Beeb collect manure to dump on Rumsfeld

Views on Donald Rumsfeld are doubtless strongly held, but only in certain quarters are they fully settled. The BBC presents a round up of bad news for Donald with one of those emotionalised and opportunistic items basically whining that, at the end of the day, he ‘just doesn’t care’. It is, I suppose, Christmas- so a present was in order for the Secretary, which should sink in by about Christmas day on the present schedule.

No place is found to mention this story of anti-Rummy coordination as they wax lyrical about disgruntled troops and roll out old favourite and Michael Moore cheerleader, ‘To me it’s an insult’Ivan Medina. I may be heartless but I feel that just because a man has lost his brother does not mean that I should be made to listen to his every complaint. The Beeb considers otherwise when the target is Rummy.
Meanwhile, regarding that story about the unarmoured vehicles, this from Powerline was interesting.

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117 Responses to Beeb collect manure to dump on Rumsfeld

  1. Someone Who Knows says:

    Interesting to note that in Fox’s version of this story it says of the “embattled” Rumsfeld: “The signature flap was the latest in a stinging string of criticism in recent weeks of the defense secretary’s handling of the war in Iraq.”,2933,142008,00.html

    Meanwhile Sky also covered the story, but have no balancing comments at all (unlike the BBC that quoted Bush’s spokesman backing Rumsfeld and pointed out that “many leading Republicans have also said he should stay”).,,30000-13268307,00.html

    The Telegraph points out Rumsfeld is “already under fire from several leading Republicans over his handling of the invasion”, refers to “speculation that he [Rumsfeld] will step down within a year”… and quotes the very same Medina you heap abuse on the BBC for quoting. [needs registration]

    But clearly only the BBC story is guilty of being “emotionalised and opportunistic”.


  2. yoy says:

    The beeb’s reaction to the cancellation of the ‘controversial’ play based in a Sikh temple is priceless.

    ”won’t this set a dangerous precendent for freedom of speech?” asked the vacuous bespectled newsreader

    They weren’t asking that when Theo was er ‘closed down’ last month


  3. yoy says:

    Sorry, I have no idea what ‘bespectled’ is but she was definitely wearing glasses.


  4. JohninLondon says:

    The Rumsfeld story – my sense is that he was involved in settling the text of the condolence letters, but did not sign ALL of them – for instance if he was away from the office. He was concerned that the letters should go out quickly.

    The BBC treatment suggests that he did not sign any of them. I don;t think this is a true interpretation of his position.

    But then when did the BBC let the truth get in the way of a juicy anti-Bush story ?


  5. Bishop Hill says:

    Heard Matt Frei interviewed about the Rumsfeld imbroglio by the studio on 5 live. Of course he managed to bring up the Humvee armouring question without mentioning that it has been shown to have been “placed” with the soldier who asked it by a journalist, and without touching on the claims by the US military that it is not in fact an issue (as the Powerline link shows).


  6. cockney says:

    What is the defence for Rumsfeld though? Whilst the initial invasion appeared to go almost perfectly it appears that the subsequent occupation hasn’t been handled as well as it should have (I appreciate that the signing letters thing is a bit of a PR cock up rather than major issue).

    Is Rumsfeld not ultimately responsible for this? Or is it out of his control? Or is it all an invention of the liberal media? My impression is that his attitude writes cheques that his competence can’t cash.


  7. cockney says:

    How about a genuinely dodgy story?

    This story describes how Israel is ‘shunning’ the forthcoming Middle Eastern conference, whereas my understanding was that this was to discuss the technicalities of the Palestinian position post Arafat, therefore the Israelis have acted prudently in ensuring that it doesn’t degenerate into the usual spitting and acrimony.

    I’m no big fan of Sharon but in this case there seems to be no reason to doubt that he is acting in the best interests of the overall position.


  8. Lee says:

    In this instance, I do not think it is an invention of the Liberal media.
    The Economist, in my opinion, the most balanced publication available, called for
    Rumsfeld to go before the US election. Many right-of-centre bloggers, such as
    Andrew Sullivan, also called for him to go. Even Bill Kristol, a regular contributor to Fox,
    has started a movement to have him ousted.

