Bouncing all over the place

I had high hopes for Justin Webb’s latest blog entry. At last, some decent coverage of Palin’s bounce. The BBC’s audience might be a little surprised to read that such a thing exists, but at least he’s gone to the effort of remedying that, I thought. Which is why I was a bit surprised to find myself reading about the 1953 execution of the Rosenburgs (Soviet-like behaviour, reckons Webb); a plug for a new BBC series on America; coverage of Russell Brand’s reference to Bush as a ‘retard’ (of which a piece by India Knight reckoning he let America off lightly is the best, says Webb); the fact that Webb hasn’t seen the whole of Sara Palin’s ABC interview (as North American editor, why would he?); and then, finally, that it will be tougher for Palin from here on in, although it’s difficult to imagine how it could be from the Beeb’s point of view. It ends with some food for thought for Palin: “Geraldine Ferraro’s bounce lasted two months,” warns Webb gravely in a reference to the first female vice presidential candidate. In fact, that should be just enough time to put McCain in the White House, but I’m guessing that’s not what he meant.

UPDATE: Anyone not already a little wary of the new Radio 4 series on America given Webb’s endorsement (and the BBC’s involvment) should read this by its presenter David Reynolds. “Empire and liberty have been recurrent and often conflicting themes in America’s development and I think they’re also reflected in this year’s rival presidential candidates,” he begins. Guess which candidate “embodies the martial, imperial America”, reminding us “that the United States is a country made by war” and which candidate could “help expunge the original sin of slavery from Jefferson’s empire of liberty”… In fact, from there the article improves (in terms of balance anyway) but still I’m not sure I’ll be tuning in.

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55 Responses to Bouncing all over the place

  1. Peter says:

    I haven’t yet seen the whole of Sarah Palin’s interview

    Says it all really. As does your riposte.

    I note someone on the BBC site picked him up early on such a facile claim (that he seems oddly proud of) but oddly the whole site degenerates pretty quickly and this key (to me) point is left.


  2. Blobby says:

    The comments thread following Webb’s blog entry are heated to say the least. But I’m sure the Beeb appreciates and supports their staff memeber’s ability to whip up ‘controversy’ and ‘start debate’. I don’t think that’s how much-respected Alistair Cooke’s been remembered by anyone.


  3. JohnA says:

    I left some acid comments on Justin Webb’s fatious piece very early on. The guy seems a shallow clown sometimes, and this current post by Webb takes the biscuit. He even seems to have offended some of his groupies there.

    I have just added the folloing comment at the Webb blog :

    “Meltdown in the US banking scene, consistent swings across all the polls and electoral college assessments- so why isn’t Mr Webb dealing with these significant issues, not regaling us with utter tosh like his latest blog post.

    Other British media (eg Guardian, Times, Financial Times, Telegraph) are giving us thoughtful and full coverage of the US election. Mr Webb gives us banal and biased nonsense. Gee, thanks.

    Russell Brand offended the MTV Awards audience with his stupid unfunny “comedy”. His sneering and ignorant remarks would be even more offensive to “Middle America”. It is typical of the BBC that it should push an article that defends Brand’s gross behaviour.

    The Ferraro reference seems just as bizarre as the earlier Eagleton reference by Justin Webb which was quickly disowned.

    And the Rosenberg remarks are merely a distraction from the real issues Mr Webb is paid to cover.”


  4. DB says:

    Good points made by all.

    Here’s what I said about Webb the other day:
    His professed dislike of anti-Americanism is really just irritation that the bits he likes • as represented by the liberal-left, Democrat-supporting sophisticates with whom he identifies • are tarnished by the flyover state redneck hillbillies. When it comes to them, he’s as anti-American as anybody in the world.

    Confirmation can be found in the India Knight article to which Webb links with approval: “America is so odd. They’re not weird in New York, or in California…”
    Just the flyover state rednecks.

    (They’re not weird in California? Really?)


  5. Bryan says:


    I saw your comments and a few of the others. I’m surprised that the moderators are allowing such forceful criticism of Webb. But I guess I’m not familiar enough with the blog.


  6. JohnA says:


    I had commented at the Webb site about his failure to watch the Palin interview with Charlie Gibson on ABC. There was big focus on it, it was probably the biggest event last week, and it is all readily available as video clips oand as transcripts out there on the Internet.

    It is disgraceful that Webb slides past it – but brings us this stupid tosh.


