Re-thinking their position

Reflecting on the BBC’s current coverage of Iraq and the Petraeus report which is due today, I was led to have a nostalgic look at the much-missed LastNight’sBBCNEWS blog, which gave panoramas of Panorama and other BBC programmes during its existence. Here’s an interesting post.

It reminded me of the old BBC line that the trouble with Iraq was “the Sunni insurgency… a nationalistic struggle against foreigners”. That was yesterday’s despair.

Now, I also note that the BBC have chosen to present their own news ahead of Gen. Petraeus’ remarks today, revealing what their busy-beaver, wholly impartial and fully trained Iraqi pollsters have found about Iraqis’ views on “the surge”. I don’t know how big the Iraqi media’s coverage of “the surge” has been- but I doubt whether this represents a distinct difference for Iraqis. A few more American occupiers around in Baghdad and the West of the country. So what? Well, the BBC thinks it fits nicely with the ground they’ve been preparing for Petraeus’ report.

But what I said about yesterday’s worries is relevant, extremely so. For what the BBC forget is that yesterday’s enemies have become today’s allies- in Al Anbar and the Sunni triangle. The minority that the BBC saw as a nationalistic resistance is now replaced in terms of threat by the majority Shia with its factional interests and Iranian involvement. So a poll that interviews proportionately may well reflect the fact that the US is no longer seen as a wholly backed subsidiary of the majority interest.

This might be seen as good news from Iraq, but ah, I see those distant goal posts being shifted yet again. No goal! No goal!

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48 Responses to Re-thinking their position

  1. j0nz says:

    This poll of theirs states “more than half of Iraqis want to the forces to stay until security improves”.

    Why is this not the headline? What are they trying to prove?… Made a post on it before I came here actually


  2. Anon says:


    The BBC forgets how the role of Sunnis is changing or in your willingness to post you just can’t be bothered to find the links (notwithstanding all the BBC’s other output?)


  3. ed says:

    Anon- every damn headline for the past two weeks has carried a negative message about Iraq, so don’t give me all that nonsense, including a report from December last year, another that began with talk of “round the clock killing” in Iraq, and one Sunni family’s account which said that “The American plan is good. But inside the American plans, Iraqi commanders are like dogs.”

    That latter comment may reflect one perspective on reality- but it is not a positive report at all. Yet out there, even in the MSM, there exist dozens of positive reports, especially from the Sunni triangle and Al Anbar.

    Your very selection proves my point spectacularly well (link in haste, repent at leisure). I recommend other readers follow and judge for themselves.


  4. Andrew says:

    Anon, since you are a regular commenter here please adopt and use a name. It’s not an unreasonable request, and it’s far from the first time I’ve asked you to do so. The occasional ‘anon’ from passers-by is okay, but you’re taking the biscuit, repeatedly appearing as if you’re just ‘some other person’, rather than a person with a clear and distinctive line (not to mention IP address).


  5. Abandon Ship! says:

    Petraeus with good news from Iraq?

    Well we can’t have that in Beeboid land, so draft in Hugh Sykes pdq to provide the much needed “balance”, if you know what I mean. Sykes is the sort of BBC chappie who on VE day would have been warning about the vast Nazi divisions breaking out of their Bavarian fastness to destroy the allied armies.


  6. Jacob says:

    “Anon- every damn headline for the past two weeks has carried a negative message about Iraq, so don’t give me all that nonsense”

    You were specifically discussing that the BBC had “forgot” that “that yesterday’s enemies have become today’s allies”, when it’s patently clear, even from their web output alone that they are quite aware of shifts between Sunni and Shia and the ebb and flow of Iraqi politics.


  7. ed says:


    Jacob, the BBC might be “quite well aware”. Are the public?

    And I was specifically discussing the BBC’s current coverage, with special reference to their coverage building up to the Petraeus report.

    Btw, I was using “forget” in the ironic sense, and with reference to the survey the BBC have just published to create a backdrop for the Petraeus report.


