed to question Western moral values in this case because China is baffled by US imperialism? Oh, my goodness. On what other issues are we now supposed to back off now, Mark? Looks like he’s suffering from a little going native syndrome having spent a few weeks in China working on that documentary of his on how deeply entwined our national interests are and how China’s awesomeness may very well rescue the US economy (coming next Tuedsay on Radio 4 – can’t wait!).

Pardon me as I wipe the tears of laughter and dismay out of my eye. Mardell’s also saying that we could be wrong because we haven’t heard particularly loud demands to stop Assad from Brazil, Nigeria, or Japan, either. Well, Mugabe has been pretty silent, too. That’s me convinced. Are we in the world of adult, serious political discussion, or in the proverbial university bar? Hold that thought for later, actually.

So, we’ve gone from the President “accidentally” boxing Himself into a corner and being forced to act to save face, to Him blaming the world for boxing Him into a corner and being forced to act because of our high moral values, to questioning those moral values because they don’t come from Sweden. No, seriously:

I once put it to Tony Blair that the Iraq war might have been more credible if the call for action had come from Sweden. He made the obvious point: “Well, they couldn’t do it, could they?”

Now here’s where Mardell reveals his true bias on the larger issue:

Which makes me wonder about that old saying, “to a hammer, every problem is a nail”. In this case, you have to wonder why the hammer was forged in the first place.

Mardell’s not really old enough to be a child of the ’60s, but he sure is acting like the dippiest of hippies here. Why is there war, mommy? For heaven’s sake, Mark, why not quit the BBC and go to the nearest military base and start putting flowers in rifle barrels. How can anyone take this man seriously at this point?

Speaking of the ’60s, some people here may remember this little journey down the rabbit hole when Mardell was holding session at the BBC College of Journalism. His first reaction on landing in the US after being assigned to replace Justin Webb was, “What happened to the ’60s”? His real bias is on display here. In an attempt to explain himself, he continues:

The British developed their military to defend a globe-spanning empire. The US developed its military might to intervene in Europe and then to challenge the USSR.

The absence of the original purpose has not eliminated an instinct to intervene.

Maybe the word “imperialism” makes you think of arguments “that it is all about oil” or crude land grabs.

But those Victorian imperialists really did think they were bringing civilisation and Christianity, order and the rule of law to people who couldn’t climb to such dizzying heights on their own.

America’s belief in its own mission is more universal and not driven by racism, but there is a similar zealous enthusiasm to remake the rest of the world in its image.

No, there isn’t. This is pure anti-American drivel. And notice how this is suddenly about “America” again. Seems like every time the President does something Mardell or the BBC doesn’t like, He’s not mentioned, and it’s all about “America” as a whole acting unseemly. Is the President not involved? Wasn’t He elected to cure us of this demon? Nobody ‘s making Him do this. In any case, is that what we were doing when Clinton bombed the Serbs? How about when we removed Manuel Noriega from power? Grenada? Nobody in their right mind thought we were going to make Afghanistan into a modern, Western society. Dumbing down such complex situations and issues is silly, and betrays an ideological bias. Disagreeing with policy isn’t the same thing as demonizing it, but that’s what he’s doing here. Having Mark Mardell report on the US is like having St. Mark report on the Pharisees.

Of course, stopping the horror of chemical weapons is not the same as introducing democracy at the point of a gun.

But it raises the same question of who has the authority to make the judgment that norms have been violated, and who deals out the punishment.

Oh, does it now? I don’t know about people here, but I question the wisdom of listening to Russia and China and Nigeria on the issues of human rights. So, who has the authority?

The UN is meant to be the body that can order global cops into action. But the US says the Security Council is broken, because of the Russian veto.

You mean the Security Council which includes such moral heavyweights as Azerbaijan and Pakistan?  The UN which for a while had Libya as the Chair of their Human Rights Council? With Venezuela and Qatar as members? These people are supposed to set moral standards for us all?

While the Russian action does look cynical, it is a bit like a prosecutor saying the jury system doesn’t work because he didn’t get a conviction.

You mean like so many Beeboids said after the Zimmerman verdict?

Or indeed, if David Cameron said parliament didn’t work because of the “no” vote.

Or indeed, if Mark Mardell said Congress didn’t work because they wouldn’t vote for something the President wanted.

President Obama understands how it looks to the rest of the world if the US goes it alone.

But, I thought…..

Mardell again:

It is why he was so reluctant to take the lead over Libya, why he was so slow to develop a Syria strategy.

No, it isn’t. This is where Mardell reveals not only his bias about the President, but even more of his own personal political beliefs. The President took so long to develop a strategy, and has been flailing around ever since He got caught up in His own smart-ass rhetoric, because He and His advisers actually had one all along – only it turned out to be completely, tragically, absurdly wrong.

Remarks by Ambassador Samantha Power, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Syria at the Center for American Progress, Washington D.C.

You all remember Samantha Power, right? She’s the President’s former foreign policy adviser who blamed the Jewish Lobby for criticism about His policies, then had to resign when she called Hillary Clinton “a monster” in an interview. After working for George Soros for a while, she was brought back into the fold and is now our voice at Mardell’s voice of morality, the UN. Here’s what she had to say to the far-Left Center for American Progress recently:

We worked with the UN to create a group of inspectors and then worked for more than six months to get them access to the country, on the logic that perhaps the presence of an investigative team in the country might deter future attacks. Or if not, at a minimum, we thought perhaps a shared evidentiary base could convince Russia or Iran – itself a victim of Saddam Hussein’s monstrous chemical weapons attacks in 1987-1988 – to cast loose a regime that was gassing its people. We expanded and accelerated our assistance to the Syrian opposition.

In other words, the President and his super-smart advisers are, just like Mardell, as naive as your average angry student debating world affairs in the university bar. This is just about the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard. And remember that last line about stepping up the help for the rebels for later.

Now we see that Mardell has been accidentally right, but wrong all along. The President wasn’t taking so long to develop a military strategy because He was worried about what the world would think. He was taking so long because He was working on another scheme entirely and never expected to need one. And then He thought He could get away with it, because He usually faces no consequences for anything. Just like He thought He could get away with that “red line” statement. How can Mardell not know this? He’s supposed to have been following the President’s every move closely, considering it all deeply and dutifully, researching, talking with experts, getting insider info. How can he have blown this so badly? Especially since this kind of naive negotiation is exactly the kind of thing he supports.

His bias has been driving his analysis. As I’ve maintained from the beginning, the President doesn’t have much interest or deep understanding of realpolitik and international affairs at this level. His ambitions and concerns have always been about domestic policies, domestic transformation. All these foreign issues are nuisances, distractions, things which should be delegated to various minions and apparatchiks. Where He does have opinions, they don’t seem to be very profound. And so we see here that the people doing it for Him share the most naive, ignorant views possible, and have accomplished precious little.

Why do you think we have less allies now after four years of Hillary Clinton as Sec. of State? And here’s another unasked, never mind unanswered question: If so much of the opposition to this war is due to Iraq fatigue, what about Libya? Why was Libya okay and now suddenly everyone is tired of war? That was even (illegal) regime change, he didn’t use unapproved weapons, and this is supposed to be some “proportional” limited bombing campaign.

What does “proportional” mean, anyway? Mardell isn’t interested. All he cares about is how the President looks now, and how He’ll look next week. It seems that the BBC’s North America editor’s job is not to really inform you properly about US issues, or about how the country works or what’s really going on, but how things affect the President. That’s why I often refer to him as the BBC’s US President editor.

Mardell’s journalism over the last five years has shown that his personal political ideology is very close to that of the President. This war campaign – as well as the one against Libya – is the only issue on which Mardell doesn’t approve. So he works to shift blame away from the President at every opportunity. And now he’s not only trying to analyze the situation around Him, he’s trying to figure out what the President can do to be successful. Is that really what the BBC is paying him to do?

Now about what Amb. Power said about accelerating assistance to the Syrian rebels. It’s really starting to look like this is all smoke and mirrors. As is obvious to everyone except Mardell by now, it’s impossible to think that a limited strike on a few military facilities will be the end of it. The President claims He’s not taking sides in the Syrian civil war here. He’s been very clear that this is about sending a message about killing lots of people in an unapproved method. I bet Ghaddafi’s ghost is wondering why the hell all this Iraq fatigue didn’t set in when it was his turn in the spotlight. But I digress.

Doing any real damage to Assad’s military capability is a de facto game changer in the civil war. It’s simply not credible to say that the military installations supposedly used to launch a rocket with a chemical warhead have no other purpose. I don’t mean specifically the rockets themselves which may already be armed with them, I’m talking about the larger picture. It’s impossible to believe that there can be some sort of surgical strikes so accurate that only the chemical weapons and a couple of rocket launchers will be hit. Any attack will limit Assad’s military capability, period, and it’s outrageous that we’re expected to believe that it won’t, and that any military action the US takes won’t affect – or isn’t meant to affect – the civil war. Of course it will.

Where’s Mardell’s astute analysis about that? He’s still caught up in the emotional world of teenage existential angst to notice. I’m trying not to take a position here about the rights or wrongs about taking sides or stopping Assad or regime change or what we should do next. I have opinions, obviously, but that’s not what this is about. This is about Mardell’s personal opinions coloring all his reporting and analysis in a way that makes his journalism unworthy of trusting or given much credence at all.

He’s not wondering about any of what I’ve just mentioned because he’s still stuck in his belief that The Obamessiah really is concerned only about chemical weapons, and truly doesn’t want to force regime change. We can see from Power’s speech that this simply isn’t true, that the US really is working to increase the chances of his downfall. So the President is essentially lying, Sec. of State Kerry is lying, and any BBC journalist who says the President doesn’t want to is either lying or just seriously deluded.

It’s either that, or the President and His entire Administration are a bunch of idiots and shouldn’t be trusted to run a nursery. Take your pick. In the end, this is a massive failure of BBC journalism. At your expense.

PS: Still no mention of His Nobel Prize for Peace. Come on, Mark, even Sweden has called Him on it.

Mardell Tells A White House Lie

Yes, I say “lie”. Mark Mardell is lying. I say he’s lying and not merely reporting something when he’s misinformed, or making a claim based on false information for which he’s not responsible. I’m saying Mardell is lying because he knows what he’s saying is not true.

The BBC’s US President editor continues pushing the White House talking points about the “Sequester” budget cuts on Today, and here’s a link to the printed version.

Sequester budget cuts: America’s grim fairy tale

It’s more or less the same biased stuff he produced the other day, which I wrote about here. This time, though, instead of avoiding telling you who really came up with the Sequester plan, Mardell just openly lies about it.

Many Republicans say the idea for the “sequester” budget cuts was President Obama’s in the first place. The White House rejects that.

Whoever came up with the idea, the 2011 law meant failure to agree would cut both cherished Democratic programmes that helped the poor and defence spending beloved of Republicans.

There’s even a bit of bias in the last line there, which I’ll get to in a moment. First, to expose the lie.

