One Year On From The BBC Using Mass Murder To Push An Agenda

It’s been one year since an unhinged Arizonan killed several people in cold blood while attempting to assassinate Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The BBC is silent on that matter today, which is slightly curious considering the big deal it was at the time, and what larger meaning they and their fellow travelers in the Left-wing US media tried to force onto it. They tried to blame Sarah Palin for inciting this act of mass murder. She had previously published a map with a cross-hairs on it, calling for supporters to “target” various Democrat opponents. Ignoring all common sense and the fact that this was a common rhetorical gesture, nothing to do with a call for violence, the BBC pushed the idea that Palin was to blame. But now…silence.

(UPDATE: See the bottom of this post.)

The easy “journalistic” defense is that the BBC has only such much time and only so much room to do stories, and the Republican race, the economy, and foreign policy developments take up the bulk of their time. The rest of the 55 Beeboids employed to cover the US are dedicated to producing more lightweight, magazine-style pieces and celebrity gossip, so hard news is outside their bailiwick.

Call it a straw man if you will, but then please give me an alternative reason for the BBC’s silence. My bet is that the agenda the BBC tried to push at the time has proved to be false, so they’ve ignored the story since there’s no special issue mileage to be gained. Also, if they bring it up again, they have to be careful not to remind you of their behavior at the time.

Let’s recall how the BBC, following the lead of their like-thinking brethren in the US media, tried to tell you that this act of mass murder was partially Sarah Palin’s fault. Let’s also recall how they pimped the President’s ill-advised attempt to use this tragedy to push His anti-gun agenda.

DB busted several Beeboids for their disgusting behavior at the time. BBC tv news editor Rachel Kennedy blamed Palin when tweeting:

The tweet has since been deleted. Down the memory hole, like so many other unfortunate tweets by BBC employees after they’re caught out.

As DB noted at the time, Katie Connolly (who later left the BBC to work for a Democrat strategy group) tried to smear the Tea Party movement with this by tweeting that the entire movement was Giffords’ enemy. Gavin Esler and a stalwart of the BBC College of Journalism were just two of the other BBC employees who joined in the fun.

The BBC’s top man in the US, Mark Mardell, also tried to smear Palin and the “rhetoric” of the Right for this tragedy. Sure, he opened with the “we don’t know the motives” disclaimer, but his entire post is dedicated to pointing the finger of blame. As I said in a post following the incident, this was drastically different from his behavior when Maj. Nadal murdered several people in the name of Islamic jihad.

Mardell further pushed his Narrative that Republicans engage in dangerous behavior in a later post, in which he promoted a speech by the President. The President also ran with the sick Narrative that Right-wing political rhetoric was to blame for the incident, and did a “we must all work together” speech.

It became apparent almost immediately to those who looked somewhere other than the BBC and the Huffington Post for their news on US issues that the mass murderer was mentally ill, and that partisan politics had precious little to do with his actions. The BBC took days to admit this, and not a single Beeboid apologized for their biased, inaccurate, slanderous statements.

Today, the BBC is silent. If they do whip up a news brief about it for tomorrow morning, they won’t be reminding you of their disgusting behavior at the time, won’t be reminding you of how their fellow travelers got it horribly wrong, won’t want you to recall how this tragic act was used to advance a political agenda.

UPDATE: The news brief is up. As predicted, no mention at all of the media hysteria, hoping you won’t remember the BBC’s disgusting behavior. One would have thought this would be a good moment to think about the dangers of divisive rhetoric, but then it’s only the Left doing it on this issue, so the BBC won’t touch it.

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

BBC’s Mark Mardell’s Piece On Palin’s 2012 Statement Lives Down To Expectations..

Mark Mardell, the BBC’s man in the USA, lets the mask slip in a rather unpleasant piece on Governor Palin’s decision not to enter the 2012 Presidential race.

Shriekily filled with venom against a president she branded a socialist and suggested was un-American, in love with guns, God and the unborn, apparently ignorant of the outside world, indeed not fully clued up on the lower 48 (the USA outside Alaska)

What a perfect example of well informed, deeply researched political analysis – paid for, I might add, by a poll tax on everyone who owns a TV set in Britain.

Holding true to the definitive snake oil salesman’s code of practice that the best way to present an untruth is to baldly state it as a fact, Mardell goes for broke.

Sarah Palin’s decision will have disappointed some.
Not the American people who clearly didn’t like her as John McCain’s running mate in 2008.

