Katty Kay Tweets Political Endorsement

The latest tweet from Katty Kay, BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of what’s left of BBC World News America, and the highest-profile Beeboid in the US:

First of all, Bloomberg is no longer a Republican, hasn’t been for years. He quit that Party and has been calling himself an independent since 2007 – which Katty knows for a fact – so the whole “bi-partisan” thing is false right away. Not only that, but as Katty also well knows, Bloomberg is a life-long Democrat who switched to Republican only so he could run for New York City mayor without having to bribe the Democrat machine in certain outer boroughs because he felt he’d stand out better among the Republican candidates. Quite frankly, Katty Kay is being dishonest when she calls this a bi-partisan ticket.

_______________

UPDATE: Katty’s partisan ticket isn’t even an original thought. She’s merely regurgitating partisan opinion from her friends within the Beltway Bubble:

 

 

 

That’s the Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker, btw.

_______________

Just another biased display from perhaps the most hyper-partisan Beeboid in the US. Here’s Katty displaying her advocacy for Climate Change legislation with Mayor Bloomberg himself. And here she is just the other day on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” (where she’s a regular panelist in her official BBC capacity) expressing her frustration with the lackluster message coming out of the President’s campaign. Why trust this woman on anything anymore? A complaint has been sent to the BBC, and since she does work in the US and report on US issues, they can’t give me the brush-off right away.

Note that this is an officially sanctioned BBC twitter account. The logo is featured prominently and there is no “views my own” get-out-of-bias-free disclaimer.

Over to you, professional journalists and media experts who defend the indefensible.

A DYMOND GEEZA!

Here’s a rather wonderful instance of anti GOP bias from our old pal, Jonny Dymond in which he characterises Obama’s opponents as the Party of  “old white America.” Gosh, that sounds almost a tad…racist. It seems that Jonny has concluded that the Democrats have the election won so perhaps Romney, Gingrich and co should just give up now and keep Obama in the White House? No agenda being pursued here, clearly.

YOUR TUESDAY EVENING MOMENT OF ZEN

Meanwhile, over at BBC News online – another report about the MF Global scandal which fails to mention that Jon Corzine is a former Democrat governor and major fundraiser for Obama. And imagine how many times the word “Republican” would be screaming out from the headline and opening paragraphs of this article about the jailing of Tony Rezko if he’d been a GOP supporter (also check out the BBC’s ass-covering on behalf of the beloved Mr President).

HERMAN MONSTERED

Articles appearing on BBC News online about the Herman Cain [R] sexual harassment claims in the 5 days after the story first broke on Politico:

Herman Cain: Sexual harassment claims ‘baseless’
Herman Cain denies sex harassment claims
Herman Cain: A ‘high-tech lynching’?
Herman Cain: When in trouble, switch stories
Herman Cain ‘gradually recalls’ sexual harassment case
Herman Cain sexual harassment accuser ‘wants to speak’
Herman Cain, Clarence Thomas, and sexual harassment
Third woman claims inappropriate behaviour from Cain
Herman Cain accuser decides not to speak

Articles appearing on BBC News online about the John Edwards [D] love child in the 5 days after the story was first reported:

Zilch. The first BBC article appeared 18 days after the news first broke.

Articles appearing on BBC News online about the Anthony Weiner [D] pervy Twitter pic in the first 5 days after the story was first reported:

Zilch
. The first BBC article appeared 10 days after the news first broke.

Spot The Difference

[Update added]

Two stories involving American politicians who have been embarrassed by photos on the internet. One was a little-known first-time candidate standing for the House of Representatives last year, the other is a prominent, well-known congressman who has been in the House of Representatives for over 12 years and has designs on becoming mayor of New York.

Apart from the fact that the BBC rushed to run the first story as soon as it broke in the States, and has tried desperately to ignore the second story for well over a week, can anyone spot a slight difference in the BBC’s treatment of the two? (I’ve provided some helpful clues.)


UPDATE. Here’s the report on Weinergate from the Today programme this morning. Spot the missing word.

Listen!

Richard Bacon, who is doing his show from New York this week, discussed the story yesterday and again there was no mention of the fact that Weiner is a Democrat.

It almost goes without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway – if Weiner had been a Republican we’d have heard about this story a week ago and his party affiliation would’ve been central to the BBC’s reporting.

