“Cutting on the bias” in wood or textiles means cutting diagonally against the grain so that it accentuates the lines. That’s what’s going on at the BBC’s special section on the US 2012 election. It hasn’t been updated in a couple of days, and here’s how it appears now:
White House propaganda, White House propaganda, and more of it, with a couple of fluff pieces thrown in. The top story at the moment is the BBC’s explanation of the President’s first ad attacking Romney for his association with Bain Capital. It’s become more balanced than it initially was, as people here pointed out earlier this week, and presumably after somebody at the BBC realized it. It’s still not entirely balanced as they’ve got the President’s ad embedded right at the top of the piece, while including only a link to Romney’s rebuttal. The link below that is to a second attack ad on Romney on the same topic. No links to anything from Romney.
The “Latest news” section is slightly out of date, but the bias is still obvious. Besides the news brief about Ron Paul ending his “active campaign”, the other featured reports are about Hollywood feting the President for His recent endorsement of homosexual marriage, a piece about Romney reacting contritely to that Washington Post hit piece – now proven to be less than accurate, although the BBC has never bothered to inform you of that – about him allegedly bullying a homosexual a few decades ago (another score for the White House campaign machine), and a piece lamenting Sen. Richard Lugar’s defeat in the Republican primary for Senate in Indiana. We’re told by “correspondents” that this will make the Senate more partisan than ever. Translation: the Democrat majority won’t get their way so easily. This is a biased position, of course, shown to be all the more ludicrous since the Senate just rejected the President’s own budget proposal 99-0. You can’t get more bi-partisan than that, which is why the BBC has so far censored that news.
The video features also reveal the biased grain in the BBC’s perspective on the US elections. The section on Battleground States isn’t all that bad in general, and I won’t try to read too much into a perceived emphasis on Democrat optimism. But there is a blatant lie in the section on Wisconsin. You have to click on the State in the Battleground feature to read the following:
Barack Obama will be hoping to hold on to the sizeable majority he won in 2008, and will be helped by the state’s strong union movement. The unions have been leading the opposition to new Republican Governor Scott Walker’s controversial bid to restrict workers’ collective bargaining rights. The proposals led to mass protests and a successful attempt to trigger a recall election for Mr Walker’s job.
The bit I’ve bolded is, quite simply, a lie. What Walker did was restrict the right of public sector unions’ rights on collective bargaining. The BBC admitted that part when they first began reporting on this story, yet here they deliberately mislead you to think it’s an attack on all workers, full stop. I simply don’t accept the excuse that this was simplified due to space constraints or because it’s an unimportant distinction. And of course, by “controversial”, the BBC means that the unions didn’t like it. Another issue of bias here is that the BBC gives you only the Democrat unions issue, and not the budget disaster Gov. Walker faced upon taking office, which just as much a concern for voters. The budget concern is why Walker sought to restrict public sector union power and their burden on the State. It’s not all union workers everywhere, only the public sector ones, which is why I maintain that it’s an important distinction. As most people here will know, their coverage of the Wisconsin situation has been extremely biased and at times dishonest. Plenty of background can be found here, here, here, here, and here. I don’t expect the BBC to update this section with the news that the union-backed candidate lost the Democrat primary for the recall, which kind of puts a damper on the whole issue, making the BBC’s take even less useful.
Next up is the piece by Justin Webb – Mark Mardell’s predecessor as North America editor, whose gushing reports about The Obamessiah during the 2008 election won him the coveted seat on Today – explaining why the Republicans aren’t ready to lead. My fisking of ol’ Justin’s piece is here.
Then you get Jonny Dymond’s biased piece telling you how the Republican Party is just for white men, freezing out Hispanics. It’s just one in a series of race-baiting pieces from Dymond, whose remit seems to be proving that Republicans and any opponents of the President are racist. See here, for example.
If you still aren’t convinced that Republicans/conservatives are awful, then you can move on to former Obamessiah activist Matt Danzico’s “bespoke” magazine piece about yet another one of those studies showing conservatives are inspired by negatives while liberals are inspired by positives. The study’s goal was to prove a biological and cognitive difference between liberals and conservatives. I won’t bother to address how this leads us down a path to eugenics, but suffice to say that it’s always liberals these days who want to use “science” to prove that they’re superior. Danzico, of course, slightly misrepresents the findings. Another way of describing the findings can be found in the University of Nebraska’s own school paper: conservatives tend to be more realistic while liberals tend to be more idealistic. I find it amusing that a student journalist spins the study less than an adult professional journalist.