It’s not just Republicans saying it. By phrasing it that way, Mardell leads you to believe that it’s a matter of opinion. In fact, as I showed in my previous post on Mardell’s spin, the White House has admitted that it was the President’s offer. I’ll just reprint the quote from CNBC (not Fox News, not Breitbart) about it, to save defenders of the indefensible the pain of having to read another post of mine:

Woodward documents in his 2012 book The Price of Politics that team Obama first proposed the idea of the sequester. Expanding on his work in a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, he noted—as he has before—that both President Obama and his would-be Treasury Secretary Jack Lew lied on the campaign trail by saying the sequester originated with House Republicans. The White House has now ceded that fact.

“Fact”. Not good enough for you? Forbes says it was His idea. The Washington Post, which Mardell reads regularly, gives His claim Four Pinocchios, and provides evidence to back up the fact that it was His idea. Even Politifact rates the President’s claim that the cuts was Congress’s idea as “mostly false”Politico, which Mardell reads regularly, almost admitted it, but they couldn’t quite bring themselves to hurt Him and so framed it in an amusingly contorted bit of spin that would make Helen Boaden proud:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed to give Obama the authority…

Then there’s this bit from a different Washington Post article (not Fox News, not Breitbart):

Last year, the House passed two bills that would have stopped the sequester and replaced some of the spending cuts with others. But the White House said the magnitude of the cuts was unacceptable and would imperil critical government programs.

Anyone who gets their information on US issues from the BBC will be very aware of which Party runs the House. The President could have prevented this, but chose not to. Curiously, Mardell chose not to tell you about it.

If none of this is good enough for you, here’s White House spokesman Jay Carney, personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News America Katty Kay, saying, “the sequester was one of the ideas yes put forward, yes, by the president’s team.”

In other words, Mardell knows exactly who started this, exactly whose idea the sequestered cuts are, and exactly what he’s doing when he misleads you. Blame must always be shifted from The Obamessiah. Trapped in a world He never made, it’s not His fault, you see.

Almost forgot about the bias in that sentence about which cuts supposedly hurt whom. Consider the pantomime caricatures Mardell uses: the Democrats want to help the poor, while it’s the war machine that’s so beloved by the Republicans. Can you tell where you’re meant to boo and hiss, and where you’re meant to cheer? I guess that makes Mardell the pantomime dame, although that’s probably an insult to the integrity of pantomime dames everywhere.

In case you didn’t come away from all this “journalism” with the idea that the cuts supposedly forced on Him by evil Republicans would be a catastrophe for the country (another White House talking point which is going to turn out not so true) and, by extension, the UK and the world (which is why it gets promoted on Today), the BBC’s US President editor ends with this bit of dramatic prose:

There is seemingly no end to this toxic tale of cruel dismemberment and government by crisis.

Emotive terms, value judgment, full stop. Notice whom he’s criticizing, and who gets a free pass. This is an editorial, an opinion piece, not journalism. Don’t trust him or the BBC on US issues.This is your license fee hard at work.

PS: I realize most people here don’t really care much about the US or much foreign stuff at all, and are mostly – and quite rightly – concerned with the BBC’s bias on domestic issues. All I can say is that you should be concerned that the BBC spreads poison elsewhere at your expense, and that they’ve clearly gone far beyond their remit of providing public service broadcasting and are actually dedicated to expanding the BBC’s tentacles across the globe purely because they can. The BBC exists now for itself, and not for you. It’s also a relentless drive for more revenue, something else that’s not supposed to be part of the BBC’s reason for existence. The BBC does this stuff in your name, and the BBC bias is everywhere, across the spectrum of broadcasting, all over the world.

Evil Republicans Want To Harm The Elderly And The Poor

Or so says the BBC’s US President editor (the title “North America editor” bears no resemblance to the job he actually does: at best, his job title should be something like “political editor”, which he was for Newsnight a few years ago) when giving you White House propaganda disguised as analysis.

Fiscal cliff: What would Mrs Lincoln say to John Boehner?

You can already guess where this is going, no?

The Republicans’ rather huffy letter to US President Barack Obama made me think of a glorious moment in Stephen Spielberg’s Lincoln.

The letter, signed by House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, among others, says there has been a “status quo” election “in which both you and the Republican majority in the House were re-elected”.

They are claiming that this means the American people expect both the victors of the recent election to “come together on a fair middle ground”.

What a curious concept, eh? The House of Representatives and representational voting actually mean something? LOL.

It is reasonable to assume the White House see things rather more like Mrs Lincoln.

Her moment occurs at a White House reception when the president’s wife holds up a long reception line to give Thaddeus Stephens, a Republican leader in the House of Representatives, an almighty ear-bashing.

I cannot remember the exact words, but the gist of it is: “My husband is loved by the people, known to the people, he’s just been re-elected, and you are nobody – now just back off.”

Yes, just like our defenders of the indefensible implied after the election, l’état, c’est Lui. Votes for anyone but the President are worthless, and anyone who voted for their Representative to Congress should simply ignore the meaning of the term “representative”. In other words, screw you if you did not vote for Him and still think you voted for anything that matters. This is no longer a Constitutional Republic but is now a kingdom. I make no comment on how Mardell’s behavior resembles that of a wife defending her husband.

Mr Obama is betting that most Americans will feel the re-election of the president carries more moral weight than the re-election of the House.

Most, or just the small majority He won? Semantics mavens can parse this to the end of time, but the fact remains that the President won with less votes than in 2008.

He has been on Twitter repeating his demand for tax rises for the rich, opposition to deep cuts in education budgets, and so on.

Everything he has done has been about political positioning, not serious negotiating.

I’m glad Mardell has admitted this. The question is, why doesn’t He have to negotiate? Bill Clinton had to reach across the aisle after winning his second term. Why is this President exempt? What happened to all that desire for bi-partisanship and working together he’s been telling us for the last two years that the country really wants? I know, I know: we should work together so He gets His way. That’s why Mardell views the first two years of The Obamessiah Administration with its Democrat super-majority where they rammed legislation through without a single Republican vote as “a golden age”.

That has further outraged the prickly Republicans, who write of their shock that when Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner went to see them he proposed a plan that was in their view “neither balanced nor realistic”.

“Huffy”. “Prickly”. The Republicans earn Mardell’s scorn, but the equally stubborn and angry President doesn’t get labeled. Even though Mardell knows exactly what He’s doing, as he will reveal later on.

So, they have countered by backing a plan – already passed by the House – to cut healthcare for the future elderly and food stamps for the poor.

Oh, no! Hurting grannies and the sainted poor! Is that it, though? Is that really all there is to the evil Republicans’ plans? Mardell seems to think that’s a fair summation. Of course, it’s pure spin and not fair at all, but that’s irrelevant to the foreign bureau of the White House press office.

Here’s some reality. By the way, the President’s Plan For Us also cuts $400 billion in Medicare – “healthcare for the future elderly” – over 10 years, and the President’s refusal to address trimming entitlements of any kind – Social Security, “food stamps for the poor”, etc. – is really just kicking the can down the road. Again. The Republicans plan (an earlier incarnation of which Mardell described as “hardline”) is not so far off from proposals from the Simpson-Bowles Commission, which was ordered by the President Himself. Which He then blew off because He really had no intention of doing anything other than continue to spend. The Republicans’ plan, on the other hand, intends to cut $600 billion from Medicare, but partly by raising the age at which people enroll. Not exactly how Mardell portrays it. Cutting other entitlements will actually amount to linking it to a metric which will keep costs from rising so much. Once again, the BBC defines a freeze or a lower increase as a “cut”. It’s dishonest, partisan language, but that’s the BBC’s US President editor for you.

There’s a lot more to it than simply cutting support for the poorest and most vulnerable Yet that’s all Mardell sees, all he wants you to know.

And never mind the $700+ billion that ObamaCare is going to take from Medicare and Medicaid to pay for all the new bureaucracy, exchanges, new anti-depression programs, and the like. Forbes has analyzed it as having a 15 -1 cuts to new benefits ratio, which shows just how dishonest Mardell is being here. That’s already a done deal, so we can actually say that the President Himself is going to take $1.1 billion and more away from the poorest and most vulnerable, whereas if Romney had won, thus assuming ObamaCare gets repealed (or watered way down), and the Republicans’ budget more or less gets passed, the damage done to the poorest and most vulnerable would be reduced by two thirds. But never mind all that, as you’re meant to think that only nasty Republicans want to harm the poorest and most vulnerable for the ideological reason that the government shouldn’t do anything for anyone (see here and here).

I’m not here to debate which side is right or wrong. I’m illustrating how dishonest and partisan Mardell is being.

 They demand a response and serious negotiation. Mr Obama, a more aggressive president than in his first term, is manoeuvring them where he wants them, by getting under their skin.

This is nothing short of an outright lie. In fact, the President Himself said He would not release a plan until the Republicans did first. Which is rather bizarre considering that they passed a budget in the House twice in the last two years, whereas He’s never gotten one out of the gate (the Stimulus spending spree doesn’t count). Now that they’ve done so, it’s the height of dishonesty to claim that they “demand a response”. They’re only asking for what He promised. Mardell is simply presenting a false representation of the facts. It’s also very curious that the man the BBC expects you to trust most on US issues doesn’t see anything odd in the President refusing to offer a budget when we’ve all know for two years what the Republicans want.

He is claiming the public label of the man who wants tax cuts for everybody, forcing them to champion deep spending cuts. This is not yet about doing a deal – it is about defining how a deal is seen, when it is done.

In other words, the President’s true goal is not to fix the economy but to destroy the Republican Party. And Mardell has no criticism to offer, not even the slightest frown in His direction. All his scorn is reserved for his beloved Obamessiah’s enemies.

Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.

Mardell’s Mandate Muddle

As the US Congress and the President head into negotiations over the looming never-ending budget crisis to figure out how to avert hitting the debt ceiling again, the BBC’s US President editor (a more accurate description than his actual job title) is on the case to give you his muddled view of how US government should work.

America’s fiscal suicide pact

He starts right in with the violent imagery, just to set the proper tone in which you should understand the scene.

America might be forgiven for thinking they suffered a concussion, instead of holding an election, on Tuesday night. The country now has double vision.

The violent imagery is supported by the now-obiligatory context of a deeply divided country, most-polarized-ever-ever-omg. And you’ll never guess whose fault that is.

Republicans in Congress have other ideas. House Speaker John Boehner is insisting tax rises for the wealthy can’t be allowed to happen.

Typical dishonest, class-war rhetoric, straight out of the White House propaganda machine. Actually, this comes naturally to Mardell, no prompting necessary. Boehner is insisting that no tax rises for anyone should be allowed. But since that includes the evil rich, it’s “accurate” to say that he doesn’t want tax increases for them. It’s not a particularly honest description of the proceedings, but I suppose it fits the BBC requirement for “accuracy”. Impartial it is not. Here’s what Boehner actually said:

Boehner today maintained that Republicans want to avert the fiscal cliff without raising any taxes and “in a manner that ensures that 2013 is finally the year that our government comes to grips with the major problems that are facing us.” Next year, he said, “should be the year we begin to solve our debt through tax reform and entitlement reform.”

The speaker added that he had a “cordial,” short conversation with Mr. Obama earlier this week and is hopeful that “productive conversations” can begin soon on the fiscal cliff. As he has for more than a year, Boehner said that he’s open to creating more tax revenue, by closing tax loopholes and eliminating some deductions, just not raising tax rates.

