Biased Editorial Double Standards: US Ideological Violence Edition

Two people from Nevada appeared in court yesterday on charges of plotting to abduct and murder policemen. They are members of the fringe group Sovereign Citizens, a movement of people who have an extreme, quasi-anarchic (in the old school sense), anti-government view. Apparently they were busted after an undercover operation exposed their plans. Nothing new or unusual, really, except that it’s a case of two extremist white people getting arrested for plotting anti-government violence in a week where the public has been overwhelmed with the news of young black men murdering white people (stories which have been used to hype up racial animosity and as a counterweight to the media’s Trayvon Martin Narrative) topped off with two different criminal convictions of military men who espoused political views shared by the Left-wing media. So this minor story must have come as a great relief to the newsroom and editors who are responsible for deciding what gets published every day, a welcome break in what must seem to them as a stream of unfortunate news giving credence to Right-wing views about racial violence, terrorism, and the dangers of the anti-war movement and heroic whistleblowing.

Naturally, the BBC feels it’s worth reporting. It was just a plot thwarted, noting actually happened, nobody even close to being harmed. But it’s newsworthy because of what they represent.

No bias on that score, of course, since the Washington Post, the HuffingtonPost, and CBS all felt it was newsworthy. That’s the lemming-journalism defense we often get: it’s okay for the BBC to report/not report it, because other media outlets are/aren’t. The bias lies in the report itself, as well as the blatant double standard in how they cover incidents of “domestic terrorism”.

First, the quality of reporting. The BBC cites the Southern Poverty Law Center as an authority on the Sovereign Citizens movement. They describe the SPLC as “a non-profit civil rights group”, full stop. Many people here will have seen some of us refer to a “Rule #1” being in effect, and this is a classic example.

In this case, Rule #1 isn’t from the Philosophy Department of the University of Woolamaloo (although I think a BBC version could easily be made with one or two substitutions), but concerns how and when the BBC labels vox pops, guests, and think tanks or organizations they use in appeals to authority. The idea is that the BBC so rarely labels Left-wing, on-message groups or guests that, if they don’t label them, or call them “independent”, one knows which side they’re on. In contrast, those with opposing viewpoints are introduced with the health warning that they’re conservative, or take one side of an issue.

This isn’t just a Biased-BBC fever dream, either. The Center for Policy Studies recently published a report proving it, at least where think tanks and policy organizations are concerned. And here again is another example. The SPLC is independent only in that it isn’t officially owned or run by a political party. It’s hardly non-ideological, though, and the BBC’s use of “independent” is dishonestly meant to lead you to that conclusion. In fact, the SPLC has a long history as a Left-wing activist organization. It’s always been a civil rights and human rights advocacy organization (the “Southern Poverty” part should be a tip-off), more recently going on the attack against numerous non-Left organizations. For example, they labeled the Family Research Council a “hate group”, and featured it on a “hate map” (although they’re clever enough not to use Palin-esque crosshairs), which may have inspired an attempted murder. It’s a joke to present the SPLC as anything other than what it is. In other words, Rule #1 is in effect here, as usual. It doesn’t matter if they do the work of angels, or if you or I agree or disagree with their ideology. It’s a highly ideological organization with very clear political views and activities, and it’s simply wrong to hide that and mislead the reader.

In fact, this isn’t even the first time the BBC has used the SPLC as an authority to support an agenda. Jonny Dymond cited them in his dishonest story about how white supremacist groups have been on the rise since we elected a black President. Dymond presented the SPLC as an organization which tracks “hate groups and other groups on the far right”. In other words, not an impartial organization at all, but one dedicated to an agenda of attacking the Right. Much like some BBC journalists.

It would have been easy enough for the BBC to simply refer to the FBI, or even the Department of Homeland Security (surely not too partisan for the BBC), who have the same concerns about the Sovereign Citizens. Although maybe that would be a case of “they would say that, wouldn’t they?” about an anti-government group. Instead, the BBC went for an ideological fellow traveler, presenting it as an impartial judge.

