Did you read that Radio 4 is planning to bring back “Letter from America” – the thoughtful programme presented by the late Alistair Cooke for more than 50 years, but re-vamped, re-named and presented by the broadcasting phenonomen that is…Justin “Obama” Webb. They have GOT to be kidding…..! As if it were not bad enough that nxt year they are bringing back “I’m sorry, I haven’t a clue”……

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  1. GCooper says:

    Surely they’re going to be the same programme?


  2. David Vance says:

    GCoooper – LOL. Good one. Justin is a gifted comic, it’s just that he doesn’t know it.


  3. JohnA says:

    Palin’s performance last night appeared passable, a couple of swerve balls but competent enough, and certainly personable ( looking at the video clips and reading the transcript.) No total howlers – which means she has not fallen down the big hole people keep predicting. A couple of very crisp responses, appeared confident enough, not tongue-tied..

    And last night was the foreign affairs bit, where people see her as weakest. Later segments from ABC will presumably move to topics she is more familiar with, eg energy policy.

    Meanwhile this Gallup poll of congressional voting intentions shows a really big change. Dems for Congress have been leading month after month, usually by double figures. This poll shows the gap reduced to just 3 points. And when restricted to LIKELY voters – the Repubs LEAD by 5 points.

    Big change indeed.


    An ABC report says that Obama is threatening to take his gloves off and fight back hard. For the fourth time – how many pairs of gloves has he got ? And is this the “New Politics” he was preaching ?. (Why do I find it funny that his campaign manager is called Plouffe ? And Axelrod would seem to go with Dipstick, maybe ?)



  4. MartinW says:

    A ‘Letter from America’ presented by Justin Webb will tarnish the blessed memory of Alistair Cooke. No-one ever knew AC’s politics, and no clues were ever apparent in his ‘Letters’.
    What a stark contrast to Webb!


  5. Martin says:

    Wouldn’t “Wanker from America” be more suitable?


  6. RR says:

    Cooke was an acute observer of the American scene, and had an egaging curiosity about the way people live their lives. Webb, on the other hand, can’t see what’s in front of his eyes, and isn’t at all bothered about it either.


  7. Gerald Brown says:


    I feel sure that I have read/heard that he did not sympathise with the Republicans BUT from many years of avid listening I believe he was able to detach himself to provide us with the background to the headlines in a non-biased way. It is sacrilege to even suggest Justin Webb be allowed to utilise The Letter From America programme title.


  8. TT says:

    Letter from Hampstead … (while my wife picks the kids up from private school in her 4×4)



  9. Lee Moore says:


    Some nicely balanced comments on Palin’s interview. Note these are selected comments, ie the BBC is attempting to concoct a balanced set of pro-Palin and anti-Palin comments. We have 7 pro-Palin comments, which take up 22 lines. And 9 anti-Palin comments which take up 52 lines.

    No change there then.


  10. David42 says:

    Mr.Webb has an article in the Times today which confirms, I should imagine,the views of many here on his “impartiality”:

    Alistair Cooke was a liberal(small “l”) but at least he could be relied on to get things in perspective.


  11. John Bosworth says:

    David42: thanks for the tip on the Times article.


    Webb’s hidden message is clear: “Don’t worry, fellow liberals, things in the USA are going our way”


  12. Verity says:

    Obama has zero experience of any kind. Sarah Palin has experience negotiating with Canada for the 7,000 mile pipeline, and for cooperating on the billions of cubic metres of natural gas.

    If that interviewer wasn’t aware that there would be all kinds of government Russia experts in Alaska, that Sarah Palin knows about, of course, he was being deliberately obtuse. Similarly if he doesn’t know there will be Russian agents in Alaska. Does Obama speak Russian, btw? Or any foreign language? I assume he has forgotten his Bahasa Indonesia as he left when he was six or something. So that leaves him a monoglot who gave a speech in front of a monument in Germany, in English,with a translator (well) off-camera speaking into listeners’ earpieces. Does this count as foreign experience?

    Wasn’t it on this strange trip to Germany that he was ordered officially to take his fake presidential seal, that he had had designed in honour of himself, removed from his lectern? I believe it was.