That last line sure looks to me like someone talking about increasing tax payments for the wealthy. Only a highly partisan, disingenuous person would describe Boehner’s position as refusing tax rises for the wealthy. Unless we’re playing semantic games about an increase in income tax rates as opposed to just increasing the taxes actually paid. Mardell cleverly left all that out and quoted this instead:

Speaking before the president did so this afternoon, he said: “Everyone wants to get our economy moving again. Everyone wants to get more Americans back to work again. Raising tax rates will slow down our ability to create the jobs that everyone says they want.”

He called on the president to lead.

So you really aren’t told at all the reality of what Boehner is thinking. Mardell continues:

Mr Obama did, but not in a direction that will delight Republicans. He is using the moral authority of his re-election to push his case. There is nothing new in his call for Congress to extend “middle-class tax cuts” at once. He’s said it repeatedly before the election.

But it’s different now. He has a renewed mandate and his demand has a fresh moral weight behind it. He pointed out even people who didn’t vote for him told opinion pollsters that taxes should go up for the richest.

And here’s where Mardell really starts to get it wrong. The President got fewer votes this time than in 2008. Almost 10 million fewer. Sure, Romney didn’t get as many as McCain did, but the difference wasn’t as great. So who actually did worse? Remember, we’re not talking about simply winning or losing: Mardell said “renewed mandate”, which requires much more than simply winning. Voter turnout was also substantially lower (except for places Philadelphia, which had a turnout that even Sadaam Hussein would have envied) The President may have dominated the Electoral College, but won the popular vote by only 2.5%.  Boris Johnson won his race for mayor of London by a slightly larger amount – 3% – but the BBC described that as a “tight margin”. Go figure. Anyone here expect Mardell to declare that Boris has a renewed mandate? Some projected counts (they’re still counting actual votes in places like Ohio and Florida) expect the President to crack that 3% mark, but that’s it. Still no mandate when it’s a non-Left politician.

When journalists make value judgments like this, it leaves the door wide open to personal opinions influencing their reporting. This is a classic example. In 2004, George Bush defeated John Kerry by just over 3 million votes. The President’s popular vote victory over Romney was – you guessed it – just over 3 million votes. You will not find a BBC report saying that Bush had a renewed mandate in 2004. You’ll find analyses stating that Bush supporters and Christians were saying that, but you will not find a BBC editor or reporter stating it.

Now that he’s established that the President is supposed to get His way, Mardell lays out the doom and gloom if Republicans don’t let Him.

There has to be an agreement. If the two sides can’t get behind a plan to cut the deficit there will be pretty horrible consequences.

The ugly phrase “fiscal cliff” has stuck, but it is more like a ticking economic timebomb. The two sides agreed to a suicide pact if they couldn’t reach agreement – tax rises and defence spending cuts the Republicans loathe – as well as other spending cuts that are offensive to Democrats.

The trouble is if the bomb goes off, it is not just the politicians who will be hurt. It is American economy that would explode, probably taking what’s left of the world economy with it.

This is more or less true, and nobody’s denying that we’re looking at trouble here. We then get a bit of “balance”, where the President says this, and the Republicans say that. He even allows that some Republicans might think they, too, have a mandate.

President Obama said that people had voted for action but he would refuse to accept any approach that wasn’t balanced and made the middle class suffer alone. He said there shouldn’t be a long, drawn-out drama.

The Republicans won’t play along, and he will presumably portray them as churlish bad losers who won’t accept the people’s verdict. They will doubtless point out they too (or some of them) also have a fresh mandate.

Note the qualifier. You’re meant to understand that they really don’t have one. So Mardell wraps up with this:

While both Mr Obama and Mr Boehner sounded consensual they were in fact restating their mutually exclusive positions.

They are heading for confrontation, but this is only the first act – they are both stating a hard line, before the give and take of negotiations. They do have to get a move on. The drama can’t run for long before it turns into tragedy for all of us.

Except we already know whom to blame, don’t we? Mardell has already told us: Republicans who want to protect the wealthy. (I remember back when this budget agreement was passed. The US President editor was singing a slightly different tune then.)

But spot the missing upper house of Congress. This happens over and over again with both Mardell’s “reporting” and other BBC coverage: they leave out the Democrat-controlled Senate. Again and again we hear about how it’s all Republicans blocking Him. What about the Senate? And you’re expected to ignore Democrats who side with Republicans on certain issues.

While actual spending is really allocated by the House of Representatives, the Senate also has to pass an agreed version of the budget for the country to actually have one. Yet, unbeknownst to BBC audiences because you were never told, the Democrat-controlled Senate never passed one. In fact, even the Democrat-controlled Senate (it’s worth repeating) unanimously voted against the joke budget proposed by the President Himself. Oh, and let’s not forget either – no matter how much biased Beeboids like Daniel Nasaw would like you to – that the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress for His first two years in office. No budget then, either. And Mardell once actually referred to that as a Golden Age, because the President was able to ram some things through without a single Republican vote. Who’s really to blame here?

But that’s just the bias part. Now here’s where Mardell really gets muddled.  The real problem with Mardell declaring the President has a mandate is that he’s presenting the whole thing as if the President is king. He does not appear to understand – or perhaps just doesn’t approve – of the way the US government is set up.

There are two issues here. First, is the way the government is split into three separate branches: the Executive (the President and Administration), the Legislative (Congress – both Houses), and the Judicial (the Supreme Court and the lower Federal system). This is what’s known as “Checks and Balances”, the idea being that no one branch has too much power. Never mind that one of the Democrat operatives the BBC had on the panel of their election night coverage didn’t understand that, and thought it meant Republicans weren’t allowed to vote for what they wanted, and the Beeboids were too ignorant to correct her. Mardell certainly doesn’t understand it, and thinks if the President wins – even by a “tight” Boris Johnson-style margin – He has a “mandate”, and the Republicans should bow to it.

The House of Representatives is what is says on the tin: a group of legislators who are there to represent their individual constituencies. They’re not State-wide representatives, like Senators are: they represent a single collection of 500,000 voters in their State. Same as the Electoral College. Representatives are not elected to do the President’s bidding: they’re there to represent their own constituency. If a Republican gets elected on whatever issues, that’s his or her mandate, not a directive to obey the President. Because different States have dramatically different population totals, some have a much greater presence in the House than others. When a State loses population, they lose representation in the House. If more people move there, they get more Reps. The total number of Reps. in the House can change with each election if the national population does. If it seems a bit unfair, it’s meant to be. Sort of.

But New York and California do not run the country, even if the popular vote makes it appear that they might. Nor should they. The House of Representatives is not a mirror of the Electoral College vote, even though their numbers are the same. The House – ideally – represents the wishes of their individual constituencies. Representatives are not meant to be a reflection of some national conscience. This is all connected to another US concept the BBC neither likes nor fully understands: States’ rights. I use the upper case “S” here and always to emphasize the point that most Founding Fathers considered their State to be their country, and wanted that independence preserved. Some of us still understand that. The individuality inherent in the House of Representatives is part and parcel of that concept.

This is also why the Senate, the upper house, exists. Each State gets two Senators, and that’s it. In this way, each State has equal representation. But that’s also why real spending is decided in the House. The Senate is much more than a rubber stamp, though, as they have their own agenda and powers. But that’s all for another time.

What I’m talking about here is the idea that – contrary to how Mardell presents it – an election victory for a President does not actually translate into carte blanche. To really be successful, a President must also bring his political party along for the ride to victory as well. Failing that, he must compromise, triangulate, as, for example, Bill Clinton did. Funny how you don’t see much comparison of The Obamessiah to Clinton these days. That would make Him look petty and partisan and incompetent, though, so the astute BBC analysts tend to refrain from doing it.

The Republicans in the House are there to do the job they were sent to do, not merely the President’s bidding. If they were voted in to avoid taxing us all into oblivion, that’s what they need to focus on. They’re also not required to bend over backwards to compromise if it means doing something they believe will damage the country. Politicians get voted out when they do too much their constituents don’t like. Just ask all the Dems and Big-Government Republicans who got kicked out in 2010 for voting for ObamaCare.

The other party must try to compromise as well. But you never hear the BBC complaining about President “I won”, or that the President is the one drawing a line in the sand with His tax rises for the wealthy. Mardell may write a sentence saying both sides must work together – and he even admits that the President only sounds like He wants to compromise, but doesn’t appear to be just yet – but only after he’s already set you up to assign blame for who won’t. And again: what about the Senate? And why has neither Mardell nor anyone else at the BBC examined why the President never got a budget passed while He had both houses under Democrat control? Could it be because that might force them to learn that Congress isn’t simply a vehicle for a President’s policies? Or perhaps because they might be forced to admit that the President’s own fiscal policies are so ludicrously extreme that even the Democrats won’t vote for it?

Mardell either doesn’t understand how the US government is meant to work, or simply doesn’t care. He pays lip service to the notion that both sides must compromise, but he’s already framed it in the context of Republicans being in the wrong. Yet he’s the man the BBC wants you to trust most on US issues. Don’t.


Mardell Stares Into The Abyss

Mark Mardell seems to be preparing himself for a Romney win. Of course, it won’t be the President’s fault. From the BBC’s in-house magazine:

Mark Mardell… Our man in Washington

Millions more will turn out for the general election, but Mardell senses a great disillusionment in America and believes that this could be crucial to President Obama’s chances for reelection. Asked for a prediction, he replies that it will come down to turnout. ‘I think if he’s defeated he will be defeated by people who quite like him, don’t like Romney that much, but decide to stay at home [on election day].’

“Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!  (John XIII:38)

What’s this disillusionment about? Why would these people who like Him decline to vote for Him? They’re not racist all of a sudden, are they?

He admits that problems with the economy perhaps stem from American policies rather than presidential decisions….

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.  (Romans IX:30-32)

It’s not His fault, you see. Congress failed Him. The people failed Him. Nothing to do with His policies. However, by blaming the faithful for failing Him, the awkward question of why all those people are voting against Him can be avoided.

Plus a nice delusional dig at Romney:

…but believes that foreign policy will certainly take a different ‘tone’ under a Romney term, with ‘implications’ for the UK.

It’s hard to imagine Romney racking up a bigger body count than the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-in-Chief. How many new countries has the President taken war into again?

Actually, Mardell has always been firmly against the UK helping the US in Iraq and Afghanistan (he mentions them specifically), and for some reason thinks Romney will be George Bush all over again and drag you into new wars. Hasn’t the President been very clear, for example, that He won’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, and that there were “no options off the table”? This is a White House talking point, nothing more. Of course, it could also be a tacit admission that in a second term, the President will let Iran, China, and Russia do whatever they like. Which makes Mardell’s focus on Bush’s wars and the (economic) “It all started in America” meme all the more curious. After all, the President did tell Medvedev to sit tight on the European missile situation for now because He’ll have more flexibility then. But Mardell’s worried about what Romney will do.

Read the rest of it for laughs. His continued bewilderment by us United Statesians would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad and a little tiresome. My favorite line, though, is this:

While Mardell is cautious with his language at times, worried about how it might be interpreted, there are hints that he is a passionate man with strong beliefs.

Understatement of the year. They know it, and Mardell knows it. They just don’t care. But by all means, they expect you to continue to trust them on US issues.

