Worst Case Impresarios

Since our Friend of Biased BBC Paul Reynolds has been calling round lately it seems only fair to deal with one of his articles- ultimately comparing his powers of prognostication now, with those demonstrated in the past. Reynolds- one of the first to float the quagmire meme in the mainstream media- gives us his latest effort, showing that this week’s image, just like almost every week’s with the Beeb, is that of Bush running as fast as he can (on an apparent Iraq hampster wheel).

We find him saying that Bush’s failure or success will depend on whether he creates a ‘stable Iraq’. No- that may be the measure du jour- but the true measure is whether the threat Saddam signified- taken as a composite threat, geopolitically in his threat to Israel and significant stranglehold on oil reserves, through terrorism (see anti-Israel activities, but other tentacles too), via the distraction he represented from any other gathering threats, through his UN corruption, alongside his regional repressiveness and his hard-edged Islamofascism- has been blunted and deferred in its lethal path of collision with the West. It has, and so Bush cannot possibly be judged through any spurious definition of stability, a tormented concept endlessly susceptible to media speculation and UN-isation, and terribly open to the argument that Saddam did stability better than anyone.

Reynolds averrs that it’s an achievement that Iraq hasn’t disintegrated before now- while he insinuates that it might be heading that way. He talks about ‘the violence of an insurgency whose power was not predicted and never planned for.’ . Well, not predicted and planned for if you don’t count part five of my (organised in no particular way) composite argument for war- namely the Saddam Islamofascism part. Had ‘we’ not been batting away the beeb sponsored moonbats ‘we’ might have talked a little more about that one- might even have got round to a policy about it.

Reynolds finishes his straw man construction right at the end of his article when he asks ‘But will his (Bush’s) rush to come up with an “exit strategy” force him to abandon the aspiration to create a modern secular democracy out of the ashes of the Saddam dictatorship?’ (emboldenings mine)

Note how we’ve morphed from stability to ‘modern secular democracy’*, and that Bush is still rushing as fast as his little Texan legs can carry him to create the long awaited ‘exit strategy’. Such goal post shifting in the course of one article is a little mystifying (stability = secular democracy?), but not at all an unaccustomed experience for Reynolds’ readers.

As one can see from the comparison of then and now in these two Reynolds efforts- despite cosmetic goalpost shifting- little changes in the Reynolds’ analysis or expectations. I commented about it elsewhere- er, at length.

PS– maybe we could have a B-BBC poll about this little complimentary from the Beeb viewsroom. Should we recommend this article for the news or opinion section? Seems like they can’t decide (which also means, watch out for edits). To quote:

‘The president is facing mounting problems politically and in terms of public opinion, says the BBC’s defence and security correspondent, Rob Watson.

Opinion polls suggest more than 50% of Americans think Iraq is going badly.

Most also believe some or all US troops should be withdrawn from Iraq, according to the polls.

Our correspondent says there even signs of splits within the president’s Republican party, with at least one senior senator making that most damaging of all comparisons by likening Iraq to Vietnam. (imagine!!!- who’d do a thing like that)

Meanwhile the US anti-war movement has been reinvigorated by Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a US soldier killed in Iraq. (yup- the corpse twitches, so to speak)

Ms Sheehan’s supporters have been camped outside the president’s ranch at Crawford, Texas.

This is not a president who would be interrupting his summer holidays unless he thought his political future was really at stake, our correspondent says.’

(all additions, snide remarks and whatnot, mine. Er, or the Beeb’s)

Vital Update

I see that- thanks to an intervention from Mr Reynolds himself- I need to acknowledge an error. A totally unintentional error where I mixed up the conclusion of a current Roger Hardy article you can find here, with the Paul Reynolds one I link to in the post above. Thus the mystery over the changing definition of success for Bush in Iraq was not the mystery I depicted it to be.It is Roger Hardy who goes for the ambitious ‘modern secular democracy’ as his measure for Bush, at the end of his article. I might add though that Paul Reynolds does propose a measure for Bush as being ‘Iraq as the democratic example which justified the war and the cost’– in addition to a ‘stable Iraq’. There are no shifting goalposts in the way that I described, however.

On the other hand, one can still argue that Reynolds’ notion of ‘Iraq the Model’ is only one side to the argument over Bush’s legacy- and does go well beyond a ‘stable’ Iraq, presenting a confusion of a sort- and that my case outlined above concerning the negative virtues of the Iraq invasion should at least be on the table when considering it.

There is much common ground between Hardy and Reynolds (indeed there are no contradictions between them, when viewed side by side), and I find it interesting that even down to imagery we can find a dovetailing of the BBC’s various analyses into one seamless whole. Given that that analysis removes from the table of discussion so much that might vindicate the President, the balance of the BBC’s coverage remains very much in question.

