Although there is nothing to be gained, I will go on to visions and revelations from the Lord

We all know what happened yesterday in the United States Congress, and that the President signed a debt relief bill that nobody really likes. We all know how the BBC spun it, and they continue to spin it that way today. Mark Mardell, BBC North America editor and faithful White House nunzio to Britain, was beside himself with anger that his beloved Obamessiah was made to look bad in all this. Anyone who caught his appearances on the News Channel would have seen him spluttering with rage.

“He’s been forced off His agenda. Remember, He came to office promising hope and change, and talking about spending to stimulate the economy, and to change the way America was.

Instead, He’s been forced down a path of spending cuts. He didn’t want any of this. He’s won some minor victories along the way, stopped it from being worse for Him than it could otherwise have been.

But I think the Tea Party are the big winners, that they…they don’t necessarily feel that, but they have forced this onto the agenda and got a lot of what they wanted.”

– Mark Mardell, speaking on the BBC News Channel on August 2, 2011, at 6:04pm GMT

No, Mark. Reality forced this on the agenda. All the ratings agencies said we needed to cut spending. The Tea Party just forced Him to deal with it, rather than continue the fantasy that is bankrupting our country.

Fortunately for the faithful, once it was all over, the President gave a nice class war speech, expressing His determination to raise taxes on the rich, and to focus on jobs. His faith rekindled, Mardell came out swinging with a new blog post about it.

Is it about the next step for the country, where Congress must go now, or what the next phase of the debate will be? Is it about the reaction of the US public, the mood in the country on which Mardell is tasked to report and inform you? No, of course not. As always, everything in the US is seen through the prism of The Obamessiah. How does this affect Him? How will He respond? Who cares about anything other than how the President is doing now? Is that really proper reporting? Is that responsible journalism?

In case there’s any doubt about Mardell’s focus and agenda, it’s all there even in the headline:

US debt limit: Barack Obama comes out fighting

Deal done. Crisis averted, a feisty president has come out fighting.

He’s been humiliated and blown off course by the Republican victory, compelling him and his party to swallow deep spending cuts.

But he used his short Rose Garden speech to insist that tax rises had to be part of the eventual solution.

Despite what the class warriors tell you, it’s simply impossible to raise taxes enough to make a dent in the debt. Even letting the Bush tax cuts for the evil rich expire would be a milliliter in the ocean. But never mind all that reality. Mardell has an agenda.

That is exactly why the Tea Party are grumpy about what looks like a clear win for them.

Not quite. The real anger is because the deal is, as we’ve discussed before, a wash, even in the best-case scenario. The amount of spending cuts might not even match the amount we’re now allowing the debt ceiling to rise again. That’s why Michelle Bachmann voted against it, and why a lot of non-Leftoids are not pleased with the deal, even as the Leftoid media is rending their garments in despair.

You see, they all take it as a defeat for the Keynesian, Socialist agenda, and for the President, because they weren’t allowed to spend even more. This deal doesn’t stop any of the ObamaCare expenses that are about to crush small businesses. It doesn’t stop any of the President’s Stimulus cash to Government General Motors’ unions, it doesn’t stop the subsidies to green energy boondoggles. In case Mardell has forgotten – or simply doesn’t understand – the debt ceiling was raised by a lot. Not because we need that money to pay the bills already due, but because the President and the Democrats already have these massive spending plans in motion for the next two years which will not be stopped. Is this a viewpoint you haven’t heard on the BBC? Do tell.

Maybe – maybe – the committee set up by the requirements of this bill will have something to say about that before 2012. But who knows? Yes, that does mean that Mardell is partially correct when he says this:

They fear tricks further down the line, and that after the special committee reports in November they will have to choose between tax rises swingeing cuts to defence spending.

This is dishonest, though. Mardell spins this as the Tea Party’s “fear”. He chose the word “tricks” because it makes the President’s opponents look paranoid and resentful. This isn’t honest reporting: it’s propaganda. Here’s what Mardell doesn’t want you to know:

It’s not the irrational fear of paranoid, angry extremists. The Democrats were saying that’s what they were going to do even before the President signed the bill.

“We live to fight another day in trying to get some additional revenues into this equation,” said Senator Mary Landrieu, a Louisiana Democrat.

President Barack Obama has recommended taxing the profit share — or carried interest — earned by private equity managers, venture capitalists and others at ordinary income tax rates and not the lower capital gains rate. He also has called for ending tax benefits for oil and gas companies and for capping the itemized deductions of upper-income Americans.

If that’s not enough for you, White House mouthpiece Jay Carney said it straight out:

“The suggestion that it is impossible for the joint committee to raise tax revenue simply is not accurate, it’s false,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Monday.

Yet Mardell plays games and tries to make you think it’s only the paranoid suspicions of Tea Party types. He then says this:

Mr Obama said that money couldn’t be cut too abruptly and that spending on education and science had to continue. He argued for a “fair” and “balanced” approach: getting rid of tax breaks for the rich and gas and oil companies.

This sounds like something Ed Balls would say, doesn’t it? No wonder the Beeboids are so sympathetic.

This was a red rag to make the Republican bull rage… and it was intended as such. The more the Tea Party boil and steam, the more Obama’s own party will feel that it is not such a defeat after all.

Wrong. I’ve already explained above why the Tea Party people think this wasn’t such a smashing success. Oh, yes: neither did Moody’s who downgraded the US to a “negative outlook” anyway. How much of a fantastic deal is this, then? It ain’t. Unless the BBC wants to tell us now that Moody’s and S&P are Tea Party extremist ideologues too.

We’re upset because of reality, not because the President’s latest bit of rhetoric has blinded us with anger. What a joke. Mardell understands so little. All praise goes to Him.

The president then promised to put job creation first, saying cutting spending was not the only thing that mattered, and called on Congress to reach agreement after the summer on extending middle-class tax cuts, something Congress wouldn’t put in this agreement.

Mardell swallows the President’s promise on jobs whole. Ah, the power of faith. Does this promise sound familiar? It should, as the President said that job creation was going to be His No. 1 focus in His State of the Union speech in 2010.

But I realize that, for every success story, there are other stories, of men and women who wake up with the anguish of not knowing where their next paycheck will come from, who send out resumes week after week and hear nothing in response.

That is why jobs must be our No. 1 focus in 2010, and that’s why I’m calling for a new jobs bill tonight.

How’d that work out, BBC?

*sound of crickets chirping*

The rest of it is Mardell telling you all not to worry, the President “bounced back”, and will come back fighting and strong. Again, not news, not information. Just propaganda on behalf of the leader of a foreign country.

I have made a fool of myself, but you drove me to it. I ought to have been commended by you, for I am not in the least inferior to the “super-apostles,” even though I am nothing. I persevered in demonstrating among you the marks of a true apostle, including signs, wonders and miracles.

Oops, that bit isn’t from Mardell, although it ought to be. Remember back before the mid-term election, when he was traveling the country with his Hope poster, looking for signs of the faithful? Actually, the quote is Paul expressing his concern for the faith of the Corinthians (2 Corinthians XII: 11-12).

We Have A Deal, But The BBC Casts Doubt On The Tea Party

So the US Congressional leadership has agreed to a budget deal – the first real one since the President took office, as it happens – to temporarily stave off a default and financial ugliness. The agreement will raise the debt ceiling by $900 billion, and create and a cut of $1 trillion in spending over the next 10 years. Most media seem to be qualifying it as an “immediate” cut, but that seems rather silly as the actual cuts won’t happen immediately, and will be spread out rather thinly over time. And it’s pretty much a wash, so nothing is really fixed. However, the key factor is here that the agreement also requires the forming of a committee within the year to come up $1.5 trillion more spending cuts. Now that means something.

And no tax increases. We’ll have to wait and see how the vote goes on Monday, of course, but it’s hard to believe that Boehner would agree to this if the party whips hadn’t come up with the votes to pass it.

Sounds pretty much like the Boehner plan, which Mark Mardell described as having basically vetoed itself by not raising the debt ceiling even more, or raising taxes. On Friday, the BBC North America editor informed you of the White House talking point that it was wrong.

