Wonder if you caught B-BBC favourite Justin Webb on Newsnight this evening? The topic was the dramatic events in the US with John McCain suspending his campaign – and most likely the pending Presidential debate on Friday – to go to Washington and work to get a solution to the current impasse on the financial bill. Obama has responded by insisting he will carry on campaigning and that he will be there for the debate Friday night. He also cast aspersions on the timing of the Cain statement. Cue Justin who now appears to be part of the Obama campaign. Our man was quick out of the traps to suggest that McCain was doing this for selfish reasons and that Obama was virtually forced to reject the invitation to go along with McCain and deal with the biggest issue confronting the USA. Webb has set the standard for B-BBC most biased commentator of the year. I’m just hoping the Obama folks remember him.

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43 Responses to WEBB SHOOTER.

  1. JohnA says:

    David Vance

    Just another example, after all his stupid posts on his BBC blog attacking Palin – to show that Webb is completely in the tank for Obama.

    A fee-paying schoolboy, how could he possibly comprehend Palin ?

    Relentless failure toprovide straight news, never-ending spin for Obama.


  2. archduke says:

    this is just getting silly



    “US rivals at odds on debate delay”

    there is NO “at odds” – the only person being odd is Obama, because, like Gordon Brown, he runs away from the slightest hint of a crisis.

    McCain is geting stuck into D.C. to try to bring about a BI-PARTISAN.. yeah – Repub and Dem – agreement with the Paulson plan.

    this is beyond Rep/Dem politics – because there’s a fair number of Republicans also opposed to the bailout.

    this is serious stuff – and Obama isnt taking it seriously. he should do the decent thing, shut up , and go to D.C. to get it sorted out.


  3. archduke says:

    and by the way – Warren Buffett put his money where his mouth is..

    he bought 5 billion in Goldman Sachs shares.

    since when has Warren Buffett ever invested in something highly risky?

    this is clearly a patriotic move by Buffett – for he understands the crisis facing America.


    and as far as i know , buffett is actually a bit of a liberal, rather than GOPer.

    above politics. do something good for the country. something that the Obamessiah doesnt understand.


  4. archduke says:

    for keeping tabs on this as it develops , i recommend these sites:


    both are unbiased, carrying both dem and repub viewpoints.


  5. Martin says:

    Osama is dodging the whole thing so that he can continue what he’s always done. Gone missing at a crucial time. The man never seems to want to put his neck on the chopping block.

    Note that wanker Webb pointed out that Osama was ahead in a couple of Polls. I notice Webb didn’t mention the Polls from a couple of weeks ago that showed McCain miles ahead. They were just treated as freaks.

    As pointed out on Fox. If McCain helps to get a deal done it will look good for him and so it should.

    Osama should be showing that he’s prepared to get stuck in. But Osama isn’t. All he wants is to be elected President so he can reward his terrorist friends in Chicago.

    Oh and on the BBC paper review the beeboid was clearly salivating over the yougov poll that shows the fat one eyed jock has cut the Tory lead in half. Anyone want to bet pollwatch will be back for a short while and that this will be big on the BBC news agenda tomorrow?

    David Vance take note!!!


  6. archduke says:

    “Gone missing at a crucial time. The man never seems to want to put his neck on the chopping block.”

    and who does that remind you of?

    one Gordon Brown.

    its becoming increasingly clear to me that Obama would be an utter disaster for America.


  7. Verity says:

    Justin Webb is in short trousers compared with Katie Couric and an interview I just saw with Sarah Palin.

    The blonde, cool, deep-voiced tv personality adopted a dismissive, semi-amused attitude to Governor and Vice Presidential candidate Palin who tried to answer all the weird questions she was lobbed out of left field. There was no rhyme nor reason to the progress of the interview. Katie Kouric was flatteringly lit and relaxed in a comforable chair, because she knew that the whole interview was going to be edited anyway, so it didn’t really matter.

    Sarah Palin was very ill lit to make her skin look coarse and her eyes sunken. Her chair looked as though it was a prop from the Spanish Inquisition. Palin tried to answer every question honestly, but they came out of left field, with no connecting dots. Kouric asked whatever mean question came into her head, because she knew it was going to be cut and pasted and good answers would be edited out.