Excuse me? If that was the case why was it that the only time that the McCain ticket led Obama in the polls was in the first half of September after Palin joined it? After September 15th, of course, the ticket was dead in the water – not because of Palin but due to McCain’s deer-in-the-headlights reaction to the Lehman Brothers collapse.

Naturally Mardell ignores policy positions and goes for the personal…

As a result we have Michelle Bachmann in the race. Herman Cain in the race. Rick Perry in the race.
They are all more authentic, more intelligent, more acceptable than Palin

Hmmmm….Mr Mardell – are you saying Camille Paglia is is just some dumb broad?

No evidence to back this up, of course. Indeed what is fascinating is how Mardell is trying desperately to portray Palin as some sort of X Factor “celebrity” without any connection to the world of serious politics. No reference to her years of executive experience in Alaska as a successful city mayor or popular governor. No reference to her fight against corruption in her own party or her triumphant battles against the big oil companies.

But then why in the world would any rational person be at all surprised at this bucketful of poisonous bile?

It’s Mark Mardell..

For years he was paid by the BBC to pimp the EU as their man in Brussels. Then, when the they began to believe their own hope&change crapola about a totally unvetted Chicago Daley machine hack with zero executive experience, Mardell’s bosses decided to send him to Washington as a kind of court correspondent to wax lyrical about the new Camelot. He must have been delirious with joy, foreseeing an eight year stint pimping for Obama.

But it has all gone horribly wrong. The Obamacare shambles, the ever swelling deficit, the lobbyist rewarding stimulus that has failed to dent unemployment, the ATF guns scandal, the Democrats losing control of the house in 2010, the emergence of the tea party (which, characteristically, Mardell ignored for well over a year )…..

Mardell could even be characterised as the Comical Ali of the Obama regime

a cult figure thanks to his wild claims and colourful language

Obama is crumbling and there is precious little reward in pimping a failure. Hence the vitriolic attack on Palin. When the Brooks/Douthat/Frum axis of appeasement was advocating accomodation with Obama and Huntsman seemed the future Palin was the only leading light of the GOP who was calling him out. Her predictions have been vindicated. She was right about Obama – Mardell and his ilk were wrong – and how it must hurt to be outsmarted by someone “apparently ignorant of the outside world, indeed not fully clued up on the lower 48”

Here’s a suggestion for the BBC, supposedly in cost cutting mode. Why not save money by getting rid of Mardell and just giving White House spokesman Jay Carney a few dollars extra to blah blah blah about the Potemkin villages of Obamaland.

The song will be the same as Mardell’s but the price will be much lower…

BBC Censorship: "Spot The Missing Book Report" Editon

A few days ago, the media got wind of a new unauthorized biography to come out about someone who holds no public office, is not running for one, and had virtually no public profile until 2008. There were a couple of personal scandalous allegations, and the media turned into the usual shark feeding frenzy, including the BBC. That private citizen is, as we all know, Sarah Palin. The BBC reported that her husband wasn’t pleased with the allegations.

Sarah Palin’s husband Todd attacks biography for ‘lies’

It’s a small mention, but they reported it nevertheless. Notice also that the BBC also rushed to inform you back when this writer had moved in next door to Palin, and then added a follow-up story when she built a fence to maintain her privacy.

Now the media has got wind of a book about someone who does hold a public office and is currently running for re-election, but similarly had virtually no public profile before 2008. This book describes infighting and incompetence in that public official’s administration. The media is about to leap into a frenzy, and it’s troubling that public official enough to launch a strong response, and some of the administration officials quoted in the book are, like Todd Palin, not pleased with the allegations. The BBC has not reported this. Of course, that’s because this book is about the President.

Apparently, He has the one minor quibble with His performance:

“I think one of the criticisms that is absolutely legitimate about my first two years was that I was very comfortable with a technocratic approach to government … a series of problems to be solved.

And He also compared Himself to Jimmy Carter:

“Carter, Clinton and I all have sort of the disease of being policy wonks. … I think that if you get too consumed with that you lose sight of the larger issue.”

Oh, and apparently the White House was a sexist old boys’ club where women felt excluded and ignored. How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya, BBC?

More media coverage here and here, so you know the Beeboids know about it, and that it’s a story they would cover if it didn’t make Him look bad.