  7. JohnA says:


    Maybe the moderators think Webb is a clown too ???

    They do seem to block a lot of stuff, I find it hard to discern what their “rules” are.


  8. SM says:

    The US is made by war,……. and enlightened European countries are made by peace I assume?

    This is not bias its just plain crass journalism.


  9. DB says:

    When Justin Webb first heard the news that McCain had picked Palin:


  10. Anonymous says:

    There on Webb’s own blog, in black and white, is his admission that the BBC’s North America editor hasn’t seen the only network TV interview given by Sarah Palin.

    Amazing stuff.

    The BBC gets billions per year and yet they employ as a “North America editor” a clown like this.

    Honestly, check out the website of some Pajama-clad blogger – you’ll get a better analysis of what is happening in the US (and elsewhere) then from the MSM retards.


  11. Allan D says:

    What has Barack Obama got to do with slavery since his father was a voluntary immigrant (although he outstayed his student visa) to the US from Kenya where slavery was suppressed by the British?


  12. Umbongo says:

    Surprisingly the BBC4 programme last night on what it takes to be the US President was (more or less) even-handed given that its presenter was Jonathan Freedland. Freedland even observed that the current low opinion (by Islington’s finest) of George W might be reversed by the judgement of history.

    However, the BBC could not quite forbear to select at least one representative of the liberal ignorati. Yasmin Alibhai-Brown was asked to contribute her take on LBJ to an otherwise fairly incisive survey of US presidents since Teddy Roosevelt. The decision to select YA-B can only be explained by reference to her religious and ethnic status rather than her knowledge of the subject or ability to process historical facts. Predictably omitted from her analysis was mention of Reagan’s observation concerning the mass of legislation underpinning LBJ’s vision of the Great Society – “we declared war on poverty – and poverty won”. Still, you can’t have everything.


  13. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    This is not just bias – it’s incompetence. Any little red Communist newssheet that had to live or die by its sales, whose editor heard that its reporter for North America had not bothered to watch the whole Palin interview, would have sacked that reporter on the spot. This is what an assured income wrought at gunpoint from unwilling citizens does to you: it makes you incompetent even in what ought to be the basics of your own job.


  14. Jason says:

    My comment was removed because it “broke the house rules”. Judge for yourselves:

    “Does Mr Webb realize that whenever anyone is punished for a serious crime, they invariably have family who are “affected”? The fact that the Rosenburgs had kids should have no bearing on their punishment. If they had been imprisoned for life, that would have “affected” their kids too. Does he really suggest that justice should depend on whether or not the criminal has offspring or family who may be “upset” at the punishment they receive?”

    And THIS was CENSORED by the communists at the Beeb! It “broke the house rules”. What “house rules” are these? That nobody may express an opinion that the moderators disagree with? These assholes really are the scum of the earth. End the BBC now.


  15. Anonymous says:

    i think Webb is deliberately trying to wind us up. That post seems designed to in every way.


  16. TPO says:

    With regard to dragging up the Rosenburgs, perhaps the BBC might like to consider the Venona decrypts.

    Once these were declassified the Rosenburg’s apologists hadn’t a leg to stand on.
    Why Webb is trying to spin for them now is mystifying to me.


  17. TPO says:

    Sarah Jane
    If you’re about watch Panorama tonight.


  18. Mailman says:

    Opps, lots of stuff surfacing about how heavily edited the Palin interview was! To the point where what was shown on TV was not what was recorded.

    THis is the kind of stuff this moron should be covering…yet he ignores it like a its not news?



  19. Martin says:

    Webb doesn’t need to read or watch the Palin interview. All this idiot does it go to the Daily Kos, Media Matters or the Huffington Post left wing hate sites to get his reviews.


  20. Martin says:

    Yes I seem to remember it’s the Europeans that TWICE in the last century resorted to mass extermination of people they “didn’t like”

    In both cases it took the Americans to give a huge sigh and come to our rescue.

    Personally, I think they should have left Hitler to slaughter out the European liberals.


  21. Mailman says:


    I was wondering exactly what you typed. It would be interseting for Webb to list the sites he visits that he uses to form his views that he writes up.

    Also, if the moron had bothered to watch the interview and then read reports that the interview had been heavily edited to the point of changing what she said, then he would have known that she did NOT say she would declare war on Russia.

    There is no excuse for him to be so poorly informed. It is exactly because of people like him that there are morons in this country who believe she would take america to war against Russia.