    Palin held up amazingly well. Given that she can handle a heavy rifle and sea plane and can dress a shot moose, she should have punched Kouric’s face in. She kept her cool, although they tried, with camera angles to try to make her look agitated and totally hopeless.

    For her last question, Kouric noted, with ill-disguised impatience that she had TRIED to ask Palin questions but hadn’t been given any real answers. (Liar.) Palin replied, after enduring real stress – I know, as a watcher, I was stressed out to the max – for the duration of the interview gave a fake smile and said, “I tell you what. I’ll go back and look up all the answers – and I’ll SEND them to you.”

    My hat is off to Sarah Palin for getting through that interview without losing her temper. I like to think that if Katie Kouric is ever trudging across an Alaska snowplain, hungry, in 40 degrees below zero, that Sarah Plain will remember to wave as she flies by in her seaplane.

    If I can retrace my steps to the link, I’ll post it.


  8. whitewineliberal says:

    webb just said “I think mccain’s instincts are right” – today programme, 6.35


  9. Cassandra says:


    I watched as the BBC outdid itself in partisan behaviour! The BBC were quick to flog the line that the Republicans were “split and in disaray” and that McCain was desperate to heal the rifts etc! Utter scumbags and they showed total disregard for any rules or norms! The BBC are running wild now


  10. Battersea says:

    Yes, the BBC is a disgrace when it comes to coverage of the Mccain/Palin campaign. Channel 4 News is also an utter shower: Yesterday, Sarah Smith in the US used every sneer in the book to condemn McCain and portray Obama in a flattering light.

    OT, I’ve just written to my MP about the disgraceful Osama Bin-Laden poetry segment on yesterday’s Today show. Everyone please do the same!


  11. whitewineliberal says:

    webb just said “I think mccain’s instincts are right” – today programme, 6.35


  12. DB says:

    Webb blogged about this at 3.40 this morning, saying McCain was showing signs of “panic and dash” and the “laconic” Obama had “nailed him”. Less than 3 hours later Webb was on the Today programme saying that he thought McCain’s instincts are right as his sense of urgency better reflects the mood whereas Obama risks being seen to “dally”. In the comments over there I’ve suggested that Webb sounds a bit like Indecisive Dave.

    (DV – did you receive an email from me about Webb yesterday?)


  13. Arthur Dent says:

    whitewineliberal Welcome to the party. The issue that this blog is concerned with is bias, this does not mean that the output of the BBC is 100% one sided it means that it is very clearly distorted from the 50:50 that it should be aiming for.

    In other words because there are occasional comments for example putting in a positive word for McCain does not mean that the biased judgement doesn’t hold. As John Reith used to delight in saying “you need to consider all the output to determine if bias exists”.

    In recent months, and particularly with regard to the US election and the plight of the Labour Government the BBC has become even more biased than previously. So instead of being an 80:20 split it has now become a 90:10 split with some of their presenters, especially on the Today programme blatently displaying partisan behaviour.

    There is of course no problem in public figures displaying partisan behaviour, this is still (just) a free country. However, the BBC is in a peculiar priviledged position. It extracts the license fee under threat from every person in the UK that owns a receiving system and as a quid pro quo it must under its charter maintain a dispassionate objectivity.

    In my opinion it fails this test.


  14. mailman says:

    As already noted, if McCains gamble comes off on Monday then “The One” ™ will be in a world of trouble for not getting off his campaign bandwagon and getting on with the job.

    Once again, McCain will be able to show himself to be a true reformer while his opposition fiddled while Washington burned.

    Just a pity people who are meant to be covering this election for Al Beeb dont report cant get away from their personal bias to give their viewers what is really happening.



  15. Martin says:

    In response to one of my many complaints about bias, some idiot from the BBC stated that the BBC’s output is balanced.

    I’m gonna sk them how they know this. Is that an opinion or do they base this on some form of monitoring.

    Anyone else ever had tihs response from the BBC and if they’ve ever offered up any actualy evidence to show balance?


  16. Martin says:

    It was interesting on Fox to see them play the clip of Biden making a total f up of the 1929 Wall Street collapse where he got the wrong President and that TV was not around.

    AS it was commented on, if that had been Palin, the media would have nailed her over it.

    The excuse is “Biden is Biden”.