    I think that even those who supported the Iraq war would agree that the aftermath has been poorly
    handled. The main criticism being that there has not been enough troops (100,000) on the ground.
    Tomy Franks estimated he needed 250,000.

    I believe the BBC is biased, but this is not an example of it.


  9. Eamonn says:

    With hindsight, the Iraq situation has been very very difficult. We can blame Rumsfeld, but whatever was done post-war would have led to difficulties in different ways. But, it’s still better than the Baathists and, violence aside, there is going to be a proper democratic vote in 5 weeks in Iraq. That is amazing.


  10. JohninLondon says:

    The complaint is not about actions in Iraq. It is about the undue prominence given by the BBC to the letter-signature issue, and the way they appear to have misreported it by suggesting he signed NONE of the letters.

    All part of the pattern – dating right back to the Radio 4 “This is this week’s Rumsfeld soundbite” stuff. Let’s face it, the BBC does not like rumsfeld and never has. He is not “”one of them”.

    Oh – and why did the BBC see fit to make a big fuss over 20th anniversary of the Bhopal incident which hardly affected Britain at all – but has done nothing on mainstream programming to note the 20th anniversary of the privatisation of BT. A HUGE change in the way British industry is run – which had repercussions all around the world.


  11. Eamonn says:

    Bhopal was marked up for special note because the company involved was a US-based firm; that much was obvious.


  12. Peter says:

    The Rumsfeld story was run by ITV Channel 4 and Sky but then they are also run by Guardian reading types. They will all leap at any opportunity to put the US in a bad light. If only our media would leap at any opportunity to report the corruption of the EU it’s inefficiency and effect on our ability to govern ourselves.
    The bias is often what the BBC choses NOT to report.


  13. Joe N. says:

    Well, if he is “embattled”, he would be “greatly pressurized” and under sever scrutiny in the US press, and especially here in Washington DC where you can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a military service member or the spouce or relative of one. They would be the ones who would be most interested in the Humvee story.

    They aren’t up in arms. This story is months old. It blew over, and proved to be a political leftover from the Kerry campaigns endless repetition of the same foolish question. It’s a scam.

    You are being LIED TO by the British press if they are telling you that this is a relevant or even current news item.


  14. Rob Read says:

    Joe N.

    Currently I have come to the conclusion that after G W Bush’s landslide win the BBC have given up even trying to counter their inate left wing bias.

    It’s “anything goes” at the moment, and hopefully the thing that will go is the TV tax!


  15. dave t says:

    Even in a story about Blair visiting Iraq today:

    “President George W Bush did not leave the US military base at Baghdad airport during his Thanksgiving stopover in November 2003 and news of the visit was not published until he had flown out. ”

    Never miss a chance to have a wee dig do they? Surprised they didn’t get the old ‘plastic turkey’ thingie in there….Sad. Very sad. We pay for this rubbish. Balance? Zilch.


  16. dave t says:

    Mr Bish says: “One of my favourite internet hobbies is to watch the television news with Google by my side. When I come across an interviewee I have never heard of before, I check them out on Google to find out a bit more about them. This is particularly rewarding with Channel Four News.

    Tonight’s piece on the Rumsfeld letter signing imbroglio featured an in interview with someone called Sue Neiderer who was clearly very upset that Rumsfeld hadn’t signed her letter of condolence personally. A quick googling shows us that she also:

    is a prominent member of an anti-war organisation called Military Families Speak Out
    accused the military of misleading her son into enlisting and
    heckled Laura Bush (and was arrested for her pains).

    Now none of these things make her a bad person, and surely everyone feels sympathy for her loss, but to present her as simply a grieving mother, upset by Rumsfeld’s use of a signing machine, is dishonest reporting by Channel Four.”



  17. Joe N. says:

    No Dave, those things don’t make her a bad person – but shame on the reporter who (given the scale of the hekling story) held back that morsel of information.

