Andy Whittles

The Saturday 11th October edition of Today carried an article about the California election. Margaret Doyle introduced an American author called Jonathan Franzen. Franzen was introduced as a ‘liberal’, which a spot of googling certainly confirms to be the case (though the BBC shows progress here in introducing the standpoint of a speaker who would be unknown to most listeners). Franzen’s interview was really a monologue. Naturally, the result of … Continue reading

Birth Pains of Iraq’s Democracy’: cynicism, mindlessness and obfuscation?

Ok. I thought this piece was going to be long (hint: this is a stealth edit), but it isn’t all that bad when I look at it on the page. It’s just one out of many examples from the ongoing famine of truth and feast of slanted opinion that the BBC is harbouring during this Iraq business. ‘Birth Pains of Iraq’s Democracy’: cynicism, mindlessness and obfuscation? Terribly strong nouns, those- … Continue reading

Was Radio 1 really making the right choice?

Was Radio 1 really making the right choice when it opted for Black Eyed Peas’ “Where is the Love?” as the backing music for a report on Arnie’s election to the California governorship, and potential future ambitions? Is the lyric “terrorists in the USA, the big CIA, the bloods and the crips and the KKK” really appropriate? Ignorance or bias, you decide… Click through to read and contribute comments on … Continue reading

Not happy (again)

Ms Kay is not happy again. She still views the win as a loss for Davis, rather than a win for Arnie because people wanted him to. More interestingly, even if one supports the argument that a narrowly-based, high culture state broadcaster is permissible to allow people to better themselves (don’t scoff too much – I believe this is the thesis of Rose’s ‘Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes’ … Continue reading

Ooh, Auntie is not pleased that that Mr Arnold Whassisname has won in California

A comical series of counter comments runs through this article. One of the things Auntie doesn’t like is that it might seem to boost the Republicans. Remember, Arnold was only running on a ‘Republican ticket’, whatever they are (something to do with trains or whatever). Remember too, Arnold, you’ve been ‘short on detail and “big” on promises’, but also that you’ve got by by ‘not promising very much of anything’. … Continue reading

Ed- a new boy

Here goes… For serious coverage of the California circus, which also happens to be a State not far away from having an economy the size of Britain’s, Mark Steyn’s essay ‘A state too far’ is available here. There’s no denying though that the Beeb has a great sense of humour. Take a look at an example from David Bamford here Note the gentle indulgence of George Bush’s mental flailings over … Continue reading

Joke candidates – joke reporting.

BBC correspondent Katty Kay has a good laugh at Arnie the Terminator, wacky Californian delis, joke candidates and so on. She probably thinks she’s being impartial because she freely admits the incumbent Democrat, Gray Davis, is likely to lose. “Arnie appears to have been given something of a free pass precisely because he is a film star and not a politician. “Which, in the end, may be precisely the reason … Continue reading

Put your head in your hands and weep

. This “analysis” is by by Barbara Plett – BBC correspondent in Ramallah. The analysis of the analysis is by Robert Hinkley of The Sporadic Chronicle. (The title of this post is by him, too.) Alert readers may notice that that the present BBC text differs from the text Mr Hinkley quotes. For instance, this “Syria is, of course, Israel’s enemy. The two countries are still in an official state … Continue reading

The P-word, and an evolving story.

A reader* wrote this email on Saturday. He or she included the original version of the story. Since then the story has changed, and it does now include mention of who carried out the mass-murder – nonetheless I think our reader makes some valid points about the first version. And the headline is still as ambiguous as ever: I spotted this story on the BBC website this afternoon (Saturday). It’s … Continue reading

Banished to the lobby.

This story about Arnie says in passing that he has long supported the “Jewish Lobby Group, the Simon Wiesenthal Center.” The description “Jewish lobby group” caught my eye. Hmm. The description is defensible, but subtly wrong. The Simon Wiesenthal Center has to do with the Jews and it is a lobby group – but actually its mission is a lot more specific than that. What the Center is famous for … Continue reading

Stealth edits.

Got this one from the comments to the last post. Tasty Manatees made a few judicious comments about a BBC story on a riot in Iraq. Then he found the story had mysteriously changed… And, as the next commenter points out, the Telegraph’s Beebwatch has reported another example of a stealth edit. To some extent I think that stealth edits are a natural result of the explosion of written material … Continue reading

Robert Hinkley writes

: On 27 September: this link says: “North Korea has called for economic aid and a non-aggression pact with America in return for surrendering its nuclear ambitions, but Washington has consistently refused.” Urm, that would be a bit like the economic aid that was provided by America in the 90s and up to November last year in return for North Korea surrendering its nuclear ambitions but then North Korea turned … Continue reading

“We have just submitted a detailed analysis of the BBC Iraq blog as evidence to the Hutton Inquiry”

– writes David Steven. That got my attention. It was he who analysed Andrew Gilligan’s blogging as a reporter in Iraq. Now he and a colleague have looked at one of the most successful elements of the BBC coverage of the Iraq war, the Reporters’ Log in a similar manner. This post contains a summary of what they found. A link to the actual report, “Whose Agenda?” is at the … Continue reading