Like A Warrior, He Will Stir Up His Zeal

That line from Isaiah, 42:13, just about sums up the BBC’s breathless anticipation of tonight’s debate rematch between the President and His enemy political opponent. Jude Sheerin in Washington (another one? how many Beeboids are there in the US now? -ed) is here to reassure the faithful that the President will come out fighting.

Obama team raises expectations for debate with Romney

We get assurances from both the President’s mouthpiece as well as from Romney’s camp that the President will do better. Not a single word is given to the viewpoint that the President’s previous failure was due to a lack of substance, not just a problem with style. Tonight’s debate is supposed to focus on foreign policy, the President’s number one Achilles heel at the moment, but since it’s town-hall style with audience questions, I’m not sure how much anyone can guarantee that this will be the case.

Oh, wait, yes there is a way to guarantee how the audience will behave: let CNN pick them and put in a few Democrat operatives like they did last time. The moderator has already said that she’s looking to break some rules and take control of the agenda anyway. It fills one with such confidence…..

Sheerin’s piece is full of bits about what the President will do better tonight, and nothing about Romney. Is there another article about his side of things that I’ve missed somewhere?

The most recent poll figures the BBC has on offer shows the President up by two points, but it’s from October 7.  Missing is an entire week of Romney improvement, to the point where he’s now virtually tied with or leading the President in some areas. But the BBC doesn’t want you to know that, so they leave things as they are.

Amazingly, one big, massive, ginormous issue gets tacked on at the very end of this: Hillary Clinton falls on her sword over Benghazi. This is buck-passing at it’s finest. I guess she’s just decided that her presidential aspirations are dead now. She’ll never be able to run with this on her record. Of course we’re meant to understand here that it’s not His fault, and so any accusations about it coming from Romney will be “fact-checked” under the bus along with her.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s US President editor has had to swallow hard and admit that Romney’s performance last time really did help a lot, and polls do show him in the lead. It only took Mardell two weeks to get with reality. So why does that key information have to stay relegated to a blog post and isn’t updated on the official election page?

But Mardell still can’t quite accept it.

On the surface it is just odd that a single debate would have produced such a big shift.

No, it isn’t odd at all, if one has been paying attention to reality. The BBC, on the other hand, has kept it from you. I don’t think there’s a single person here who is surprised by this at all, yet the BBC’s top man in the US just doesn’t get it.

Mardell is also stuck on the superficial, still providing excuses for his Obamessiah.

But perhaps it was simply that he wanted to appear presidential and above petty argument, but missed the mark by enough to seem disengaged and aloof.

This is idiotic. What does he mean by “petty”? Engaging with Romney is beneath Him? Such a statement actually makes the President look even worse, but to Mardell this is acceptable. “The Emperor didn’t want to soil his new clothes, so stayed back from the field. A wise move, but made him look hesitant to some.”

This next bit is interesting to me.

…but I’ve heard an intriguing explanation from Republican strategists. They argue that people who voted for Mr Obama last time in a spirit of hope are looking for permission not to do so again.

His lack of engagement, lack of answers, and lack of enthusiasm in the debate was so different from the mood he inspired in 2008, that it allows them to justify a switch without suggesting they made a mistake.

In other words, nothing He’s done in the last four years has any bearing at all on whether or not someone might be disappointed and not vote for Him this time. Unbelievable.

Amusingly, Mardell is also pre-emptively criticizing Romney about Benghazi. He says that Romney will have to be more clear, do a better job explaining what lessons we need to learn from it. Wrong. Romney needs to show that the Administration is a shambles more than how he’d do it differently next time.

They just don’t get it, can’t accept it. Everything they’ve been investing their emotions and energy in for the last five years is all coming crashing down around them, and they simply don’t know how to deal with it. Maybe the President can turn things around and His team has come up with some real substance to lay out tonight. Maybe there will be some smart audience questions that will put Romney on the back foot. I don’t know, but I have my doubts.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

I Corinthians: 58-60


Mardell Tells A Little White Lie For The White House

I chose the word “lie” with great care, after long consideration. But I can come to no other conclusion. If one has wrong information and then makes a statement based on that faulty info, it’s not telling a lie. If one has the correct information but knowingly makes a statement contradicting that, it’s a lie. I think that’s what Mardell is doing here.

US election: Is foreign policy Romney’s best chance?

The short blog post is mainly about trying to push the idea that Romney’s campaign is in disarray, and that triangulating on a perceived foreign policy stumble regarding the Benghazi fiasco might help his chances. The BBC’s US President editor – a lifelong political junkie who should know better – actually wants you to believe that taking advantage of a new opportunity is the same thing as completely overhauling a campaign because the other ideas aren’t working.

Naturally, Mardell’s conclusion is the one you probably guessed: no, it won’t help Romney in the end anyway, because the people actually care more about the economy than anything else. Why this brilliant bit of obviousness took him 434 words to say instead of two short paragraphs, I have no idea. Since this is Mardell, though, there’s usually a gem amongst the paste. He sets up the notion that Romney’s campaign is desperately spinning wheels trying to find some traction by saying this:

Some in Mitt Romney’s camp are tempted to switch focus to foreign affairs.

As if they never had any plans to mention it, and as if events, dear boy, didn’t provide an opportunity. To back it up, he then says this:

No-one doubts now that the opinion polls show Mr Romney in a whole heap of trouble.

He didn’t say, “most” or “the conventional wisdom” or “expert analysts” or even “no-one with half a brain”. He said “no-one”. This is a lie, because by October 1 Mardell knew all about the following, but chooses to tell you they don’t exist:

Obama and Romney are basically tied in Virginia

What They Told Us: Reviewing Last Week’s Key Polls

 The presidential race remains competitive even though voters still trust Mitt Romney slightly more than President Obama when it comes to handling economic matters. Will Wednesday night’s first presidential debate make a difference?

With a race this close, possibly but not likely, Scott Rasmussen argues in his latest weekly syndicated column. “Events in the real world matter more than debates,” Scott writes. “Only in the absence of other news could a slight change in the race coming out of the debates be decisive.”

(More on the debate issue in a moment)

Gallup on Romney’s terrible month

Also, this is registered voters. Likely voters probably favors Romney.

Morning Jay: Are the Polls Tilted Toward Obama?

One important “tell” in my opinion, is this president’s continued weak position with independent voters, who remain the true swing vote.

But wait, there’s more.

The Election Isn’t Over

Only fools and partisans think Obama has it locked up.

Obama and Romney Neck in Neck in OH Poll… WITH D+10 SAMPLE!

What to Make of Declining Democratic Registration?

Basically, there’s a big discussion going on right now about the polls being skewed or otherwise unrepresentative of reality. And Mardell knew it. He just decided none of this was worth a damn and that you should think “no-one” doubts that Romney is in desperate straits.

Before any itchy fingers start trying to tell me that Mardell is right that Romney is in trouble, let me remind you that it’s irrelevant. I’m talking specifically about the fact that he said “no-one doubts”, which is patently false. A lie. At best, dismissing Rasmussen and Gallup and the Wall Street Journal as well as the local stuff, and saying that none of what I’ve linked to is worthy of respect, which just means he’s as biased as we say he is. Only fools and partisans, indeed.

Do I think a lot of this noise can be put down to sour grapes? Sure. Every time I hear someone complaining about skewed polls, that’s what I’m wondering. But that’s not the point. The point is that a lot of otherwise reasonable, respectable people think things are a lot closer than they really are. Also, let’s remember that in 2008 when Candidate Obamessiah had a similar lead over Sen. McCain, the Beeboids were fretting that the polls were skewed due to lying racists and the Bradley Effect. Ah, good times….good times. Funny how we’re not so racist now. Any bets that we will be racists again if Romney wins?

Now about tonight’s debate. The new Narrative in the US mainstream media (whom Mardell has admitted are mostly liberal) is that the debates don’t mean anything. It’s a clever pre-emptive strike at the bounce Romney will most likely get. There’s also been an attempt to revive the myth surrounding that Nixon-JFK debate where supposedly people who watched it on TV thought Kennedy won, while those who listened on the radio thought Nixon did. In other words, since most everyone is going to be watching it, don’t believe your lying eyes if you think Romney won.

Mardell dutifully follows suit. A draw will be a successful result for the President. He also throws in an appeal to authority and has some academic say that the debates don’t usually change anyone’s mind, but at least leave the voters better informed. I’d like some maple syrup on that waffle, please.

At least Adam Blenford’s full-length piece on the debate issues and candidates is pretty well balanced and not obviously biased. I even think that the weaknesses listed for both men can be considered different versions of the same thing. He didn’t mention the President’s whining about having to rehearse and study for it, but never mind.

Mardell will be tweeting during the debate and then blogging his pearls of wisdom afterwards. Joy.

Mark Mardell Inadvertently Exposes Himself And His Colleagues

I apologize in advance for any unpleasant images that title may have evoked. As most people here will know, I’m wont to complain about how Mardell is little more than a British mouthpiece for the White House Press Office. I’ve written at length about how this or that report or blogpost from him is supporting the President’s cause, spouting White House talking points, etc.

This time, though, it’s Mardell himself explaining what the White House talking points are. And it doesn’t take much to see how he and his BBC colleagues are in lock-step with the White House propaganda machine.

Mitt v Isaac in Tampa

One has to feel a little sorry for the BBC’s US President, though. He was supposed to be wallowing in a political event, reporting on Romney accepting the nomination and whatever negative stuff he can imagine. But the Republican convention has been delayed because of the storm, so is stuck having to make something up instead. He’s got copy to file one way or the other, so I suppose the White House talking points have to get in there somehow. However, in casually laying these point out, Mardell inadvertently reveals himself and his colleagues for the White House shills that they are.

First, Mardell cleverly tries to use the storm as a metaphor for the impending doom he wants you think Romney’s campaign senses. They’ve been battered and put off message recently, he explains, and Romney is going to face a tough crowd. No, really.

The house band blast out a sound check, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer rehearses a walk and talk for his show. Everything in the vast auditorium is bathed in blue and red lights, atmospheric, but curiously reminiscent of emergency vehicles at a crash scene.

Yeah, it’s a bit ham-fisted, I know. But it’s not easy churning this stuff out on demand, you know. In any case, this is a not so subtle introduction to the White House talking points. In fact, it’s one of them: Romney is in trouble already.

Still, Republicans are crossing their fingers that there’ll be no accidents this week. They hope that Isaac will miss and Mitt will be a hit.

Who at this point – outside the Beltway and the HuffingtonPost, anyway – still thinks the Republican Party is going to turn on Romney and they won’t rally around him for the goal of unseating the President? This is a mentality from six months ago. Sure, Mardell was right all along that most of the Republican Party and sympathetic conservatives and independents wanted just about anyone but Romney. But that was then and this is now. There’s no way that lingering animosity towards him outweighs the desire to prevent the resurrection of The Obamessiah.

Now for the talking points. I’ll let the BBC’s US President editor explain:

He may not applaud all the statements coming from the floor when the convention does kick off. He has a tricky path to walk.

He might want to convince the conservative base that he really is one of them. But he doesn’t want to play into the hands of the Democrats who are determined to depict him as a scary reactionary in thrall to nutters and cranks.