    Rob: like we said here across the pond during the Watergate mess: “Follow the money.”


  18. David Vance says:


    Rather than “blaming” Rumsfeld, it would be best to blame the Jihadists and their cheer-leaders in the liberal media, including the BBC. The metaphorical sniping at Rumsfeld parallels the literal sniping undertaken by the Ba’athist and assorted pyschos in Iraq.

    When you listen to the endless cycle of bad news that the Beeb just looovveeee to report about Iraq, you realise whose side Auntie is on. Hint: It’s NOT ours.


  19. Zevilyn says:

    The reason the Sihks have attacked the play (with great success), is that they have seen how successful this strategy of intimidation has been for Muslims (Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh, etc).

    Rumsfeld has only himself to blame for not signing condolence letters.


  20. Giles says:

    Check out this take from the BBC on free speeach

    yep thats right – the expert if from Index on censorship


  21. Susan says:

    Yup, that would the same Index on Censorship that celebrated Theo Van Gogh’s murder as a “marvelous piece of street theatre.”

    Zev: “The reason the Sihks have attacked the play (with great success), is that they have seen how successful this strategy of intimidation has been for Muslims (Rushdie, Theo Van Gogh, etc).”

    100 percent correct. With full complicity of the Guardian/al-Beeb crowd who either cheered the Muslims on and/or offered pathetic, mealy-mouthed justifications/excuses for their actions.


  22. cockney says:

    ‘Rather than “blaming” Rumsfeld, it would be best to blame the Jihadists and their cheer-leaders in the liberal media, including the BBC’.

    Surely when you assume a role as defence secretary your job is to ensure that your men are suitably equipped to deal with enemies in pursuit of your objectives, which Rumsfeld doesn’t appear to have done particularly well. It’s a bit much to claim that it’s not his fault because naughty people are fighting against him!!!


  23. Someonw Who Knows says:

    “yep thats right – the expert is from Index on censorship”

    Just for anyone who doesn’t bother reading the piece, he is in fact one of three “experts” quoted (not that any of them are actually called experts in the text). The others being one John A Walker “author of a book about art and outrage” and Daily Telegraph art critic Richard Dorment.

    The article, and the question plucked from the airwaves that yoy called a “priceless” part of the BBC’s “reaction” to the cancellation of the play, are perfectly justified attempts to discuss the issues raised. Guess what? Just because a particular person is quoted or a viewpoint discussed or a question asked does not mean those doing the quoting/ discussing/ questioning support or want to propagate the point being expressed.


  24. James says:

    Hi Someone,
    Radio 4 had Thought for the Day from a Sikh gentleman. Generally, I will concede that maybe TFTD is not representative of the BBC’s official editorial policy, but the gentleman did say that people who make controversial pieces of art must realise that they are “responsible” for the reaction to their art.

    I don’t know, but when I’ve thrown a brick through a window because ______(fill in the blank) I am considered responsible for my own actions, and should go to jail for said actions if I break the law. But let me do it in the name of a religion and someone else is responsible. It seems to me that the BBC stand on this particular issue can be well-illustrated by the thought for the day and their lack of tempering such a message.



  25. Someone Who Knows says:

    But TFTD is just one slot on one programme, and a slot well known for and billed as an opportunity for a particular point of view, normally religious, to be aired. If a Christian argued in favour of the Immaculate Conception on TFTD, for example, no one would seriously argue that was the BBC’s “stand” on the issue of Christ’s birth. More to the point, across a whole swathe of BBC output the opposite viewpoint on the Sikh play will have been well aired (for example, on Jeremy Vine’s Radio 2 show yesterday). As a result I’m sure the BBC will have been bombarded with complaints that its “stand” or “reaction” to this story was anti-Sikh. The point is that the BBC doesn’t have a “reaction” or a “stand”, it is just attempting to cover the different issues the story raises.


  26. yoy says:

    ”…are perfectly justified attempts to discuss the issues raised”

    And if you can show me where the BBC showed this much handwringing and contemplation over Theo Van Gogh’s murder you may, just may, have a point.