Finally, let me thank Paul Reynolds for stopping by and stooping to correct me openly, and apologise once more for my error. Thank you also for helping to shed even more light on the BBC’s analytical point of view by highlighting my error- I feel it is very helpful to everyone, but myself in particular.

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178 Responses to Worst Case Impresarios

  1. Teddy Bear says:

    Who said the BBC is against preemptive actions?

    max | 24.08.05 – 11:01 am | #

    Here again the BBC have used a very unflattering picture of David Cameron, they could very easily have used this one http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/s…l/education.stm

    Paul Reynolds writes Popped back in to pick up my mail but really this is only for Peter since he has raised specific points.

    Paul, I’m sorry that on your way to the toilet or something you did not find the time to address my post questions above – which I know also made ‘specific points’. We really don’t need to know your movements through the day, or any excuse you feel is necessary to justify your posting here. I believe I’m speaking for most of us to say it’s good that you do take the time to answer at least a few of them, even if not very satisfactorily.

    But really, again I’m not surprised you have avoided confronting the points I made. The question in my mind is what do you think when you see them? These points confirm bias and poor reporting on the part of the BBC, whether through design or incompetence. Your avoidance at confronting them shows willfullness since you are conscious that something is wrong and you prefer to ignore it. This is enough for me, as it confirms any doubts I might have had about the BBC agenda, (although can’t really say I had any) and its plan to immorally continue with it. You will not fob us off with your normal BS that you lay on your serving public – you do not brainwash us and we see what you do.

    BTW, has the BBC considered taking the approach that Islamist terrorism is a result of a strategy to take over the world by doing its best to undermine, divide, and finally conquer our societies. In which case they will use every excuse that they feel will further their goal, including pretexts like the Iraq war, prisoner abuse, support for Israel, OR ANYTHING THEY FEEL SERVES THEM. Or is the BBC going to continue to do all that it can to help them by its present manner of reporting? Call me cynical, but until there’s a revolt inside your own organisation of those sickened by what you do, or the public refusing to support you anymore, I doubt there will be much change.

    Just a reminder to those reading of the petition to be sent to Tony Blair to end the BBC Bias. There are 325 so far and we need at least 10 times that amount to have any impact.


  2. Kerry B says:

    Excellent fisking, Ed. I’ll give Mr Reynolds credit for interacting with the B-BBC commentariat, but his analysis pretty much follows the talking points of the anti-war left, a comfortable home for the Beeb.


  3. dan says:

    Powerline has thoughts on the poll numbers & the influence of the media on public perception of the war. The efforts of the BBC match those of US MSM.

    many Americans, possibly even a majority, have turned against the war.

    This should hardly be a surprise. On the contrary, how could it be otherwise? News reporting on the war consists almost entirely of itemizing casualties.
    We are conducting an experiment never before seen, as far as I know, in the history of the human race. We are trying to fight a war under the auspices of an establishment that is determined–to put the most charitable face on it–to emphasize American casualties over all other information about the war.

    Sometimes it becomes necessary to state the obvious: being a soldier is a dangerous thing.
    Even in peacetime. The media’s breathless tabulation of casualties in Iraq–now, over 1,800 deaths–is generally devoid of context. Here’s some context: between 1983 and 1996, 18,006 American military personnel died accidentally in the service of their country. That death rate of 1,286 per year exceeds the rate of combat deaths in Iraq by a ratio of nearly two to one.



  4. JohninLondon says:

    Mr Reynolds’ article would have found a ready home in the New York Times, the Washington Post or the Los Angeles Times. Or the Guardian.

    Why does he not recognise that the ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES of the MAJORITY of Iraqis have tried the discussion route with the UNELECTED Sunni representatives, but have found only obstruction and recalcitrance to the nth degree. Against a background of murderous insurgency supported by the Sunnis plus threats of further violence.

    The elected majority have had to argue a lot to reach a degree of accord between the Shias and Kurds. They now intend to push matters forward. Sure, the Sunnis have the power to veto the draft constitution if they field enough votes in three of the Iraqi provinces. But that is not a foregone conclusion, and people seem to be judging that anything is better than the present stalemate. And in an open vote the so-far-silent Sunni voters may assent to the constitution as a realpolitik compromise. For instance, to avoid the break-up of Iraq, which they want to keep as a single country. A break=up would mean they got NIL oil revenues.

    Mr Reynolds makes brief reference to the way the Brits lashed together the “country” of Iraq. Maybe the BBC should spend more time talking about Gertrude Bell’s time in the 1920s, and help explain that constitution-building is not easy. Maybe the BBC should point out more often that artificially-created countries like Yugoslavia and Iraq contained serious schisms, papered over by decades of dictatorship by the Serb and Sunni communities.