WELL THERE’S A SURPRISE!

Regular readers of this blog will know that David Preiser, DB and myself (in the comments) have had our purely metaphorical cross hairs trained on Katie Connolly – the lead reporter at BBC Online’s Washington bureau – for quite some time now.

She was headhunted from Newsweek in the Spring of 2010 to head a new team that (we discovered) also included an enthusiastic Obama 2008 campaigner called Matt Danzico (remember ‘Llamas Heart Obama’?). We noticed that the new online unit began pumping out a lot of heavily-biased reports, generally favouring Democrat positions and undermining Republican ones. Katie Connolly was responsible for quite a few of those articles.

The unit seems to have gone oddly quiet in recent weeks and it now transpires that Katie Connolly has a new job. According to her updated strap line on Twitter she is now a Senior Project Director at the Benenson Strategy Group. They are usually described as Democratic Party pollsters but also help devise campaign strategies for a large number of Democrat politicians and trades unions, playing a major role in the 2008 Obama Campaign and even helping Gordon Brown during the 2010 UK general election. (That went well, didn’t it?) .

So a BBC reporter we’ve long suspected of being biased towards the Democrats leaves to join a firm of Democrat Party strategists.

Who’d have thunk it?

WISCONSIN

This is an update to earlier blogposts by David Preiser about BBC coverage of the troubled passage of deficit reduction legislation in Wisconsin (see here, here, here).

Media double-standards over Wisconsin have become so blatant that even a left-leaning blogger on Huffington Post, Lee Stranahan, has expressed his distaste:

Why isn’t the mainstream media talking about the death threats against Republican politicians in Wisconsin?

…Ignoring the story of these threats is deeply, fundamentally wrong. It’s bad, biased journalism that will lead to no possible good outcome and progressives should be leading the charge against it.

Just before writing this article, I did a Google search and it’s stunning to find out that the right wing media really isn’t exaggerating — proven death threats against politicians are being ignored by the supposedly honest media. If you’ve never agreed with a single thing that Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly et al have said about anything, you can’t in any good conscience say that they don’t have a point here. Death threats are wrong and if a story like Wisconsin is national news for days, then so are death threats.

Quite so. If Tea Party followers had made death threats against Democrat politicians, and had gone to their homes to terrify their children, we can be sure that the BBC would’ve been all over it, ramping up the coverage with every fresh act of intimidation. I know this, readers of this blog know it, and BBC journalists, if they’re honest with themselves, must know it too. And we’re talking actual death threats here, not some vague perceived potential for violence of the sort imagined by BBC correspondents when reporting on the Tea Party movement.

The reason for this is simple enough. “It’s bad, biased journalism”, as Stranahan says. The BBC’s highly partisan coverage of American politics reflects the political leanings of its staff. As such, negative stories about Democrats and their supporters are either ignored or downplayed. This is in sharp contrast to the eager reporting of similar or less significant events which are used to bash the American right.

If any BBC journos disagree with my conclusion I’d be happy to read an alternative explanation for their news blackout over the Wisconsin death threats. Comment, email, blog, tweet. Anything.

New White House Press Secretary

The BBC reports:

The US vice president’s communications director Jay Carney has been named as the next White House press secretary, to replace Robert Gibbs.

With unusual modesty the BBC doesn’t report that Jay Carney is married to ABC correspondent Claire Shipman, co-author of a blog and book with BBC US correspondent Katty Kay.

How many negative stories have you seen or heard about Joe Biden on the BBC while Carney has been his director of communications for the past two years?

Not many, I bet.

Just sayin’, is all.

Update 10.30pm: Mention of Shipman now added to BBC report, the Kay link not so much.

Update January 28, 3.50pm: Katie Connolly has added a glowing profile of Jay Carney, and Katty gets a mention in the penultimate paragraph (h/t Craig):

Mr Carney’s wife is also a celebrated journalist, ABC correspondent Claire Shipman. Ms Shipman is the co-author of Womenomics, an examination of the economic contributions of working women, with the BBC’s Katty Kay.

The Connolly article includes this insight:

Journalists who once sniggered over gaffes made by the garrulous Mr Biden have, at Mr Carney’s encouragement, focused more on his contributions to the Obama administration.