    My point is that the BBC know the soft targets they can attack.
    Clue: It’s not Islam


  27. Francis says:

    “Guess what? Just because a particular person is quoted or a viewpoint discussed or a question asked does not mean those doing the quoting/ discussing/ questioning support or want to propagate the point being expressed.”

    So we can expect the BBC to offer a platform to organisations whose members dismiss murders of muslims or other minorities as “theatre” in future?

    Somehow I doubt they would invite such a guest if the shoe was on the other foot.

    Stop posting as “Someone Who Knows” as you do the handle a great disservice.


  28. theghostofredken says:

    “And if you can show me where the BBC showed this much handwringing and contemplation over Theo Van Gogh’s murder you may, just may, have a point.”

    They may well have done if he was British. Obscure Dutch filmmaker‘s death = low news values.


  29. yoy says:

    Van Gogh? Obscure?
    Murdered in broad daylight because of a film low news value? Hmmm

    Anyway what has nationality got to do with it?
    The BBC reported the story…

    …but they did not agonise about its implications.

    They knew better than to do that.


  30. theghostofredken says:

    “Van Gogh? Obscure?
    Murdered in broad daylight because of a film low news value? Hmmm”

    “Anyway what has nationality got to do with it?”

    His nationality is everything to do with it. Unless they’re famous we don’t care about foreigners, generally speaking. It would never have run a lead item on broadcast news because, frankly, 99% of the public had never heard of him of probably slightly less wouldn’t care. ‘Impact’ and ‘relevance’ are the key terms to keep in mind. Impact to the UK: Nil. Relevance to the UK: Nil. I’m not speaking from a personal viewpoint here, but this is how major broadcast news works.


  31. Andrew Paterson says:

    theghostofredken, he was famous, related to Van Goth. Indeed if I remember correctly the story made the front page of BBC Online on the day. What didn’t was an analysis of the story relating to the problems caused by multi-culturism in Holland.


  32. Francis says:

    Andrew, the BBC has no intention of analysing multiculturalism here or abroad. This is one of the issues on which they are definately biased.

    When they did have a discussion back in March they invited guests who they knew would tow the line and not say anything against multiculturalism as well as Lee Jasper and others who laughed at the concept of “British culture”.

    The 2 programmes that stuck out were the Politics show on BBC 1 in March, possibly prompted by Trevor Phillips comments, and a BBC Radio show prompted by the report into the failures of multiculturalism in the Netherlands. I have a link to the radio show somewhere and can find and post it if anyone wants to hear this poor excuse for impartiality.


  33. Someone Who Knows says:

    theghostofredken has got it spot on, and highlights yet again something yoy, Francis, Andrew Paterson et al constantly forget: you are talking about a news provider that works to a set of news values. Obviously some here see those values as being driven by, or at least distorted by, bias, whether pro-Muslim extremist, anti-American, or whatever. The BBC would say those values are driven by a judgement: What will the audience be interested in? Like it or not, the closure of the play in Birmingham raises issues more interesting to a UK audience than the murder of a film maker no one has heard of in the Netherlands (whether or not he’s related to a very long time dead famous painter), and the BBC’s coverage reflects that.

    Having said that, there WAS discussion of the implications of the Van Gogh murder on the BBC website in two separate articles:


  34. Francis says:

    “the closure of the play in Birmingham raises issues more interesting to a UK audience than the murder of a film maker no one has heard of in the Netherlands”

    Although I doubt it’s more interesting to a UK audience than the racist murder of 15 year old Kriss Donald in Glasgow, which for some reason the BBC seem to have been “driven by a judgement” not to report.

    The 2 reports you provide links to are more focused on the backlash and not “the problems caused by multi-culturism” as Andrew refers to, but no surprise there.

    Isn’t representing diversity and multiculturalism part of the BBC charter?? As someone who knows I’m sure you’ll tell us how impartial they are on multiculturalism as well.