  8. Jacob says:


    What is your point exactly? That the BBC is “forgetting” information to discredit Petraeus? You argue that creating a backdrop of his report is a bad thing and yet on Capitol Hill *the* central talking point is how confusing/conflicting the Iraq data is and how Petraeus is manipulating it.



  9. Jacob says: ALeqM5gtNe5FiAYP2m0rH1xQFm66i0plMw

    Link again, hopefully readable now.


  10. Andrew says:

    Thank you for picking a name Anon. I’m glad that everyone can now address you as a person. Welcome to the debate.


  11. BJ says:

    I would have thought the Iraqis in the affeceted areas would have noticed a 75% reduction in violence? perhaps not.


  12. David Preiser says:

    Ho hum, another poll asking cavemen what they think about the world around them. Does that sound snobbish, arrogant, non-PC, racist, etc? Well then, let’s all wonder what the results would be if you asked the exact same Iraqis if they thought that most problems in their country were due to Zionist conspiracies. If these same respondents believe that Jews are behind it all (which so many do), why should I value their opinion on the rest of it?

    Another fun question to put to these same people whose opinions are supposedly of such value: Don’t you actually want the US to leave just so you can get on with your Sunni versus Shia bloodbath, because you believe that your sect should be in charge of the whole thing? (This would especially apply to those Sunnis.)

    More questions for these same Iraqis:

    Do you believe that some people have supernatural powers?

    If the US/Iraqi Government paid you more money to fight on their behalf than the various “insurgent” factions do, which side would you choose?

    Weren’t the Yazidi who got slaughtered recently actually heretics and devil worshipers?

    You don’t really believe that you, personally, will be killed in the massive fighting that will happen if the US troops pull out now, do you?

    I could go on and on. The thing is, you’d probably get about the same percentages as this other poll. Nobody from the BBC or ABC or NHK is going to ask Iraqis anything like my suggested questions, because they won’t like the answers.

    The opinions of the man on the street in Iraq is virtually meaningless on big issues. Sad, not politically correct, but true. If the pollsters had queried tribal leaders and government officials instead, I wonder what the difference would have been?

    The BBC are taking this pre-emptive strike against Gen. Petraeus’s report because they know what everyone else does: the surge is, in fact working to a large extent, and that in reality everyone except the terrorists and their backers want the US to stay longer until the Iraqi government and military stabilizes and becomes truly functional. This is anathema to the BBC and all leftoids, so they must cast doubt at all costs. It’s getting so bad over here that leftoids have been screaming for weeks that Bush has already written the report, and Petraeus (“General Betray-Us” they are now calling him)is just a mouthpiece manipulating data. More than a few Democratic pols are beginning to accept that there has been real progress, and are already being shouted down by the far-left factions that want to control the Democratic Party. They all know that any success in Iraq is their own defeat, and they are scared.

    I suppose the BBC is just dutifully reporting a poll about newsworthy events. But if the Iraqis’ opinions are so important, why not give more attention to the fact that 53% actually want the US to stay until things get better? Others have asked that already, I know. But why is there nothing in the BBC’s in-depth analysis about how that number may or may not contradict the other answers?

    Having looked at the poll questions and answers in detail, I see lots of contradictions in the answers about security, which only supports my theory about their value.

    Oh, and this wouldn’t have anything to do with Brown’s intention to end the British presence in Iraq, now would it?


  13. Martin says:

    Yes, the BBC were spouting this stuff on the News tonight. They didn’t however mention HOw they got these figures. Did the BBC sent their staff door to door in Baghad? Are we talking Mori here? Hmm. I suspect not.

    Perhaps they simply asked a few Guardian readers in Iraq?


  14. Abandon Ship! says:

    You leave the speech marks in,
    the speech marks out,
    in, out, in, out etc (to the tune of hokey-cokey)

    BBC reporting General Petraeus:

    US surge plan in Iraq “working”

    BBC reporting their own poll:

    US surge has failed

    BBC poll courtesy of the Hugh Sykes “truth” comission.