This leads me to the biased double standard. A little over a year ago, the BBC published a news brief about the arrests of five young men in Ohio who were caught plotting to blow up a bridge. They, too, had known ties to a well-known organization, but for some reason, instead of reporting the connection and going into detail about it, the BBC decided to censor that key detail. I suspected at the time that the reason was that the organization in question was the Occupy movement. Laughably, the BBC managed to think of one possible motivation for the crime, which the FBI dismissed out of hand: the anniversary of Bin Laden’s death. The FBI dismissed that as a motivation because they knew what the BBC refused to tell you: they were Occupiers, and their motivation was to engage in some anti-government (or anti-establishment) ultra-violence. I say the BBC refused to tell you this because it’s impossible to claim that the BBC didn’t know, seeing as how the wire services from which the BBC gleaned this in the first place mentioned the Occupy connection. Outrageously, the BBC even quoted the FBI about ideology being motivation:

“The individuals charged in this plot were intent on using violence to express their ideological views,” said Special Agent Stephen Anthony, of the FBI’s Cleveland division, in a statement.

Which ideological views? Occupy views. It was deliberate censorship, because the BBC was (and still would be if it came back) highly and rather openly supportive of the Occupy movement, and was loathe to draw such an unsavory connection. When it’s a Right-wing group like the Sovereign Citizens movement, though, the BBC has no problem mentioning the defendants’ connection to it and citing its ideology as the motivation behind their plot to commit violence.

A clear double standard, and one unquestionably caused by personal, ideological bias. I wonder if either Daniel Nasaw, the man in charge of deciding what stories get published in the US section of the BBC website, or any lurking professional journalists, will be able to give us any other explanation besides, “Please shut up, you don’t know how things work in a newsroom.” (I paraphrase slightly.)

The sickness of Mark Mardell

Words fail me. Mardell has done a blog post about the Walker result, opining that, regardless of whether or not it actually means anything for the rest of the country, it’s still a psychological boost the the Republicans. Which it is, although Mardell wants you to think they’re wrong for feeling that way. He then plays the writer’s game of asking a question so he can give his opinion without appearing to do so, wondering if this means that the unions are simply “too big for their boots”, or really are the champions of the downtrodden worker. Then he says this:

The protests that led to the recall election were portrayed by some as the renaissance of union power, and taken alongside Occupy Wall Street as sign of a new dynamism on the left. That did not work so well.

?????? “New dynamism”?

Behold what Mardell views as “new dynamism”:

New Dynamism in Madison: Rage and violence against Tea Party and Walker supporters. The guy at the start of the video urging people to get bloody is a Democratic Party Rep.

New Dynamism in Fon Du Lac, WI: Death threats against Republican pols force them to miss St. Patrick’s Day celebration

New Dynamism around Wisconsin: A comprehensive list of death threats and vandalism by unions, Democrats, and their supporters

New Dynamism from Wisconsin Teachers’ Union: Comparing Scott Walker to Hitler

New Dynamism in Cleveland: Occupiers plot to blow up bridge

New Dynamism in Berkeley: Occupiers seize university farm site and trash it.

New Dynamism in Seattle: Occupiers vandalize several downtown businesses to celebrate May Day

New Dynamism in Washington, DC: Occupy protest turns violent

New Dynamism in Portland: Occupiers bring mortars in glass jars

New Dynamism in Portland again: Occupiers tell women not to report rapes to the police

Even more New Dynamism in Portland: Band sings “[email protected]#& The USA”

New Dynamism in Oakland: Occupiers shut down a Burger King

New Dynamism in Oakland again: A business puts up a sign showing solidarity with the Occupiers. Occupiers smash the window.

New Dynamism in San Diego: Occupiers turn violent when street vendors stop giving them free food

New Dynamism in Boston: Occupiers try to occupy Israeli consulate

New Dynamism in Los Angeles: Occupiers say “Violence will be necessary to achieve our goals”

Total arrests for New Dynamism so far: 7,263

Others are welcome to post more examples. There are many, many more.

Mark Mardell is a very sick man. He must be removed from his position.

 

Life In These United States – No. 3

The latest edition of my report is up on EyeTube now (no embed possible at the moment). It clocks in at 15:23. Some stuff the BBC covered badly, and some they haven’t covered at all. Sources are below, and my thanks to all those who took the time to listen to the previous editions.