    The article is a mix of partial information, plus a lot of opinion and speculation, Which is par the course for the BBC.

    If I wanted to read this stuff, I should pay for it by buying a newspaper or paying some kind of subscription. I should NOT be taxed to pay for articles like this, written for the BBC website but probably hardly read by many folks.

    Perhaps Mr Reynolds could tell us how many page-hits it gets. All webservers keep logs of the numbers of hits per page, not just for the whole site.


  5. Lizzie says:

    I love how the media imply that Bush being at his ranch somehow means that he’s not in charge any more. Do they really think that by being in Crawford he is isolated from his advisors and the White House? Surely the man can do his job no matter where he is?


  6. Fran says:


    In this interview immediately before the war on Saddam, Prof. Wilkinson expresses his view that a war in Iraq would be counter productive in combatting terrorism, and describes the US position as arrogant.

    http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/03…17s01- wogi.html

    I am interested to see that, considering the BBC’s obvious regard for Prof Wilkinson’s professional expertise, the BBC website has not reported a remarkable speech made by him in July last year


    in which the two principal points he made were that (1) Al Qaeda is a very real organisation presenting a very clear and present danger to the free world and (2) that the free world should respond with unity and resolution to defend themselves from Al Qaeda’s attempt to destabilise world politics by overthrowing the government of Muslim countries.

    As he says “Above all, we need to work together to win the vital battle of ideas against al-Qaeda’s cruel ideology.”

    Haven’t seen much of that resolve, unity or attempts to win the battle of ideas in the BBC’s reportage of Iraq, or the risible responses of interviewers on the Today Programme when contributors say that blowing up women and children is incomprehensible unless they are Israeli have we?

    “The Power of Nightmares”? Huh! The power of quislings more like!


  7. Seamus says:

    That is by far the most hysterical, directionless rant ever posted on this extreme right wing nutjob website.

    Hope Reynolds comes along and swats you away again.


  8. Fran says:

    I’ll take that as compliment, Seamus.


  9. Rob Read says:

    I’m glad at at least one person thinks the 126GBP the BBC tries to extort off people is worthwhile.

    But as a leftie you’ve probably abandoned the “backward” notion of persuading people to part with money they earned. Especially if they vehemently disagree with how the money is used and make “wacky” claims like the money is being used to harm the interests of a large %age of the TV-taxed.


  10. dave t says:

    Ah Seamus is baaack! Note how he never leaves his website or email so we can actually, you know, DISCUSS, things. Nope, in he comes, makes a silly little comment and orf he jolly well goes. Typical of someone with no point to make, no intelligence to discuss the aspects and certainly not the courage to stand up and argue his case. And you wonder why more and more people are ignoring the lefties – have you noticed how much noisier they seem to getting as well? Very sad.

    “Extreme right wing?” Bloody hell its a discussion on BBC bias not how shall we exterminate those who wear green trousers with pink shirts or eat tufu…

    “Reynolds swatted us away” Did he? *looks around for smashed bodies* Nope – none here! For practically every point Paul made people came back with counterpoints with links and/or other evidence. He also avoided several points….but the majority on here did thank him for at least discussing the options unlike sad wee Seamus. Do you get the impression he knocks on old ladies’ doors and runs away even now?


  11. Verity says:

    Teddy Bear: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_po…ics/4179106.stm Website not found. Hmmmm.

    Why on earth would Mr Bush interrupt his vacation of clearing brush and repairing fences at his ranch (any more than Tony & fat Cherie would haul themselves out of their latest millionaire-best-friend’s pool during a terrorist crisis)to speak to the ridiculous Cindy Sheehan?

    He shouldn’t even have met her once, as sadly deranged as she is. The point is, Paul Reynolds, the reasons for the war in Iraq (which is no longer being prosecuted as now we are prosecuting the peace) are in the public domain and have been so since it began. Millions of words. Why does one person out of 300m deserve a special private explanation from the head of state? The woman is clearly bonkers and can’t understand that her son not only signed up (I’m sure against her oft-voiced objections), but re-enlisted and volunteered for combat duty. The decisions of an adult have nothing to do with this mother.


  12. Teddy Bear says:

    Teddy Bear: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_po…ics/ 4179106.stm Website not found. Hmmmm.

    Hmmm indeed – thanks Verity. I also notice that the webpage showing Bakri’s denial in urging his followers to fight for other regimes, without any mention by the BBC that he had stated the exact opposite on Radio 4 a year before, has also mysteriously ‘disappeared’.

