Just because the AP says it’s news

…doesn’t mean the Beeb has to agree. This “story” is bogus. President Bush, after all, was not slow to declare a state of emergency along the Gulf Coast. Mayor Nagin’s reaction to this “news” is laughable and hypocritical but the Beeb is happy to serve us New Orleans sludge.

Update: DFH, one of our B-BBC commenterati has two very helpful posts here and here. Auntie can’t get away with what she once did.

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611 Responses to Just because the AP says it’s news

  1. Kerry B says:

    After posting I noticed several B-BBC commenters under the previous post who also got a whiff of this.

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  2. dumbcisco says:

    This criticism of CNN applies jkust as much to the BBC on Bush/Katrina :

    http://powerlineblog.com/archives/013303.php

    Where is paul reynolds to put the record straight again, to get some balance as required under the BBC’s Charter ?

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  3. Eamonn says:

    Today, Guantanamo, Katrina, Bush, Today, Guantanamo, Katrina, Bush,
    Today, Guantanamo, Katrina, Bush,
    Today, Guantanamo, Katrina, Bush,
    Today, Guantanamo, Katrina, Bush,
    Today, Guantanamo, Katrina, Bush,
    Today, Guantanamo, Katrina, Bush,

    Do I detect a pattern here from the Today team?

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  4. Rick says:

    Why all this fuss about a US Navy base on Cuba ?

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  5. Epi-Me says:

    Good to see there is always place for important news stories on the BBC.

    An important story from Sudan:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/4748292.stm

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  6. Big Mouth says:

    What’s all this stress from al-beeb’s terrorist huggers about the poor misfits getting force fed at Guantanamo? Not much in the US media, or anywhere else I’ve been scanning. Anectodally most Americans seem not to care too much about the feeding and care of terrorist suspects.
    Justin Webb is not a reformed character. Although it is true he is not openly mocking the US, just listen to the negative stories he chooses.

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  7. Eamonn says:

    Today.

    A fascinating segment from around 8.15 onwards.

    First we have the statements of a Guantanamo inmate:-

    I was tortured!
    I am innocent!
    etc.

    John Humphreys then “interviews” Colleen Graffey, and he nearly bursts a blood vessel in his righteous indignation about Guantanamo.

    Of course Humphreys should be able to ask hard questions of US representatives, but he would do well to remember that his righteous indignation is rather selective.

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  8. newkidontheblock says:

    O/T
    No sign of an HYS on yet another champagne socialist caught in the act. But then again I doubt if we will, after all she did renew the al BEEB’s charter.

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  9. Eamonn says:

    And so on to an interview with Sir Ming Ding, new leader of the Party with those yellowy/orange placards. First question: Guantanamo.

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  10. Bryan says:

    I’ve just been trying to find an atypical World Service report on the response to Katrina. It was aired at the time that Hurricane Rita was about to hit and a bold BBC reporter was in the area making his way against the flow of traffic.

    What was special about this report was that it didn’t blame Bush or the federal government for Katrina. State and local government negligence was adequately probed.

    Now I’m trying to find the report, which would have been aired around 20/9/05, without luck, even using the hurricane rita site: bbc.news.co.uk Google tip thoughtfully provided by Archduke.

    Damn. I really wanted to share this bit of positive news with my learned colleagues on this site.

    I’m gonna hafta wait till next lifetime to find my way around the Internet.

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  11. Eamonn says:

    Further on Sir Ding Ming Ping.

    At DHYS, the BBC highlight serious comments including:-

    “He’ll stake out a positive and progressive agenda”

    and

    “The LibDems have gone for a caretaker leader”

    And the most recommended comment on DHYS?

    “He has all the charisma of a house brick”.

    LOL.

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  12. dumbcisco says:

    Eamonn

    John Humphrys is a polemicist rather than just an interviewer. He is pushing a particular line just as hard as John Pilger. He is totally against Gitmo, totally pro the UN, totally deaf to any arguments – moral, political or legal – that disagree with his own views.