    Re Alastair Cook, why on earth the deeply ridiculous Justin Webb? Wasn’t the even more deeply ridiculous Matt Frei available?


  13. S. Weasel says:

    Oof! I just read it. Good lord! It reminds me of nothing so much as Rosalind Russel belting out “Everything’s Coming up Roses” on a train platform right before pimping her daughter to a strip joint.

    What country is he living in? I don’t recognize the place.


  14. JohnA says:

    It looks effectively a tie at the moment according tp the state polls, the national polls and the betting on InTrade. Within the margins of polling error.

    And yes, Obama’s figures may be skewed by under-polling of young voters. Per contra, his figures may be overstated by the so-called Bradley effect.

    I see it as all to play for. Fascinating, the race has become much closer than it looked a fortnight ago.

    Meanwhile, the patronising pf Palin proceeds, she is just an unintelligent woman etc etc. That I imagine is exactly how the major international oil companies viewed her. Not any more they don’t. Never misunderestimate your opponent, as Dubya might say.

    And the evil Karl Rove is lurking in the background !


    The “attack” ad on McCain not using the Internet. Neither does Clinton, he doesn’t even use a Blackberry. And the ad is a good way of offending older people – who always vote in high numbers. If that is an attack – it couldn’t knock a fly off a rice pudding.


    Rasmussen’s 3-day tracking poll shows a big jump for McCain. And Obama’s lead in Washington state, for example, has dropped from a steady rate of over 10 down to just 2 points, making it a toss-up state.

    The 9 most recent national polls show McCain ahead in 7, Obama in 1, and 1 tie..


  15. Jack Bauer says:

    “Letter From America Hater” from Justin Webbama


  16. JohnA says:

    One of the first books I owned was by Alastair Cooke – “Six Lives”, a series of essays on people as diverse as George VI and Charlie Chaplin. He was a brilliant essayist, in print and over the airwaves. I used to read his US column in the Manchester Guardian before I read anything else. His ccount of the Kennedy election fired my interest in US politics.

    It is an effing insult to mention his name and Webb’s in the same breath.

    I am still posting away at Webb’s blog at the BBC website, people are going apoplexic, they are mostly Obama and Justin fans. I just saw a Brit professor who posts there say “Actually, I sometimes let my studnets take me put for a drink so they can ralk to me”. Sounds Obama to a T.

    The stock response from several of thm has been to keep calling me a racist. Which the moderators allow to be posted day after day.


  17. Sebastian Weetabix says:

    the best bit is in BBC terms he is surprisingly pro-American. He doesn’t think they are evil, just stupid.

    O/T, but I just spent the week working in the USA and heard this brilliant definition: “a libertarian is a republican with guns & weed”


  18. David Preiser says:

    Here’s a list of Justin Webb’s and Matt Frei’s favorite reading material:

    Journalists Liberal? Just Ask Huffington Post

    For a fun exercise, read a couple of posts per day on each of the top 5 blogs listed. Then watch for the same ideas – sometimes even the same words – to come out of the mouths of Beeboids. Sadly, a survey of one week ought to provide enough evidence.


  19. Alex says:

    It appears that the smart bets are moving towards a strongish McCain victory, rather than a ‘too close to call’


  20. Grant says:

    “Letter from America” from Justin Wankstain ?

    They cannot be serious ?


  21. DB says:

    Following the BBC’s “World Wants Obama as President” poll, today brings the “Obama must be more popular because he gets more donations from everyone except old people” analysis. Note the date: “As of July 31”. Because nothing has changed in the political landscape since then, has it? No mention of the Palin effect at all.


  22. JohnA says:

    Meanwhile tonight’s bunch of “comedians” on Radio 4 are all falling over laughing at each other by making insults about Palin.


  23. Tom FD says:

    I wonder who’s going to present the new Clue, maybe they’ll appoint Frankie Boyle.


  24. Gordon BrownStuff says:

    As ever, Webb misses THE point of what America should be representing.

    If we wish America to be great again, they must reject calls to embrace all forms of collectivism, religious mysticism or socialism, and instead reaffirm a commitment to individual rights.

    Alas, both major political parties instead offer only warmed-over variations of collectivism as their solution to today’s problems.