President Barack Obama says there is a way out of the mess, and he is clear it is not House Speaker John Boehner’s proposal.

He says the Republican’s plan has no chance of becoming law. It’s odds on the president won’t have to veto it, as the Tea Party seems to have done the job for him. He’s again urging people to tweet, ring, email their members of Congress and push them to reach a deal.

Has the BBC reported that Twitter fail yet? Today, he wrote this:

The sort of deal we seem to be looking at is, objectively a victory of the Republicans.

The Democrats take a lot of pain and can only hope to avoid the worst political damage. But the Tea Party members don’t get everything they want by any means and are quite capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Mr Boehner’s people told me months ago that they knew there would always be a handful who would never support any deal. But that handful or rebels turned out to be a bucketful, sloshing with Tea Party enthusiasm. We will soon see the limits to their purity and the extent of their pragmatism.

So Mardell believes the vote could fail due to the “purity” concerns of the Tea Party movement. The negative connotations of that word really reveal his ideological bias.

Let’s how the vote turns out, and how the BBC covers it. Let this be the thread for discussion of the BBC’s coverage of the result.

MARDELL UPDATE


Those wicked Tea Party folks. Thank goodness for Mark Mardell’s exposure of their fiscal simple-mindedness here. You see they seem to believe that Government should not spend what it does not have and were THAT not bad enough they seem to hold the outrageous view that political representatives should stick to what they promise. Helpfully, urbane Mark is able to excoriate their wacky lunacy and when they claim that THEY are “the only adults in the room” he is on hand to point out that those viewing the US from abroad (Namely himself and other enlightened BBC liberal sophisticates) see them as children. Talk about throwing the toys out of the pram, eh Mark? Obama is running the USA to the edge to fiscal peril in order to secure electoral benefit during his election year. His calamitous stewardship of the economy is sanitised by the BBC and the idea is being projected that it is ALL the fault of the Tea Partiers.

The BBC Is A Foreign Bureau Of The White House Press Office

We all knew this was coming, ever since former BBC North America editor Justin Webb fretted that the US was in denial of our massive debt and that we were veering dangerously off the cliff of default. Last we heard from his successor, Mark Mardell, the President was taking a $4 trillion “gamble”, which even the current BBC North America editor recognized was a partisan stance and an attempt to roll the Republicans. He’s been on a vacation ever since, no doubt exhausted after having to watch a couple Republicans announce their candidacy for President, and even attending a Sarah Palin rally. Hopefully he had plenty of scented handkerchiefs to hand.

First of all, let’s recognize the sickness, prejudice, and partisan bias which allows an entire professional news organization with an alleged dedication to impartiality not only to let a British Government official joke about “right-wing nutters” without challenge or rebuke while much of the human race is hearing about how someone they’re also describing as a right-wing nutter slaughtered nearly nearly a hundred innocents in cold blood, but then use the insult as a running gag in news reports to defame a political party and millions of US citizens.

Of course, this isn’t a surprise at all, as the BBC allowed another Beeboid previously assigned to the US (Kevin Connolly) to insult hundreds of thousands of people on air with a sexual innuendo, and has no problem leaving it up on the BBC website for posterity. And we don’t need to revisit Justin Webb’s viciousness and personal attacks on Sarah Palin.

UPDATE: In case there was any doubt about which side the BBC is on:

Republicans attack Obama as they push their budget plan

David Vance has already called your attention to Mardell’s bias in a post below, and John Anderson has provided in the comments plenty of evidence of alternative viewpoints which show that it’s really the President who is acting in partisan bad faith, as well as other examples of the BBC using the “right-wing nutter” epithet to influence their audience in a certain partisan direction.

So I’m going to address specific points Mardell makes, and demonstrate just how biased he and the BBC are when it comes to supporting the leader of a foreign country.

First, let’s consider Mardell’s remark about Cable’s insult.

If they are nutters, they are remarkably successful ones.

The truth is that Tea Party-backed Republicans are winning this fight over raising the debt ceiling.

At the risk of violating Godwin’s Law, I should point out that Hitler was also a remarkably successful nutter, as were Stalin and Kim Jong-Il. So calling them successful in no way detracts from their mental illness. My point is that Mardell is quite comfortable leaving the impression that people who agree with every single credit ratings agency concerned about the US fixing its economic plans are nutters. Are the experts at Moody’s and Standard & Poors right-wing nutters? They’re ready to lower the US’s credit rating if things don’t get even slightly fixed. One only needs to watch them and the markets to understand which side worries them. Mardell allows that the Republicans are winning the argument, but he makes it clear that they are wrong. His word games reveal his partisan bias.

It is far from over. But they’ve already won the argument that America’s debt has to be dealt with. They’ve wrung really deep cuts from Mr Obama.

This is just a stupid thing to say. The President Himself knows that the debt needs to be dealt with. He’s made statement after statement for weeks telling us we need to deal with it. I realize Mardell’s been on vacation, but this is unacceptable. Everyone in the country has known for ages that we need to do something. It’s stupid – there’s no other word for it – to say that the Republicans somehow won the argument that we need to do something.

What Mardell may mean – and I’m going way, way out on a limb and giving him the tiniest benefit of the doubt here – is that the Republicans have won the public over into thinking that they have a better plan than the President. Oh, hell, what am I thinking? Of course that’s not what he means. It was just a stupid thing to say, an attempt to appear impartial and give some kind of credit to his the President’s opponent without really meaning it.

As for having “wrung really deep cuts”, that’s hardly true at all. It’s really more like tiny cuts spread out over ten years. The problem for Mardell and his ideological fellow travelers is that, compared to the President’s plan which would actually increase spending, any cut looks deep. Worse, Mardell dishonestly frames this as only the President compromising with nothing given back by the nasty old Republicans. He then reinforces that perception.

They’ve probably stopped Democrats from putting up taxes as part of any final package. It is a pretty straight ideological fight between left and right.

This is where we being to stray into White House talking points. Now that His reputation as a centrist who brings people together is basically non-existent in the public’s mind, it’s in the President’s best interests to keep everyone thinking that both sides are being exclusively partisan. As long as everyone is thinking, “A pox on both their houses,” He doesn’t look like the only petty child in the room, and can get away with pretending that only He reached across the aisle. It’s pretty sad that it’s come to this, but that’s how it is.

So why the charge of nuttiness ?

It’s that Tea Party, again.

At least we’re not racists. For the moment, anyway. That will probably come tomorrow, after a couple sharp BBC News producers come up with an angle to show how the Norwegian mass murderer was a Tea Partier at heart.

The reason House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner and the Republican leadership is being so hard-line is because the Tea Party put the iron in their soul.

Those Republicans who took control of the House last year believe they were elected on a wave of popular revulsion at the size of the national debt and government spending.

“So hard-line”? Boehner’s plan is hardly that. It’s more of a compromise than anything the President has given, despite Mardell’s dishonest statement above that only the President has given back. In any case, notice how he’s just contradicted himself. Earlier, Mardell said that the Republicans had won the argument in these talks that we need to cut spending. Now he’s saying the Tea Party won that argument last November. Funny how the winning parties of some elections are allowed to think the voters elected them for a reason, while other winning parties are wrong to think so. By slyly qualifying it as the Republicans “believe” they were elected on this issue, Mardell denies the last two years and more of Tea Party protests, and denies the reality of November’s mid-terms. There is no doubt at all that fiscal responsibility was the number one issue which got all those Tea Party-backed candidates elected to the House.

Of course, we know what Mardell and the BBC believe: the real reason all those people across the country voted for the Tea Party-backed candidates is racism. He won’t say it yet, but what other issue was there? Abortion? Prayer in the schools? Blocking homosexual marriage? No, no, and obviously not.

They may be reading too much into their mandate, but they think that going back, that accepting a hike in debt with nothing in return, would be betraying their voters.