    But I anticipated this eventuality, at least for this webpage and saved a copy to disk. I’m away for the weekend but will set it up for view when I get back. Since it seems to be a common practise for the BBC to stealth edit or delete ’embarassing’ webpages after discovery by ours and other blogs, I urge all posters to save a copy for evidence.

    The BBC is running scared 😆


  13. Denise W says:

    Something the MSM never mentions is the part they played in making sure that Vietnam was a loss. There was a point when it could have been won. Biased reporting caused the lack of support at home. They’ve used the same strategy for Iraq. As for the quagmire bit, the lives lost in Iraq so far are nothing close to the number of those lost in Vietnam.


  14. Denise W says:

    Absolutely, Verity. It’s not like he was drafted. And he was perfectly old enough and man enough to know what he was volunteering for. What Cindy Sheehan is doing is dishonoring her son and I think she is using his death to bring attention to herself. Excellent point about Bush’s meeting with her, also.


  15. Denise W says:


    Teddy Bear,

    When will the petition to Blair be sent to him? I’d like to send him a letter to back it up.


  16. Pedrosugi says:

    Can’t really see what is so biased about the Reynolds article really. It’s clearly an opinion piece and pretty devoid of news but that’s to be expected nowadays.


  17. Fran says:


    BBC news reported new sectarian strife in Northern Ireland this morning. Both sides are guilty of it apparently, but only one incident was reported in detail. No prizes for guessing who perpetrated the highlighted incident!

    Likewise, in the online report, this deplorable attack against a Catholic home is described in detail, while the attacks at Protestant homes are barely mentioned.


    I can’t say too strongly that all sectarian attacks are vile and deserve to be reported. But the emphasis on Loyalist violence?

    Can this be an example of the sort of editing which Robin Aitken, ex Beeb correspondent describes below:
    “As a reporter in Belfast, I found it very difficult to persuade the BBC to run a story which ran counter to its assumptions. For example, I did an interview with Sean O’Callaghan, the former IRA terrorist turned MI5 informer, who told me on tape that Pat Finucane [the Belfast solicitor murdered by loyalists in 1989] was a senior figure in the IRA. That was a good story, but I was never able to get it on the air.”

    For a full reminder of this article in which Robin Aitken describes his forthcoming book on institutional BBC Bias, originally published in the Telegraph, follow the link to the Bunny.



  18. Noel says:


    Q. When does the brutal murder of a British citizen abroad get buried by the BBC?
    A. When the Briton is a Jew and he’s murdered by a Palestinian freedom fighting resistance militant.


  19. Michael Gillis says:

    I copy a comment that I just sent to the BBC in response to a story on their webs ite.


    A not atypical bit of obfuscation has you combining a story of the murder of a young seminary student walking back to college after visiting the Western Wall in Jerusalem with the story of a gun battle in Tulkarm between Israeli soldiers and members the Islamic Jihad activist militant (or whatever euphimism is in vogue) organisation, all under the heading of “Mid-East violence.” Yes, its true both stories involve violence and both happened in the Middle East. but so what? It is confusing and even deceitful to coalesce an armed clash between military enemies (I won’t even quibble about the nature of Islamic Jihad’s military strategy that is basically sending suicide bombers against civilian targets) and the murder of an unarmed civilian on his way home from visiting a holy site. I don’t quite see how the murder fits under the heading “unrest” as there was no riot or disorder just someone approaching a group of pedestrians in the street killing one and badly wounding another.

    Finally it is interesting that the victim being British arouses no particular interest apart from being dryly noted. Is it because he is Jewish, Orthodox, because it happened in Israel? Not a real Englishman whose murder in the street need excite any particular identification, sorrow or even outrage.


  20. David H says:

    Paul Reynolds – if you do return to this site perhaps you’d like to justify the story to which both Noel and Michael refer. This is a good example of the sort of thing which really gets up people’s noses about the BBC – here we have a Briton killed in Israel by a Palestinian and the BBC has seen fit to bury the story at the end of another story about an Israeli army/Palestinian shoot out. A quick look round the news sites shows that both The Times Online and Sky News have put a link to this story on their front pages.

    Why has the BBC decided to bury this story?


  21. marc says:

    Paul, if you reading this thread, perhaps you’d care to comment on something Ed posted about concerning a BBC article which says in part:

    “Our correspondent says there even signs of splits within the president’s Republican party, with at least one senior senator making that most damaging of all comparisons by likening Iraq to Vietnam.”

    Why doesn’t the BBC name this “senior senator” making this “most damaging of all comparisons”? Who is this senator that weilds so much power that he can single handedly split the Republican party? Surely someone of such magnitude deserves to be named.

    Strangely, the BBC fail to name this “senior senator”. Strangely for those not used to the BBC’s bias by omission.