  15. AndrewSouthLondon says:

    “A poll of BBC journalists who write on Middle Eastern Affairs today proved without doubt that eleven out of ten Iraqis want to be ruled by the insurgency… ” blah blah blah


  16. ed says:

    Jacob, “yet on Capitol Hill *the* central talking point is how confusing/conflicting the Iraq data is and how Petraeus is manipulating it”, you are clearly a Democrat. The BBC reflect your views.

    ’nuff said.


  17. dave t says:

    And AP tend to be even worse than the BBC so quoting them for balance ain’t going to inspire confidence….


  18. dave t says:

    Petraeus is probably the TOP expert on terrorism and counterinsurgency warfare the Yanks have, if not in NATO. HE is the true “warrior monk” a scholar of the art of warfare, a learned writer of some of the most relevant books read by the people who really matter in counter insurgency and why the heck he wasn’t sent in earlier is beyond most of my American and British ex and serving friends!

    Meanwhile despite even some Democrats agreeing with the Iraqi Government as well as many other observers on the ground agreeing with what the General is saying the lefties have already got their agenda and refuse even when confronted with truth, pictures, facts and testimony from their own side to face facts. Iraq is slowly turning a corner and life IS getting better for the majority. Al Q are losing the war and the campaign for hearts and minds. THIS is what the BBC and others should be looking at in the interests of balance and impartiality. Will they? Will they heck!

    PS Anyone notice that when Ossi Bin Liner was gibbering about recent events in his latest video that the picture had in fact frozen? About 1 min 30 into the tape when he talks about current events. Thus the audio at this stage onwards could be anyone not OBL! Why have the BBC not picked up on this? I would place a bet that he’s been dead for years.


  19. David Preiser says:

    dave t,

    I noticed, as have others:

    Nobody in the MSM has mentioned it yet, but it will surely happen in the next day or so. Anyone can download the full video from the above site.


  20. Jacob says:

    “you are clearly a Democrat. The BBC reflect your views.

    ’nuff said.”

    And the Telegraph, it seems:

    But then, ed, it’s pretty rare to find a media organisation outside America that sees the world, and Iraq in particular, the way current Republicans do.

    It always amuses me that the BBC is seen as some nefarious anti-American hotbed. And then you go read what European media has to say about US politics.


  21. Andrew Paterson says:

    Jacob, the Daily Telegraph hasn’t exactly been pulling up stumps with it’s Middle Eastern coverage over the last few years believe me.

    What’s always interested me about Iraq is that if you take Baghdad out of the equation, the statistics take on a very different face indeed. But then such analysis wouldn’t suit the whole ‘Iraq is in flames’ line would it.


  22. David Preiser says:

    The Telegraph can never show too much enthusiasm for Iraq any more, as it is part of Blair’s legacy. The Spectator has gone even further in the last two years, simply because of Blair hatred.

    The behavior of the European press is irrelevant to a discussion about BBC behavior. Other media outlets are even more open in their contempt for the US? So what? That excuse doesn’t help the BBC at all.


  23. ed says:

    Jacob, calm down.

    Every time you write you advertise your position in this matter. From your last comment:

    “But then, ed, it’s pretty rare to find a media organisation outside America that sees the world, and Iraq in particular, the way current Republicans do.”

    So you think the BBC should discount the Republican perspective. And you are satisfied with their recent coverage of Iraq.

    As I said, ’nuff said- until that is, you put your foot in it the next time. Shouldn’t be long I suppose.


  24. Cockney says:

    It strikes me as somewhat dubious that the BBC headline on the Petreaus report is already “US general under fire”.

    I’d have thought that at this stage at least, a straight summary of the report headlined something like “General claims surge successes” would be appropriate with the scepticism covered in the body of the article.


  25. Jacob says:

    “So you think the BBC should discount the Republican perspective.”

    ed, this schoolboy debating technique of clumsily trying to paint people into corners with ridiculous strawmen is rather amusing.

    The Republican perspective, like the Democrat one, is a perspective. You believe the BBC is swallowing the Democrat line whole. I don’t.