And finally, there’s Adam Blenford’s piece worrying that too many people in the US aren’t registered to vote. Setting up the article by using a Republican as an example of a dedicated voter betrays the bias, if one understands that voter “disenfranchisement” is the primary motivation behind ACORN and Left-wing activists who encourage absentee ballots (Blenford uses the youth vote, another Left-wing target demographic, as his example there), same-day registration, and who attack laws requiring ID to vote, all methods behind voter fraud. Some people here may remember Newsnight hiring Left-wing activist and “investigative journalist” to do a special report telling you that only white Republicans engage in voter fraud, and specifically to disenfranchise black people. He also defended ACORN against charges of voter fraud by saying that, even though they do it, it doesn’t affect elections. If that’s not enough to convince you, just do an internet search with the term “voter disenfranchisement 2012” and see who’s worrying about it and what issues are the focus. It’s obvious.
While not every single report is riddled with bias, much of it is, and nearly every single piece on the BBC’s US Election 2012 page is written from a Left-wing perspective one way or another. There’s no memo handed down to make this happen, no directive from on high. It’s due to the BBC hiring what seem to be exclusively Left-wing staff. If they all think that way, there’s no need for an organized institutional bias: it will happen naturally.
The other day, DB posted about the BBC’s dutiful promotion of White House propaganda about Mitt Romney’s earnings from investment in Bain Capital. They put up the President’s campaign video, and helpfully explained how awful Romney was for earning money off of a failed company and sending poor innocent workers to the unemployment line. The campaign meant to attack Romney’s business record, attempting to tarnish his track record of successfully turning businesses around, and hoping to undermine the growing mood of trusting him more than the President on fixing the economy. In short, it was an attack ad. And, as DB pointed out, it was misleading. The BBC still reported on it without question, and only belatedly (after someone called them on it, presumably) added a mere link to a Romney video hosted elsewhere.
This isn’t the first negative campaign piece from the President, who was supposed to be above it all. There was the attempt to hurt Romney with that silly dog story, which of course backfired. There was the charge against Romney and the Republicans for supposedly waging a “War on Women”. The President tried to frighten everyone by telling them that the Republican budget would be “radical”, and harm the middle class, the elderly, and ruin everything while helping only the wealthy. And of course there’s all the class war rhetoric, culminating in the ill-fated “Buffet Rule”. Most recently, we had the relentless coverage of what turned out to be a less than truthful account of Romney as a homophobic bully.
Now that the President is trailing Romney in voter trust on five different issues, the BBC, perhaps inspired by a piece in the New York Times last week, worrying about attack ads from Romney while at the same time encouraging the President to “push Romney’s face down in the dirt”, is rushing to His defense.
Pity the poor President, they tell you, because He’s the financial underdog in this race. Sure, He’s raised more money than last month, but the awful Republicans are making these nasty attack ads. Worse, the poor President doesn’t have the same wealthy Super PAC to help Him.
So you’re already prepared not to raise an eyebrow when reading this:
At the end of March, the Democratic Party reported about $124m of cash reserves, while Republicans had about $43m in the bank.
Correspondents say the Obama campaign could see a further burst of donations after his recent endorsement of same-sex marriage.
I bet “correspondents” aren’t even remotely cynical in that analysis, or suspicious of any motives for that endorsement other than sheer honesty and integrity, either.
Although Mr Romney’s direct campaign funding has lagged behind the Obama campaign, Republican super political action committees (super PACs) are spending millions of dollars backing his candidacy.
In a sign of the gathering super PAC offensive, one group, Crossroads GPS, backed by Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W Bush, said it would spend $25m on anti-Obama ads.
He’s the underdog, a victim, I tell you!
About $57m has been spent on negative advertising against the president since October, Mr Messina said in the Obama campaign video.
Are you pitying Him yet? Ire raised enough against the vicious Republican machine? No? Maybe the closing line will help.
Meanwhile, a super PAC supporting the president, Priorities USA, has struggled to match that level of funding, raising just $10m by the end of March.