Life In These United States – No. 3

SOURCES:

BBC report about slowing US jobs growth, “fewer than expected”

Civilian labor force at 30-year low

NY Times report about slow jobs growth and people dropping out of the workforce

Washington Post trying to defend the President on unemployment

Long-term unemployed make up 42.4% of the total people out of work

Commodities and oil down

BBC report on new Keystone pipeline plan

President caves on part of Keystone after trying to put it off until after the election

Sierra Club criticizing new plan

Democrats voting for pipeline approval, too

Canada will just sell the oil to the Chinese

85% of tungsten supply is mined in China

China has 60% of tungsten market

China floods tungsten market to keep prices down and maintain their hold

US could be world leader in mineral supply

Obama Administration’s regulatory agenda hurting mining, energy production

Obama Adminstration still trying for more restrictive mining regulations

Niobium in Nebraska

Government prosecution of student loan default rose 25.7%

Columbia University course on the Occupy Movement

Government screwing up student loan interest rates

Student loan defaults rising

$67 billion in student loan default

The President reads policy speech on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon

Yes, it’s a violation of campaign law

BBC Censorship: Occupiers Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Bridge Edition

OccupyArrests.com

Occupy violence in Seattle, LA, SF, NYC

Occupiers attack photo-journalists

Katty Kay on the Occupy Movement

BBC Censorship: Occupiers Arrested In Plot To Blow Up Bridge Edition

UPDATE: The BBC just posted a news brief about it after all. But the association of the criminals with the Occupy Movement is censored. Instead, they quote a DoJ mouthpiece saying the plot had nothing to do with the anniversary of Osama Bin Laden’s death. LOL! We all know what this was going to celebrate, and the BBC won’t admit it.

Today is May Day, a prominent day in Communist history. Some non-Left blogs last year started calling this “Victims of Communism Day”, in remembrance of the tens of millions of victims of Communists in pursuit of their goals.

Today the BBC has done a quick hype of their darling Occupiers, who are using May Day to cause violence and disrupt civilized society. Of course, that’s not how the BBC tells it. The news brief is full of hype and positive vibes about these people.

Censored by the BBC:

Terror Plot Suspects Appear In Court

Federal authorities on Tuesday morning announced that five people were arrested in Cleveland for allegedly conspiring to use explosives to blow up a local bridge.

Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Cleveland office, discussed the arrests and subsequent charges related to what they referred to as a “national security case.”

A news conference was held Tuesday morning at the Cleveland FBI headquarters at 1501 Lakeside Avenue.

Fox 8′s Stacey Frey reports that the suspects have been identified as Brandon Baxter, 20; Anthony Hayne, 35; Joshua Stafford, 23; Connor Stevens, 20; and Douglas Wright, 26. Baxter, Hayne and Wright were arrested Monday night by members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force on charges of conspiracy and attempted use of explosive materials to damage physical property affecting interstate commerce.

A criminal complaint filed Tuesday morning states that Baxter, Hayne and Wright are self-proclaimed anarchists who formed a small group that considered a series of plots over several months.

Self-proclaimed anarchists? Try self-proclaimed Occupiers.

Brandon Baxter: Occupy Cleveland organizer

Occupy Cleveland May Day festivities cancelled because five of them were arrested

FBI met the at OWS event

Screenshots of all their Facebook pages

This must be more of that love for humanity and sense of civic duty Katty Kay was telling us about, and which Paul Mason is celebrating on Newsnight. I pretty much saw this coming after spending a few hours among these darlings of the BBC.

What I mean is that these people can keep doing this for a very long time. And eventually, they’re going to realize that it isn’t working.  Will they fess up and become a ready-made cadre of Obamessiah activists?  I don’t know. If not, the emotions will have driven many of them into a frenzied state over time. Fighting the man, speaking truth to power, getting arrested over and over again, and watching a seemingly endless stream of video clips of their comrades fighting with police, getting pepper-sprayed and bundled into police vans will not yield a happy result.  Like we heard from a couple people, they all seriously think that obstructing traffic and infringing on other people’s space and property is their right. Freedom of speech and right to peaceable assembly and all that. What they tragically fail to understand is that, unlike many blacks in the South before the Civil Rights movement, they can exercise their right to vote without fear, and all this glorious civil disobedience is unnecessary extremist nonsense.  The Tea Party movement has proven that they don’t need to do any of this. I found only a couple of people who even remotely grasped this point.  So I think the violent confrontation – always started by the nasty fascist police infringing on their rights, bien sur – will become a kind of ouroburossian (if that’s not a word, it is now) reality. They’ll continuously create situations which they’ll interpret as justifying their cause, projecting onto it false equivalences with everything from Wat Tyler to the German Peasant Rebellion to Gandhi to MLK and the Civil Rights movement. That’s when you’ll really start to see the stuff the BBC told you would never happen over here.