Katty Kay Tweets Her Bias Again

I was having a look at Katty Kay’s Twitter page, wondering if she had said anything about Sarah Palin lately. Not only is Palin on tour (as we know from Mark Mardell’s sneering the other day), but she said something yesterday about Paul Revere which raised a few eyebrows. It turns out Palin was actually correct and, as usual, a few Leftoid media dopes made fools of themselves laughing at her so-called ignorance.

Katty, the most hyper-partisan of all BBC employees working the US beat (yes, she’s worse than Mardell) now that Katie Connolly has done the honest thing and gone to work for a Democrat strategy group, didn’t say anything about Palin’s Revere remark, but still she did not disappoint anyone looking for her to reveal her personal political bias. Tweeting from her iPad, Katty sent her readers two links to hit pieces on Palin, both from the JournoList-infested Politico.

This Politico article is full of adjectives like “cartoon-ish”, “circus”, and “spectacle”. Oh, and the actual title is “Sarah Palin takes the media for a ride”. Katty editorialized that down to a sexist pejorative. Nice one, Katty. Notice also that the response from her reader makes it clear which side she’s on, as nobody would ask such a question if they thought Katty was either impartial or not far Left and a Palin hater. Katty does have form attacking Sarah Palin on air. The other tweet is equally amusing.

This Politico article is about how some in the GOP establishment aren’t pleased. Which is exactly what Palin’s supporters want, but of course Katty thinks it’s a bad sign for her. Partisan blindness. We can see where the Beeboids go to inform their opinions on US issues. The vicious atmosphere of Katty’s Twitter feed and her followers is again revealed in the reply. If Katty wasn’t openly partisan and anti-Palin, her reader wouldn’t feel free to make such a reply.

Further down on her Twitter page, Katty also retweets a Palin attack piece by none other than Andrew Sullivan (not going to give him a link – look him up if you want), notorious for his own version of a “birther” conspiracy (he still thinks Palin faked giving birth to Trig, while her daughter is the real mother). There is no greater hater of Sarah Palin than Sullivan, and Katty not only follows him but thinks his musings are important enough to share on her BBC-labeled Twitter account. This fact alone tells you all you need to know about Katty Kay.

If that’s not enough to get a scolding email from Helen Boaden, Katty also makes a tweet which combines her personal business interest – “Womenomics” – with her BBC profile.

This is clearly a violation of BBC protocol. Yet Katty often uses her position at the BBC as a platform to advocate for her personal pet issues (see here and here), including the women in business angle. It’s also worth reminding everyone that Katty’s partner in Womenomics is Claire Shipman, whose husband is the current White House Press Secretary.

There’s another tweet on the page about an article discussing how women are oppressed in oil-rich Muslim countries. It’s not US news, just something she’s personally interested in, and uses her BBC credentials as a platform to promote it. She even ironically tweets about “women who take a stand” having their morals questioned. That’s pretty rich coming from someone who called Sarah Palin a tease for doing just that.

Another overtly partisan BBC employee in the US who is not fit for purpose.

POT EMPLOYEE CRITICISES RIVAL KETTLE GROUP

BBC journalist Iain Mackenzie has returned from his stint in America. I’ve just stumbled across his newly-named Twitter account and was quite taken with this tweet from last month:


Kudos for pointing it out, Iain, but given the BBC’s record I’ve got to say that’s quite a pair of balls you’ve got there.

BBC Mid-Term Election Epilogue

Check out this election wrap-up by Matt Frei and Katty Kay, who co-anchored the BBC’s coverage of the second-most important election in human history. Their bias is there for all to see. Frei’s personal bias and unwavering support for the President gets even more outrageous in his blog post.

Their first point is about all the money spent on the campaign. I completely agree – as do most people in the US – that it’s gotten ridiculous, but Matty and Katty reveal their political bias here. The only names mentioned in association with high spending are Republican multi-millionaires who spent their own cash, both of whom lost their races. Katty calls this “divine retribution”, although Matty quickly corrects her editorializing. But two things are missing from their comments.

Ted Koppel actually pointed out to Katty on Tuesday night when she was whining about this issue that her comparison to British elections are completely unfair because the campaigns are of drastically different lengths. British general elections go for a few weeks, while the US production can start as early as anyone likes and seems to go on for 18 months at least these days. I don’t like it any more than Katty does, but that’s how it is. Then there are the dramatic differences in both geography and media outlets. Several states are larger than the entire area of the UK. Statewide candidates (for Governor and Senator) have a huge amount of ground to cover, and in some states have a large number of local media outlets to hit and local newspapers in which to buy a seemingly endless stream of full-page ads. This would cost far more money that the UK spends even if the election campaigns lasted the same amount of time. So they’re making a completely false analogy.