And that’s it. Not a single mention of the attack ads His own PAC has been making. Like the one they released Tuesday, showing the poor former workers of that plant Bain closed, the same one with which the campaign and the BBC have tried to tar Romney by indirect association the other day. The workers likened it to being attacked by “a vampire”. Oh, and apparently Romney’s opponents used this exact same tactic against him in his failed 1994 campaign for Senate. The BBC won’t bother to tell you that, unless they can find a way to praise Him for the brilliant strategy.
Ads from the President’s Super-PAC are also going to be aired in several states over the next few days. Vice President Biden is out there now doing the class war thing as well, telling the people in swing-state Ohio that Romney is bad because he was a venture capitalist. But He’s the underdog, and only it’s all the Republican’s fault for going negative, right?
The thing is, campaign cash is only half the story. The other half – and perhaps the more important one – is the media being in the tank for Him. Again. Think it’s sour grapes from one of His enemies who imagines bias in every report, and finds conspiracies under every media hack’s bed? Think again:
Then there’s that Newsweek cover. Plus, Hollywood is in the tank for Him again as well. Tom Hanks has narrated a 17-minute propaganda campaign film, all of Hollywood is re-energized for Him on the heels of His half-assed endorsement of homosexual marriage, and there will be a film about His heroic killing of Osama Bin Laden coming out in October. Even the BBC thought you should know about that one.
Despite the White House campaign’s attempt to portray Him as the underdog, and no matter how many times the BBC worries about all those negative Republican ads, no amount of money from any Super-PAC or the evil Koch brothers or Fox News can compete with the full power of the entire mainstream media, from the New York Times and the Washington Post to CNN and MSNBC and ABC and NBC and the LA Times and Time and so many local papers, plus all of Hollywood and much of daytime television.
Yet the BBC dutifully pushes that Narrative anyway, like a foreign branch of the White House press office.
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.
Here’s a new edition of my little coverage of US issues. My thanks to all those who listened to the first one, and for the kind words about it. I hope people find this one interesting as well. Apologies for this one being a litter longer, clocking in at a bit over 16 minutes. Just too many details to include. Links to everything I talk about are listed below, so everyone can decide for themselves.
I’m trying something a bit new and different here. After asking David Vance and the All Seeing Eye, I’m starting a real rebuttal to the BBC’s lame output about US issues. I can’t compete with the “bespoke” video magazine pieces, but I can provide a bit more information and analysis of real US issues that get spun by the BBC or simply censored out of existence. There’s much more to what’s going on over here than what affects the President or the latest racial issue or celebrity gossip, and there seems to be a vacuum which needs filling. So this is my humble attempt.
It’s not possible to provide a proper rebuttal in fifteen minutes, but consider this an opening salvo. If enough people agree, I’d like to expand this from just me providing some info to a live audio or video discussion, where everyone here can call in or whatever, beginning next week. But more on that later.
I’m also going to try and provide sources for everything I talk about, so everyone here can decide for themselves what’s going on. The BBC may not be held accountable for their actions, but the inhabitants of this blog deserve better. Hey, if you don’t want to listen to the audio, just check out these links instead.
Hmmm. Embed not working. Link to audio file on EyeTube below:
On Monday, the President made a pre-emptive attack on the Supreme Court because He’s afraid they’re going to vote to overturn ObamaCare on the grounds that part or all of it violates the Constitution. Needless to say, there’s been a huge outcry, and a lot of fuss in the press about it. I commented about it here yesterday to give everyone a heads up before the BBC came in with their spin.
Right on cue, realizing there’s a growing controversy, the BBC whipped up a quick article online laying out the White House talking points. Naturally, it contained the same bit of dishonesty – or, if I’m feeling generous, lack of understanding – as their previous reporting on the law:
The act’s requirement that all those eligible should have medical cover has been condemned as an assault on civil liberties by conservatives
Of course, in actual fact, the law requires people to purchase health care from companies. That’s what the “Individual Mandate” is, which is the key turning point of the entire fiasco. The BBC’s wording here is grossly misleading as to what exactly people are complaining about. No surprise there. BBC correspondent Steve Kingstone said that the President’s attack is “a sign of just how high the stakes are”, but it’s really sign that He doesn’t have confidence in a law He never even read before it was passed. Continue reading →
Justin Webb (Mark Mardell’s predecessor as BBC North America editor) has written a little piece about the current state of the Republican Party. He’s not pleased, of course, which is no surprise to those of us who remember him looking down from on high and declaring that the US had “moved on” from social conservatism. Now that there’s a struggle for control of the Party between – I generalize a bit – the recently ascending Tea Party-inspired small government/fiscal conservatives, and the Santorumite, Republican establishment, who love big government and spending out their ears, and see nothing wrong with legislating personal behavior, ol’ Justin simply does not know where to turn.