  35. John says:

    What can be done to stop BBC bias? I’m a curious American. What would be the process to decisively stop tha rampant, West-hating bias in the BBCs world reporting? What specifically can be done? Would it take a Tory government? Or would the courts be the best avenue? Who hires and fires the BBC management?

    One thing that I know for sure– the BBC has fomented anti-Western hatred with its overzealous socialist agenda for way too long.

    Read about how ‘most of the world’ hates America, for instance, and what you don’t read is the fact that the BBC pumps extremely biased anti-American reporting (which by the way is bad for the UK as well) into 120 countries where the BBC is the NUMBER ONE news source.

    Talk about influence– the BBC has the greatest worldwide in terms of news reporting.

    And talk about destructive influence that we all may end up paying for in terrorism for years to come and look no further than the BBCs’ poisonous ultra-Left bias being pumped all around t


  36. JohninLondon says:

    I happen to hear more of the BBC World Service radio than the domestic Radio 4 radio channel. And the World Service is almost rabidly anti-US.


  37. John says:


    That may be the difference. I can’t imagine that most English would put up with rabid anti-Americanism (Brits may not always agree with us, but most don’t hate us).

    Sounds like the domestic BBC is not that bad, wheras the BBC world service is stark raving insane with anti-American reporting.

    I think the types that are attracted to world service reporting are the same folks who are usual radical far-Left, U.N. worshipping crusaders.

    The serious problem is– the BBC world service is the number 1 news outlet in over 100 countries.

    So they are not only fueling anti-American hate and scapegoating, but they are fueling a general hostility towards the West that is very dangerous in a post- 9/11 world.

    Some may think that what happens to the USA is somehow set aprt from what happens to the rest of the West, but it simply insnt so.

    The BBC world service has done a lot of damage and is fueling future mega-terror attacks for sure.

    Phil, Colorado, USA


  38. Pam says:

    Wait a minute.. Am I to seriously believe that the average Brit was far more interested in the Bhopal “anniversary”, than in the Van Gogh murder? Islamic extremism alive and well in Eurabia and no one cares because he’s foreign? The BBC covered the 20 year old Bhopal (and it’s foreign victims)disaster on the front page of the website as I recall. I also saw the story on the world news service. Is anyone SURE the BBC understands it’s audience’s version of newsworthy or is the audience hostage and/or very small? OR…is it that Bhopal reflects badly on the US, and Van Gogh’s slaughter reflects badly on Muslims?… A step in the right direction for the BBC would be to at least acknowledge crazed Muslim extremists exist, even if they don’t give a crap. They can denigrate us AND the extremists at the same time, surely?


  39. Giles says:

    “Unless they’re famous we don’t care about foreigners, generally speaking.”

    Utter nonsense – I was in blightly in August and I know it sounds weird but there was more coverage of the US election on the BBC than there was in the states. The BBC cares immensely about foreigners – or rather 3 types of foreigners – Israelis, Americans and Palestinians. The rest can go and stuff it.

    AS for the comment on the problem with the BBC world service, in a funny way they’re not really soluble at present. The BBC, to justify its funding must reach an audience. Unfortunately at present the best way to drum up a third world audience today is not a west is best message but rather the opposite. So the implicit target of being relevant is encouraging its anti-west message.

    So the problem is not that the BBC is staffed by people who deeply believe this message, rather it’s staffed by people who are rather weak in the face of external pressure • in this case the pressure to ramp up ratings


  40. Giles says:

    So what really needs to change is the target; I think the origional founders of the world service saw it a broadcasting to expat’s and anglophiles. But at some stage this transmorged into a ratings target with the world service chasing the cheapest targets • the extremists.

    So I think the only solution is to re-orientate the BBC back to boring mono culturalism and a small audience.


  41. Papa Ray says:

    I am sorry but all of the arms of the BBC can’t do a fraction of the damage that the American networks and cable stations do.

    Fox is ok, but still by being a little pro-Bush, turns off a lot of people that SHOULD watch to get a more balanced reporting.