    The debate, whether you like it or not, has centred on Petraeus’ credibility and testimony – a point which to you, apparently is “Democrat”.

    The BBC site has led with the following stories these past few days:

    US surge has failed – Iraqi poll
    US surge plan in Iraq ‘working’
    Iraqi PM positive on surge
    US general under fire over surge
    Petraeus says Iraq gains ‘uneven’

    Does that genuinely sound like a Democrat narrative of events to you?


  26. Heron says:


    Maybe you could explain a few things to us.

    1. Why less than 24 hours after Petraeus’ report are the three main headlines on the website:

    “US general under fire over surge”
    “Making the case for US policy”
    “US surge has failed – Iraqi poll”

    Two out of three negative views and no headline actually giving a factual account of Petraeus’ report. It can’t be a chronological thing, as the Iraqi poll is still in the top 3 headlines and that came before Petraeus. It is yet another example of “Labour has accused the Conservatives of…” headlining that hit the news in previous weeks, for which the BBC had to backtrack and give a half-hearted apology. It is bad and biased journalism to lead with the attack before considering what was in the report. As has been said here, General Petraeus is THE leading expert on what goes on in Iraq, so his views must carry more weight than those of any Democrats or Republicans sitting in their cosy offices in Washington.

    So, Jacob, what is the BBC’s motive behind promoting the Democrats’ political views over those of the country’s leading expert?

    2. Can you explain the use of scare quotes around the US surge “working” headline, but lack of scare quotes around ‘failed’ in the poll headline.

    Why is the BBC trying to direct us toward the view that anything its top general says must be taken with a pinch of salt, but any answers given in the poll must be a totally accurate reflection of what’s actually happening in the war?


  27. Heron says:

    I should quickly add, before John Reith or Jacob start quoting bits of the article to show how balanced everything is, that I have not read any of the articles, just the headlines. I did this deliberately because that is what the majority of people do when they visit – they scan the main pages to see what the news is. The vast majority of people online will get their news via the headlines. John Reith is great at taking our attention away from the headlines and into the articles, but to have biased headlines is to have a biased website, and to have a biased website is to have a biased organisation.

    If, as you say, John Reith, most BBC articles are well balanced, perhaps your beloved organisation that I have to pay for could perhaps subject its headlines to the same scrutiny over “balance”?


  28. Jacob says:


    I provided five headlines. The two you haven’t quoted are:

    US surge plan in Iraq ‘working’
    Iraqi PM positive on surge

    I suggest you look there. The headline link last evening and all night was “US surge plan in Iraq ‘working'”.

    The headline link under the microsite for “The Struggle in Iraq” is “US surge plan for Iraq ‘working'”

    Is this biased against the Democrats, because it certainly isn’t their take on events.

    In the “US general under fire over surge” article and on the front page of the Americas microsite there is a direct video link to Petraeus’ testimony and a link to key quotes from the Iraq surge hearing.

    And John Simpson’s analysis, such as:

    “The fact is, Gen Petraeus has brought a clear head and an educated spirit to the business of counter-insurgency, and his methods have been far more successful than those of his predecessors, who allowed the insurgents to make all the running”


    “And he has introduced specific measures which have made it harder for suicide bombers and ethnic killers to operate, particularly in Baghdad.”

    Once again, the myth that the BBC is presenting the testimony partially or selectively is just that: a myth.


  29. Michael says:


    Show me daily stories where American forces have captured, killed Al Qaeda, defeated and captured Iranian trained extremist, interdicted Iranian supplied weapons, and defeat daily suicide bombers fed by Syria into Iraq that blow up innocents.

    Daily reports where they protect Iraqis, their families, build up neighborhoods, build schools, install clean drinking water, give out medicine, supply doctors, nurses to a people that never had any in 35 years. Where media is free for the first time to discuss what their new nation will be like, how to share oil wealth, how to solve crime, how to come together and how to fight terrorist.

    Oh Jacob, please do show me all the daily stories of the BBC objectively reporting good news pouring forth out of Iraq, despite the entire world of leftist, socialist, communist and islamic radicals being against us, sounding oddly like each other in message…. along with Osama, you know, our enemy?