“Reading too much into their mandate,” eh, Mark? Like I said, what other issues were at the forefront of the election? He’s denying the last two and a half years of US activity on this issue. What the hell does he think everyone has been talking about? And what about listening to the ratings agencies which are telling them the exact same thing?

Hey, Mark: it’s not their imagination. And you’re contradicting yourself again. The whole point of Mardell’s editorial post – and the impetus for Cable’s sick joke – is that the Tea Party movement is now influencing the Republicans to the point that they don’t want to accept a debt hike. Well, the movement, and millions of other people who were concerned about the same issue, got them elected. So, hell yes, doing so would be betraying those voters, and it’s dopey to suggest otherwise. Hello? We’ve only been saying it loud and clear since February 2009, before there was even such a thing as a Tea Party movement. The Republicans are correct to think they’re following the voters’ wishes. They’re not following Mardell’s wishes, though, so he is obviously going to frame it as them being wrong. Again, his partisan bias prevents him from informing you correctly.

The current Republican plan has more than a little party politics in it. The debt ceiling would be dealt with in stages: a bit now, a bit next year.

This would stop Obama swallowing the problem whole and getting it out of the way before the election. The Republicans would make sure it repeated on him throughout 2012.

Okay, fair enough. But where is Mardell’s statement – in the interests of balance and impartiality, bien sur – about the whiff of partisan politics in the President’s plan? Not a word which might make Him look bad. Not a single acknowledgment from him or the BBC that the President is acting for partisan reasons. Instead, as we’ve all seen a number of times over the last few weeks, all the BBC tells you is that the Republicans want to harm the poorest and most vulnerable in order to protect the wealthy. Mardell and his colleagues could not be more dishonest about these budget negotiations. Oh, wait, I’m wrong: he can get more dishonest:

But the charge that they are a few chocolate bars short of a fruit cake is because some of them see dealing with the debt as more pressing than borrowing enough money to continue governing.

Behold the ideology inherent at the BBC. This is a purely partisan, Left-wing, über-Keynesian position. We don’t actually need to borrow more to continue governing. We don’t actually need to raise the debt ceiling to “continue governing”. We could do some real cuts that would make the current offering look like child’s play. The only reason the Republicans are even agreeing to a temporary rise is because they are – shock, horror – compromising and reaching across the aisle. In fact, Mardell could just as easily have said that the President has wrung real debt increases from the Republicans. Only that doesn’t sound so good, does it? Not helping the Narrative at all.

Here’s what Mardell doesn’t want you to know about continuing to govern. Oh, hell, he doesn’t know it himself, as he is a blind partisan who fervently adheres to Left-wing economic policies. We could make real spending cuts, cuts that would make the so-called “swinging cuts” laid out by George Osborne look like child’s play. But that can’t happen because the Republicans don’t control both Houses of Congress, and the President would veto any proposal with real spending cuts, or one that won’t kick this can past 2013, after the next election. Hell, He even vetoed a bi-partisan plan from the Senate that increased the debt ceiling. What He really wants to do is force the country either into default or having our credit rating downgraded so He can spend the next 18 months pointing His finger at evil Republicans for causing it. Only the BBC isn’t going to put it that way.

Oops, the BBC forgot to tell you why that happened, didn’t they? He rejected this bi-partisan plan because it would place the burden on the next debt increase squarely on His shoulders. Instead of voting to increase it again, the plan would set the debt limit to increase automatically unless Congress voted to stop it. But Congress will vote to stop it unless the President proposed an equal or greater amount of spending cuts. Which He’s clearly unable to do. That means He’d have to step up and be a man and take the blame for it Himself next time, and have to run a re-election campaign as the Debt Increaser-In-Chief. So He gave a bi-partisan plan – once which would have been acceptable even to Mark Mardell – the two-fingered salute. All to protect Himself. Yet Mardell and the rest of the BBC have the gall to tell you it’s only the Republicans acting partisan.

Then there’s the fact that the President doesn’t want to agree to anything that doesn’t kick the real can beyond the 2012 election. Does that sound familiar? It should. Unless, of course, you trust the BBC for news on US issues, in which case you wouldn’t know that the Democrats refused to pass a budget back in October – before the election – which would have prevented this situation we’re in right now. Only they didn’t want to do anything which would have made that mid-term loss even worse than they knew it was going to be. So they dodged their long-term responsibility for the hope of a short-term safety net in the mid-term election. Who’s acting out of partisan interest again, BBC?

The fact that Mardell made his ideologically-biased pronouncement on fiscal governance puts his subsequent quote of a Tea Party figure in the context that the man is wrong. So while he may be providing the “balance” of an opposing viewpoint (Gosh, Dave, Mardell doesn’t even quote the Dems here, what more do you want? -ed.), he’s providing it after he warns you that it’s wrong.

The entirety of BBC reporting on the budget talks has been biased in this way. And now they’re using a sick insult to frame it. At no time has the BBC been honest about the President demanding far more taxes after 2013. At no time has the BBC reminded you that we wouldn’t even be here if not for Democrat partisan behavior in October. At no time has the BBC told you that, despite the “routine”, in 2006 all Democrats in the House – including Senator Obamessiah – voted against raising the debt ceiling for purely partisan purposes. All you hear is the White House talking points, the perspective from the Left.

I’d like to close with an important statement from a celebrated US politician about the debt situation:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Increasing America’s debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that “the buck stops here.” Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better.

Sounds pretty reasonable, doesn’t it? This is what the adult in the room sounds like. The celebrated US politician who said it? Who is this nutter who, as Mardell put it today, sees dealing with the debt as a more pressing issue than borrowing enough money to continue governing? Senator Obamessiah in 2006, when He voted along purely partisan lines against raising the debt ceiling. (Sen. Obama, Congressional Record, S.2237-8, 3/16/06)

The BBC North America editor is a disgrace, and the BBC itself is nothing more than an extension of the White House Press Office.

How Many Wars Is A Nobel Peace Prize Winner Allowed To Have Before The BBC Will Raise An Eyebrow?

The winner of the 2009 Nobel Prize for Peace is currently involved in military attacks on six different countries. Where is the BBC on this? Now the US President has even sent troops to invade yet another Muslim country: Somalia. Where are the BBC’s war correspondents? Where is the BBC North America editor to give expert analysis on why The Obamessiah isn’t a cowboy warmonger? Fortunately, Matt Frei is no longer around to tell you that He is a “reluctant warrior”.

In case anyone here relies solely on the BBC for their information, I’ll list the countries in which the US is currently militarily involved:

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia.

Back when the President was dithering deliberating over whether to join in the war on Libya, Mardell sneered at those who wanted to see “an unapologetically aggressive America storming ahead, out front, leading those who have the guts to follow”. He also said that the President “didn’t want to be seen leading the posse to lynch the bad guy.” So what about now? Why is there no BBC discussion of how the US is blowing people up and targeting them for assassination without UN resolutions and without joining an international, NATO-led effort?

As Mardell himself said before hostilities against Ghaddafi commenced:

Many in Britain and the rest of Europe cheered when Obama was elected. They were fed up with the guy in the cowboy boots who shot from the hip. They seemed pleased with a US President who had no aspirations to be the world’s sheriff. Now, some are shaking their heads, looking for a leader.

So he is perfectly capable of criticizing people who wanted the President to go to war. Why, then, is he incapable of criticizing – publicly, anyway – the President Himself for not only going to a war that Mardell didn’t like, but taking war into even more countries than Bush could ever have dreamt of?

Just before the US joined in with Cowboy Dave and Sancho Sarkozy, Mardell explained that the White House’s reticence was due to the fact that nobody wanted to make the US look like it was doing more of that nasty old imperialist aggression. So why does the bombing of Yemen and invasion of Somalia not look like it? If it walks like imperialist aggression and quacks like imperialist aggression……

Mardell at one point tried to convince you that The Obamessiah made the UN more relevant by forcing them to make the moral decision to attack Ghaddafi. He said it was a big deal because now nobody would think the US was “dictating what happens in the Muslim world”. How about now, BBC? Why is invading Somalia or bombing Yemen without a wink at the UN different?