And the BBC has been more obedient than most.

AMERICANA GUEST HOST – RICHARD WOLFFE

This week’s edition of Americana on Radio 4 will be presented by regular MSNBC political analyst Richard Wolffe. His political leanings are so obvious that earlier this week Craig Ferguson mocked him on his talk show (via Newsbusters) :

CRAIG FERGUSON: You’re a Democrat, aren’t you?

RICHARD WOLFFE: I am a journalist.

FERGUSON: A journalist? Much the same thing, isn’t it?

A Democratic Party supporter and a journalist – well, they’re certainly one and the same thing at BBC America.

Just yesterday Wolffe was on MSNBC’s Hardball with Chris Matthews attacking Sarah Palin. He even once had a spell as leftie nutjob Keith Olbermann’s stand-in (until conflict of interest issues arose). And now he’s a guest host for the BBC. An effortless transition from one left-leaning news organisation to another. (You can be damn sure nobody at the Beeb ever considered asking a right-wing contributor from Fox News to present Americana.)

As if the choice of Wolffe isn’t bad enough, his main interviewee is foil-hatted fruitcake Gore Vidal. Ooh, I wonder if he’ll say something outrageous and controversial. Yawn.

SPENDING REVIEW

If you’re getting your information about the US midterms only from the BBC you are no doubt aware that Republicans are outspending the Democrats by millions of dollars. Yesterday’s report by Katty Kay on campaign funding focused almost entirely on Republican spending (there’s a very brief mention about union support for Democrats, but the thrust of the piece is clear – Republicans and their supporters are trying to buy the election. See short version here, longer version here). When Matt Frei blogged about the subject he name-checked only Republican candidates.

Hang on though, what’s this? Politico, 26 October:

To hear top Democrats tell it, the party is being wildly outgunned this year in the fight for campaign cash as Republicans rely on outside groups to funnel money to GOP contenders.

But the numbers tell a different story.

It’s true that conservative third-party groups are outspending their Democratic rivals. But the Democrats still have a sizable cash advantage in their party committees – making this year’s elections a lot more of a fair fight than Vice President Joe Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi let on.

And this? New York Times, 26 October:

Lost in all of the attention paid to the heavy spending by Republican-oriented independent groups in this year’s midterm elections is that Democratic candidates have generally wielded a significant head-to-head financial advantage over their Republican opponents in individual competitive races.

The Times article also points out that Democrat-supporting third party groups have now begun splashing the cash around big-time:

Last week, for example, [America’s Families First Action Fund] spent $362,000 on a television ad attacking Steve Southerland, the Republican challenger to Representative Allen Boyd, Democrat of Florida.

None of this fits the BBC’s narrative, therefore it is ignored. They’re not going to let the facts get in the way of their relentless anti-Republican propaganda.

Update
. Check out Matt Frei’s chat with Jimmy Carter. Not a single assertion by Carter is challenged. It’s like one of those obsequious 1950s political interviews (“Is there anything you’d like to say to the British people, Minister?”). Pathetic.

Shh! Don’t Mention The New Black Panthers

(Update added)

Imagine if members of a racist anti-Semitic white supremacist group, one of them armed with a nightstick, had been filmed at a polling station intimidating voters on the day of the 2004 presidential election. Imagine that this led to charges, but those charges were suddenly dropped by Bush’s Justice Department even though it had already won a default judgement in the case. And then imagine that two officials claimed that this was due to institutional anti-black prejudice within the Justice Department. Do you suppose the BBC would have made quite a big deal about all of that? Catholic Pope, defecating bears, swimming fish etc – damn right, the BBC would’ve been all over it, making sure that the whole affair got maximum exposure. It would’ve filtered down from BBC news to round-table discussion programmes, topical comedy shows and phone-ins. Oh boy, would we have known about it.

And yet the BBC continues to ignore the New Black Panther story. It’s not part of the BBC’s desired narrative, a narrative driven by hatred of the American right. We’ve been banging on about the Panther story here since polling day 2008 (in the comments and on the blog) but every new revelation that has emerged in the States has been met with silence by the BBC.