    As far as Rummy, he took over a military in ruin, and he knew it, at the time. He charged in and told everybody to hold on to their ass because he was going to tear down the whole thing and rebuild it.

    As a result, almost to a man all the top brass hated him..if they didn’t already. The Prez told Rummy do what you need to do and I’ll back you and that promply pissed off over half of congress.

    So, you see he went in with a stacked deck with an abusive, abrasive personality and you know the rest.

    Read here a little recap of the Strong American Military that he has had to rebuild .

    Also read here about


  42. Papa Ray says:

    Sorry, continued.

    Also, read here about the media coverage of the shelling yesterday of the Mess Hall.

    Papa Ray


  43. Pam says:

    Question for the British here, especially the ghost and the knowing one… Are French victims less foreign to you than Dutch ones, even murdered Dutch ones? Are foreigners more interesting when they’re alive, as opposed to dead? I’m curious, as the BBC website is currently featuring the release of the French hostages front and center. If not, someone really should inform the BBC news staffers that the average Brit is simply NOT interested in any news about foreigners. They are clearly wasting the license fee of their audience.


  44. Papa Ray says:

    Oh, sorry again,

    One thing I forgot to tell you. I know a lot of guys in the American Military, in all branches (except the Coast Guard) and to a man, they all love Rummy. The troops all like him and say that he is the only one that can stand up and take hard questions and tell the truth instead of some political crap.

    This is my post (hehe-in three parts)

    Papa Ray
    West Texas


  45. Giles says:

    Bang on Pam

    After all the “hostages” say they were well treated and never thought they would be killed.

    So the stories really just man comes home from holiday.


  46. JohninLondon says:

    BBC World Service is funded by the UK Foreign Office (ie the taxpayer) – not by the BBC licence fee. It should be PROJECTING Britain. Instead, it projects a load of baloney, lowest-common-denominator crap music plus ultra multi-culti PC weekly drama – and a strong diet anti-US news and comments.

    On Rumsfeld – anyone who saw the whole of his meeting with the troops in Kuwait could see that the guy is popular among ordinary soldiers. The placed question was a fix – his replies to other questions drew warm applause. Armies like winning, and Rummy gave them the overthrow of the Taliban and overthrow of Saddam.


  47. Alan G says:

    “Unless they’re famous we don’t care about foreigners, generally speaking.”

    Speak for yourself ghost.


  48. James says:

    The difference is that generally when a Christian comes on TFTD, he doesn’t try to convince people of the Immaculate Conception, anyway. For instance, the so-called controversial comments made by the RC Archbishop Cormac McCarthy regarding the Toussaud’s display (okay it wasn’t TFTD but an actual interview) was more along the lines of bad taste, but he knew better than to justify a violent reaction just because it was offensive.

    I do have to give props to the Today show today for allowing someone (I couldn’t catch who) to call bullsh** on Muslim leaders who say that Jihad is about personal struggle, not war, but then fail to decry the acts of terror done in the name of Jihad. I was impressed. I’m in a positive mood, perhaps the mood at the BBC is changing now that the mood of the people of the UK is starting to turn? Especially when people are seriously questioning the licence fee in the mainstream press now. Maybe I’m being too positive…wait and see, I suppose.


  49. cockney says:

    As someone who only listens to BBC World Service for the Premiership commentary when visiting the United States of Crap Sports, I’m quite intrigued by what it’s usual output actually is.

    Is it’s purpose to simultaneously entertain everybody on the planet or to present a positive image of the UK?


  50. Terry says:

    I had an argument with a CNN journalist about this. No context.

    Anyone with a minimum knowledge of military history knows most armies are short of one thing or another.

    Britain fought much of WW2 with a military arsenal thrown together at the last minute.

    The BBC should have pointed this out. It rare for an army to go into battle knowing what it is to face, fully equiped and prepared.

    The BBC reports GW2 like a Sunday afternoon walk in Regents Park. How could Rumsfeld forget the sandwiches!

    Anyone who’s read one page of WW2 history, knows what Rummy said was exactly right… few armies go into battle properly equiped.