    The “senior senator” the BBC refers to is Nebraska’s Senator Chuck Hagel. OK. Who he? And well you might ask my friend.

    From Powerline we learn:

    “What exactly makes Chuck Hagel a “leading Republican senator”? Not seniority; he is a second-termer. Not any official responsibilities; Hagel is not a member of the Senate leadership, nor does he chair a Senate committee. Not legislative accomplishment or influence;…”

    And he has no chance at becoming a Presidential candidate.


    The BBC elevated Hagel’s status to “senior senator” to add weight to their biased argument that the Republicans were split over Iraq. That’s why they left his name out.


  22. max says:

    Ed, great post.

    I would like to bring to your attention Marc’s post on Paul Reynolds’ “They [British voters] have taken their decision and must accept the consequences” article following 7/7 London terror attack, in which he calls PR and the BBC a ‘scumbag’ and a ‘scumbag organization’ respectively.

    Mr. Reynolds have reponded in that post’s comment section (I think Marc missed it or thought it was an impersonator) and this is what he had to say:

    “As the scumbag concerned let me reply.

    Why do you shoot the messenger? This messenger was simply making the surely not controversial connection between Iraq and the bombs. If you read the Chatham House report just out, you will see a similar analysis.

    All the stuff about “surrender” is entirely your interpretation. None of it is true.

    We will not defeat these people by hiding our head in the sand.

    Let me elaborate and give an example.

    If we accept that there is an Iraq connection, it is surely sensible to be on the look-out for those angry young men who make a noise about it. That would help to narrow down the pool of potential suspects.

    If on the other hand, we say that terrorism springs from some kind of worldview not connected to actual events (such a world view has it influence of course), then we are floundering around, wondering who might become an actual terrorist.

    Making a link to Iraq therefore seems to me to be a real investigative tool.

    This does not in any way go to the issue of whether we should be in Iraq. I do not take a public view on that.
    Paul Reynolds | 07.19.05 – 5:54 am |”

    Now read Ed’s post linked above and see if it doesn’t refute PR’s claim of not taking a public view about Iraq. A senior world affairs reporter slanting coverage time and again in a noticeable manner (at least to some) ammounts to exactly that – taking a public view, i.e masquerading opinion as news or analysis of news.

    Mr. Reynolds “defense”,also repeated here in the previous comment thread, boils down to “don’t blame the messenger” and “other people think it too (Chatham house report)” and is not very convincing.

    “Blaming the messenger” is a ridiculous claim. It would be true if the messenger acted like a messenger and brought the bad (as well as good, though then there would be no need to shoot him) news as they are. In this case it is not a messenger but the messenger’s interpreter, arguably an interpreter with an agenda.

    Same applies to other people has said so it must be true. Not very convincing IMO.


    Teddy Bear,

    RE: Who said the BBC is against preemptive actions?


    I wrote that before the piece was stealth edited. The new Article renders the word ‘preemptive’ useless.

    The original was very strangely constructed in the future tense therefore the preemptive.

    Pre-stealth read as I’ve saved it:
    Leadership hopeful David Cameron will say the rise of Hitler showed that a willingness to give ground and avoid confrontation was seen as weakness.

    In a speech to the Foreign Policy Centre, he will urge the government to do more to counter extremism.

    The shadow education secretary will also call for more funding for the security services.

    He will also say Britain should withdraw entirely from international human rights conventions if they prevent the deportation of Islamic radicals.

    Mr Cameron will warn a strain of Islamist thinking has developed which, like Nazism and Communism, offers followers redemption through violence.

    “Just like the Nazis of 1930s Germany, they want to purge corrupt cosmopolitan influences,” he is due to say.

    Maybe it’s a common practice to publish political speeches hours before they take place and then modify the article after it was given to be in the past tense as it is now. I find it strange. Maybe Mr. Reynolds could shed some light on this phenomenon if he’s still here.


  23. dan says:

    A bit of nonsense to lighten up the thread.

    A “two-way” between Richard Evans and Mr Witchell on the VJ Day 60th anniversary commemorations descended into an eight-minute argument between the pair.



  24. JohninLondon says:


    The Paul Reynolds article gives HIS prognosis for Iraq. It is largely opinion. Sure, it is not so pessimistic as we have had for 2 years from Caroline Hawley – but the question is, should we be forced to up to £200 million a year pay for this bloated BBC Online website so that we can have opinion pieces ?

    The online site coul;d readily be cut down to transcripts/summaries of NEWS stories run on the main BBC channels, plus audio and video clips, and the archiving of old programmes. Instead, the BBC has spawned yet another empire.


  25. dan says:

    From PR comments above

    If we accept that there is an Iraq connection, it is surely sensible to be on the look-out for those angry young men who make a noise about it. That would help to narrow down the pool of potential suspects.