Secondly, notice that Matty and Katty do not mention the tens of millions George Soros spent on his pet organizations, nor the fact that Comedy Central donated several hours of free air time and got sponsors to spend a huge amount of cash on St. Jon Stewart’s “March to Restore Smugness”. Which seems to have been an epic fail on a much larger scale than any individual race. But the BBC has been totally silent on that, as it confuses the Narrative.

When Matty and Katty fret about gridlock, notice that Katty is concerned only that there will be no progress on her pet issues towards the Left. When she talks about making progress on the issues of energy and climate change, she is of course not concerned about progess in a non-Left direction.

Both Beeboids speak with great sympathy for the President, which really goes beyond analysis betrays their personal emotions. At one point, Frei tells the same lie he puts forth in his blog post, that the President is always admitting His mistakes and taking responsibility. In fact, his blog post opens with this:

President Obama is no stranger to contrition. At the beginning of his term, he didn’t shy away from saying that he had messed up, screwed up, made mistakes and so on. But he was apologising about the small stuff from a position of supreme confidence. The buck stops with me, he was fond of saying serenely, confident that the buck wouldn’t give him too much trouble.

Oh, really? Let’s remind ourselves of certain things the BBC censored from their reporting.

When it became glaringly obvious that the public was not happy with what ObamaCare was going to do to the country, the President took the same line of defense that the BBC and the EU mandarins took when the Irish voted against Lisbon: they just don’t understand it well enough. When the President accepted blame for people being upset, He said that it was His fault for not explaining it well enough. This isn’t the same thing as admitting an actual mistake. We heard the same thing from Him during His audience with St. Jon Stewart two weeks ago.

As recently as Sunday, the President was singing the same song:

“Making an argument that people can understand,” Mr. Obama continued, “I think that we haven’t always been successful at that. And I take personal responsibility for that. And it’s something that I’ve got to examine carefully … as I go forward.”

This is not the talk of a man capable of contrition, nor of one who will feel “chastened” by the election results.

In fact, any time there has been a mistake with His Administration, His first instinct is to blame someone else. Problems with the clean-up effort for the BP oil spill? Distract by blaming Bush for it in the first place. People unhappy with the Stimulus? Blame Republicans for not letting Him spend even more money. Caught up in a controversy over a criminal act by the Governor in His home state? Lie and say He hasn’t been involved. Air Force One causes an outcry by buzzing lower Manhattan near Ground Zero just to please a few wealthy donors? Blame somebody else. Can’t get every single bit of legislation rammed through Congress fast enough? Don’t admit it’s a mistake to be so impetuous at a crucial time: blame Fox News instead.

Where’s the contrition? Where’s the willingness to admit mistakes? It doesn’t exist. Matt Frei still has such huge respect for Him that he just imagines it does.

As for Matty and Katty fretting over gridlock in Washington, Katty does just barely admit that the President “doesn’t find it very easy to reach out to the other side”. Where were you in 2008, Katty? Oh, that’s right – back then the BBC was telling us that He was going to be bi-partisan and end the awful politics of Washington.

Instead, immediately after the taking office, the President was in a meeting with Republican leadership about His Stimulus Plans for Us. When Republicans complained about it, He dismissed them by saying, “I won”. This is not the attitude of someone willing to work together with anyone. But the BBC censored that news.

I guess Katty Kay should have encouraged her colleagues to take her own advice and not placed the President on a pedestal, as doing so makes it very difficult to report when He gets things wrong.

She didn’t say it in this clip, but on Tuesday night Katty couldn’t shut up about the one person not holding or running for any office: Sarah Palin. Here’s a little something from Katty herself which reveals her struggle with Palin Derangement Syndrome:

‘Katty, tell me they think Palin’s crazy’

In the blog post itself, Matt Frei still gets it wrong about the President’s efforts in closing Guantanamo Bay.

On day one, President Obama signed the bill to shut down Guantanamo Bay, using his left hand. “Get used to it!” he said. “I am a lefty.”

Wrong. It wasn’t a bill, but an Executive Order. Frei actually was closer to the truth in his Diary post from the time, when he said that the President expressed his “intention to close” Guantanamo within one year “with a flick of a pen”. Of course, we all know how well that’s working out for Him.