And so he sticks his head further up the ivory tower. His goal here is to show you how the Republican Party is simply not ready to lead the country, because they’ve become too extremist.
Right up front, we can see Webb trying to frame the Narrative, eliding facts to create the context he needs. When Henry Olson from the American Enterprise Institute says that the Republican Party is united in its opposition to “government”. He means the current Government’s far-Left policies, as in those of The Obamessiah. Spend a few minutes at AEI.org and decide for yourselves exactly what’s being opposed.
Rick Santorum is still close behind Romney because of all the social conservative/big-government types left trying to take control of the Party back from the Tea Party movement, who gained the momentum in 2010. Santorum is not a fan of personal freedom, yet he’s still getting quite a bit of support from Republicans anyway. Anybody trying to tell you that the whole Party is united against “government” is either lying, or is actually saying something else.
What really angers ol’ Justin is what he perceives to be how the Republican Party is being driven to the extreme right by the “deep south”. And – what a shock – he dishonestly describes the authority to whom he appeals for this.
Political writer Michael Lind left the party because he sees its modern unity as toxic. Too much based on the values of the deep south of the USA – and in particular a visceral and unquenchable dislike of any government by anyone, of anyone.
“The thing that holds together the modern Republican party is opposition to the government,” says Mr Lind.
Of course, this also denies the fact that Texas is not part of the “deep south”, nor are Arizona and Utah. But I guess that’s beside the point, as he’s probably sort of referring to the fact that the agrarian southern Colonies were concerned about too much government power back when the US was founded, and that legacy continues to this day. Perhaps I’m giving him too much credit for having a clue about US history.
Even so, Bush’s Republican Party was big-government to the max. That’s why the Tea Party movement went after the incumbents in 2010. They were, and those still left are, social conservatives and not much else. But ol’ Justin hated them for that, and was happy about the “strange death” of that movement in the US. Except, of course, it that movement is very much alive, which is why Rick Santorum is still going.
To further support his argument, ol’ Justin points to Sen. Olympia Snow (R-ME) who has decided not to seek another term. He describes her as “moderate”, which means big-government, Republican establishment, exactly the kind of pol the Tea Party has been trying to get rid of for the last couple years. To those of us who get our news from outside the bubble, it’s no surprise that she’s decided not to accept a challenge for her seat from within her own Party, not because she’s unhappy that the Party has moved too far to the Right for her taste (which is a stupid reason to quit anyway), but because her husband is facing a major corruption lawsuit. Even the far-Left FireDogLake blog knows that Justin’s story is complete and utter BS. Snowe isn’t really facing a serious challenger yet, but has decided to drop out anyway.
So this is pretty much a total lie from Justin Webb.
Next he speaks with Matt Kibbe of Freedom Works, a major organization supporting the Tea Party movement. He really does talk about shutting down a few enormous, bloated government agencies, some of which have nearly the sacred cow status that the NHS has in Britain. Naturally, this frightens Webb, as his visceral inclination is that the State is All.
This is supposed to be the final proof that there’s something seriously wrong with the Republican Party. The thing is, the Party’s move to the right on this issue is a bad thing only if one is on the Left, and views small government as some sort of extremist position. Ol’ Justin is definitely making a value judgment here, and his personal political bias is on full display.
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A while back, the BBC followed the lead of their brethren in the Left-wing US media and tried to get you to think the Occupiers were similar to the Tea Party movement. This was done because – to the media’s dismay – much of the country failed to hate the Tea Party movement and buy into the demonization promoted by the press. So, having resigned themselves to that fact, the media luvvies tried to gain acceptance for the Occupiers by trying to promote the idea that they had similar ideals to the Tea Partiers. The BBC even played a little game of “Who Said It” to help drive home this notion.
Now it appears the two movements do have something in common after all: their opposition to The Obamessiah.
The unthinkable finally happened last night in San Francisco: the Tea Party shared a protest with the Occupiers, both groups angry with the same person. And who was this unifier, the only man who can bridge the divide and bring together all sides of the political spectrum? Why, President Obama, of course.