    If on the other hand, we say that terrorism springs from some kind of worldview not connected to actual events (such a world view has it influence of course), then we are floundering around, wondering who might become an actual terrorist

    Who are the “WE”? Does he think its the BBC’s job to inform the security services? The public know quite well the type of person who is a potential terrorist – & they won’t just be “angry” about Iraq.

    Generally speaking the BBC seeks to mislead its audience about the breakdown of public opinion on one of its pet subjects.

    Its support for the anti-war movement led the stoppers to think that the government embarked on the war in the face of overwhelming public opposition. Not so, on the eve of the invasion polling showed a majority in favour of war.

    When the government proposes anti-terrorist legislation the BBC wheels out the usual HR suspects to oppose the government. The BBC would claim that this is balance, but it is not because the HR view is held by a small minority, but given (more than) equal status by the BBC.

    On R5Live yesterday pm, discussing Clarke’s proposals, a guest pointed out that a majority of the UK public would support the death penalty for terrorists. The BBC man, in true Reithian tradition, interjected saying that as the public were temporarily inflamed, the government should not rush to pander to their wrath.

    In other words the BBC know better than the public & should guide public opinion.


  26. JohninLondon says:

    BBC TV and radio news and the World Service are yet again giving lots of mentions for Cindy Sheehan. But they normally OMIT to mention that she has already met the President, that many of her family object to what she is doing, that she is backed by some real loonies, that she herself was a peacenik long before her son was killed, that she has spouted a lot of real crazy stuff about Bush, including paranoia about the Secret Service being out to get her, and has expressed very antisemitic views when speaking in support of a lawyer found guilty of aiding terrorists. And they also fail to mention that the so-called “Gold Star Families for Peace” has only about 10 named family members of soldiers KIA in Iraq – just google the site you BBC research staff ! By contrast large numbers of Gold Star parents and family (ie who have also lost loved ones KIA in Iraq) support the President and America’s actions. There is even a camp of several of them a few feet away from the Cindy Sheehan camp at Crawford. But the BBC very seldom mentions the supporters of Bush – it just talks about the “Peace” people.

    Isn’t it time, after so many decades, that the BBC realised that the usual meaning of “Peace” is appeasement ? The BBC often sounds like it is stuck in the 1930s, backing away from dictators.

    The BBC is trying to suggest that Sheehan is leading a huge grounbdswell of opposition to Bush and Iraq, a huge demand for immediate withdrawal. Just like it accentuates Senator Chuck Hagel’s remarks and exaggerates his significance. The BBC ought to broadcast what huge numbers of Americans really think about Sheehan – a mixture of disdain and disgust at the way she is demeaning her son’s memory. As someone said, she is using his coffin as a soapbox.



  27. JohninLondon says:


    If you took all the Human Rights handwringers off the BBC, there would be an awful lot of airtime to fill.

    The general public view about the latest proposals is “Right On, about bloody time too!” But of course that is not the Guardian view, so it is not the BBC view either. And as long as the BBC carries on appeasong terrorism, (or not even using the word if it happens overseas) the judges will feel able to do so too.


  28. dave t says:

    “Cindy Sheehan, the so-called Peace Mom seeking a second meeting with President Bush in connection with the Iraq War death of her son, says terrorists killing Americans are “freedom fighters.”

    She made the remark during her trek earlier this month to Crawford, Texas; but her equating the enemy with freedom fighters has not been highlighted by the mainstream media, despite her telling it directly to a reporter for CBS News.

    Sheehan’s comments were recorded on video by Veterans for Peace, a group pushing for Bush’s impeachment.

    A WorldNetDaily search of CBS News, Google News, and Lexis-Nexis archives found not a single news report mentioning Sheehan’s “freedom fighters” remark. ”


    So now she is calling the terrorists who KILLED HER SON (who re-enlisted and volunteered to go on the mission where he was killed) “freedom fighters” and this is being buried by the media despite there being a video etc made by a leftwing group, Her entries on the Dailykos blog were ‘contributed to by two reporters from the AP’. She writes on Michael Moore’s website.

    And people say she has no agenda – she is being manipulated by the left wing anti war crowd and being helped by some of the media! Very sad and will be even worse when she is dumped by them once something else comes along to attack Bush with. And amidst all this the sacrifice Casey and his coalition colleagues made is being overshadowed.


  29. Anonymous says:

    This Telegraph suggests that public opinion is moving strongly against Sheehan. And for weeks now senior Democrats have stayed well clear of her. Because she has a nasty tongue and she is preaching total appeasement – even calling the terrorists in Iraq “freedom fighters”.