    The BBC largely; though not all, are not in favor of showing that picture to their audience. They proved it with the Bush-Hitler pictures in their offices. They’re not objective as a news organization and it is fully plain to see on their website, in comparison to what is occurring on the ground. They report half the truth, of what they want the public to see and hear. They are acting like gatekeepers of information, instead of freely reporting “all” the news.

    An attempt to pre-empt the report with a BS poll. A five day old story about killing 14. They quote someone saying “they didn’t do nuttin” but the BBC fails to verify with Americans what took place? Shoddy reporting turned in by the BBC. Always show the cruelty as if Americans shot hell fire, running in without thinking, didn’t care who they killed, then quote a few Iraqis saying they were innocent, no problem here.

    Thank you BBC for proving my point of dereliction of duties as objective reporters. It serves their purpose, Americans look like “cowboy” bullies, nuff said, end of report, file it, print it, good as trooooth for the Bush Bashing Corporation.

    Show me stories where good American soldiers are portrayed with a sense of duty and honor, where they believe in helping people get back on their feet, where Iraqis work together and the people are happy after American and IA forces clear a neighborhood from Al Qaeda terrorist. This happens daily. Show me where Iraqis are turning against terrorist by the tens of thousands. Show me where Iraqis turn in weapons caches, call in tips against the enemy.

    This happens daily.

    Where is the Biased Bush-hitler Corporation?

    Blaming America.

    And NOT blaming Syria, Iran, old Baathist, Al Qaeda. You know Jacob, our enemies that support terrorist that kill innocents.

    So Jacob,
    I’ll wait to see the daily stories you find. There should be daily stories of American soldiers success. Get my point?
    American and Coalition supply daily press releases.

    After you fail, I’ll show you the daily reports of brave soldiers, American, Iraqi, Coalition. That the BBC REFUSES TO PUBLISH!

    Leaving the British in the dark! Intentionally! Hey, is the BBC reporter still checking in? Did he ever apologize for the Bush-Hitler picture? Did any heads roll? Anyone get fired? Objectivity? Sheesh, more like the enemy within.


  30. Michael says:


    the truth is you buy into the myth you sell…


  31. Heron says:


    You may as well not have bothered writing back because all of what you have written is irrelevant to the point I made. On the front page of the website this morning were the three headlines I mentioned. The surge ‘working’ (still no answer on the scare quotes I notice) headline was not visible on the news page. I am completely aware of that headline, but no-one who had scanned the BBC website’s news page this morning would have been. In my second post I said:

    “I should quickly add, before John Reith or Jacob start quoting bits of the article to show how balanced everything is, that I have not read any of the articles, just the headlines. I did this deliberately because that is what the majority of people do when they visit – they scan the main pages to see what the news is. The vast majority of people online will get their news via the headlines. John Reith is great at taking our attention away from the headlines and into the articles, but to have biased headlines is to have a biased website, and to have a biased website is to have a biased organisation.”

    As yet I have had no answer to that charge from yourself. You mention the microsite “The Struggle In Iraq”; is this clearly accessible from the NEws Page or the Home Page, because I can’t see it? You also mention John Simpson’s analysis and I’m sure you’re right. My complaints were entirely about the BBC’s choice of headlines, and its choice of which headlines are visible on its main pages. In this particular instance I’m not interested in what’s inside the headlines, behind microsites and what headlines may have been on there for a few hours yesterday before being taken off, as no-one scanning the BBC website would know about these things.

    I notice that now two of those three headlines have been taken off the main news page. The one that remains is:

    “US general under fire over surge”

    So maybe if you could address the points I have made next time?


  32. Michael says:

    I wonder if the BBC reporters took pictures of Bush around as Hitler and asked Iraqis what they thought?

    Thanks for all you do here at biased-bbc, and for those who support us in this global war.

    Jacob… I’ll be waiting on all those stories. There are thousands now that the BBC did not publish.


  33. Michael says:

    Below is the BBC Iraq page. Biased to the core against America.