  25. disillusioned_german says:

    Somewhat off topic but not quite… If anyone wants to keep tabs on Hurricane Ike check out http://www.myfoxhoustonlive.com/ – they’re streaming live.


  26. JohnA says:


    And Hurricane Sarah is moving towards Washington, gathering force !

    Tony Benn is just on Any Questions, Radio 4. What a nice change, so surprising.


  27. disillusioned_german says:

    JohnA | 12.09.08 – 8:09 pm |

    What, only TB? What about our dear friend Red Ken Livingstone?

    And when will they have a “Letter from Venezuela” or a “Letter from Bolivia”?

    I’m keeping an eye on Ike because I’ve got friends along the Gulf Coast. One of them lives in Port Arthur, TX – the other one lives in Mobile Bay, AL and they actually had flooded streets down there even though they’re on the periphery of the storm. This is a major storm and I’m very worried.

    P.S.: Get lost, Ike. Go, Sarah! 🙂


  28. disillusioned_german says:

    No, she doesn’t actually live in the bay. I just didn’t want to be too specific. 😉


  29. John Bosworth says:

    John A:

    I’m listening to Any Questions too.

    Nice to see the old fart (the former Lord Stansgate, the former Sir Anthony Wedgewood Benn, the current Tony Benn) is still wrong about everything.


  30. JohnA says:

    and the Any Question audience claps when he recommends nationalising the oil industry.

    As we go into the weekend, a little humour from Mike Huckabee :



  31. Gibby Haynes says:

    Tony Benn is just on Any Questions, Radio 4. What a nice change, so surprising.

    Oh, how nice. How many things did he blame on Thatcher? Global Warming, the recession, his latest case of piles.


  32. GCooper says:

    JohnA writes: “…the Any Question audience claps when he recommends nationalising the oil industry.”

    I can never quite decide whether I believe the BBC deliberately recruits its audiences from the far Left, or whether if you make a programme which every week seems to feature Livingstone, Bragg, Benn or some other Marxist clown, then only those on the far Left will turn out to take part.


  33. betyangelo says:

    “If we wish America to be great again”

    Did I miss something?


  34. George R says:

    BBC’s reporting of US election: Justin Webb tells it how it isn’t.

    This is how BBC’s ‘Newswatch’ allows Webb to rationalise BBC pro-Obama, pro-Democrat bias on US elections. (Access restricted); Go to ‘Watch Now’, for video, first 7mins:30 secs-



  35. George R says:

    Just one example of Webb bias in his reporting:

    “John McCain’s speech -live”


    21:47: “A big cheer as well for a promise to drill new oil wells off the American coast. Funny, he hasn’t mentioned man-made global warming. The Iron Lady from Alaska doesn’t think it exists. A real straight-talk express line would have been to tell this audience – and her – that it does.”



  36. GCooper says:

    Webb the Warmist – well, that’s the science settled once and for all.


  37. Atlas shrugged says:

    Obama has zero experience of any kind. Sarah Palin has experience negotiating with Canada for the 7,000 mile pipeline, and for cooperating on the billions of cubic metres of natural gas.


    Please try to remember it is the value of the stamp that gets the packet delivered, not who’s stupid face is on it.

    What is the difference between a Obama lead Democrat federal government and a McCain lead Republican federal government in terms of policy?

    I contend that for all the huffing and puffing, smoke and mirrors, lies and dis information, partially hidden among rampant razz-a-ma-tazz, there will in practice be no material difference WHATSOEVER who ever wins.

    Just like this country. Both political parties and ideologies are NOT controlled by equally nasty, but also antagonistic corporate interests.

    Whats far worse is that they are both controlled by exactly the same equally nasty corporate interests. On exactly the same mission, to control every human being on the planet.

    The question is not whether the corporate world wants to do this? Or whether they have the power and control to make it happen in the not too distant future?

    Take it as read that they do want to with a passion and that they have the absolute power to do any thing they damned well please.

    The question is why they are so incredibly determined to achieve this goal, whatever the cost and however long it takes?

    Wake up people.

    Democracy was a con job. Quite how much of one, you are about to find out.