A Biased BBC reader emailed me to say that back in June he suggested to the BBC’s Americana programme that they have on as a guest the first of the Justice Department whistleblowers, J Christian Adams. Americana replied that it was “possibly something we could get to before the midterms”. Now a second employee (this one a Clinton appointee with ACLU bona fides) has testified before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, and still nothing from the Beeb. The simple fact is that BBC U.S. correspondents just don’t like reporting on this sort of thing. It goes against their instincts, doesn’t get their juices flowing like a negative story about Republicans. “Nothing to see. Nothing to see. Nothing to see. Look everybody – a witch! And Stephen Colbert!”

This story can only get bigger and I think that the BBC will finally have to report it – reluctantly and with much anguish. As with similar controversies, those who rely on the BBC for their news will be last to know (if they get to know at all) and will receive but a fraction of the full picture. But once again the BBC will have done its job as gatekeeper, restricting the impact of the story on public consciousness by limiting its time in the spotlight.

In the comments on the open thread David Preiser points out that even The Washington Post had the story on its front page today. I’m amused by this from the Post’s article:

“the dispute became a major issue in conservative circles. It has been slow to gain traction among the general public…”

I wonder why that might be, MSM? As David L. Riddick pointed out in July, The Washington Post claimed it had ignored the story due to “limited staffing“. What feeble excuse will the BBC try?

Update September 27. The original version incorrectly identified both Department of Justice officials as former employees. Christopher Coates, who testified last week, is still employed by Justice having been transferred from his previous job as voting chief at the department’s Civil Rights Division to his current position within the South Carolina attorney’s office. He has whistleblower protection for his testimony.

Here’s a segment on the story from The O’Reilly Factor (h/t John Anderson).

Impartiality Gene?

BBC editors were clearly concerned that their coverage of Christine O’Donnell’s youthful activities wasn’t getting the traffic they hoped, and so for much of yesterday and this morning this was the main news story on the BBC.co.uk front page (h/t Cassandra):


The carefully chosen “cackling” photo is a nice touch, isn’t it?

Meanwhile, yesterday evening this story appeared on the BBC’s website:

Eight people, including the mayor and ex-city manager, have been arrested after a probe into excessive local government pay in Bell, California.

There was outrage earlier this summer after it was revealed that the city manager was being paid almost $800,000 (£500,000).

The others arrested were former and current council members.

The investigation has looked into allegations of voter fraud, corruption, and misuse of public funds.

Nowhere in the article does it mention any party affiliation of the elected officials involved. No prizes for guessing why. (Read More…)

In July the Orange County Register apologised to its readers when it too had failed to identify the party ties of those in the scandal:

In the wake of the Bell salary scandal, our readers noticed one part of the story has been left out by virtually all media sources, including our related editorials and columns: the political party affiliations of the five city council members who not only failed to protect city coffers, but participated in what amounts to shameless, if apparently legal, self-dealing.

All five council members are members of the Democratic Party.

In its defence the Register claimed that Bell voters are represented only by Democrats “in every level of government” but conceded that wasn’t a good enough excuse for ignoring the fact. A local paper thinks it’s wrong not to mention that these were Democrats, but for some reason the BBC – with its worldwide audience unaware of the local political scene – thinks differently.

Would the Beeb have neglected to point out Republican Party membership in similar circumstances? Of course not – it would have been the main thrust of the story. But with Democrats involved we have to adopt Pravda-reading strategies to figure out the full picture.

And I haven’t seen anything about this on the BBC yet either:

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. directed a major political fund-raiser to offer former Gov. Rod Blagojevich millions of dollars in campaign cash in return for an appointment to the U.S. Senate, sources said the fund-raiser has told federal authorities.

Nothing to see here, move along, might deal with it after the midterms.

I think the BBC needs a bigger gene pool. Better yet, a disinfectant.

THE KKK TOOK MR BYRD AWAY…

Interesting obituary being carried by the BBC on the death of Democrat Senator Robert Byrd.

We learn he was 92…that he was the longest serving Senator in Congress….that he was  suffering from bad health. Oh – and nine paragraphs later that he was a senior member of the Klu Klux Klan …although this was a youthful indiscretion….could have happened to anyone…..