There’s no dithering deliberation when it comes to wantonly bombing the crap out of Muslims in other countries. And not a single raised eyebrow at the BBC. Mardell can be critical of people who urge the President into war, but he cannot be critical of the President Himself for invading countries without any prompting from an uncouth public.

It was a big deal when everyone agreed that there would be no troops on the ground in Libya, as if that somehow certified the humanitarian bona fides of the “mission”. So why is the BBC completely silent when the US sends troops in to invade another country altogether? I assume Mardell is on yet another vacation, but there are several other Beeboids assigned to the US, some of whom are allowed to give their own expert analyses on US issues. Where are they?

The BBC has no trouble running articles telling you about criticism of the French supplying weapons to the rebels in Libya, but cannot find a single person to criticize the President for ordering drone bombing runs in Yemen or Somalia, never mind Libya. The criticisms of His ramping up the war in Pakistan have been kept extremely low key as well. What a difference between now and when Bush was in charge.

As has been pointed out on this blog by so many people, there is also a marked absence of anti-war protesters. This isn’t the BBC’s fault (much), but surely there must be one curious Beeboid on staff who wonders why the anti-war crowd simply doesn’t care about how many innocents The Obamessiah kills or may kill with His warmongering. I think they simply view the bombings and killings differently because it’s Him. Somehow, He knows what’s best, and wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t good for all of us. He works in mysterious ways, ours is not to reason why, etc.

The BBC’s integrity when it comes to reporting on war has been severely compromised by their deep, unwavering bias in favor of the leader of a foreign country. Your license fee hard at work.

U.S. News The BBC Thinks You Don’t Need To Know

While they’re eager to tell you the latest updates from the White House spokesman, celebrity gossip, irrelevant death tattle, a human interest story about a US Communist who moved to the paradise of China, every new detail on a celebrity rape case, and a non-story about how a manufacturing increase really isn’t one (but it made for a good opportunity for a headline to mislead the lazy reader into thinking that The Obamessiah’s economy is on the mend), there are quite a few things going on in the US that might be of more interest and import.

The BBC’s North America editor has been rather silent since his last dismissal of a newly-declared Republican candidate for an election that’s 18 months away. One would think there are a number of issues on which he could comment. For example:

Public sector unions versus the Government is the biggest story in Britain right now (in between live coverage of Kate & Wils’ Canadapalooza, I mean). One would think that the exact same issue coming to a boil in a few US states would be worth your attention. Only the BBC has been silent about the events in Wisconsin and Ohio.

Many people here probably remember a few months back when the BBC actually did report on public sector union protests against the evil Republicans who (insert NUT/PCS talking point about attacking the poorest and most vulnerable here). As was pointed out here at the time, the BBC’s coverage was biased in favor of the unions and censored news of violence and unlawful behavior by union supporters which might harm the cause in the public eye. The point is, though, that the BBC though you should be informed about the union’s cause, all the way until they lost. Then….silence.

The problem for the BBC is that it turns out that at least part of Republican Gov. Scott Walker’s victory has, contrary to the protests at the time, in fact been good for schools. One school district even went from a $400k budget deficit to a $1.5 million surplus. Sure, there are about to be 354 teachers and a number of desk-jockeys laid off because of budget cuts, but there is also going to be a big increase in school vouchers. More independent schools equals more choice for students and parents, and more jobs for teachers: if they’re worth it.

Seeing as how this is directly relevant to what’s going on in Britain right now, this ought to be of interest to you. Except it’s on the wrong side of the Narrative.

In Ohio, another Republican Governor who defeated the incumbent Democrat in November just passed a major state budget in which he cut a lot of stuff and practically made up for a $6 billion+ deficit over the next two years – all without raising taxes. This is the exact opposite of what the President just recommended (and about which the BBC made sure to inform you), and the kind of plan which Justin Webb told you doesn’t exist.

If that’s not enough to make this story relevant, then consider that Ohio is considered by most pundits to be the poster child of “swing states”. Where Ohio goes in mid-term elections, so goes the rest of the country in the next general election. You can bet that Beeboids assigned to the US know all about this concept. They have no problem covering the early fits and starts of the election campaign itself (we’ve already had plenty of coverage of the Republican debate, speeches, appearances, Sarah Palin, etc.), but the BBC is going to be shy about mentioning this because Ohio made a major turn towards Republicans last November, taking the Governor’s seat, as well as winning most of the state’s Congressional seats, and a bunch of other top offices. And yes, the state legislature is majority Republican now. This budget is the exact kind of thing the Tea Party movement has been pushing for over the last two years and more, in a state which is often looked to as a weather vane for the country, and the BBC remains silent.

California has such severe budget problems that they’re practically bankrupt (when did you last hear about this from the BBC?), and need every last dime they can scrape up. So what did the State Legislature do? They passed a law requiring sales tax on online sales from Amazon.com. Sounds simple enough: install a new tax where none existed before, raise loads of revenue. Except Amazon told them beforehand that if the tax was enacted, they’d shut down the accounts of all the Amazon Affiliates in the state because it would Amazon’s profit (this was really about big brick-and-mortar retailers fighting their online competition). So when the tax went into effect the other day, about 25,000 people logged on to find out their accounts were shut down.

Result: The $151 million in income tax these people pay every year just vanished into thin air, in exchange for….um….no sales tax revenue for the state. California, by the way, is run by a far-Left Governor and a Democrat-controlled State Legislature. Whether one agrees with Amazon or California, this is a pretty major deal that has more informative news value than a special feature comparing Michelle Bachmann with Sarah Palin. Although that depends on what one’s newsgathering priorities are.

While Justin Webb can tell you that the Republicans don’t have a plan to reduce the debt, and only raising taxes on the rich is the way forward, nobody at the BBC is going to tell you that The Obamessiah’s plan to bail out Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – the failed institutions which fueled the mortgage crash that led to the economic crisis we’re all still dealing with – will cost 2.5 times more than He said it would. $317 billion down the toilet, to prop up two failed government-funded organizations, which will only continue the damage they’re doing to the housing market.

His big stimulus package? All that “quantitative easing” Stephanie ‘Two Ed’s Flanders was sure would work? Didn’t do a thing. $2 trillion (!) down the tubes, all thanks to ideology. Not a word from the BBC. Again, this is exactly the kind of thing that fueled the growth of the Tea Party movement, and you can bet will be relevant in the coming election.

The BBC did find time today to mention that corn prices have dropped due to a bumper crop, suggesting that this is a sign that food prices will finally start to drop as well. Except they don’t tell you that ethanol subsidies have screwed things up so badly that both political parties voted at last to drop the massive tax breaks for ethanol farmers. These subsidies mean less people grow the corn we (and beef cattle) eat in favor of “dirty corn” for fuel, so food prices go up. The In this case, the Tea Party-inspired Republicans actually voted to raise taxes. One would think this kind of flip-flop is something the BBC would be eager to report with cries of “hypocrisy!”, never mind how it’s totally relevant to the story of a temporary drop in corn prices. Only they don’t think it’s worth your interest. Why?

Remember last week when the President announced he’d release 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in order to help reduce skyrocketing fuel prices? It turns out that He learned a lesson from last year’s Gulf Oil Spill and waved the Jones Act to allow foreign ships to come in and deliver it. One would have thought this is the kind of smart move the BBC would tell you about. Only they’d have to remind you of one of His errors they censored before, so never mind.

That’s enough US news for now, so I’d like to ask everyone here two questions:

1. Does the BBC, with all the staff assigned to the scene, keep you informed on US issues you think are important?

2. What kind of stories does the BBC ignore which you think they ought to report?

Mark Mardell and Andrew North Caught Spinning For The White House

Just the other day, both Mark Mardell and Andrew North defended the President’s position that the current US involvement in the war against Libya is legal and He doesn’t need Congress’s permission to continue. Mardell’s contention was that it was just a political attack by His enemies, those nasty Republicans, looking for a cheap attack line. To further push the Narrative that there is no legal problem and it’s just a partisan talking point, Mardell suggested that Speaker Boehner was merely reacting to the Republican candidates bringing it up in the recent debate. In other words, the BBC’s explanation is: Republican monkey see, Republican monkey do. Nothing to see here, move along.