  22. John Bosworth says:


    You’re right about Justin Webb dredging up of the names of the traitors Julius and Ethel Rosenburg.

    The Rosenburgs and their ilk are the product of the left-wing myth machine that is now the source from which the “authorized” version of US history is drawn. The Rosenbergs (along with Sacco and Vanzetti, Lillian Hellman, Dalton Trumbo and The Hollywood Ten and even William Ayres and Ward Churchill) are portrayed as victims of the system rather than the nasty little maggots that feed on it. On the other hand McCarthy, Nixon and, of course, George W Bush are seen as the evil ones… (In McCarthy’s case it is regarded as worse to be someone who calls others traitors than to actually be a traitor).

    Down through the last century, people like the Rosenburgs have been celebrated by the useful idiots of the celebrity class (Bob Dylan even wrote a song claiming the Rosenburgs were innocent, now quietly forgotten) and lauded by intellectual hucksters like Noam Chomsky, who’s anti-American views are so beloved by the BBC.

    But there’s good news. The Venona documents, despite being ignored by most professors at universities here in the US (so much for independent-minded intellectual curiosity) are seeping into public consciousness. 20 years ago people like Justin Webb would have argued the innocence of the Rosenburgs, now he can only mutter darkly about their death sentence. (To be fair to Webb, along with most of the British chattering classes he is probably against ALL capital punishment – so we’ll let him off that one)

    Meanwhile, genuine crimes (9/11 is the best example) are played down and subjected to the half-baked theories of “truth” nuts. Remember how even the BBC a few months ago gave these creeps a voice?

    Sadly, having read David Reymolds’ article cited by Hugh, I can predict the radio series he presents will be more of the “same-old-same-old” so I shall be giving it a miss and doing something more useful with my time – like cutting my toenails


  23. John Bosworth says:

    The complete transcript (unedited) of the Gibson/Palin interview is now available on

    Happy reading!


  24. Martin says:

    Mailman: Yes, as far as I can see Palin’s views were no different to Obama’s.

    2…On April 28 of this year, the U.S. Senate passed by unanimous consent a resolution expressing “the strong support of the Senate for the declaration of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization at the Bucharest Summit that Ukraine and Georgia will become members of the alliance.” Barack Obama, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton were among the bill’s eight cosponsors…”


  25. Anon says:

    “Personally, I think they should have left Hitler to slaughter out the European liberals.”

    Careful, you’re showing your true colours.


  26. adam says:

    This India person is also celebrating our depression in another Times piece.
    She is delighted.

    Webb has been watching US news, they have been talking Rosenburg, thats why he is waffling about it.


  27. Martin says:

    Anon: Why? Liberals have faile dot standf up to every dictator around the world.

    It’s those whie working class scummies that do the killing for them whilst they hide away behind their latte’s

    I don’t see liberals offering to fight to defeat the Taliban and free women from opression in Afghanistan, or did I miss that?


  28. Pete says:

    I don’t give a sh*t what the BBC ‘analysis’ mongers have to say about anything at all. They are a tax funded, criminal law backed news service. Their true calibre can be ascertained from their other products – Eastenders, Cash in the Attic, Celebrity Cash in the Attic and Jonathan W*nker Ross.

    Why do I have to pay for this trash just because I want to want to watch football on Sky TV?


  29. John Bosworth says:

    Martin and anon:

    The best definition of a liberal I know is that he or she is “someone who always acts against their own best interests”.


  30. adam says:

    martin 5.35pm

    couldnt agree more


  31. Martin says:

    My definition of a liberal would be “somoene who puts their principles above the blood of the working class that have to die to defend their freedom”


  32. Anonymous says:

    All Justin Webb’s reporting (what there is of it) on Palin has been condescending.

    Why doesn’t he ever take a close look at Obama ?

    Not only is Obama’s resume woefully thin – it sounds like he exaggerates it:

    Another Gatsby ?


  33. Martin says:

    Wankstains like Webb try to make out that if Osama doesn’t get elected it’s because all those thick right wing bible bashing ‘yanks’ are racists.

    So how does Webb explain that during the Primaries MOST white liberals were voting for Hillary and not the sainted one?


  34. gunnar says:

    Personally, I think they should have left Hitler to slaughter out the European liberals.
    Martin | 15.09.08 – 4:40 pm | #

    Seriously, this is disgusting! Itis even more disgusting that your fellow bloggers don’t take you up on this.