  38. Mark27 says:

    John Bosworth:
    “Nice to see the old fart (the former Lord Stansgate, the former Sir Anthony Wedgewood Benn, the current Tony Benn) is still wrong about everything.”

    I don’t think he was ever SIR Anthony Wedgwood Benn.

    As he gets older he looks and sounds more and more like his cousin Margaret Rutherford.


  39. Martin says:

    Bennis just a sad old man with Althzheimers and a rather sad hand action.


  40. Cassandrina says:

    At least TB is better than his arsehole son with the girlie name.
    On QT he brought along his fan club.

    I notice the porno industry have also got a Palin lookalike who is a 60% fit and has an English accent.
    Courtesy of Popbitch.


  41. adam says:

    One of the few socialists i respect, Benn.
    You know exactly what he stands for. Very old fashioned.

    Oh how great Britain used to be


  42. fewqwer says:

    Webb slated to present a new series of Clue, which is to be renamed to “So What If I Haven’t Got a Clue? Shut Up and Give Me Your Money, Peasant”.


  43. Martin says:

    Tony Benn, the only place I’d like that mad cunt ot stand is in front of a high speed train.


  44. Millie Tant says:

    Yes, it has been obvious to me for some time that the appalling and delusional Justin Webb thinks of himself as an Alistair Cook figure. It makes me mad.

    That slithy creature isn’t fit to touch the hem of Alistair Cook’s turn-ups.


  45. Verity says:

    Atlas Shrugged – I wish I could be bothered to address the questions you addressed to me, but I believe the readers have addressed them in their own minds and anything I might add would be de trop.

    BTW, the more the MSM tries to demote Governor Palin to a mother of five who might like to dabble in government on the side, the more they alienate the hard core feminists, who are already sneaking under the wire in the dead of night.

    I argued that the Palin would never win the Hillary-feminist vote, but there appears to be a rising tide of resentment at the content-free insults thrown at her.


  46. Verity says:

    PS I never liked Alastair Cook.


  47. Jason says:

    John Bosworth:
    David42: thanks for the tip on the Times article.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/ tol…icle4735147.ece

    Webb’s hidden message is clear: “Don’t worry, fellow liberals, things in the USA are going our way”
    John Bosworth | 12.09.08 – 5:18 pm | #

    Since Justin Webb seems to delight in the “triumph” of social liberalism over social conservatism in America, perhaps we should take this opportunity to rub his nose in the results.


    “Shvarts explains her ‘repeated self-induced miscarriages’”

    There you go Webb. The fantastic results of liberalism on display at one of America’s most prestigious universities. How thoroughly chuffed you must be to know that pro-life values are being replace with this.


  48. Jack Bauer says:

    Atlas… BTW, the more the MSM tries to demote Governor Palin to a mother of five who might like to dabble in government on the side, the more they alienate the hard core feminists, who are already sneaking under the wire in the dead of night.

    Nah .. I think you have that backwards. It’s the NORMAL women who are not “hardcore feminists” who are being alienated by this insane sewer of attacks on the very being of Sarah Palin.

    The feminazis are leftists first, and their reactionary elitist narrative on “women’s rights” is being challenged for the first time.

    So while they have nothing to say about the Islamists abuse of women, they have to attempt to destroy a conservative woman who exposes their empty rhetoric and hate for what it is.

    Though Camilla Paglia is one “feminist” who sees ther power of Palin to move everyday working mothers into her camp.


  49. Bryan says:

    With Justin Webb presenting, it will soon become Letter from A Moron.

    I think he got the idea that he is the new Alistair Cooke from this thread on his blog where he gushed over Obama’s speech:


    Guy who commented at no. 9 has a lot to answer for:

    I think Mr. Webb nailed the moment and the atmosphere as good as anyone could. Alistar Cooke couldn’t have done better.

    There was at least one more comment comparing him to Cooke, and others saying his piece was “well-written.”

    Somebody pass me a bucket.


  50. Little Black Sambo says:

    I have a horrible foreboding that they might foist an “I’m sorry I haven’t a clue” on us chaired by Stephen Fry.

    To me, Alistair Cooke always sounded rather pleased with himself. Not so conceited as Justin Webb, though.