Frei also claims that, during the transition period before taking office, the President assembled His team “in a flash”. Also not true. Even the Washington Post was worried about how long it was taking Him, more than a month after He took office. I may make a mistake or misremember something I should have checked, but I’m not paid 100 grand a year to do this, nor do I have any research staff to help me.

This is the bias anchoring BBC World News America every night of the week, from the people whom you are expected to trust for news on US issues.

FRUM ON PALIN

Smug metrosexual leftist elitists hate Sarah Palin. The prospect of her standing for the Presidency and even, gosh, WINNING it, induces a cold sweat amongst BBC types. So, it’s important to ensure she never gets an even break, Cue interview with David Frum, former Bush speechwriter, (a decent guy who I have corresponded with) but who is an on-the-record Palin hater…here’s Frum from last year.

We are afraid that it is not utterly inconceivable that she could win the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, and we are afraid that if she did so she would lead the party to a 1964-style debacle, accompanied by unnecessary losses down the ballot.

David is entitled to his view but why not provide time for someone who believes that Palin is a force for good and a genuine star in the US political constellation? No, get a Beltway elitist on who will say what you want. The BBC use talking heads who say what is expected.

Plain Mardelled

Craig in the comments has already noted how Mark Mardell has posted a BBC online diary entry which is biased against Sarah Palin.

I am having a go at analysing why it’s so unfair, because it has some elements of straight reporting combined with deeply suggestive comments which slant the whole thing. No one could accuse Mardell of being stupid, so let’s look at what he does. It’s the kind of sly character assassination and snide socio-political bias which telly taxpayers pay for, after all. Let’s look at what they get for their money…

 

First Mardell sets up his supposed „angle“, that Sarah Palin is on the rise and may be a Republican Presidential candidate. He immediately then states that Palin dismissed as „idiot reporters“ journalists who suggested that she had sought to speak at a function in key swing and early primary state Iowa. Maybe, Mark, that’s because she stated clearly that she’d had previous invites and hadn’t had time to respond to them (and this is blatantly likely to be the case). The journalists ignored the facts, as usual, and in this case especially obvious ones. However it’s a useful introduction to Mardell’s underlying theme: the appallingness of Palin.

It frames the news that Mardell heralds of a „long, hostile“ Vanity Fair piece which paints her as „extravagant, vindictive, and rather more bad tempered in private than in public“. Mardell finds this thrust „unsurprising“, but, contra-appearances, this adjective suggests agreement with Vanity Fair rather than cynicism about the source. Why? Don’t forget that this is a „Palin on the rise, seeking power“ piece, rather than a „journos out to get Palin“ piece. The previous factoid about Palin dismissing „idiot journalists“ attempts to present as hors d’ oeuvre a character of prickly nastiness to which the Vanity Fair article will be a plat principal. There are certainly journos out to get Palin, and Mardell is one of them.

Lest we be confused (between grammar and context) about Mardell’s real position, consider Mardell’s own snark comments on Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin that „The dynamic duo are becoming something of an item. Talk about a balanced ticket.“ The „dynamic duo“ is a phrase straight from comic book America- something tells me we aren’t supposed to find it respectful. As for the „balanced ticket“, Mardell clearly shows his political balance in determining for the reader what balance is with his intentioned irony.

According to Mardell, whose tone is completely consistent with the Vanity Fair hit piece, Palin „drips political ambition“. Furthermore according to Marr, she generates „fascinated revulsion or slavering worship“ ie. She’s a kook.

In the end, Mardell would doubtless claim the theme was favourable to Palin- except that he never for a second examines the reasons why Palin is rising: successful interventions from Facebook over Obamacare (the masterstroke of the „death panels“ comment), successful nomination of candidates, the endorsement (mutual) of the Tea Party, the judicious selections of who to support- Mccain and Fiorina for instance illustrating pragmatism, her skilful use of Fox News… etc.

Helloooo Mardell- you overpaid tax-funded smarmbucket- I may not be a Palin fan but I certainly recognise that positive qualities are necessary for an outsider like Palin to make the impact she’s had. Time BBC journalists as well as MSM Journolisterswoke up and smelt the license payers’ coffee.

The Bias That Keeps On Coming

Mark Barlex (BBC News On Demand Editor) quoted on the BBC College of Journalism twitter account:

The link takes you to this BBC video report of the Iraqi guy throwing his shoes at George Bush, complete with different camera angles and a slow motion replay.