    Then you expand:

    My definition of a liberal would be “somoene who puts their principles above the blood of the working class that have to die to defend their freedom”
    Martin | 15.09.08 – 7:59 pm | #

    Do you mean G.W. Bush is a liberal? Afterall, working class Americans are defending freedom in Iraq and Afghanistan, or so we are told.

    What would you consider yourself? I-liberal?


  35. TPO says:

    Personally, I think they should have left Hitler to slaughter out the European liberals.
    Martin | 15.09.08 – 4:40 pm | #

    Seriously, this is disgusting! Itis even more disgusting that your fellow bloggers don’t take you up on this.
    gunnar | 15.09.08 – 11:53 pm |

    Oh do get off your high horse you pompous prat. There’s nothing more outraged than a leftwing twat who deliberately cannot detect tongue in cheek.
    If Stalin had had his way you wouldn’t be posting here today.


  36. gunnar says:

    Hi TPO,

    Many thanks for your feedback.

    Interesting to learn, that you see this as tongue in cheek. Perhaps I need to try harder and see the humour in Martin’s posting.

    Is “wankstain” funny? I thought Martin was approaching the 50 mark. Perhaps you and he are young at heart 😀


  37. Martin says:

    gunnar: What I mean is that when it comes to defending freedom on the planet you wankstain liberals run away and hide.

    You all spout utter shite about fighting for freedom and wanking on about YOUR right to free speech, yet history is littered with liberal cowards.

    It’s usually the working class that do the fighting.

    Please explain why liberals don’t speak out against the Taliban, scum who behead teachers who simply want ot educate girls? Where’a Harriet Harperson here?

    The bravest thing an average liberal does is probably chat up a new rent boy on Hampastead Heath or try some smack from a new dealer in Islington.

    Please explain Gunnar why liberals only ever protested outside OUR nuclear weapons bases? Why didn’t they protest outside Russian ones as well? Why didn’t they put a peace camp outside the Russian embassy in London?

    Where were the millions of people marching on the streets of London when Saddam was executing thousands of his own people?

    Where were the liberals when that cunt Putin tried being the hard man in Georgia?

    Why do left wing twats like you only ever spout the name “George Bush?” when talking about world politics?


  38. TPO says:

    Is “wankstain” funny?
    gunnar | 16.09.08 – 12:20 am |

    Is Russel Brand funny?
    Depends on your definition of humour I suppose.
    Personally I think calling George Bush a retard is 5th form stuff.
    Now if Brand can bring himself to call Mugabe or monkey brain Mbeki retards, then that I would find funny.


  39. adam says:

    wasnt it you defending the “Thatcher should die” joke, not so long ago.


  40. gunnar says:

    wasnt it you defending the “Thatcher should die” joke, not so long ago.
    adam | 16.09.08 – 3:38 am | #

    No, I wasn’t. I just pointed out the small detail, that the “joke” was made on Channel 4 and not by Boyle.

    David Vance is fully aware of this, but still has not corrected his mistake.


    Calling Bush a “retard” is not funny.


    First of all, we agree on somthing and that is the poor and working class tend to fight the wars.

    For starters, we should aim to fight no wars at all.

    Could you please address me, without resorting to insult.

    To answer your questions, I take the few, that one should bring his own house in order, before pointing fingers at other people. A rather Christian principle, I believe.


  41. Martin says:

    gunnar: I’m not insulting you personally, just your liberal views. I destest liberals for their views.

    Don’t take it personally!


  42. RR says:

    Why is it Liberals invoke Christian principles when it suits them, and revile them at all other times? The Liberals’ habit of wearing their consciences on their sleeves is apart from anything else utterly Pharisaic.


  43. JohnA says:

    Justin Webb has another stupid post up at his blog – on Palin.

    Nil content – but he links to and seems to commend a hit piece from CBS by Jon Friedman.

    I hope the McCain campaign deny any access to the BBC until they get some fairness into their coverage.

    I just posted this as a comment :

    “The whole thrust of the Jon Friedman piece – the heading – is surely wrong from the start. He says the media has built Palin up and will now desstroy her.

    Funny how so many people think that much of the media set out to destroy her from day 1, not build her up In what was in the reams of coverage by eg WaPo, NYT has Palin ever been built up, commended ? Multiple front-page stories, all critical from Day 1. How is that “Building up” ?