Nobody is going to depict Romney as a reactionary. Mardell is straining here. But “nutters and cranks”? That’s pretty much how most Beeboids describe the Tea Party movement. But now that Mardell has laid it out there for you, pay attention from now on to how many of the usual BBC suspects start saying that on air.

President Obama, apparently determined to distract attention from the economy, said in an interview this weekend that Romney had “signed up for extreme positions”.

You mean like how BBC economics editor tweeted that Romney had gone “so extreme” by picking Paul Ryan as running mate?

The Obama campaign team pulled out all the stops to link Romney’s name to that of the once obscure congressman Todd Akin, who coined the ugly phrase “legitimate rape”.

You mean like how you and your colleagues pulled out all the stops to spread the story all over the place and link Romney inextricably with Akin? In a way, I should point out, that you don’t do with things that might make the President look bad.

By the time they were through, the uninformed might think Todd Akin was the third name on the ticket.

So would BBC audiences. He’s really writing my jokes for me.

The president’s campaign went into overdrive to highlight an awkward joke Mr Romney made about his birth certificate, suggesting he had strayed into “birther” territory.

You mean like how BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News America tweeted that Romney’s joke was “dangerous”?

But they’ve already been buffeted off message in the last week by Mr Obama’s accusations.

Really? Is that why polls now have Romney as tied with or even slightly ahead of the President? So where is Mardell telling you that the President is equally in trouble, campaign on the back foot, after all the missteps like “You didn’t build that”, or the harshly criticized bogus ad accusing Romney of being responsible for a woman dying of cancer, or the Democrat mouthpiece who accused Romney of committing a felony – both of which the President Himself had to dance around deal with a question about it at His recent press conference? Don’t make me laugh. The BBC censored all news of it save for one brief mention by Mardell in a blog post. Which he, naturally, defended.

See, it’s not just me saying this or that is a White House talking point. This is the BBC’s top man in the US, a life-long political junkie, highly trained and an experienced journalist with close contacts in the White House, who regularly receives press releases and emails and all the relevant information, telling you that these are White House talking points. Which he and his colleagues then dutifully support.

Oh, and the whole idea that Romney is in trouble and needs to get his game going for this convention? Don’t take my word for it that it’s a White House talking point: read it on the White House website.

The BBC Continues To Be A White House Lackey

The BBC has been busy this week trying to carry the President’s water over various incidents. US President editor Mark Mardell has been especially active defending the President and attacking His enemies. And the youngsters at BBC News Online Recdep have been equally busy making sure some things are reported at length, while other things are censored entirely.

Before I continue, though, let me state first that this is not, contrary to what defenders of the indefensible love to claim, about me simply wanting the BBC to say only what I want to hear, or report from a Right-wing slant. This is about the failure of the BBC – specifically its top people in the US – to report not only accurately, but honestly, and give you some semblance of the whole picture. It’s also about how the biased reporting makes the BBC appear to support the President of the US, rather than being an impartial, honest broker of news.

The latest example is the foolish remark by Rep. Akin about rape and pregnancy. Naturally, since it’s been a big deal in the US mainstream media, the BBC is all over it, with no fewer than five features about it. currently at the top of the US & Canada (Who?) page:

Romney calls for Akin to drop out

Mardell: Obama’s opportunity

Missouri residents on row

Todd Akin: “I was medically wrong”

Akin’s apology ad

(There have probably been at least two more news briefs going up since I’ve been trying to put this together while the site goes up and down). Contrast this with the amount of BBC coverage of two other big recent election stories. The President’s “You didn’t build that” statement (I hesitate to call it a gaffe, because He meant it) was censored entirely by the BBC, except for a single brief mention of it in one Mardell blogpost. Yes, Mardell was defending the remark, trying to explain the context.  The other big story, one which has been all over the news was even brought up in the recent surprise Presidential press conference (more on this later), was the falsehood put out by a Democrat Super-PAC that Romney was directly responsible for a woman dying of cancer. The BBC has censored that completely.

These issues harm the President, make Him look bad. So the BBC isn’t interested in covering any of it. Yet this story about one Republican candidate for Senate – not even about Romney, not even connected to his campaign, mind – is a top priority for them. Even Katty Kay got into the game by tweeting that Missouri was an important State for Romney. It continues to be the biggest target for the Democrats this week, but that ought not make it a top news priority. Or do political targets dictate newsgathering now?

Back in January, Mardell managed to defend, sort of, Romney for his quip about how he loved to fire people. Actually, he didn’t defend Romney at all. Rather, he said that it was wrong to call the statement a “gaffe”, because it was really just clumsy and wrong for Romney to say it. Actually, it’s not really a defense at all, just the pretense of one.

A couple of days ago, VP Biden told an audience of African-Americans – descendants of slaves – that Romney and Ryan wanted “to put y’all back in chains”. Mardell defended him. In fact, he starts out by seeming to call any criticism of Biden over this remark “mud-slinging”. He curiously said that the mainstream media played down why the remark caused an uproar – the slavery reference – which is a joke. Everyone knows why it was a bad thing to say, which is why the media went into overdrive to protect Biden from the backlash. What’s much worse, though, is that Mardell had the nerve to suggest that Biden said it “perhaps inadvertently”. No, that’s simply not credible. Of course Biden knew exactly what he was saying, hence the pandering “y’all” thrown into the mix. Otherwise, Mardell is suggesting that Biden is as dim and unqualified to be VP as he thinks Sarah Palin is. I don’t believe that for a moment. Mardell here is basically telling himself – and you – a little white lie.

The defense continues. Suddenly people who saw this as race-baiting and wrong are, according to Mardell, “too sensitive”. Apparently the BBC’s top man in the US is unconcerned that people like Artur Davis (the co-chair of the President’s 2008 election campaign) and Doug Wilder (Democrat former Governor of Virginia) found Biden’s remarks to be deliberate, and offensive. The BBC wouldn’t dare suggest that the Black Coalition of Georgia Republicans are too sensitive to racial issues, would they? What Mardell really means is that white Republicans are making a mountain out of a molehill. He’s thus dismissing the objections of black people out of hand. And it’s not like he has no idea these people exist.

Actually, Biden’s dopey utterings have gotten worse. He opened his remarks in Virginia by saying that the Dems can “win in North Carolina”, and last week asked at a campaign stop, “’Folks, where’s it written we cannot lead the world in the 20th Century in making automobiles?’  Imagine if Sarah Palin had said such a thing. The BBC would have been all over it: Beeboids tweeting ecstatically, two separate online articles, plus a Mardell blogpost. But when Biden does it….nada.

It’s actually worse than you think. Biden’s idiocy has gotten so bad that his staff is actively trying to censor press pool reports and keep reporters from getting too close. This is from Politico, ladies and gentlemen, a favorite read and retweet source for both Katty Kay and Mark Mardell. They know all about this, but don’t want you to know. No, it’s much more important to whip up hysteria over Rep. Akin’s terrible remark about rape and pregnancy.

Let me repeat: I don’t want the BBC to report negatively about Biden, while supporting or sweeping Akin under the rug. I want them to report both accurately and honestly, without trying to defend one or the other. Explaining the potential damage or why one or the other is controversial is fine, but that’s not what you’re getting from the BBC, is it?

Speaking of difficulties with the press, people here may remember three weeks ago when Mardell was grumbling about how Romney wasn’t so friendly with the press during his visit to Poland. Apparently there wasn’t enough access granted, and his press man lost his temper with the pool reporters. Mardell was all over that. In fact, it was so important to him that he whipped up a second negative piece about it. His friends getting censored by Biden’s staff? Radio silence. You don’t need to know about that.

Worse, the President Himself actually didn’t give a press conference at all for eight weeks. No questions taken at all. Instead, He’s been hitting the local media, morning radio DJs, and the like. He’s been doing that instead because they bow to instructions in advance about what He wants to talk about. Where’s Mardell on this? He knows about it, but doesn’t want you to know. Again, I don’t merely want Mardell to attack the President: I just want him for once to report the whole picture, both sides, and not only negatives about one side, while providing the defense for the other.

And this is where the water-carrying becomes really obvious. Remember all those times Mardell was moaning about how things have gotten so negative, so nasty, and blamed the Tea Party or Republicans for it? There was another attack from Team Obamessiah last month, this time accusing Romney of committing a felony while at Bain. They even held a conference call with reporters to push it.

The other day, the President finally did grant an audience give a press conference where He took questions from reporters. It didn’t go so well for Him because one of them had the audacity to ask Him about the negative, ugly tone of His campaign. This was about both that bogus ad and the felony charge. The President tried to dodge responsibility for it. Previously, His campaign denied knowledge of it. Then they had to admit they knew. At the presser, the President showed that He knew all about it, while trying to claim that He didn’t, and that it was no big deal. Did the BBC report that? No, of course not, because that would mean you’d know about the ugly ad itself, or the bogus felony charge, which makes Him look bad. So they’ve censored this as well, in order to maintain radio silence about the ugliness coming out of the White House.

How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya now, BBC? Will you ever be an honest broker of news about US issues? Or is it going to be Pro Obama At All Costs until November 6? (Not Nov. 2, like Michelle Obama just said, at which the Beeboids will not be giggling on air.) It’s not bias to report about the two attack ads. No need to judge them, just report that they exist, and that they’ve caused an outcry. But the BBC can’t even do that anymore. It’s not just Mardell, either. There are other BBC journalists tasked with proper newsgathering in the US. They’re all responsible for this failure.

Mardell On Message

At last, someone at the BBC has mentioned the President’s “You didn’t build that” gaffe, which has haunted His campaign for a couple of weeks at least. The revealing Collectivist statement has inspired a series of mocking responses from small businesses and ads from the Romney campaign. It was in all the major US media outlets – they had to come to His defense, after all – yet the BBC censored all news of it: until now. The BBC’s US President editor mentioned it in his latest online article, and yes – what a shock – he comes to the President’s defense. But first, the bias in Mardell’s editoria before we get to that part:

Mitt Romney’s economic open goal

The opening paras are more or less simple statements of positions, not a big deal. However, Mardell immediately starts providing support for the President’s side.

Alan Krueger, chairman of the council of economic advisers, issued a statement saying “today’s employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression”.

The CEA existed originally to provide objective economic analysis to the President. The problem with that scenario, though, is that the President appoints the three members, who are then approved by the Senate. These are policy advisers, not statesmen or people in charge of anything, so there’s not much danger of them not being approved for the job.

In this case, though, Krueger is the third chairman in three years for the President. Although he’s ranked among the top 50 economists in the world, he’s Left-leaning, known as a “labor economist”. Krueger is one of Leftoid dreamboat Paul Krugman’s colleagues at Princeton, with a focus on trying to prove that we must raise the minimum wage, and other Leftoid shibboleths, like “inequality”.

The second member, Katherine Abrahams, wrote her doctoral dissertation on….wait for it…”Vacancies, unemployment and wage growth”. Anyone sensing a pattern here? While her main focus in recent years has been about time management, she also, according to her bio, has maintained an interest in labor market, as well as how government grants increase college enrollment. Shocking, I know.