I commented on Mardell’s spin in a previous open thread here, and Craig pointed out in a reply that North took the same Narrative in another report.

Except as it turns out, there really is a legal issue. Both the Pentagon General Counsel and the State Justice Dept.’s (h/t John Anderson) legal adviser told the President that we’re in too deep, and that the situation meets the legal definition of “hostilities”. And The Obamessiah, He who was supposed to end Bush’s illegal wars and redeem the US, blew them off. He says He doesn’t need anyone’s permission to continue bombing the crap out of any Muslim He chooses. The silence from the anti-war crowd is deafening, as is the silence from the BBC asking why that is. But I digress.

It’s so bad that, not only has the New York Times reported it, but reality has once again forced the BBC to report it as well, Read this article and ask yourselves if it doesn’t mean that Mardell and North were lying. They’ve been caught disseminating White House talking points.

SPIN CYCLE

Toby Harnden in today’s Telegraph:

The White House spin machine moved into top gear as the Republican candidates prepared to take the stage for the first major debate on Monday night. “Make way for the seven dwarves,” was one line of attack.

Mark Mardell’s opening line from his account of the debate:

It is no comment on their political stature, but the would-be presidents did at times seem like the seven dwarves…

And on the Today programme yesterday:

“It did occur to me seeing the seven of them walk up there, I’m afraid the term ‘seven dwarves’ flashed through my mind, and I did wonder where Snow White was as well.”

It occurred to you, eh Mark?

STILL LOVING OBAMA

Anyone catch Mark Mardell’s latest love note report on Obama here? It’s the fawning sycophancy that most sticks in my throat. George W Bush was far from perfect AND so is Obama but the tone the BBC adopts  towards the two men could not be more different. The BBC meme is that Bush was always a miserable failure whereas Obama is a stunning success worthy of four more years. If you listen to the clip you will even hear Mardell lead the Democrat he interviews into the “let’s get out of Afghanistan right now” narrative so beloved of the BBC. On another front, the BBC has kept a pretty low profile on “Weinergate” and I see that Mardell gives it short thrift on his blog here. Still, with all those Palin emails to pour over, I am sure Mark will be a busy boy this weekend.

Mark Mardell’s Crisis of Faith, Part III

BBC North America editor Mark Mardell has posted his summary and analysis of the President’s visitation to Ireland and England (not the UK, but England, as we’ll see in a moment). Poor Mardell has been questioning his faith in The Obamessiah for a few weeks now, ever since He decided to listen to reason become a reluctant warrior and finally get on board lead the attack on Libya from behind. Mardell was pretty open about his opinion of military action in previous posts, and is equally revealing here. But his ultimate disappointment is betrayed by the headline:

Obama’s historic speech fails to soar

Aw, poor dear. This isn’t objective analysis, but the expression of a disappointed fan when the latest project by his hero fails to live up to expectations. Mardell shows just how twisted his world view is, and his personal biases are as clear as ever. He certainly didn’t mention the bumbling errors the President made, like writing 2008 in the guest book or screwing up the toast to the Queen or acting like His Irish ancestor meant that He shared the British heritage. Or that He kept saying “England”, when it’s supposed to be Britain or the UK. Imagine if Bush had kept saying England like that, or done any of these things. The Beeboids would have led every programme with a laugh, across the spectrum of broadcasting.

Before getting into what disappointed him, though, Mardell spoke sympathetically about a colleague’s desire to share in this historic event:

I was talking to a colleague beforehand about the eternal tension for broadcast journalists, whether to watch such a speech from an edit suite – which can make practical sense when time is short – or live, which we would all prefer.

He complained: “I’m not going to tell my grandchildren I watched Obama from a cutting room!”

Surely this colleague is a Beeboid, or Mardell would have said he wasn’t, as this is so blatantly impartial. Sadly for the North America editor, the speech didn’t live up to his expectations, but I thought the “historic” bit was that it was The Obamessiah, and the first time a US President spoke at Westminster and not about the content of the speech. But Mardell shares in this worship, and sees nothing biased about his colleague’s attitude or in telling you about it.

So what did Mardell find wrong? Essentially, he felt that the President was too American for his tastes. Sure, he tried to make it sound as if the speech was incoherent, the logic poorly constructed. Have we ever heard Mardell say such a thing about His oration? Only when it’s a message he doesn’t like, like bombing Libya. Mardell does just what defenders of the indefensible accuse us of doing on this blog: complaining when the BBC reports something we don’t like, instead of making an objective case for what they did wrong. Read this bit, and then consider whether or not Mardell says anything further to support the statement:

But it didn’t quite work. It was flat and lacked soaring passion. That is part of the Obama conundrum. Sometimes this tremendous orator doesn’t pull it off. It is often when the argument is over-constructed and the raw emotion can’t burst through the stretched logic.

Nowhere does Mardell explain how the speech didn’t hold together, where the ideas expressed failed to connect into the wonderful whole he was looking for. Instead he complains about certain things the President said, and then reveals his own world view.

For example, the whole middle section of Mardell’s piece is simply laying out various central ideas of the speech. He points out how the President spoke of the historical foundations of the Magna Carta through to how the US and UK still stand for freedom of the individual without state oppression. The rights of liberty espoused by the US and the UK are, the President said, universal rights. This sounds suspiciously like the Bush Doctrine, and so it’s here where Mardell gets upset.

“The future of our children and grandchildren will be better if other people’s children and grandchildren are more prosperous and more free – from the beaches of Normandy to the Balkans to Benghazi. That is our interests and our ideals. And if we fail to meet that responsibility, who would take our place, and what kind of world would we pass on?”

Think about this statement for a moment. This is the kind of American exceptionalism that the BBC hates, the kind that the anti-Bush Leftoids in the US hate, but what most people in the US wanted to hear at last from the first post-American President. It also sounds pretty reasonable. But not to Mark Mardell.

That to me is the key sentence: “Who would take our place?”

He doesn’t spell it out, but it is a reminder many of the rising powers don’t value democracy and human rights. Those that do may not have the desire to promote them in the muscular way that Britain and America can and do – at the point of a gun.

There are two unbelievably biased and wrong-headed things in that last sentence. First of all, I’d like to ask Mardell which “rising powers” are going to promote democracy and human rights at all? I don’t mean which countries are trying to get it right at home, but which ones are, as the term “promote” implies, trying to spread it around and encourage it elsewhere in the world? It’s a fantasy, yet Mardell is ideologically wedded to pacifist isolationism, otherwise known as sticking your head in the sand and keeping it there while someone kicks you in the ass.

Second, and the most biased bit, is Mardell’s lazy sneer: “at the point of a gun”. He’s said it before, and used similar pejorative phrases, about military actions of which he doesn’t approve, and it’s a personal political view. He’s entitled to his opinion, but he is not, as the BBC North America editor, entitled to tell you what foreign policy is correct or not. Yet he does it over and over again.

Where’s the logic failure of the speech, then? How do the President’s points not cohere? Mardell is being dishonest here, either with himself or with his readers. It’s just that he doesn’t like it when his beloved Obamessiah displays attitudes which he finds distasteful: basic US attitudes.

Looking back on Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya, some won’t think that such a bad thing.

Some won’t, no. But he does anyway. And then we see Mardell’s heart close to breaking.

But here Mr Obama is nearer to a neo-con than the anti-war movement.

Shed a tear. My God, how can this be? I guess Mardell has been in denial for the past two years as the President ramped up two wars, expanded one of them into Pakistan while killing more people via drones than Bush ever dreamed of, and joined in a third war.

Mr Obama, who went on to talk about the strength of the UK and USA’s “patchwork heritage”, two nations based on values not ethnicity, can get away with this. From an old white man it would have sounded like colonial arrogance.