    And Friedman says that people have generally said that the Charlie Gibson interview was fair. Totally false. There is many pieces saying that much of Gibson’s interview was an attempted hit job, his body language showed condescension towrds “this hick”, he has never tried asking Obama similarly fierce questions. Try reading Krauthammer’s dissection of the Gibson interview, for example.

    As regards the BBC treatment of Palin – Mr Webb himself was decribing her as a hunter-gatherer yesterday on Radio 4. Nary any mention of her attempts to reform government in Alaska, the prime reason for McCain choosing her as running-mate.”


  44. George R says:

    BBC’s Mr. Webb won’t like:

    “What’s right about America”

    (a book review by Christopher Hitchens)


    “Thus arises the inescapable question: who really wishes America would become less internationalist and less involved? One does not need to be a Georgian to see that this is a multi-faceted issue that great thinkers such as Margaret Drabble (quoted to huge effect in these pages) and George Monbiot will never understand.” ( C. Hitchens ).,opinion,whats-right-about-america


  45. RR says:

    Liberalism 101:

    When the USA does something – anything – abroad it’s being interventionist at best, hegemonist more likely.

    When the USA declines to do something – anything – abroad it’s being isolationist.

    When it takes orders from the UN it’s being internationalist.


  46. George R says:

    On BBC’s Mr. Webb’s blog, he recommends, hardly surprisingly, given his Democrat public preferences, a piece entitled:

    ‘The Sarah Palin phenomenon is doomed’.

    Of course, he can’t find counter-opinions like this:

    “What was Feminism?”


    “The media went hysterical over Sarah Palin, governor of Alaska and Republican nominee for vice president. She may have appeared to the public as an independent, capable professional woman, but to a particular elite she couldn’t possibly be a real feminist or even a serious candidate.


  47. DB says:

    JohnA | 16.09.08 – 10:26 am
    Here’s my comment in response to Webb’s latest offering…

    Another day, another Justin Webb blog post linking to a Palin hit-piece. Why not just have a couple of permanent links to Daily Kos and the Huffington Post in the sidebar under the heading “For my views on Palin, see here”?

    Jon Friedman, far from making “a lotta sense”, appears to inhabit a parallel universe. The media hasn’t built up Sarah Palin, it has savaged her from the moment she was announced as McCain’s running mate. Friedman’s explanation of Charles Gibson’s version of the Bush Doctrine is also wrong. Friedman implies that Palin is stupid for not knowing that the doctrine means “the U.S must spread democracy around the world to halt terrorist acts”, but here’s what Gibson actually said:
    “The Bush Doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defense, that we have the right to a preemptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us.”

    Charles Krauthammer, who first coined the phrase, has said that Sarah Palin was quite correct to ask Gibson to clarify what he meant by the Bush Doctrine because there are four versions of it out there. Justin Webb, for example, thinks it means “that democracy inoculates nations from the hatreds and madness which lead to war.” When a CBS commentator, ABC’s senior news anchor, and the BBC’s North America editor can’t agree on the meaning of the Bush Doctrine, Palin’s response to Gibon’s question would appear to have been the right one. Not dumb, but wise. I doubt Justin will agree, though – he’ll be too busy thinking of ways to paint Palin as a dinosaur-hunting rube.


  48. DB says:

    One further thought – could the discrepancies over the meaning of the Bush Doctrine help explain why Webb has avoided direct discussion of the Palin/Gibson interview? It’s far easier to leave the thought out there that Palin is stupid rather than concede she was right to ask for clarification on an issue that ‘sophisticated’ liberal media pundits can’t even agree on.

    (Another interpretation of the Bush Doctrine from Matt Frei – “exporting freedom”.)


  49. George R says:

    “Medical Alert: Davis succumbs to Obamania”
    [Extract, Melanie Phillips]:

    “Almost every day I read yet another smear or piece of vitriolic spite against Sarah Palin which grossly misrepresents what she has actually said or simply explodes with what can only be described as hysterical hatred towards her.

    “The Newsbusters blog has provided the evidence of how ABC News edited the transcript of its interview of Sarah Palin by Charles Gibson to create the misleading impression that she was an ignorant warmonger wholly out of her depth. The unedited transcript of that interview shows the truth to be quite different.”


  50. deegee says:

    The media hasn’t built up Sarah Palin, it has savaged her from the moment she was announced as McCain’s running mate.
    DB | 16.09.08 – 11:27 am

    She seems to be standing up to it well. Obama and McCain seem to have dropped off the radar. Weren’t they supposed to be the candidates and V.P. just a side-show?