 

BBC Surprisingly Unfazed About White House Shooting – I Wonder Why?

The man supected of shooting at the White House last Friday had become obsessed with President Barack Obama, officials have told US media.
It is thought Oscar Ortega-Hernandez, 21, believed God had given him a personal mission to attack the White House, said law enforcement sources.
A US Park Police bulletin said he was “unstable with violent tendencies”.

You would have thought that someone bringing a rifle with him and shooting at the White House would have been on the BBC website’s loop for several days accompanied by a lorry load of speculative think pieces on the dangers of political violence in the US from an assortment of pundits and experts.

Not one mention of the dangers of violent rhetoric.

Could it have been because of the suggestion that this man had been hanging around the Occupy DC gathering? There is no evidence that he was a “member” of that “movement”…..but he might have listened to some of the rhetoric which could have echoed fiery outbursts in New York

Naturally the BBC goes for the safe option and doesn’t even wonder if there is any connection between the endemic violence in so many of the Occupy encampments and an “Obama obsessed” gunman firing a rifle at the Presidential residence.

I wonder why?

At least in the BBC website report of Rep. Giffords interview with the ABC’s Diane Sawyer they had the good grace not mention Sawyer’s sly and serpentine attempt to rehash the lies and innuendo pumped out by a complicit US/UK media associating the Tucson shooting with Governor Palin and the Tea Party….

cross posted at The Aged P

#OccupyFail: Three Occupiers Exercise Their Freedom of Speech by Bringing Mortars in Glass Jars

The BBC will never report this, because their thought-leaders in the US media and Left-wing blogosphere won’t.

3 men claiming to be Occupy Portland protesters arrested in Marion County for possession of explosives

Inside the car, the deputy also found a number of firecrackers and two commercially made mortars inside glass canning jars, designed to be fired into the area during professional pyrotechnic displays. One was found in the floorboard of the vehicle, and the other was allegedly in Luff’s jacket.


The deputy also found two gas masks, protective eye goggles and a safety helmet. All three men told the deputy that they had spent the night at the Occupy Portland demonstration, and they brought the mortars and safety equipment to the demonstration in preparation of the expected confrontation between police and protesters Sunday morning.

The three had been at the demonstration during the confrontation Sunday morning and had left about an hour before the vehicle was stopped. During that confrontation, a police officer was injured by a firework, but the three men denied being involved in the incident.

When asked about the explosives, the three men told authorities that they knew the canning jar would explode, causing glass shrapnel to fly and possibly cause injury.

(emphasis mine)

A reminder of Mark Mardell’s partisan bias and hypocrisy:

Healthcare row gets physical?

We are used to terms like “Nazi” being bandied around in the health debate at overheated town hall meetings.

But a new way of persuading opponents has just emerged – biting off their finger.

It reportedly happened in California and the man took his detached little finger to a local hospital to be sewed back on.

I don’t yet know how he fares. But as we in the media are always on the look-out for real-life case studies to illustrate political debates, this seems ideal.

Did he have insurance and did it cover Severed Pinkie Syndrome?

As he was 65, was he covered by a government-run, taxpayer-funded scheme?

And can any Americans out there explain why this debate has got quite so heated?

Mardell can tut-tut about this non-story, and openly sneer at what he assumes to be the senior citizen’s own hypocrisy, simply because he disagrees with the victim’s political views.

Yet there has been utter silence from him and the BBC about all the violence and foul behavior by their darling Occupiers.  And all this while the BBC has increased spending and hiring for their US coverage.

#OccupyFail.  #BBCFail.