You know, perhaps it’s just me, but when I look at the President, I don’t see a black man first and foremost. I see a man. The color of His skin is about as relevant as His height or the fact that He’s left-handed. Meaning it’s not relevant at all here. It’s irrelevant to the content of His character or, in this case, His speech. Yet Mardell sees a black man first, and hears the words through that filter. Who’s the real racist here, Mark? Rev. Martin Luther King would be very disappointed.

Aside from that, why on earth would it sound like colonial arrogance to say that our shared values and strength are color-blind and universal? Well, here Mardell is extrapolating from that to the idea of bringing democracy to Libya “at the point of a gun”. When whites do it, I suppose, it’s colonialism. When a black man does it, it’s still wrong, according to Mardell, but not quite as wrong. Again, this is just Mardell’s personal bias against the military action against Libya. He’s entitled his personal opinion, but is not entitled to tell you how to think.

Mardell closes by repeating his earlier assertion that the speech didn’t work.

He got near to the heart of the argument about the way the USA and its allies behave in the world, but he didn’t quite make it all the way.

Which argument, Mark? The one the President was actually trying to make, or the one you wanted Him to? It sounded to me like the President was pretty clear about it all. It’s only unclear if one wanted to hear a totally different attitude.

This felt like an attempt to mix too many elements. Flattering Britain, promoting the essential relationship, American exceptionalism, Britain’s role in creating it, universal values.

So Mardell’s bias is pretty obvious. He just doesn’t like any of these things.

They were all there, but like oil and water stayed stubbornly apart.

Really, how so? What didn’t work? How? Mardell doesn’t ever bother to say. He just claims up front it didn’t work, and then repeats the claim at the end, with no substance offered in between to back it up.

It is perhaps the most important argument in the world today. I want to hear more.

No, Mark. You wanted to hear something else entirely.

One other thing wrong with all of Mardell’s reporting on the President’s visit – as well as that of the entire BBC staff, both on air and online – is that nobody dared express a concern about how inappropriate this campaign trip to an adoring audience of non-voters (for that’s what this was, if we’re honest) was while the Midwest has been battered by floods and tornadoes, with entire towns wiped off the face of the earth, with hundreds dead and hundreds more missing. Never mind the economic troubles He’s running from. Not a single Beeboid raised an eyebrow at this all week long. All out of blind worship of The Obamessiah come among them.

Mark Mardell’s Crisis of Faith Continues

BBC North America editor Mark Mardell is in a dark place these days. After his beloved Obamessiah turned out to be a cold-blooded assassin, he doesn’t know which way to turn. He’s tried blaming ugly United Statesians for forcing the President to kill because it plays well at home, refusing to call out the President Himself. Mardell never made much of a fuss about the fact that the current President has sent unmanned drones to kill far more people in Pakistan than the previous White House occupant did, so it’s not surprising that this particular targeted assassination has shaken his faith so badly. To their credit, the BBC has reported this elsewhere, but it’s remarkable that Mardell doesn’t seem to make the connection.

In his latest post, Mardell misrepresents reality to sing His praises for one last time.

From the very start of his presidency, Mr Obama’s administration has made it clear there is no such thing as an Afghan strategy. First it was an Af-Pak strategy. Then it became Pak-Af. Whatever you call it, there is an acknowledgement that Pakistan may be the more important country in the fight against al-Qaeda. Everyone in the know believes some members of the government and particularly the intelligence service are hand-in-glove with the jihadists and must have known what Bin Laden was up to.

This implies that Bush’s focus on Afghanistan was wrong and that he somehow neglected Pakistan. In fact, the only reason Al Qaeda had such a presence in Pakistan was because they had been largely forced out of Afghanistan by Coalition forces during the last several years of fighting. Even the BBC has admitted that in the past. Yet Mardell wants you to think that only The Obamessiah understood that Pakistan was a problem. Why would Bush have been sending drone attacks into the tribal areas if he didn’t also have an Af-Pak strategy of some kind?

In any case, Mardell’s crisis of faith continues. In fact, it’s getting so bad now that I think I’m nearly ready to stop with this “Obamessiah” business because I think Mardell and his colleagues are nearly done with their blind worship of Him. Mardell himself reveals why.

After talking about the problem of squaring the huge amount of cash and support we give to Pakistan with the fact that there’s clearly a major faction (at least) there who are in league with the enemy, he says this:

While this debate will go on, the Mr Obama doesn’t have to worry about some of the concerns expressed in the rest of the world about the legality or morality of killing Bin Laden. It has hardly been raised by anyone here in the US, and the president has said that anyone who questions taking the al-Qaeda leader out “needs their heads examined”.

Mardell questioned it and denegrated the US public over it in his last post, so this means that the President is actually saying that he, too, needs his head examined. The BBC North America editor must be questioning his faith now. What to do? We’ll see how he handles it.

Mark Mardell’s Crisis of Faith

The President ordered Osama Bin Laden killed without trial, without due process of law, and the BBC North America editor is crestfallen. Mardell really doesn’t know what to do. He has his own opinions, his own moral code to follow, yet cannot bring himself to actually blame the President for it. Instead, he works to shift blame onto the ugly United Statesians he’s found distasteful for so long.

On the scene in New York, Mardell explains what the President will be doing, and why. Well, actually, no he doesn’t. He mostly quotes the White House spokesman, who is the husband of Katty Kay’s personal friend and business partner. Mardell also quotes the President and mentions what Sarah Palin said as well. Why the British public should give a damn about what Sarah Palin says instead of an actual politician or even Presidential candidate is a mystery to me, but we know that the BBC cares very, very deeply.

When the President lays that wreath this evening, I hope he’s a bit more considerate than He was when He casually tossed a rose on the pile in 2008. His lack of consideration and sympathy was evident then. Funny how He never visited Ground Zero on the actual anniversary in 2009 or 2010, but is coming to do it now? If this had been George Bush, the BBC would be screaming about how it’s a victory lap. Instead, they’re full of respect and telling you exactly what the White House wants you to think.

But Mardell revealed his true feelings about the whole sorry affair on his blog yesterday. All impartial journalism goes out the window now. This is Mardell’s personal opinion, and shows how crushed he is that his beloved Obamessiah has ordered someone killed without trial. Of course, I don’t expect Mardell to actually criticize the President or His management skills for all the screwed up facts they spewed out after the event. Fog of war and all that, I’m sure. Nothing to do with amateurs running the show.

In any case, here’s Mardell’s own opinion:

The president’s press secretary Jay Carney suggested this was the result of trying to provide a great deal of information in a great deal of haste.

I can largely accept that. There is no mileage in misleading people and then correcting yourself. But the president’s assistant national security advisor John Brennan had used the facts he was giving out to add a moral message – this was the sort of man Bin Laden was, cowering behind his wife, using her as a shield. Nice narrative. Not true. In fact, according to Carney this unarmed woman tried to attack the heavily armed Navy Seal. In another circumstance that might even be described as brave.

Well, sure, but what’s the point of saying such a thing about bravery, if not to direct the audience in a certain direction? Just state the facts and let the audience decide. No need for editorializing like this.

For those involved an operation like this, time must go past in a confused and noisy instant, and they aren’t taking notes. Confusion is very understandable. But you start to wonder how much the facts are being massaged now, to gloss over the less appealing parts of the operation.

Oh, dear. Mardell is starting to question his undying trust of the President? We’ll see in a moment.

And of course there is the suspicion that the US never wanted to take Bin Laden alive. Here at least many see a trial as inconvenient, awkward – a chance for terrorists to grandstand. Look at all the fuss about the trial of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.

The bit I’ve put in bold is where Mardell begins to shift blame. It’s extremely wrong to say that people see the trials as “inconvenient”. It’s just that many politicians don’t want the circus in their home towns, and – more importantly – there are legal ramifications of having a civilian criminal case, which may harm the outcome. I don’t expect the BBC to tell you that, though, because they don’t agree with it.

In the confusion of a raid it’s hard to see how the Seals could be sure that Bin Laden wasn’t armed, didn’t have his finger on the trigger of a bomb, wasn’t about to pull a nasty surprise. If he had his hands in the air shouting “don’t shoot” he might have lived, but anything short of that seems to have ensured his death.