    Doomsayers, naysayers, tragedy, not working, failure, etc., etc. They got one story by the Iraqi PM. This is better than most days. But I’ve had to write them about it several times, and still they do not report the greater good being done by our troops on a daily basis.

    I’ll check in later tonight to see if Jacob can find the stories on BBC that I’ve discussed, which are out there for anyone to find.


  34. Jacob says:

    “My complaints were entirely about the BBC’s choice of headlines, and its choice of which headlines are visible on its main pages.”

    So, by your definition of bias (not the content, not the headlines, but only the headlines visible on the main page), the BBC was biased against the Democrats when it led with a positive headline yesterday “US surge plan in Iraq ‘working'”.


  35. Cockney says:


    Much of that stream of consciousness sounds like the sort of ideologically blinkered crap that got us into this mess (*balanced conclusion of a range of centrist respected media*) in the first place, however there are evidently good news stories out there which the BBC should be reporting as a priority – not least in it’s public duty to provide a suitably upbeat service to british citizens with relatives serving over there.


  36. Michael says:


    First, I’m an Independent, always have been. I have voted for Democrat candidates in the past. Please be specific. I pointed out that the BBC has a Bush-Hitler picture. Who is the one with “ideological crap” problems?

    Me, for pointing this garbage out?

    This is war. We all need to stop whining. Get over it. Let our troops win. Like in WWII, we face a deadly enemy that will not stop. Iran and Syria, plus Hezbollah, Al Qaeda, old Baathist work together in this war against us.

    This war is being fought strategically better than people think around the globe by our military, except for on our own lands in the media. But why would our military think they have to fight the Tokyo Roses within our own lands?

    Our military split Syria/Iran, surrounded Iran, forced Syria out of Lebanon, have UN troops in Lebanon now effectively surrounding Syria.

    They recognize the war and are fighting us thru proxies. There is a larger war going on than most people realize, or sadly, willing to admit. This is not just about Iraq. It is about Syria/IRan as well. And the future of the Middle East.

    After 3000 people died. After I stood on top of WTC 2, I’m not setting here blowing ideological crap! I refuse to set by and let tyrants rule, brainwashing millions, utilizing propaganda of hatred thru the control of their media, building their armies and financing terrorist around the world.

    It is amazing to me that Syria/Iran realize it better than the BBC, or we do. They signed a defense pact. Al Qaeda, Nashralla(Hezbollah), Sadr(Mahdi), were all in Damascus together in agreement to defend each other. They are responsible for the chaos in Iraq, Lebanon, Gaza.

    Remember the UNHRC, has some of these corrupt thugs sitting on the Human Rights commission. They just met in Iran of all places! Iran then executed 20 by hanging! Cuba, Syria, Sudan, Iran…

    ideological crap? are you kidding me? who? the ones to afraid to report the truth about our enemies? or me for demanding the truth be told?

    these are all enemies. they toruture their people, murder and destroy and now they’re fighting a proxy war against us in Iraq, because they know that a free country is the end of their tyrannical rule.

    It does us no good to run away anymore in this world.

    Again, our military is winning. We need to let them win and stop whining, all of us and pull together, support them, and recognize we have dangerous enemies.

    I am thankful for the Brits that have stood by us. I just wish more would get their news from somewhere else than the BBC. Yes, the Bush-Hitler BBC. During a time of war, the BBC, has an office that compares our President to a madman responsible for 72 million deaths!

    Bush has freed 50 million. Lets get some perspective here.


  37. Heron says:

    [i]So, by your definition of bias (not the content, not the headlines, but only the headlines visible on the main page), the BBC was biased against the Democrats when it led with a positive headline yesterday “US surge plan in Iraq ‘working'”.[/i]

    Jacob, you’re becoming like Hillhunt. Read my posts and you will realise what a fool you’re making of yourself.

    Answer the following questions. If it helps you to focus on what I’m asking, write the numbers before the answers:

    1. Why was the headline on this hugely important and influential report on Iraq only on during the evening and night time – for well under 24 hours?