I don’t need to remind anybody here that the Narrative from the BBC has been that opposition to the President is not so much policy-based as it is steeped in racism. They simply refuse to acknowledge that people can be genuinely opposed to His policies for legitimate reasons. See the video of Mark Mardell’s appearance at the BBC College of Journalism for a reminder of his mocking of a Southern woman whom he describes as a racist, as well as his opinion that the Tea Partiers are really, deep down, under the skin, concerned about the Government spending money “on people not like them”.
So, one has to ask now: Is the Occupy Wall St. movement racist?
Over to you, BBC.
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With BBC news coverage of the US Presidential race hotting up, it is quite useful to consider what B-BBC’s Alan has to say here;
“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity” Martin Luther King, Jr., registered Republican….or to put another way to describe the BBC’s news output….’Villainy wears many masks, none so dangerous as the mask of virtue.’ I have just been reminded that Martin Luther King was Republican….as were most Blacks of his era. Why would they be Republican? maybe Mark Mardell would like to explain and expand on that…and maybe not?
‘History of civil rights – In a nutshell • The Republican Party – From its founding in 1854 as the anti-slavery party until today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for blacks.
• The Democratic Party – As author Michael Scheuer stated, the Democratic Party is the party of the four S’s: slavery, secession, segregation and now socialism. Slavery – Democrats fought to expand it, Republicans fought to ban it Democrats formed the Confederacy, seceded from the Union and fought a Civil War (1861 to 1865) – a war where over 600,000 citizens were killed, including many thousands of blacks – in order to keep blacks in slavery because the Democrats had built their economic base on the backs of black slaves. Democrats enacted Fugitive Slave laws to keep blacks from escaping from plantations and instigated the 1856 Dred Scott decision which legally classified blacks as property.
The Party of Lincoln The Republican Party was started in 1854 as the anti-slavery party by abolitionists opposed to keeping blacks in human bondage, and Republicans, under the leadership of President Abraham Lincoln, fought to free blacks from slavery. After the Civil War, Republicans amended the US Constitution to grant blacks freedom (13th Amendment), citizenship (14th Amendment) and the right to vote (15th Amendment). Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan in 1866 to lynch and terrorize Republicans -black and white and drive Republicans out of the South.
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The great thing about guest columns on the Beeb’s website is that they allow different voices to give their take on the big events of the moment – voices we might not normally hear, such as this piece by [democrat, arch-Obama supporter and] “social commentator” Nancy Giles. So, instead of the usual left-leaning commentary on the significance of Obama’swinonracerelationsintheUS that we’re used to, the Beeb treats us to some full on left-wing commentary on the significance of Obama’s win on race relations in the US. What a fantastic idea!
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.
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:
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?
Radio Five Live discovers (admittedly somewhat late) that there are black conservatives in the United States. Shay of the Booker Rising group blog will be interviewed on the morning show from 9 am. 9 am ? That’s now !
Moving on from Brand and Ross, it’s time to get the crystal balls out and predict who will be the mystery guest on tomorrow’s Question Time. At the moment it’s looking dangerously balanced: Elizabeth Edwards, a senior adviser on health care to the Barack Obama campaign; Simon (America has to choose: Obama or certain doom) Schama; Clarence Page (another Democrat); and Cheri Jacobus, a Republican political consultant and strategist based in Washington D.C. So only three to one against the Republicans at the moment! So who will be the fifth? And you can’t have Mchael Moore – I’m taking him. A pat on the back and a ‘jolly well done’ to anyone who gets it right.
UPDATE: It’s just occured to me that this might be unfair: the Beeb could, of course, be late announcing the fifth guest because they want to balance it but they don’t actually know any Republicans, in which case feel free to help them out with your suggestions….
UPDATE 2: They found one! After thinking long and hard and after much scouring of the Daily Kos and Huffington Post they found a whole bunch of Republicans working for that other guy in the Presidential race. Now all they had to do was pick one… “Look! Here’s one that’s related to Nixon – everyone knows he was a bad’n. He’s even got ‘Nixon’ in his name. Perfect!” And so the fifth panellist is… Christopher Nixon Cox, executive director of Senator McCain’s presidential campaign in New York. The show’s taking place tonight. In Washington.
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