A few minutes later there was a further tweet highlighting another one of Barlex’s favourite BBC online items:

The BBC’s position on American politics summed up in two tweets.

On the subject of BBC echo-chamber Obama-loving Republican haters, there was a typically biased discussion about Sarah Palin hosted by self-important left-luvvie coke-snorting fame junkie ex-children’s TV presenter Richard Bacon on his Radio Five Live show yesterday. A perfectly nice American woman who – horror of horrors! – likes Sarah Palin had to endure Bacon’s continuous sneering and the negative comments of two journalists from anti-Republican publications (Newsweek and the Guardian). Another fine example of what passes for balance on the BBC.

Hitchens on Today

Christopher Hitchens has had two fairly well publicised articles out during the past week. The first, from Newsweek, attacked Sarah Palin; the second more recent piece appeared in Slate and attacked “the host of damage-control commentators” who rushed to claim that religion was not a motivating factor in the Fort Hood killings.

No prizes for guessing which topic Hitchens was invited on the Today programme to discuss just before 7 this morning. Also, no surprise that Hitchens – well-known for his anti-Palin views – was the only person interviewed. I very much doubt that it even crossed the minds of the Today editors to seek the perspective of a commentator with a more sympathetic opinion of Palin. In the highly unlikely event that Hitchens had been asked on to discuss Fort Hood, I thinks it’s a near certainty that an opposing voice would’ve been heard.

DEATH PANELS IN THE UK

It’s funny but when Sarah Palin brought up the great dangers posed by Obamacare, using the term “death panels” to vividly describe possible outcomes, the BBC were quick to get stuck into her. Then, oddly enough, Today covers an item @ 7.45am (no link at time of writing this) in which a group of senior doctors who care for the terminally ill have written a letter in the Telegraph warning that some patients are dying prematurely because of new NHS guidelines in England. It seems to me that our own socialised healthcare system is all the warning the US needs, as Dan Hannan properly observed.

Post match analysis

With the election finally over, let’s take a moment to review the Beeb’s coverage before we move on. This is possibly one for the train spotters, but it’s important not least because of the Beeb’s claim that individual examples of bias aren’t persuasive as they are trying to achieve balance over time. How the Beeb does so is anyone’s guess, as there’s no evidence they monitor it. However, let’s be radical: let’s assume they’re not lying. So let’s look at the coverage of the election (okay, from the moment Palin was selected) on Justin Webb’s blog. And let’s take with the treatment of Palin. To anticipate a few preliminary objections:

  • Why Webb? Well, he’s the North American Editor, so it seems reasonable.
  • Why the blog? I don’t think the Beeb’s going to let me have all the tapes of Webb’s broadcast coverage. And, frankly, I don’t want them. But not to worry: we know that the same rules regarding impartiality apply, so the blog entries should, if Webb’s doing his job, present a balanced and impartial view.
  • Why Palin? Webb’s blogged on her a lot, which means there’s a decent sample. And she’s someone on which there are significantly differing views, which we should therefore expect to see reflected in the coverage. As Webb puts it, she is immensely grating on those who do not like her, but immensely pleasing to those who do.

So let’s look at the balance:

As for Sarah Palin! Her creationist views are bound to become an issue (can you really have a president who denies basic truths about the world?)

So Webb’s coverage of Palin begins, and with characteristic style – ignoring the fact that, as the Beeb’s admitted, she’s not a creationist, and that she’s not running for president. I’m going to chalk that one up as a negative comment.

However, I’m going to exclude those comments that are neutral – and I’m using the term loosely. Comments such as these:

As well as these posts: on the pregnancy; agreeing she is not the new Eagleton; and his entry about lipstickgate.

So what’s that leave us with? Well, here are the postive comments, such as they are:

  • Palins Punches: I liked the parliamentary-style jabs at Obama and they have peppered the news coverage, though I still think she is skating on thin ice.
  • America’s Answer to Thatcher: with that quote about being grating or pleasing (I’m trying to be generous)
  • Two posts about Palin getting more cheers than McCain: Disappointment? and Regan, Clinton, W and Obama. These really seem like digs at McCain, but let’s give him the benefit of the doubt.
  • And an admission that She is not the harbinger of some dark witch-burning retreat into superstition and irrationality.

And on the negative side:

So, on balance, and over time, do you reckon that Webb thinks Palin would have: made a brilliant VP; been an awful one; or do those rules on impartiality and his professionalism make it just impossible to tell?