Now Mardell is the one doing the backtracking. He’s just said that he is doubtful about the whole thing, but now allows it’s “hard to be sure”, etc. Then he places the blame for this squarely where he believes it to be:

I suspect there will be more worry about this in Britain and Europe than in the US. That doesn’t mean we are right or wrong. It is a cultural difference. We are less comfortable about frontier justice, less forgiving about even police shooting people who turn out to be unarmed, perhaps less inculcated with the Dirty Harry message that arresting villains is for wimps, and real justice grows from the barrel of a gun. Many in America won’t be in the slightest bit bothered that a mass murderer got what was coming to him swiftly, whether he was trying to kill anyone in that instant or not.

And there we have the anti-American bias of the BBC’s North America editor, the man the BBC says you are supposed to trust to help you understand the US. Mardell’s weak gesture towards cultural relativism is lost when he uses derogatory terms like “frontier justice”, and implies that we in the US don’t care as much when the police shoot unarmed people (slander), “Dirty Harry message”, and that hoary old chestnut, “real justice grows from the barrel of a gun”.

This is Mark Mardell telling you his personal opinion of what he perceives to be the mentality of the US. It’s not reporting, it’s not impartial, it’s not anything other than the BBC telling you that we are inferior. Worse, this is also Mardell’s way of telling you that the cold-blooded killing without due process of law is not the President’s fault. No, He was forced to do this by the ugly US public, because that’s what we want. Is this really the purpose of BBC editors’ blogs, to spout personal opinion and venom?

In all of Mardell’s reporting, and indeed in all of the BBC’s coverage of the event, there is no criticism at all of the President Himself. All blame is placed elsewhere, and in fact the President is portrayed as the only adult in the room, above it all. Jeremy Paxman said on Newsnight that the White House “dithered”, but I think he got away with it. Otherwise, Mardell has previously made very effort to tell you that the President considers every issue nearly as carefully as Deep Thought took to work out the answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything.

So in the end, Mardell has to find someone else to blame when the President does something he doesn’t like. Sad, really, and the public is led away from the facts and into opinion.

Side note: The BBC is still leaving the door ajar for Truther conspiracy theories with this line:

Bin Laden was believed to be the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and many others.

Have they learned nothing? He confessed on video which has been broadcast by the BBC, wrote about it, talked about it. It’s a fact that Bin Laden was behind it, not supposition.

As the President does His victory lap at Ground Zero today, the BBC is giving full coverage. And by “coverage”, I mean covering for Him. Barbara Plett is on the scene on the News Channel this morning telling us what will happen.

He’s “paying homage”, and “showing respect” to the families of the victims. Nobody wants to accuse the President of making this a political event, Plett assures us. The BBC has the White House talking points from Jay Carney, and they are dutifully following it.

“He wants to meet with them and share with them this important and significant moment, a bitter-sweet moment, I think, for many families of the victims,” White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Well, He’s meeting with some families, anyway. Some haven’t been invited, and one family at least has declined to give Him the photo op. But what’s a little white lie amongst friends, eh? As long as they’re reporting White House talking points, they’re doing their job. He’s not using this for political purposes, no, no, no. Some people may think that, the Beeboids allow, but that’s not what He’s about. Heavens no. Even today’s coverage on the News Channel says the same thing.

Isn’t this visit to Ground Zero a bit sudden, not planned until just now to take advantage of the event, asks the newsreader in the studio? Oh, no, says Plett, stammering as she’s caught off guard. He’s just paying respects to the families now. Pro Obama at all costs, indeed.

The BBC continues to be the foreign branch of the White House press office, but He’s made it very difficult for them this week!

The BBC and The Obamessiah: The Veil Lifts Ever So Slightly

Something very interesting happened the other day: BBC News Online allowed through an article that was slightly critical of the President, and even pointed out His escalation of Bush’s war policies. Because the BBC is generally relentless in their positive coverage, support, and plain old propaganda on behalf of the White House, I thought it was important to give credit where it’s due, even if there are a couple of problems with the piece. If it wasn’t such a rare event, it wouldn’t seem so remarkable. But it is.

Andrew North is actually allowed to frown, if only gently, at the fact that a Noble Peace Prize winner was the deciding vote in starting yet another war. Even the sub-editor tasked with writing the headline gets into the act.

Libya: Barack Obama’s step from Nobel winner to warrior

Why it took Andrew North to do this and not the BBC North America editor, Mark Mardell, I have no idea. Mardell is the one who is supposed to be giving his insight on these things, explaining the issues to us, helping create that rapport with the US the BBC wants you to have.

North begins by outlining the current wars He’s running:

It probably wasn’t what the Nobel committee had in mind when it awarded the Peace Prize to President Barack Obama two years ago.

Two months later he ramped up the war in Afghanistan, sending in 30,000 extra US troops.

Now he has ordered massive air strikes on Libya – with United Nations backing, but still with the United States in the lead.

Judged by his actions, this supposedly anti-war president looks almost as warlike as President George W Bush.

If you include Mr Obama’s increased use of drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, he’s got the US involved in more conflicts than his much-criticised predecessor.

I have to say I’m impressed. This is the first time I’ve seen this presented in a BBC report. There have been others mentioning various elements individually, but no one has put it together like this and actually point the finger at the Nobel laureate this way. Of course, it’s a bit silly to say that the current President is “almost as warlike” as His predecessor when the very next sentence contradicts it by saying that He is involved in even more conflicts, but I’ll let that slide. After all, one can’t expect a believer to abandon his faith all in one go.

Then we get the obligatory defense:

Judged by Mr Obama’s words though, he is in plenty of internal conflict over his decisions.

Far from beating the drums of war, he keeps highlighting the risks and promising US action on Libya will last “days not weeks”.

He is conflicted, alright. He ran on a platform of shrinking the US’s position in the world (whether one likes it or not, that’s what it amounts to), and allowed the media to define His foreign policy goals as being dialogue and smart diplomacy above all else. President Teddy Roosevelt used to say that a good policy was to “speak softly, and carry a big stick.” (He didn’t originally use it in regards to military action, but it came to be used that way later.) The current President, however, wanted to speak softly and carry not a stick but a big carrot.

One can imagine how difficult it must have been for Him, then, when the world asked Him to bring out the big stick of US military force. He must hate it. North’s analysis of the hows and whys, though, seems to misunderstand what’s really going on.

Take a glance at the opinion polls and you can see why.

Less than a week since the first cruise missiles were launched, the clock is already ticking on how long Americans will back him.

Polls by Gallup, CBS and CNN since the attack show Mr Obama’s approval ratings hovering around 50%.

Now, I can find a couple of other polls which show His approval ratings even lower, but it’s only a few percentage points, and not not worth splitting hairs over. We all know this is more or less where His ratings have been for some time, even dipping a couple points below 50% here and there, which is key to North’s goal here. What he’s trying to do is point out how odd it is that His approval ratings are still so low.

Hardly encouraging, when the start of a military campaign is usually the high point of public support.

This is where North’s analysis goes off the rails. The public isn’t displeased with the fact that He’s started a military campaign, per se, but with the way he dithered deliberated for weeks while the rest of the world (including the Secretary of State and other officials) was wondering if there was anyone at home. North then makes an astonishing comparison:

Surveys gave President Bush 90% approval ratings when he went into Afghanistan after the 9/11 attacks.

Even for the early stages of the 2003 Iraq invasion, his ratings were over 60%. They went downhill from then on.

Now, I don’t believe that North thinks that we United Statesians are such warmongers, always calling for what Mardell described as an “unapologetically aggressive America storming ahead”, full stop, regardless of the circumstances. So when the President starts yet another war, North doesn’t expect us to foam at the mouth and wave the flag and worship our leader, just because we’re happy for another bit of the old ultra-violence. It’s very clumsy, but North is setting up the reader to understand that, while the public had a reason to be overwhelmingly in favor of invading Afghanistan, there is no such motivation this time.