The third member of the CEA, Carl Shapiro, was an academic at Berkeley, and was promoted from within the Administration, where he was advising the DOJ on how to go after businesses engaged in anti-competitive practices. Not necessarily hard Left, but since the current DOJ is one of the most politicized in history, it’s not hard to guess which side his recommendations will favor.

In short, the CEA is not exactly the most objective group going these days. When Krueger says that we’re clearly on the right path, one must take it with a very large grain of salt and assume that this is a statement coming from the Administration, and not from an objective third party. Yet Mardell doesn’t qualify that at all, and expects you to accept it as such. So already you’re being led to believe one side versus the other.

After that, every negative is qualified, “balance” obligingly provided.

The figures are in fact a mixed bag. Unemployment is up to 8.3% from 8.2% But 163,000 jobs were added, more than expected.

First the negative, but then the “unexpected” positive. Not the other way around, which wouldn’t be as supportive.

So the familiar political battle for interpretations is sharper than usual.

But it is not hard to stand back. It is pretty clear that the shaky recovery is continuing to move in the right direction, but that unemployment is a stubborn, serious and long-term problem.

No, it’s not so clear to those outside the bubble. If it was pretty clear, the President’s job approval would be a bit better, and those jobs added wouldn’t be so “unexpected”. Perhaps this is just another case of that typical mindset of our betters: if we don’t agree with them, it’s just because we don’t understand, or the message hasn’t been disseminated well enough. Mardell, though, obviously firmly believes things are on the right track. But just in case:

A shock from Europe or the Persian Gulf could crush the shell of this recovery’s snail-like progress.

It’s not His fault, you see.

When President Obama was elected he never dreamt the economy would be in such a poor state by this time in the election cycle.

Really? Do tell. This can be interpreted in two ways. One could accept that He had no idea how bad things would be because it’s all out of His control, He could never have known that even His best efforts couldn’t save us all. Alternatively, one could accept that He had no idea how bad things would be because of His poor grasp of economics, His far-Left ideology, and that His policies would fail and fail again. We know which perspective Mardell is coming from.

It is only in the last few months that his team seems to have understood that he is fighting for his political life against a strong “feel-bad” factor.

“His team”? What about Him? What happened to that amazing genius who strode among us like a giant, who ran the most perfect election campaign ever, ever, ever? Are we supposed to believe He had no idea? This is either evidence that He’s supremely arrogant and clueless, or that someone is shifting blame. It’s not His fault, you see.

Now Mardell must be the good proselytizer and give you the Gospel:

President Obama’s basic argument is simple. Without his actions, including spending to stimulate and save industries, the economy would have gone down the drain.

The president claims what is needed is more Obama – notably “an extension of middle-class tax cuts” and a Congress that will pass his American Jobs Act, to help public-sector hiring.

Ah, borrowing and spending, and public-sector hiring.

It is not my job to judge competing economic policies, but even if he is absolutely right, as a campaigning position it is pretty lame.

No, but we know your judgment anyway, don’t we? It’s not his job to judge, “but…”, which means we’re going to get his opinion. We know Mardell thinks the President most definitely is “absolutely right” (an editorial emphasis) because he told the BBC College of Journalism just that (beginning @5:51 in). But even he knows this isn’t the most inspiring message. We’ve seen before how Mardell can mope when the President fails to inspire him. And it’s killing Him now.

“It could have been worse” is not a great rallying cry.
While blaming Congress may be popular, it is peculiar as an argument for re-election.

Mardell is little more than a campaign junkie, and spends most of his time on election issues. Is this worthy of the title “North America editor”? He knows there’s an open goal for Romney here, and just can’t help himself but play defense.

If Obama wins he is likely to face an even more intransigent bunch on the Hill.

“Intransigent”? Because they don’t let Him get His way anymore. We’ve heard that term time and time again since the 2010 mid-terms. Yet we never heard Mardell – or any other Beeboid, for that matter – refer to Congress as a “lapdog” or “rubber stamp” back when both Houses were easily controlled by the Democrats and they were able to ram through ObamaCare and other laws without needing a single Republican vote. Congress doesn’t exist simply to grease the skids for a President’s every desire. Did the BBC refer to the Democrat-controlled Congress under Bush as intransigent when they didn’t let him get his way? I forget.

The thing is, only the House of Representatives has a Republican majority and Speaker. The Senate is still controlled by Democrats. It’s rather dishonest to lump both houses of Congress together in this way. Especially since quite a few Democrats have sided with the Republicans on things like the Budget and

Actually, when Mardell writes that warning about the President facing that awful obstacle in a second term, he’s continuing to write from writing from the perspective that His Plan is “absolutely right”, but He might not get His way and save the country.

After all this, we at last get to the first mention by the BBC of the “You didn’t build that” gaffe. Naturally, since it makes the President look bad, what has been a major story in the US media doesn’t merit its own report, and Mardell dutifully provides the balance by first gently sneering at Romney’s recent ruffling of a few British and Palestinian feathers.

The Romney team has focused its recent campaign around Mr Obama’s contention that “if you’ve got a business – you didn’t build that. Somebody else made that happen”.

Their previous onslaught targeted his remark after the June unemployment figures that “the private sector is doing just fine”.

The often-quoted remark, that a gaffe is when a politician tells the truth, is nearly right.

In these cases it is when the president reveals his underlying contempt for his opponents.

What? Contempt for His opponents? No. It’s contempt for private enterprise, for economic freedom, for individuality. It’s contempt for anyone who doesn’t believe as He does, that the State is all. The President revealed what worried many of us back in 2008: He’s a Collectivist at heart. If we take Mardell at his word, though, it means that private enterprise, free market proponents, and independent businessmen are the President’s opponents. This is not a good recipe. It also highlights the President’s far-Left political beliefs.

Slavishly, the BBC’s US President editor then defends Him, reading out the White House explanation:

Mr Obama’s point was that even entrepreneurs rely on the government many Republicans so despise: they are educated using taxpayers’ money, travel to work on federally funded roads and so on.

No, those who were allowed to hear the full speech – which the BBC has censored entirely – know all too well that He went much further than that. It was much more revealing than Mardell and His supporters in the mainstream media want to let on, hence the mad scrambling to explain it away, walk it back, and attack Romney over his recent trip.

His remark about the private sector is an unwise dig at the demand for deeper cuts in government spending – in June and July unemployment figures are higher because the government is shedding workers – 9,000 in the latest figures.

Both comments suggest Mr Obama’s irritation with his opponents’ strident anti-government message.

The lurid characterisation of his politics by some of them (my inbox this morning contained a warning of his “Marxist agenda”) obscures the fact that he probably is to the left of most America voters.

He does, in a rather centrist European social democratic way, believe in government as an enabler. Many Americans instinctively don’t.

“Lurid”. “Despise”. “Strident”. No emotive terms, no editorializing there, then. Yeah. But what a giveaway. Someone at the BBC at last admits, after years of claiming that He’s a moderate, a centrist, that the President is pretty far to the Left. When Mardell says “centrist European social democratic”, it betrays his own perspective that the US is wrong for being to the Right of Him. He’s a centrist in Mardell’s mind, and you’re getting analysis from that perspective. This is not impartial, not objective reporting. Nor do we expect that from Mardell at this point in the game.

At last we get to Romney’s policies. Sort of. In case there are any lingering doubts in his readers minds, Mardell starts off by saying that there are “questions” about Romney’s policies, and that the situation in the UK proves that they’re wrong anyway.

There are questions about his policies. And as the British government has found out, even if tax cutting, spending cutting, red-tape scrapping is the right way ahead, it takes a painfully long time to work.

Note that Mardell doesn’t write “even if… absolutely the right way ahead.” Nope, that was reserved for the President’s Plan For Us. Does the President’s big-government, Statist Plan take a “painfully long time to work”? We aren’t told. Mardell doesn’t dare speculate there, does he? I wonder why.

Mr Obama’s charge is that these are the very policies that led America into the current mess.

Again we get a White House talking point, and have yet to see a single one from the Romney campaign. I don’t think Mardell even realizes he’s doing it. It’s reflexive, what he does naturally, and what’s expected of him at – and clearly approved by – the BBC. And anyways, the last few Bush years certainly were not full of “austerity” measures. Bush ramped up the spending, increased our debt. Either Mardell isn’t aware of this because he was busy as the BBC’s Socialist Europe editor at the time and had no idea, or – more likely – he doesn’t want you to know so doesn’t point out that the President might possibly be wrong about it. If this was supposed to be a piece about the President’s weakness and a way in for Romney, there sure is an awful lot of defending the President against that weakness and only a brief mention of what that weakness actually means.

Some readers may at this point still be worried that the President won’t come out on top in the end. Fortunately, Mardell provides that ray of hope:

Opinion polls show them level pegging, but in the really important swing states Mr Obama is ahead.

I’ve long said that this election will be about two very different visions of America. I still think I am right. But character may be just as critical.

Many polls suggest a majority don’t like Mr Obama’s handling of the economy and think Mr Romney would be better on the issue, but give the president higher scores when it comes down to what they call “likeability”.

Even though Mardell still has to admit now that there’s trouble ahead, he provides that last bit of optimism.

This election really is wide open.

America may feel let down by Mr Obama. It has yet to be convinced by Mr Romney.

Whew! That’s a relief.

That open goal has plenty of blocking from Mardell, anyway.

SHOCKER: Mark Mardell Spins Romney, Then Plays An Obamessiah Campaign Video

This is why I call Mardell the BBC’s US President editor instead of his official title, BBC North America editor. Mardell’s report about Romney’s trip to Israel leaves out the most important thing he said, and the second half of it is devoted to defending the President on the domestic economy issue.

Mitt Romney: US will stand with Israel

In the accompanying blurb, the BBC mentions that Romney said that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Yet Mardell strangely left that out. Why? He instead says that Romney’s show of support for Israel and strong stance against Iran is less about appeasing US Jews and more about portraying him as being stronger on foreign policy than the President. This is actually correct, and I’m left wondering why Mardell strayed off the BBC reservation here. He’s previously fretted over the Jewish Lobby, so it’s interesting that he doesn’t see them as the main factor here.

First, though, let me whine for a moment about Mardell’s offensive use of the term “Wailing Wall”. While I don’t expect him or any Beeboid to use the Hebrew, ha Kotel (literally, “the Wall”), as showing that much respect is reserved for Muslim holy sites, I do expect him to use the correct English term, “Western Wall”. The “Wailing Wall” is an outmoded stereotype, which comes from non-Jews observing the orthodox Jews’ style of praying. To the uninformed, it was said to sound like wailing. Plus, there’s the historical emotional connotation of this being the only part left standing of the Holy Temple, the only actual holy site in all of Judaism. This is also the only part of the Temple Mount at which Jews are allowed to pray, or even wear religious garb. Mardell should show more respect, and the BBC ought to educate it’s staff better, the way they do for Muslim issues. To many Jews today, the term “Wailing Wall” is offensive. The New York Times (admittedly with more concern for its Jewish audience than the BBC ever could have) uses the term “Western Wall”, and Mardell has no problem taking a page from their playbook when he refers to Bibi Netanyahu as Romeny’s “old friend”, so one would have thought he’d at least get that right as well. But no, he uses an outmoded stereotype temr instead. Whine ends.