    His interview this morning had him effectively admitting this is his role – he was actually saying “let me make this point”…..not “let me ask this question”.

    The Bush administration is crazy to let the BBC get away with this rubbish so much. It is good that they again fielded a good lawyer to try to answer the today prog – but this is merely defensive. The US Embassy should really go on the offensive, there are so many egregious instances of BBC anti-US bias, and the Today prog is the chief culprit. They should do a real forensic job, they can get hold of the transcripts, there is endless ammo here on the files of Biased BBC as well as other UK blogs.

    John Humphrys is now well past his sell-by date. Time for him to go. Let’s have some balance on the BBC – putting him out to pasture would be an excellent first move and there are ample grounds to show he has shown monstrous and continual bias.

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  13. TAoL says:

    I have the ‘full’ Ming story on my blog. Forget idiots like Robinson and Assinder if you want proper political analysis. 🙂

    He does look a little like john Reid, doesn’t he?

    From the tone of the BBC’s reporting, I have a sense that the Lib Dems picked the wrong bloke: I think the news monkeys wanted Huhne (approved by Toynbee, brainwashed Europhile, slick etc.).

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  14. archduke says:

    today this morning
    06:31 gitmo
    07:35 katrina
    08:10 gitmo
    08:35 Ming Ding Ping – gitmo

    yaaaaaawn….

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  15. Niko says:

    Not related to this post, but I noticed something on the bbc website.

    A couple of evenings ago, I read this article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/4763520.stm
    And there was a linked ‘Have Your Say’ page, on which there were (if I remember correctly) 163 comments. The majority of the most recommended ones (as in, all but 1 on the first 3 pages) seemed to agree with the statement released and regarded Islamism as a threat comparable to Nazism or Communism.

    Yesterday, I could not track down the HYS page. It wasn’t linked from the article, it wasn’t linked from the HYS front-page, I even searched ‘islam’ and ‘islamism’ on the HYS search function… still drew a blank.

    The obvious conclusion is that seeing the direction the discussionw as taking, the BBC has either removed it wholesale, or removed all links to it (making it almost impossible to find)…

    Any thought, B-BBC crowd?

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  16. archduke says:

    via drinking from home:
    http://drinkingfromhome.blogspot.com/2006/03/here-they-go-again.html

    a czech tv station did a hidden-camera documentary in a prague mosque.

    of course, you’ll never get the bbc doing that.

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  17. Rob says:

    Two points – if the George Bush Katrina “video” story was even remotely plausible, the BBC would have it as their headline on the front page, for days. As it is, it isn’t even a headline on the Americas section, even though we are barely 20+ hours after it was published. They know it is bullsh*t.

    Also, I was listening to a BBC radio 4 broadcast last night about the Lib Dem elections. Menzies Campbell was referred throughout the program as “Ming”, or “Sir Ming” by the presenters, not when addressing him but in their ‘analysis’. Since when have ‘journalists’ been on first name terms with politicians and party leaders, and certainly since when has this been a policy in ‘news’ broadcasts? I doubt they would refer to David Cameron as “David”, and Magaret Thatcher would barely merit a strangled and hate-filled “Thatcher”.

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  18. Pierre says:

    yes, we do need more _balance_ on the Today programme. And more focus on the good side of the US stories.

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  19. Pierre says:

    Niko – the best I could find was
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/talking_point/world_have_your_say/4763380.stm

    …which looks pretty sanitised.

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  20. archduke says:

    niko -> as far i can recall, that islamism have your say was never linked to from that story you pointed out.

    you had to dig around to find it

    heres the direct link:
    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?sortBy=2&threadID=1213&start=0&tstart=0&&&&edition=2&ttl=20060303101153#paginator

    ( i *think* you could get it to it via the BBC World Service pages, as they had a phone in discussion about it)

    so, yes – its another example of burying stuff that doesnt toe the al-beeb line.