Alternatively, it might be that many in the country have been unhappy with the way He’s acted for the last month and more. Contrary to Mardell’s belief that we’re mostly a bunch of knuckle-dragging warmongers, “obsessed with the notion of American decline”, many of us wanted the President to lead when asked to do so by the Libyans themselves, as well as by the UN. As I’ve said before, it seems a bit silly to claim that only extremists want their country to have a strong international position (which, please, let’s not define as merely blowing up and occupying whatever we want, whenever we want, but rather something more prosaic and diplomatic). Standing with Muslims hoping for freedom is exactly the kind of thing He promised in that infamous Cairo speech, and of course He never expected to have to actually do it.

But that would only explain part of why His approval numbers are not in the stratosphere. North invites us to “dig deeper”, and notice that only 47% of the public actually approve of the military action against Libya.

North earns more points in my book by actually pointing out the hypocrisy contradiction between the words of Candidate Obamessiah and His incarnation as President:

“We need better judgment when we decide to send our young men and women into war,” said one of the candidates in the 2008 White House race.

He listed three key benchmarks: “an imminent threat”, protecting “American interests” and a “plan to succeed and to exit”.

That candidate of course was Barack Obama. Does President Obama meet his own benchmarks in going into Libya?

North goes on to point out that only 40% of us think Libya is important in this way, and many more are unsure. It’s fair to say that this is a bipartisan thing. Lots of people on both sides of the political spectrum don’t think it’s necessarily a priority for us. Militarily, strategically, it really isn’t. But there’s more to geopolitical strategy than where one puts the troops. There is also the notion that the US could have put our money where our mouth is and taken the lead – like everyone was asking us to – in helping Muslims gain the freedom and independence they were asking for. If we had started this no-fly zone stuff a month ago, things would be very different now. Ghaddafi wouldn’t have been emboldened so much, wouldn’t have had time to strengthen his military position, wouldn’t have watched us blink and felt like he could go the distance. The US military could have done the exact same thing they’ve done in the last few days, and then backed off and handed the reins over to NATO or Cowboy Dave or whomever, and the President would have looked like a star.

But that’s not what happened at all. Instead, the President made us look weak, and made Himself look feckless. To everyone except Mark Mardell, of course, who was recently trying to tell us He was a genius and the only reason the stupid United Statesians were upset is because He made the UN relevant again. He’s still defending the President on his blog now, but that’s a matter for another time. Back to Andrew North:

Leading that charge is the Republican House Speaker John Boehner, but rumblings of discontent are being heard from the Democratic side too.

Rumblings, eh? Too bad North didn’t find space to mention all those Democrat Congressmen calling for His impeachment, or the anger of Michael Moore, or – *gasp* – St. Jon Stewart.

The President is not looking good to very many people these days. And it’s not just because He’s doing something some people don’t like. It’s because of a total lack of leadership, communication, and capability in this situation. People on both sides have seen it and commented on it, yet North only focuses on the fact that many people don’t think we should be going after Ghaddafi as the reason why His approval numbers aren’t up. That’s only part of the story, and certainly not the real lesson to be learned here.

Still, though, I want to give Andrew North and his boss credit for even daring to point out that the President has escalated Bush’s wars, killed more people with drones, and started yet another military action, all in the face of the Nobel prize.

And to his credit, North even emailed the Nobel committee asking for comment. No surprise that they didn’t respond.

So, is this a sign that the veil is being lifted ever so slightly? Is it dawning on the Beeboids that He isn’t everything they thought He was? I’m not sure, as this piece is mostly about how the public simply don’t approve of the war on Libya, and not about how He handled the situation for the previous six weeks or so. But it’s pretty clear that there’s a separation between what North is saying here and the Narrative we keep hearing from Mardell and others. The agenda has not been forced all the way through. So there may yet be hope.

It’s a rare occasion, so I think it’s worth noting.

FIRST AMONGST SYCOPHANTS


I hope the White House appreciates the effort the BBC puts in to keeping Obama’s reputation afloat. Mardell is, of course a snivelling sycophant and a reader picks up on the sheer scale of his grovelling;

‘The Obama doctrine, Leading, but only as first among equals’

Obama twisted and turned on Egypt, he hadn’t a thing to say about Libya (&his defence secretary said a NFZ was not going to work), he saidnothing to help the Iranians in their protests and he has done nothing topressure Iran over nuclear weapons which has allowed them to progress rapidlytowards their goal.

Mardell has fallen for the oldest trick in the book….’it is always safest,particularly for young men, to do nothing save by…stealth and guile; thesafest course of all is to do nothing whatever, and thereby acquire areputation for shrewdness and soundness.’

And Mardell’s final analysis on Obama’s dithering….. ‘It may be grown up, itmay be sensible in the long run, but it is so unfamiliar that to many it willlook like dithering, not deliberation.’ 

And is it actually possible to be ‘first among equals’?”

The BBC has done everything possible to present vacillation as leadership, prevarication as dynamism, indifference as hope and retreat as change. When we remember their hatred towards George W Bush and we contrast it to the continued three year love in for Obama, it makes us appreciate the depth of the bias.

Hillary Clinton Proves Mark Mardell Wrong

Hillary Clinton told CNN the other day that she won’t be working for the President if there is a second term in 2012. Not just that she doesn’t want to be Sec. of State again, but wants no position at all in His Administration.

She told Wolf Blitzer that she doesn’t want to be Sec. of State again because she has the best job in the world right now.

Because I have the best job I could ever have. This is a moment in history where it is almost hard to catch your breath. There are both the tragedies and disasters that we have seen from Haiti to Japan and there are the extraordinary opportunities and challenges that we see right here in Egypt and in the rest of the region. So I want to be part of helping to represent the United States at this critical moment in time, to do everything I can in support of the president and our government and the people of our country to stand for our values and our ideals, to stand up for our security, which has to remain first and foremost in my mind and to advance America’s interests. And there isn’t anything that I can imagine doing after this that would be as demanding, as challenging or rewarding.

Er, and it wouldn’t be in a second term? That doesn’t add up. So why is she going to walk away after next year? No prizes for guessing what her staff is saying:

“Obviously, she’s not happy with dealing with a president who can’t decide if today is Tuesday or Wednesday, who can’t make his mind up,” a Clinton insider told The Daily. “She’s exhausted, tired.”

He went on, “If you take a look at what’s on her plate as compared with what’s on the plates of previous Secretary of States — there’s more going on now at this particular moment, and it’s like playing sports with a bunch of amateurs. And she doesn’t have any power. She’s trying to do what she can to keep things from imploding.”

Hang on, Mark Mardell has been telling us that The Obamessiah has been thoughtfully “deliberating”. So will he now claim that Hillary Clinton is wrong to think He’s been dithering because she’s “unfamiliar” with the concept? Or does she know better than the BBC North America editor because she’s, you know, on the inside actually dealing with reality and not making uninformed judgments from on high with a perfumed handkerchief held to the nose?

Clinton is said to be especially peeved with the president’s waffling over how to encourage the kinds of Arab uprisings that have recently toppled regimes in Egypt and Tunisia, and in particular his refusal to back a no-fly zone over Libya.

Waffling? I guess she just can’t grasp the nuance of His finely tuned brain. What will the BBC have to say about this? Or this:

Bill Clinton: We shouldn’t be letting the Libyan protesters “twist in the wind”

Will Mardell now dismiss the former two-term Democrat President of the United States and the current Democrat Secretary of State as people who are “obsessed with the notion of American decline” or gung-ho cowboys who want an “unapologetically aggressive America storming ahead”?

Clinton’s announcement was not only on CNN but also mentioned on the HuffingtonPost, so we know the Beeboids are aware of it, and can’t pretend it’s not an important enough story for them to mention. So far, though, they’ve censored this news.

In sum, Hillary Clinton just proved that the BBC North America editor’s interpretation of US news has been completely wrong. Why trust him ever again?

UPDATE: Mardell is at it again! This time he’s giving us the spin on the President’s speech about Libya. See the comments thread for more.