It’s especially curious because he fails to mention Romney’s statement about Jerusalem, which is meant to speak to Jews everywhere, and specifically US Jews who are worried about the President’s increasing betrayal of our ally on this issue. Did I say “betrayal”? Yes I did. Has the BBC reported this? Of course not.

We all know by know that Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is not approved by the BBC’s editorial policy. Several people here have shown how they refuse to show it on, for example, the Olympics page for Israel. Yes, everyone knows it’s “controversial” because the Palestinians don’t accept it, and that the Muslim World hates it and wants Jerusalem to be Judenrein, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Knesset is in Jerusalem and it’s the functioning capital of the country. Outside factors do not decide the capital for any country. The BBC, of course, bows to the Muslim position here, and decides not to acknowledge Israel’s sovereignty on the matter.

Fortunately, the BBC has reported elsewhere that Romney said that about Jerusalem, and used the dodge of reporting other press reports about it as a means of showing how awful it was without having to make any messy editorial decisions themselves. Yes, the Muslim press is all about anger at appeasing the Jewish Lobby. So why does Mardell omit what many see as the most important statement Romney made? Could it be because he knows this will highlight the President’s increasing betrayal of a US ally on this issue?

I say betrayal because that’s exactly what it is. In 2008, when running for President, Candidate Obamessiah said Jerusalem was the capital of Israel. Now, He’s been distancing Himself increasingly from that position. In fact, it’s gotten so bad that His press secretary (personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News Ameirca, Katty Kay, and husband of her friend and business partner) refused to answer reporters questions about it. Watch the video below:

Yes, you saw that bit at the end right: the President now says that Jerusalem is up for grabs, going back on His word. No wonder the BBC’s US President editor didn’t want to admit what Romney said. If any defenders of the indefensible want to say that doesn’t matter because it’s in the blurb or on that other website page featuring Muslim anger about it, remember that most people will see only Mardell’s video report and not the website text, and so most will remain blissfully unaware of it. And for those wishing to play the source and not the ball, attempting to dismiss this because of who made that video, dispute this quote if you can, and dispute the video evidence above of the President’s original statements and Carney’s sad display.

In reality, Romney’s trip to Israel was meant to show everyone in the US who cares – remember, we hear about how evil Evangelical Christians are equally concerned about Israel’s safety just like the nasty old dual-loyalty Jews are – that he will not betray Israel like the President has been doing. Regardless of which side of the issue one is on, the facts of both candidates’ positions and behavior are there. Mardell spun all that away very nicely.

But that was only a fraction more than half of Mardell’s report. The rest was spent defending the President against the charges that He can’t handle the economy. In fact, Mardell merely states a few words of Romney’s criticism – the only acknowledgment by the BBC anywhere of that “You didn’t build that” gaffe!!! – then plays about ten seconds of the President’s own campaign video rebuttal, complete with the President Himself smiling and speaking to the camera. This is the BBC’s tacit admission that it was a big deal after all. Mardell then closes his report by saying what he thinks Romney’s stop in Poland will cover.

Basically, the President gets a chance to speak for Himself in a report about Romney, while Romney’s campaign gets only Mardell uttering one sentence from their side. In the end, Mardell spins away Romney’s trip to Israel, refusing to mention the most important issue from it.

UPDATE: Oh, dear, it seems I’m 100% wrong on this one. As we know, the standard line on things like this from defenders of the indefensible is that the BBC can’t be biased because other media outlets are reporting the same way. The killer line:

Instead of sending political reporters who report on politics, the foreign affairs reporters might have given us serious reporting on the international issues raised when the Republican nominee for president traveled abroad.

While Romney was in Israel, for example, he proposed a U.S. policy fundamentally different from the one President Obama has given us. Most of the political reporters on the trip missed the significance of the announcement.

Missed, or censored? So either Mardell is a useless tool who just follows along with what his DC Beltway colleagues say, he deliberately censored the key bit out to protect the President, or he’s just a poor political analyst and doesn’t deserve his job. But the BBC expects you to trust him anyway.

Mark Mardell Defends The President On Bin Laden Ad

The media has been freaking out for about 24 hours about the President’s new ad featuring Bill Clinton suggesting that Mitt Romney wouldn’t have made the call to kill Osama bin Laden, and Mark Mardell rushes to His defense. I’m not even going to bother linking to criticisms in the mainstream media, because you know Mardell wouldn’t be roused to action if it wasn’t a major problem.

Should Obama politicise Bin Laden’s death?

Short answer: Yes.

Long answer: It’s not His fault if someone else thinks this boastful ad politicizes the killing. And He’s The Man, you know.

President Barack Obama is being accused by opponents of making political capital out of the killing of Osama Bin Laden a year ago.

That’s not surprising – he is indeed making a big deal out of it.

The question is whether doing so is distasteful and whether his campaign is politicising something that should be above politics.

Mardell knows this is a problem. He knows this is “unseemly”.  He knows that using a targeted assassination of someone in cold blood, without due process of law, as a campaign slogan is not the kind of Hope & Change we were sold in 2008. Even Arianna Huffington is calling Him out on it. So what does the US President do? He blames His opponents for it being a problem, and makes sure to remind you of His prowess.

It is just as inevitable that opponents will portray that as unseemly immodesty.

The crudeness of the presidential pitch may put some off, but any row that is created only serves to highlight that Bin Laden was indeed killed on Mr Obama’s watch, on his orders.

Even when it comes to acting like the very kind of warmongering cowboy Mardell loathes with all his being, he still must defend Him to the bitter end. Nothing is His fault, you see.

But please, the BBC asks you to continue to look to him for your understanding of US issues.


Gone To The Dogs

Well, well, well. After ten days, reality has at last forced the BBC to acknowledge the big joke about the President being fed dog as a child. How many of us here have noted that they’ve refused to touch this story? BBC US President editor Mark Mardell finally decided to address it.

Nobody is really taking it too seriously as a negative on the President, but it has been an effective counter against Democrat attacks on Romney for that one story about the dog on the car roof.

Two obvious examples of bias in Mardell’s post:

1. When acknowledging that the dog-eating story plays into the “larger Narrative” (a Beeboid knows a Narrative when he sees one, eh?) that the President is too foreign, he either doesn’t understand or refused to admit that this was the whole point of putting that anecdote in His autobiography. The intent was to make Him seem in tune with the whole world and not just a parochial, isolationist American. In fact, even the BBC told us that His world experience was a selling point. Mardell has either forgotten that, or just doesn’t want you to remember.

2. So it’s pathetic and biased for Mardell to then say, “But I fear more politicians may try to make dogs a touchstone of the American way.”  He admits bias right there in the open. If you sell yourself as being Post-American, don’t blame someone else for pointing it out. Instead, Mardell tries to defend his beloved Obamessiah.

Mark Mardell Visits A Jon Huntsman Gathering And Defends The President On The Economy

The BBC’s US President editor is in New Hampshire to cover the Republican Primary. “It’s the economy, stupid” is the running gag these days about the number one reason why the President might not be re-elected. Among the elite media, anyway. Much of the rest of the country might be worried about His continued assault on gun rights, poor performance on stopping illegal immigration, the constant class war rhetoric, the possibly unconstitutional power grabs and recess appointments, His poor foreign policy record, and His general apparent incompetence to improve anything, but that doesn’t interest Mardell or his fellow travelers.  And we never hear about any of that from the BBC anyway, so it may as well not exist for the purposes of this discussion.

As Mitt Romney solidifies his lead over Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, and Newt Gingrich, where do you think the BBC’s top man in the US goes to keep his finger on the pulse of the people? A Jon Huntsman gathering. Who?

Yes, Mardell went to a gathering of supporters of the candidate who has been at the bottom of the polls from the beginning. Huntsman is now getting a little play in New Hampshire, because that state is full of Reagan Democrats, who basically were the “independents” who voted for The Obamessiah in 2008. To support his attendance at a Huntsman event, he points to an article by the Left-wing (but not identified as such, contrary to what Jane Bradley said they should do) Daily Beast which says Huntsman had his best debate performance yet. In other words, Democrats like him, so Mardell is on the scene. I’d be more impressed if he had found a non-Left article speaking positively about Huntsman.

Now, you might be saying, “Hey, Dave, Hunstman is suddenly on the rise, so it’s logical that Mardell would check out his gathering to see what’s up.” Well, he didn’t do that for Santorum, who rocketed up from the bottom of the polls in Iowa. He went to a Ron Paul rally after a quick stop at a Romney speech. The BBC instead sent Peter Marshall of Newsnight to laugh at Santorum. Contrary to the tone here, Santorum’s rise was discussed with distaste in BBC reporting.

No, Mardell has liked Huntsman from the beginning. He was mentioning Huntsman when the man was not even a blip on the radar, yet didn’t mention Herman Cain until after the first debate, when he dismissed Cain out of hand. Last September, Mardell told an audience at the BBC College of Journalism that he liked Huntsman as a candidate and especially that Democrats liked him. I think that about sums it up right there. But this is at least as much about defending the President as it is about Huntsman.

For his latest, Mardell is talking to some other Republican voters. What’s especially troubling about this report is that Mardell also seizes an opportunity to defend the President on the economy.

Do Republican attacks on Obama strike a chord?

Actual Republican voters in New Hampshire are more conservative, or at least used to be. Reagan lost a primary to Pat Buchanan, for example. The state has, though, seen a serious increase in Democrat voters in the last few years. The problem is that the state also has this rather lax, same-day voter registration deal, so people can switch parties or independents can sign up for one (one has to be registered for a party to vote in the primary) on the day in order to flood the polls for a given candidate. There are rumors that out-of-state Paul minions are coming in to take advantage of this as well. So the particular circumstances of New Hampshire benefit Huntsman more than just about any other candidate.

But Mardell is there more to defend the President than to push Huntsman. So he talks to some Huntsman supporters about their thoughts on the economy. First, he talks to an actual Republican, a business owner and son of a former Republican governor and White House staffer. Chris Sununu definitely blames the President for the bad economy. Mardell, though, questions him.

I put it to him that is fine as political rhetoric, but question whether Obama’s policies have really hurt his thriving ski resort.

Somebody show me an example of Mardell doing this to an Obamessiah supporter.  He let’s Sununu answer the question, but then dismisses it.

Not everyone agrees that the language of the campaign reflects reality.

It’s very clever how he emphasizes that this is “rhetoric”, which devalues the position. In the interest of balance, of course, Mardell then talks to someone who – what a shock – doesn’t like where the Republican Party is going. Donald Byrne is one of those “independents” registering specifically for this primary I was talking about. It would be more informative if he’d found an actual Republican who felt differently, but I guess one right-winger a day is all he can stomach. Tell me if any of the following sounds eerily familiar to everything the BBC has been telling about the Republicans:

He says the language used about Obama is pandering to the base.

“I think the Republican party in the United States has shifted very far to the right,” he says.

“Being a moderate is a negative in this campaign and that’s very unfortunate, because the majority of Americans are moderate and well balanced in their thought process.

“There is too much pandering to these right-wing extreme sides.”

This could have been copied and pasted from any number of BBC reports. Actually, it sounds like a good White House talking point. Wake me up when Mardell finds an “independent” who says that the Democrats have moved too far to the Left, and that it’s bad for the President to pander to Left-wing extremes. No, to Mardell, that’s a good thing, what He should be doing.