    2. Following on from question 1, why was the surge “working” headline removed before the surge not working headline re: the poll, despite the latter headline being in position for several days?

    3. Why is the only visible headline on the major pages of the BBC website that refers to the Petraeus report (at 11.30 a.m.) “US general under fire over surge”? Why does the only clearly visible headline refer to the Democrats’ reaction rather than the General’s words or even the President’s or the Republicans’ reaction? Does this show favouritism towards the Democrats?

    4. Following on from Question 3, the BBC have admitted culpability a couple of weeks ago over its reports on a Conservative report that started “Labour have criticised reports that…” How is this any different?

    5. Could you please answer my question about the scare quotes?

    I look forward to direct answers to these questions. Remember that I refer only to clearly visible headlines on the main News pages of the BBC website (i.e. pages that are visited by most visitors). Sub-sections, microsites, headlines that came and went over one night, are not relevant.

    Finally, in the interests of fairness I ought to answer your question. The one important piece of news was General Petraeus’ report, which said that the surge was working. The headline that you quote is a factual summary of that report. Any reaction, from Democrats, Republicans or even George Bush himself is entirely secondary to the considered verdict of the leading military expert who has first hand evidence of what’s going on (i.e. not a set of Chinese whispers that ends up at a hotel room in the Green Zone), and who has no political affiliation whatsoever. Of course that headline is not biased against the democrats.


  38. Heron says:

    Whoops, messed up the HTML. First paragraph should be italicised.


  39. ed says:

    Jacob- bit tricky there- the US surge ‘working’ headline came after this post, and thus is irrelevant to it. What is more, the clear point I referred to concerned the run up to the coverage of Petraeus’ report, for which I gave ample linkage.

    The fact is that the least the BBC could do was report Petraeus’ words yesterday- this being the kind of public event where everyone is watching. The BBC are not completely stupid, Jacob. But as I said, it’s irrelevant to the post.

    Also irrelevant to the post, the article entitled “Iraqi PM positive on surge” article here.

    It also came too late for consideration. Which rather tends to prove my point- the BBC has spent a lot of effort preparing the public negatively for the US and Iraqi good news (which they can’t evade reporting just now, even if they would like to).

    And yes, Jacob, distrusting Petraeus is a Democrat trait, and a Democrat talking point- just look at how Move welcomed the Petraeus report in the pages of the NYT. It’s a Democrat policy Jacob. Own it.


  40. Heron says:

    Update: More on the BBC’s view on the Petraeus report. This from Stephen Pollard:

    “The BBC – Americans are liars

    I’m listening to Victoria Derbyshire on FiveLive as I write. The question of the day: “Do you believe the Americans? Are things improving in Iraq?”

    The programme has been on for twenty three minutes so far, and there’s not been a single voice allowed on air to suggest that the facts presented yesterday by General Petraeus are not simply made up. That’s right: the BBC has so far devoted an entire programme to giving people the opportunity to phone in and say that the Americans are lying.

    Not one call has been aired suggesting that there might, just might, be some improvement as a result of the surge.

    And that’s absolutely not because that’s the view that all callers to the programme have taken. I know that for a fact – because I called in to redress the balance. And have I been put on air? Of course not.

    It is thus an editorial decision to air only calls which say nothing is improving and the Americans are lying.

    We pay our license fee for this.

    UPDATE: Hugh Sykes. the BBC’s Baghdad correspondent, is also saying the same thing – that violence has simply been displaced.

    FURTHER UPDATE: 9.29 – a man has been allowed to say it is right to stick it out in Iraq and that we are all safer as a result of American efforts in the war on terror. Greeted with incredulity by Victoria Derbyshire: “Do you think the people in Madrid, in Bali, in London feel safer now”. Aha. Terror is the Americans’ fault.

    ANOTHER UPDATE: This is sheer genius. According to one caller, the Americans want Iraq to be a mess so that when the Democrats win the Presidency, they will be stuck with it and suffer the electoral consequences in 2012, leading to another Republican President.”