    Her only real allies are peaceniks. And the BBC fails to mention all this. They present her in a favourable light. Why ? Because a lot of what she says chimes with the Guardianista worldview that Mr Reynolds denies is the BBC’s theme.


  30. JohninLondon says:

    Sorry – the Sheehan post was me, and I omitted the Telegraph link :



  31. richard says:

    i felt rather sorry for cindy sheehan but this morning i read about her racist remarks against jews.silly woman.


  32. JohninLondon says:


    Wanna bet that the BBC mentions her antisemitic remarks ?


  33. Rob says:

    I’ve just posted on (D)HYS. Let’s see if it gets published.


    We owe these people nothing. They come to Britain, claim asylum, claim benefits, use our public ammenities and then plot our destruction. Deport them now. I honestly don’t care if they are tortured on their return. They’ve abused our hospitality and have forfeited any “rights” (privileges) they may have had.


  34. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    as a general point Rob, i`d say you`ve captured the feelings of 99% of the british population.


  35. dan says:

    The BBC have now created a page to cover the murder of the British man in Jerusalem.

    It is very brief, but would be briefer but for the totally unconnected –

    and came as four Palestinians died in a gunfight with Israeli troops in the West Bank.



  36. dan says:

    I’m not convinced about this photo business, but this page seems to confirm our (conspiracy) theories.


    Close cropped Bush & Robertson. More distinguished shot of Chavez, pointing a presidential & authorative finger.


  37. marc says:

    My post on Paul Reynolds latest screed on Iraq is up.



  38. Rob Read says:


    A few of my friends lost large amounts of money and I gained it, by them betting that Kerry would win based largely on BBC “news”.

    Since then they’ve been far easier to persuade that the BBC has some problems with it’s reporting.


  39. Rob Read says:

    “and came as four Palestinians died in a gunfight with Israeli troops in the West Bank.”

    It’s interesting that the BBC only makes you know the Israeli Troops were armed leaving you with the impression that the Palis were unarmed civilians.

    Like I said before the TV-Tax is used to harm the British public by omission and lie.

    The BBC funded by over 100,000 Man Years of Slavery per year.


  40. dan says:

    Further to my post above about the BBC including a statement of unconnected deaths in the ME with the murdered UK man, we know that the BBC will very often throw a comment into an article to further their agenda. (Often these are views attributed to anonymous “sources”, “critics”, “analysts” or “experts”.)

    Imagine that the BBC did not use this practice only by way of bias, then this article –


    Officials in nine north-eastern US states have reached a ground-breaking preliminary deal to reduce power plant emissions

    could have the following addition –

    “This move comes as signatories of the Kyoto treaty, in Europe & elsewhere, show little sign of meeting their treaty obligations.”


  41. Michael says:

    The BBC and Guardian types are getting all excited again, just as when they thought Kerry would unseat Bush. From their studios, council offices and government run universities they revel in the difficulties of anyone who has to deal with real world problems, while they sit in safe, humdrum jobs doing nothing much. A president of the USA doesn’t need to worry what a group of dull little Brits think about his actions.


  42. Rob says:

    Quick update on the (D)HYS “discussion”. For once, the balanace of opinion is going against the leffties. However, I think you can guage the opinion of the BBC employee responsible for running the debate. The majority of “comment boxes” on the right of the page, take the leftie, “human rights” view of things.


    For once in my life I actually disagree with the human rights lobby

    Adam, Stoke, UK

    The decisions should honestly reflect the consensus of public opinion

    Miland Joshi, UK


    All that will happen is that the radicals deported will be hailed as heroes

    Mohammad, London


    The test of any democracy is whether it tolerates anti-democratic beliefs

    Alex, Leicester, UK


    I think they should be tried in this country

    Malcolm, Warrington


    It is just another knee jerk reaction to another high profile problem

    Bryan, London


    I think we need to be careful that we do not indulge our feelings of disgust and righteousness at the expense of these heralded ideals

    Ben Lewis, London

    It is important to distinguish between opinions and actual acts

    Megan, Cheshire, UK

    Quite frankly these powers are years overdue

    James Buchanan, Helston, UK


    Let’s not forget what Livingstone calls the ‘Mandela test’

    Jack, Essex


  43. Ritter says:

    More climate change bias in action courtesy of the BBC.

    The Portugal fires story. Tragic story. The suspect causes reported in the media including the BBC are bad land management and arson (100 suspected arsonists people have been arrested so far).

    Fire exhausts Portugal volunteers

    So why, on every article on this story (see “see also” sidebar links) is there a link to the BBCs huge Global Climate Change web pages?




    Is extreme weather down to climate change?

    The answer to the above question is “No” but don’t let that stop you…..