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  21. john says:

    Following on so quickly from his David Cameron interview, where he was reminded that ‘he might even interrupt his own self’ I find John Humphrys nowadays the audible equivalent of Victor Meldrew. We have to listen to hrmmps, gulps, childish point scoring, audible sneering, gasps of astonishment etc., etc. Has he become increasingly asthmatic or is he going ga-ga? To hear a bbc interviewer simply repeating one word of what the person being interviewed is trying to say with the customary sneer “Oh really?” is pathetic. It’s quite impossible for anybody to get across a point and expand it that he doesn’t like. He sees himself as some kind of messianic missionary for Gitmo. He has crawled so far up his own backside that he is incapable of seeing the other side of the argument- according to the world of Humphrys there is no argument! Clearly he was riled by her description of all of this as an illegal “publicity stunt by the bbc” What a great example of bbc bias on Today this morning? Coming soon on Channel 4 I notice the Gitmo terrorists the ‘Tipton Three’ tell us their personal story on TV (again?). Watch out for bbc audio repeats and in-depth interviews. And then to round it off over breakfast an unnecessary plug for the film “Kidulthhood” with an interview by Ms Montague with three hoodlums talking in Creole English, “yeh man, dat aint bad!” Unbiased bbc interviewer (Today & News 24 ‘Hard Talk’, etc. )Sarah Montague admitted on Today a long time ago that when she was a student at University she threw eggs at visiting politicians, does anybody know from which party? Guesses on a postcard please.

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  22. xj says:

    Rob: If a man has a knighthood you typically don’t use his surname. It’s not correct to say “Mr Campbell”, for instance: you should use “Sir Menzies” in formal situations. (Presumably he prefers “Ming” to “Menzies” because nobody south of Carlisle knows how to pronounce “Menzies”). I think we have to give the BBC a pass on this one.

    The more interesting question is exactly what this fellow Campbell has ever done to merit a knighthood; still, they do seem to be handing out gongs to just about anyone nowadays – I imagine Campbell got it as a kind of Good Conduct Medal for dozing quietly on the back benches for twenty years…

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  23. archduke says:

    “yes, we do need more _balance_ on the Today programme. And more focus on the good side of the US stories.Pierre ”

    America is a vast , enormous country.
    The BBC has 24 hour news channel – it has plenty of airtime available to inform us about whats going on in say, Kansas or Oklahoma.

    ok, that would be “trivial” stuff – but it would be interesting to hear about day to day life in the U.S.

    it has the airtime available and doesnt use it.

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  24. Grimer says:

    Niko,

    There appears to be a bug in the Have Your Say search engine.

    You need to search once for islamism. It will return no results. Press ‘enter’ again and it will perform a second search. The debate will then magically appear.
    ________

    Has anybody noticed that the far less popular debate “would you buy fair trade clothing” is still on the HYS frontpage, but the ‘Islamism’ debate it not?

    They both started at the same time. Why is the BBC happy to continue a boring ‘non-topic’, rather than a very popular and important one?

    Maybe they are experiencing ‘technical difficulties’ again (i.e. nobody agrees with the BBC’s multi-culti PC woldview, so it’s been scrapped).

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  25. archduke says:

    my today listing above was incorrect. theres another gitmo at 07:37

    06:31 gitmo
    07:35 katrina
    07:37 gitmo
    08:10 gitmo
    08:35 Ming Ding Ping – gitmo

    the 08:10 gitmo snippet mentions Tom Wilner who is a lawyer for some of the Gitmo prisoners.
    Whats NOT said , is that Mr Wilner is:

    a registered Democrat

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  26. archduke says:

    i’m listening to the 08:10 snippet of Today. the sneering and posturing of Humphries towards the American, Colleen Graffy, is staggering.

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  27. archduke says:

    i have to say – that 08:10 interview with Colleen Graffy has to be one of the *worst* interviews i have ever heard on the BBC.

    it wasnt an interview – it was a tirade, which Miss Graffy tried her best to deal with. Somehow , I dont think somebody like say, John Bolton, would have taken that crap.