    Reith? Jacob?


  41. dave t says:

    Actually given the way the Democrats are screwing up in Senate and Congress they may actually be hit very hard indeed in the next House elections…. they are being pushed into some very hard left positions by the likes of MoveOn org and the self proclaimed political guru Markos of Daily Kos, all of which may come back to haunt them and hurt them badly at the polls.

    Funny how the BBC forget to report the latest Presidential approval levels which are currently MUCH higher than those for the Democrat led Senate etc but if the Bush levels slump by 1 point it’s front page news me boys and girls, front page news.


  42. Anonymous says:

    Fox pre-empted its “premiere business news” program today (September 10, 2007) to air coverage of the testimony of Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. After a string of Republicans questioned the two and it was time to move to the Democrats (at 40 minutes after the hour), Cavuto broke in for commentary from — get this — Ann Coulter, asking her to “gauge reaction to these day-long hearings.”


  43. dave t says:

    And the Democrats after spending ages on long winded speeches to their voters had the cheek to ask Gen P to put his answer in wirting or keep them short! Joe Biden — what a clown!


  44. gordon-bennett says:

    dave t | Homepage | 11.09.07 – 11:12 pm
    Joe Biden — what a clown!

    Quite a restrained comment about someone who didn’t have the wit to realise that if you are going to plagiarise a speech then neil pinnochio should be the last source that occurs to you.


  45. Bill says:

    Why do Brits put up with it? You PAY to be treated like this? Yikes, what has happened to you people? They think they can win a war for the enemy with nothing but lies about it. And you just whine and let them, paying them even. Stranger than fiction.


  46. Andrew says:

    Bill, we put up with it in the same way that we put up with being patronised by random Americans such as your good self – with good humour and stoic determination, at least the latter of which you might understand 🙂

    Why do you Americans put up with all the things you dislike that your government taxes you for?

    Answer, just like us, you don’t, but the wheels of democracy can be very slow to turn. Particularly when the other side of the debate about the BBC has a £3 billion per annum propaganda machine at its disposal!


  47. Michael says:

    Fox pre-empted its “premiere business news” program today (September 10, 2007) to air coverage of the testimony of Gen. Petraeus and Ambassador Crocker. After a string of Republicans questioned the two and it was time to move to the Democrats (at 40 minutes after the hour), Cavuto broke in for commentary from — get this — Ann Coulter, asking her to “gauge reaction to these day-long hearings.” 09…s_testimony.php
    Anonymous | 11.09.07 – 5:39 pm|#

    This is a complete lie! And this is how deliberate misinformation is spread around the world by propagandist.

    I watched the entire program live! The Democrats control both the House and the Senate. The Chariman is Democrat! He controls the flow of questions and he did it by rotation. Democrat first! Santos, a left democrat nutjob set their and berated our General First!

    Then the Democrat Chairman, passed the next 5 minute question to a Republican, so on and so forth until there was a break! Dem, Rep, Dem, Rep.

    Anonymous, did you watch the proceedings? If not, you need to verify the garbage you’re spewing here, because I watched closely to make sure I knew all the details!


  48. Bill says:

    Ha! Andrew, I like part of your answer. It gives me hope that Brits will own their responsibility and stop paying taxes for this. I must admit that I fear the Brittish are somewhat too mothered by government and think they’ve done their duty by just making a little noise now and then. Like in re-electing Blair despite screaming that the war was evil.

    I hope you’re right and that Brits will eventually put their votes and money where their mouths are.

    On the other hand, I think you need to put yourselves in our shoes. What the BBC is doing is spreading and supporting anti-Americanism, especially now throughout the Middle East with its expansion into that area. The Brittish people are paying for this as a government funded service!

    What does that do to your relationship with the American people? What if we were paying for a propaganda machine doing this to the UK all around the world in 43 languages daily? What if Brits were dying because of the hatred we thus helped to arouse? How would YOU feel about US then?

    This is no minor matter. Look beneath our feet. It is eroding the relationship between our nations VERY fast. I think the British people should wake up and realize that.