    “With fires raging through southern Europe – a region experiencing its worst drought for decades – and some parts of the continent submerged by floods, it is tempting to ascribe such extreme weather to the effects of global warming.

    Why would it be “tempting” to ascribe the weather in Portugal to an unsubstantiated cause that no-one is suggesting, and where other causes, including bad land management and arson has been suggested? And, your own reports state “…but climate change researchers are reluctant to make this link.” (from above link). So why mention climate change as if if it is relevant?

    Unless of course you have some climate change axe to grind, or agenda to drive…….

    sigh, it all just too predictable…..

    BBC bias. That’s why I don’t trust the BBC for impartial facts.


  44. Paul Reynolds says:

    Ed: you quote me as saying

    “Reynolds finishes his straw man construction right at the end of his article when he asks ‘But will his (Bush’s) rush to come up with an “exit strategy” force him to abandon the aspiration to create a modern secular democracy out of the ashes of the Saddam dictatorship?’ (emboldenings mine)”

    I wrote no such line. Your readers can check.


    You have got mixed up with a piece by Roger Hardy.


    Paul Reynolds
    BBC News Online


  45. Paul Reynolds says:

    Now to “Teddy Bear”: You make so many ponts I have frankly lost count of which I have replied to and which I have not.

    But I think the outstanding ones include:

    restrctions set by Saddam: yes, there were restrictions of movement and minders tried to get in the way but all that was acknowledged at the time.
    being in the other side’s capital in time of war is a difficult judgment. WE were in Buenos Aires in the Falklands but I doubt if we would have been in Berlin.

    The T word: this has gone round the houses. The BBC has a policy of trying to avoid it and we do not generally use it to describe many cnflicts. However, after the London bombs, you have heard it frequently so it is not dictat.

    Bakri: I think that the Panorama programme caught up on a lot of this.

    Paul Reynolds BBC


  46. ed says:


    I see immediately that you are right and I apologise. I will have to alter the post with an acknowledgement of that. I realise that having the windows open simultaneously as I wrote the post I got mixed up while scrolling between the two (originally I intended to include Hardy in my analysis). A stupid mistake for which I apologise wholeheartedly.

    I will alter the post and acknowledge this error. I suppose I would be tempted scrap it altogether but for the interesting correlation between the themes of your and Roger Hardy’s posts- interesting I feel that one can inadvertently tack the end of one person’s opinion article onto the beginning of another’s and find the themes and language cohere sufficiently not to notice. I am interested to see what I can say in the light of my slip.

    As I said though I apologise- and over a central part of my fisking too- and can only say this might be one of those instances where the superiority of the printed page is apparent, since the whole thing is visible at one time, allowing for no scrolling and partial view errors.


  47. Paul Reynolds says:

    To Scott Callaghan, the American Expatriate.

    Thank you for identifying yourself. way.

    1. I have asked for others to do the same as I think they should stand up and be named. I do. But I do not make that a condition of debating with them.

    2. The issue of balance in a blog.

    The problem is that blogs like this one use the particular examples they give of bias and error to construct a general theory that the BBC is a giant conspiracy.

    I think they should look at the wider picture.

    This is not asking a blog to stop porbing and expopsing.

    Let me give an example which I offered to Melanie Phillips.

    In January, a BBC children’s website had an article which managed to explain the Holocaust without mentioning the Jews. Stunning.

    This woeful piece of work was used by Melanie as representative of the BBC’s view of the Holocaust. Lord Reith she said would be spinning in grave. No doubt he would if that was all the BBC had done.

    It was not. Shortly afterwards there was broadcast on BBC2 a multi-part documentary by Laurence Rees on Auschwitz. I think this was the most definitive account on television of the Holocaust so far. It described how it started and how it was carried out.

    Lord Reith I think would have stopped spinning and would be resting comfortably again, knowing that such good work was being produced.

    That is my complaint. The blog will pick up on the bad. No worries abot that. But it ignores the good in making its final judgment.

    with regards

    Paul Reynolds
    BBC Online


  48. Paul Reynolds says:

    To Ed: thank you for your rapid response.

    Paul R


  49. Lurker in a Burqua says:

    Mr Reynolds

    But where was the oversight? How was it possible to bring to air a Holocaust doc without mentioning the Jews?
    you sight this as an example of “the bad” but its not to be brushed off so lightly.
    Furthermore, who was sacked, retrained, reprimanded over such a howler? probably nobody and with self regulation of the BBC what hope is there?
    Again, I feel that you are just making excuses for the inexcusable.


  50. Anonymous says:

    I am not making excuses, LIB. Far from it. I called it woeful. I simply said that this was not all the BBC did on the Holocaust. I do know that the website was rewritten so somebody have been reprimanded.

    Paul R