Setting The Tone (pt 2)

Further to an earlier post comparing the opening paragraphs of BBC articles about the Tea Party and Purple People movements, here are two more examples of tone-setting openers. Both come from recent pieces by the BBC’s Madeleine Morris, one on the Tea Party convention in Nashville last month and the other on the first meetings of the new Coffee Party movement at the weekend.

For the Tea Party it’s a Don LaFontaine horror movie trailer:

They came from as far away as Hawaii, Maine, and Texas – an overwhelmingly white, middle-aged army of angry conservatives, furious with government spending and influence, and ready to do whatever they can to stop it.

The Coffee Party, on the other hand, gets a welcoming, jaunty little local radio ad:

Looking for a little bit of civil political discussion with your decaf latte? Well the newly formed Coffee Party movement may be for you.

I note also from the two articles that the Coffee Party’s grassroots cred is taken at face value (“A grassroots US political grouping”) but that of the Tea Party is not (“The Tea Party movement describes itself as a grassroots movement of conservatives.”) Those conservatives, they like to call themselves grassroots but can we really trust their claims?

David Preiser has commented on this in the open thread and, as it now seems impossible to link directly to comments, I’m reproducing his post here (with one small quibble – I don’t think it’s entirely fair to say the Coffee Parties are “all white”, but they’re certainly no more diverse than the Tea Parties, so David’s point about BBC double standards still stands):

As everyone here knows, the BBC refused to report on the Tea Party movement as it grew and grew until the reality of tens of thousands of people gathering across the US on April 15 forced them to acknowledge it. Then, Kevin Connolly grossly misrepresented and cast aspersions on the participants, hinting at dark forces and racist overtones behind the movement. He also insulted the participants with a sexual innuendo used for them only by the Left. Nearly every time Mark Mardell has deigned to mention the Tea Partiers, he makes sure to paint the participants as being exclusively white and middle class, as if that’s an automatic disqualifier. It wasn’t until Katty Kay’s quite reasonable report in December that the BBC even bothered to really talk to the participants in depth. And even there the title of the piece and overall message is one of “boiling anger”.

Now, there has been a new opposition movement starting up calling themselves the Coffee Party. It’s hardly anything more than the Tea Party movement was in its first weeks, even before people really started calling them Tea Parties. Yet, the BBC not only reports it, but goes to meet them and get their thoughts.

Coffee Party brews up rival for Tea Party

The only similarity between this and the BBC’s reporting on the Tea Parties is the gross misrepresentation of the participants. They promote the lies of the Left here too, only this time they claim that the participants are a real grass roots movement. Which is a lie. This thing is being run by Democrat Party hacks. Annabel Park, whom the BBC presents as part of a “silent majority” campaigned for The Obamessiah, and her own website is owned by a campaign group for Democrat Senator Jim Webb.

They’re also all white and middle class. But the BBC strangely fails to offer any such description of the participants.

In contrast to any BBC report on Tea Parties, this one takes the claims of motivation by the participants at face value. No suggestion that they’re extremist or angry or potentially violent, as Mardell likes to do with the Tea Partiers. Instead, the Coffee Party astroturf is portrayed as being lovely and wanting nothing more than for government to help people and for politicians to join hands in peace and harmony everlasting.

Don’t trust the BBC On US issues.

What if they were Republicans?

From The Washington Examiner:

Democrats have suffered from a string of scandals reminiscent of the corruption that plagued the GOP before the party lost the majority in Congress four years ago…
Charlie Rangel… is under investigation by the House ethics committee for five separate matters…
Eric Massa…stands accused of sexually harassing a male staffer…
New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo is investigating whether (Governor David) Paterson improperly interfered in a domestic abuse case involving one of his aides.

Of those stories, only Paterson’s has been covered briefly by the BBC and – surprise surprise – the article fails to mention which party he belongs to. Google News searches on Rangel and Massa reveal a total lack of interest, even after fresh revelations about the latter’s bizarre predatory sexual behaviour.

It is completely inconceivable that the BBC would have dealt with these stories in the same manner if Republican politicians had been involved. The word “Republican” would be blazing from headlines and highlighted in the opening sentences of numerous articles. The “Republican sleaze” narrative would be unstoppable.

But these are Democrat scandals, and Democrat scandals simply don’t get BBC journalistic juices flowing. Move along now, nothing to see here. Come back when a Republican does something wrong.