    The tirade *would* be justified , if we heard similar tirades against the likes of say, the MCB, Omar Bakri, or the Iranians or Saudis.

    but we dont , do we?

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  28. Eamonn says:

    No.

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  29. Bryan says:

    Niko,

    Following on from Archduke’s comment, you’re right, they hid the topic, effectively killing it, after having it on the main page for less than a day.

    Here’s what I had to do to find it again:

    *Click on any HYS topic. (I chose Mardis Gras.)
    *Enter topic Is Islamism the new global threat? in search box. (Here the sly BBC staff know that many wont remember the title of the topic and therefore wont be able to access it, since the site has such a lousy search facility.)
    *Click ‘Go’. That will get you to a summary of the Mardis Gras page, so you have to click ‘Go’ again.
    *That will get you to a summarised version of the topic you want.
    *Click on any of the headings to the comments to finally get to the HYS page where you can read and comment.

    Comments are now up to 186, and I’m pretty sure that many of those last 23 comments, mostly posted on Thursday, were selectively picked by the ‘moderators’ since they vary considerably in tone from the anti-Islamism of the comments that originally poured into the site on Wednesday.

    HYS regularly hides topics when they see that the comments are strongly against their agenda. It’s typical BBC evasion and dishonesty. They should be more upfront about their agenda and just post their ‘This debate is now closed’ text above the title block of the topic. But they whip it off the main page and bury it alive, still leaving it ‘open’.

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  30. Eamonn says:

    I wondered why I couldn’t reach that thread from the BBC site – I had to link to it through the links in the comments here. But even for the BBC, it seems hard to believe that they would “hide” threads? Or am I naive?

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  31. Bryan says:

    Grimer,

    I tried clicking ‘Islamism’ twice and also got to the topic.

    Weird. The BBC is in a class of its own.

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  32. dumbcisco says:

    The “interview” with the gitmo prisoner is now the No 2 story on the home page of the BBC website and also the BBC home page.

    The guy on top of the Clapham omnibus could not care one jot about Gitmo. The BBC is obsessed about it.

    It is a “when will you stop beating your wife” story, the way they play it. Nil regard to the opposing views in international law – they allowed the UN guy today to get away with the absurd claim that every law professor in the world was against the US line on Gitmo. While Humphrys said there is total worldwide opposition to Gitmo. There seems to be a lot of support for it here inj the UK – we would rather those guys were kept locked up, subject to the reviews already occurring, than being freed to go trying to kill British troops in Afghanistan.

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  33. dumbcisco says:

    The link to the Humphrys interview on the Today prog does not work – and no other item on today’s prog is available on the website list :

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/

    How many staff do the BBC employ ? 25,000 ? Yet they can’t get the items of their flagship radio news prog online even 5 hours after it started ? All gone off early to the pub cos’ it’s Friday ?

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  34. Bryan says:

    Eamonn,

    Believe it, they hide threads. I’ve been following them on and off, ever since they changed HYS to the new format. I’ve seen them:

    *Whip highly popular topics off the main page after a day or so when the comment flow is against their agenda.
    *Not publish comments by people who’ve managed to track the topics to their hiding place. The topics stay hiden, stagnant but still ‘open’.
    *Leave unpopular threads on the main page for a week or so when the few comments largely suit their agenda.

    Follow HYS for a week or two and all will be revealed.

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  35. Bryan says:

    Er…. hidden

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  36. Umbongo says:

    Re Humphreys’ interviewing technique: compare his interviews earlier this week with Dsvid Cameron (“Mr Humpheys you’ll interrupt yourself soon”) with Lord Ashdown (“we want to look to the future not the past”): one with constant interruption and scorn, the other with sickening deference. Guess which is which.

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  37. Ritter says:

    Interrupting himself?
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/newswatch/ukfs/hi/newsid_4770000/newsid_4770100/4770160.stm

    “An interview with Conservative leader David Cameron on Radio 4’s Today programme this week has provoked more than two hundred complaints.”