One thing Mardell neglected to tell you about Byrne is that he hosted a Huntsman gathering at his own home last month, and that he doesn’t like Romney’s strong talk against China. It’s pretty obvious that a software entrepreneur with a vested business interest in dealing with China is going to like the former Ambassador to China who sucked up to them. The “pandering” to extremists Byrne was talking about was, in fact, about anti-China rhetoric and not, as Mardell wants you think, specifically about the US economy. So a little dishonesty from Mardell there to help his Narrative.

To further defend the President on the economy and convince you that the fiscally conservative position is actually an extremist one, Mardell found a big-government Republican and economist who worked for the first President Bush. You won’t be surprised to learn that he says that the debate between Keynesian and Milton Friedman economics is silly. It’s more between Keynes and Hayek, but Friedman is a big American name, so we’ll accept that. In any case, Mr. Bastani says that neither approach works, and anyways Keynesian economics has become the middle ground. If Mardell asked him if anything the President has done might have harmed the economy, we aren’t told.  Did he censor that bit, or did he just not bother to ask at all? Either way, you’re left with a specific Narrative.

That’s the same message you’ve heard over and over again from a number of Beeboids, isn’t it? How many times have we heard “Two Eds” Flanders say it? How many times has the BBC gotten Blanchflower or some other Left-wing pundit to say this? Mardell himself has said (at that now infamous BBC CoJ appearance) that the British public support endless deficit spending, and that the President is “the last Keynesian standing”. He thinks that’s the answer. So he went out and found people to support his own personal position.  And we know his own personal position, because he revealed it in front of the BBC CoJ camera.

Both these reports from New Hampshire were written from his own personal viewpoint: Huntsman is the good candidate, Keynesian policies are best (it’s a misunderstood Keynesianism, actually, as the man himself never promoted an endless, infinite deficit),  the other Republican candidates are extremist, and that any talk of the President hurting the economy is mere rhetoric.

As a result, you’re not informed about what’s going in New Hampshire, but you do get a message.

UPDATE: In case there’s any doubt about the reality of Huntsman’s supporters, here’s a video of some supporters who think he’s practically a Democrat. Notice how they whine about evangelicals just like Mardell and the other Beeboids do.

Mark Mardell Writes Criticisms Of The President, But Doesn’t Blame Him For Any Of It

The BBC’s US President editor (“North America editor” is a misnomer, as Mardell never discusses – with the lone exception of the heroic Pvt. Manning – anything other than US politics and things which affect the President) wrapped up 2011 with an assessment of where things stand for Him as we head into the election year. Mardell actually writes critically of Him, admitting that things haven’t gone so brilliantly, but manages to avoid blaming Him for any of it. It’s really an amusing bit of sleight-of-hand.

Before any defenders of the indefensible chime in with “There’s no pleasing some people: even when the BBC criticizes the President you’re still unhappy,” let me explain what he’s done here, and how this Mardell is writing from a partisan position.

The headline is a bit OTT, and can actually be interpreted as a sign that it’s not His fault:

Is Obama doomed in 2012?

This notion is supported a couple of times when Mardell states that the President was “dealt such a poor hand”, and how the economy will doom Him. None of it is His fault, you see. So let’s look at each of Mardell’s pretend criticisms and see how he doesn’t actually blame the President for anything.

He starts right off with this bit of dishonest Democrat spin:

Whoever wins the election in November, the result will leave the losers with a sour taste. The US could be a fractious, jittery place by the end of the year.s

 And it’s not fractious now? Haven’t we’ve been hearing how bitterly divided we’ve become from the Left and the BBC ever since the Tea Party movement rose to prominence? The country is already divided. What does Mardell think the 2010 midterm elections were about? The only question is what the percentages are now. By saying this, Mardell is shifting blame away from the President for the fact that the country isn’t as united as we were promised. Any real problems will be due to sour grapes, nothing to do with His divisive rhetoric.

Mardell then lays out what he sees as the two major factors in the President’s chances of re-election. Whoever becomes the Republican nominee will largely determine His fate. Personally, I don’t see any of them winning against the overwhelming combination of the mainstream media, Hollywood, and Wall Street money. Romney might do better than the rest, but I’m not sure he’ll excite enough of the non-Left or the Reagan Democrats to bother doing anything other than a protest vote for some fringe party. So that’s one factor which is going to benefit the President no matter which way it goes, I think.

The other factor, of course, is the economy. Here’s where the blame-shifting really begins.

There are glints of light, indications it is getting a little better. But another set-back in Europe could blow the US further off course. And whatever story of slight optimism the statistics tell, most Americans won’t be bathed in the glow of a feel-good factor.

It all started in Europe now?  See, if things go south, it won’t be His fault. Not a single mention of any of His policies which might have contributed to where we are now. Nothing about the failed Stimulus, nothing about the crushing regulations of the EPA or the looming 16-ton weight of ObamaCare or the $4.7 billion thrown down the Green Energy toilet. Worst of all, no mention of the fact that we haven’t had a budget passed since He took office. Whose fault is that, Mark? Can’t blame Europe or 2008 for that one. So he keeps silent. In fact, neither Mardell nor anyone else at the BBC has ever even mentioned it.

Any reader who relies on the BBC for information will have no idea, and so will buy into the “Trapped in a world He never made” Narrative. Which sets things up nicely for the one genuine criticism:

It is hard not to look back on the mood in 2008 without shaking your head slightly. There is little doubt President Obama has been a disappointment. He has disappointed many supporters, disappointed those in the middle ground, and even, curiously, disappointed his enemies.

The disappointment, of course, is that He hasn’t completely transformed the country as He promised, and as the far-Left hoped He would. But as we’ll see in a moment, that’s not His fault. Mardell has admitted elsewhere that he, too, bought into the hype, although he didn’t quite spell it out. The middle ground voters who bought into the hype will be genuinely disappointed, but as I’ve said, I don’t see too many Reagan Democrats voting against Him. Many of them still share Mardell’s mindset of “It’s not His fault”. As for the bit about the President having “disappointed his enemies”, I have no idea what that means. Who thinks He’s worse than expected? He’s been exactly as awful as I predicted.

In any case, Mardell’s choice to use the term “enemies” merely serves to further set Him up as a victim. The less emotive “opponents” or “critics” would have been better.

Obama loyalists will point out that no mortal could have lived up to the expectations heaped upon his head, especially when he had been dealt such a poor hand. They argue that he has saved the country from ruin, while accepting no-one gets credit for preventing disasters.

 There you go: nobody could have lived up to the hype, so any disappointment among His followers – or even among the middle ground who took a chance – is not His fault. We read that His worshipers claim that He saved the country, although I guess this piece isn’t the time or place for substance.

But it is also true that many of those who strongly backed him, and will still back him, think he has not been bold enough and has not confronted those who were always going to tear him down. 

 “But”? Usually, beginning a sentence with this conjunction leads to a conflicting idea. Yet it really doesn’t. Instead, it’s more of how worshipers will still support Him. And there’s more emotive terminology from Mardell: “those who were always going to tear Him down”, further contributing to the victim portrayal. Does he think there’s any possibility that someone could have a legitimate criticism of Him from the other side? It appears not.  No, anyone who opposed Him was always going to, no matter what He did.  It’s not His fault, you see.

Now it’s back to avoiding blame:

Many in the less ideological middle ground have the opposite complaint. They are often disappointed that instead of the dawn of a new politics, there has been a exacerbation of politics as usual.

One of Obama’s key appeals was as a healer, a bridge as one biography put it. He preached a future where Americans would work together, reaching across party divides. Instead, the bitterness, distrust, and gridlock have grown worse.

 Whose fault is that, Mark? Perhaps we got a clue during the first week in office of President “I won”?  Who allowed the Democrat leaders in Congress to write their dream legislation without bothering to reach across the aisle? Whose leadership is responsible for that?  Mardell isn’t forthcoming. Instead, we just get a “things are worse”, with the expectation that He’ll be unfairly blamed for that as well. In case you had any lingering thoughts of blame, though:

While he talked of changing the way politics was done, we have seen the same old Washington grow in strength and obstructionism, more broken, even less desirous of reaching solutions than before. Maybe that is not his fault. But it is not his triumph either. The obstacles have been piled higher, not blown out of the way.

 Again, we’re told that it’s more of a failure to change the world – an impossible task for which no one can seriously hold Him accountable – than anything He actually did. Not a single word about what the President might have done to contribute to this situation. What about the two years of Democrat super-majority where He was able – or rather the Dems were able while He sat back and watched – to ram legislation through Congress without real bi-partisanship? Was that out of His control as well? What about all the class war rhetoric in His speeches? What about all those lame “car in the ditch” metaphors? Has nothing He’s done contributed in any way to the gridlock and bitterness?

Nope. You all know the drill.  Say it with me: Republican intransigence. Now for some more of that victimizing language:

His enemies were never going to like what he was about, and what he stands for. They would never applaud his economics or his foreign policy.

Enemies. What He stands for. Again with this. So what’s your point, Mark?

But the best politicians earn a sneaking admiration for their skills even from those who detest what they do with their talents.

 So what? You’ve just reminded us for the third time that His enemies would never vote for Him no matter what, so who cares whether or not there’s a hint of admiration?  The whole point is that He needs to keep the middle ground interested.

Mrs Thatcher did. Tony Blair did. FDR did. (It’s probably true Reagan didn’t.)

Reagan didn’t?  What about all those Reagan Democrats, Mark? And please don’t expect me to believe that the virulent hatred for Thatcher – among her enemies at the BBC, for example – is any less than that of Reagan among the US equivalent. Not a bit of it. But again, so what?

But Republicans think Obama has handled the politics badly, and Congress worse. He has been politically clumsy handing both allies and opponents.

Hey, at long last, an actual criticism. But it’s a bit late in the game. Who could have imagined such behavior from a neophyte who had never handled major administrative tasks or been a real leader or had to actually work with anyone or done anything other than expect to get His way no matter what? Not Mardell, that’s for sure. Which is a shame, as he’s supposed to be such an expert political junkie. It just shows how much he bought into the illusion of Him, and how blind he’s been to reality the whole time.

So the charge sheet against him is long.

Nearly all of which Mardell just told us isn’t really His fault, or avoided placing any blame. Not a single reference to any actual criticism of Him or His policies from the other side. Only statements about “enemies” who always wanted to “tear Him down” no matter what. And there’s so much of His “rap sheet” left unmentioned: the ATF scandal and Solyndra, for example. Oh, that’s right, the BBC has barely mentioned any of that, so most of Mardell’s readers will have no idea. Equally, many on the far-Left are unhappy with His ramping up of Bush’s war policies: eternal rendition without charge or trial, and the worldwide drone apparatus allowing Him to do targeted assassinations of anyone He pleases, US citizens included. Oops, I forgot: the BBC has censored all of that stuff, too.

The odds are about even. So much depends on his opponent, the economy and his strategy. I will be following all three very closely, and you can read about it first here.

I think he’s a little scared. But we all know what the strategy is going to be: The Republicans will ruin everything, give the country back to the evil rich, and we need four more years to achieve all the Hope and Change. And the BBC US President editor will be right there to encourage all of it.