    “John agrees that the interview did not go as he intended but nonetheless we feel that overall the interview succeeded in casting light on Mr Cameron’s thinking and the direction in which he is taking the Conservative Party”

    What? Is than an apology or an admission that the interview was crap?

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  38. dumbcisco says:

    The Director of the US Hurricane Center went on record yesterday to state that he was NOT saying before Katrina that the levees in New Orleans would break – he feels Bush is getting a bum rap.

    It has been on the airwaves, the BBC research and editorial staff should have seen this and told their presenters – they monitor all the US stuff, don’t they ? Yet we have LIES on Newsnight under Kirsty wark and LIES on the Today programme.

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/11640594/page/2/

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  39. Umbongo says:

    Ritter

    “What? Is than an apology or an admission that the interview was crap?”

    It’s neither: it’s the minimum the BBC can get away with: what the BBC is saying is “we’ve received 200 complaints – so what?”

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  40. Grimer says:

    Ritter,

    It’s neither. The interview didn’t go according to plan, because Cameron stood up fo himself.

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  41. archduke says:

    dumbcisco -> the interviews ARE available
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/listenagain/

    you have to click on the hyperlinked text rather than the little speaker icon. e.g. at 08:10 , click on “Guatanamo Bay”

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  42. dumbcisco says:

    archduke

    Yes I know – it may be that my RealPlayer is not working properly. But at 11am virtually none of the interviews were available anyway.

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  43. archduke says:

    “It’s neither. The interview didn’t go according to plan, because Cameron stood up fo himself.”

    i’ve sent in a complaint about the 08:10 interview with Colleen Graffy.

    i hope another 200 do the same.
    it was seriously painful to listen to. the bile, slandering , venom and arrogance was unbelievable.

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  44. dumbcisco says:

    I have just sent a formal complaint about today’s Humphrys interview, using this page as the start of the procedure, and asking for a reply.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/complaints/

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  45. Ritter says:

    Iranian Newspaper Begins Holocaust Cartoon Contest
    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,184672,00.html

    Hmmm. Holocaust – historical fact.
    Islam – belief system.

    I can tell the difference between the two.

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  46. dumbcisco says:

    People may wish to tell the BBC Governors that they can not be trusted to handle complaints properly and that the job should be handed to the BBC. They are asking for public comments on their procedures here, and we should not letv the BBC try to report that they had had a favourable response to the procedures they are introducing :

    http://www.bbcgovernors.co.uk/haveyoursay/complaints.html

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  47. Ian Barnes says:

    The BBC is clearly showing its true colours…moreover, it is regularly receiving messages from a certain spin mistress in No10 telling the news team to lead with certain stories…in particular anything that can help her mate Hilary…and moreover, anything that gets the focus of attention off her other mate Tessa….watching Channel 4 news last night i couldnt believe she had been cleared….it makes the conservatives of past look like pussy cats compared to new labour’s fraud and deceit…ignorance doesnt wash..

    Question time last night i must say was typically biased…not only planted audience members from the labour party, but general topics designed to talk about everyone/ thing else except the labour party…

    and the producers/ directors of that show know it..

    Dimbleby whilst has improved greatly his chairmanship of the forum, the little voice in his ear is far too biased….

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  48. Rob White says:

    OT – “What do you make of Bush’s visit to India?”

    http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?sortBy=2&threadID=1191&edition=1&ttl=20060303124158&#paginator

    Second most recommended:

    “Welcme to the BBC “rant against Bush” forum number 12,627. Remember folks, the more toxic and irrational you make your rant the more likely the BBC censors..eer “Moderators” are to let it on their site.

    Bill Grant, New York, United States

    Recommended by 83 people”

    Bang on.

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  49. John Tomlinson says:

    I’m trying to find a page on the BBC website which interviewed Michael Grade in which he said something to the effect that he felt that Al-Beeb does admit to its mistakes and thought it would be a terrible thing if they always tried to avoid doing so. Any hints from anyone as to where this could be?

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