    Hmm. I seem to remember some spineless UK politicians saying the same thing about the fat slapper shagger after he punched someone.

    “John is John” spouted Blair.

    Had that been a Tory, the media would have slaughtered him.


  17. DB says:

    Answer came there none so here’s a revised version of what I emailed David yesterday – a brief (OK, not that brief) history of Palin-bashing on the Webb blog. (The comments system doesn’t like lots of links so I haven’t included any.)

    In his Wednesday blog entry Justin Webb expressed interest in a Newsweek article which suggests “that Joe Biden has actually benefited from the Palin phenomenon because it has kept him in the shadows where his errors go un-noticed.” A simpler explanation is that Biden’s gaffes have gone unnoticed because the media wants to avoid embarrassing the Democrat ticket. In fact some journalists, such as Webb’s BBC colleague Rachel Harvey, have even tried to spin Biden’s blunders as positive for his campaign. In a recent online piece Harvey claimed that “Joe Biden has hardly put a foot wrong” and explained away his gaffes as mere “quotes (which) have raised some eyebrows and… raised his media profile again”. Would Harvey perform such contortions on behalf of the Republican ticket? Would any BBC journalist? I think not.

    Webb is mistaken if he thinks the Newsweek article in some way excuses the BBC’s inadequate coverage of Biden’s shortcomings. On his blog, the North America editor has pretty much ignored all mention of Obama’s running mate since his convention speech, preferring instead to disseminate rumours and negative opinion about Sarah Palin.

    During the Republican convention Atlantic Monthly blogger Marc Ambinder revealed the following:
    “In memos, e-mails and phone calls this week, Obama campaign officials have urged surrogates and allies to mention Republicans who are “nervous” about the Palin pick and to link those worries to George McGovern’s aborted vice presidential pick of Thomas Eagleton in 1972, according to three Democratic surrogates.”
    On the Monday of the convention Webb blogged that there were “mutterings in the country club set” over the choice of Palin. The following day he blogged just two words – “Thomas Eagleton?” – with a link to Wikipedia’s description of the last running mate forced to step down from a presidential campaign. Nice of Justin to follow the script so closely.

    It was only when it became clear that the Republicans were rallying round Palin and had no intention of dropping her that Webb offered an afterthought: “I agree with those who say she is not the new Eagleton.” Following Palin’s powerful convention speech Webb conceded that Palin is, like Margaret Thatcher, “(s)trident and self confident – immensely grating on those who do not like her, but immensely pleasing to those who do.” He had made no such reference to those who find Obama’s vacuous rhetoric “immensely grating” following the Chosen One’s speech the week before. Webb also linked to a story then doing the rounds about Palin flying home after her waters had broken when expecting her youngest child Trig. “This is downright strange if it is true” he opined, clearly having a better understanding of prenatal care than Palin’s own doctor who had OKed the flight. The story was part of a wider smear campaign orchestrated by Obama supporters who were trying to create the impression that Trig’s Down syndrome was caused by Palin’s reckless behaviour when pregnant. Once again, Webb was only too happy to throw it into the mix. (This readiness to discuss Palin’s private life contrasts sharply with the reluctance to cover the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter scandal, news of which had been all over the internet for weeks before Webb finally commented, “I am loath to get involved with the Edwards business”.)

    The next smear to appear in Webb’s blog was a viral email containing a fake list of books that Palin was alleged to have wanted banned from Wasilla library. Webb acknowledged that the list wasn’t real but reproduced it anyway, before adding “cheap smears on the internet do not add up to an anti-Palin policy”. No, but they certainly suggest one, Justin. Pots and kettles.

    Later that week Russell Brand made a twat of himself at the MTV awards with some unfunny jokes about Sarah Palin, George Bush and conservative America. Webb commended his readers to follow a link to “the best” analysis of the subsequent furore • a column by India Knight in which she said Brand didn’t go far enough in his attack on the nasty flyover state reactionaries who sully the reputation of the “charming, lovely, clever people” who live in places like New York and California. This is a view Webb clearly shares; he rails against anti-Americanism, but when it comes to the rednecks he’s as dismissive as any scornful European sophisticate.

    In the above blog entry Webb admitted to not having seen all of the Charles Gibson interview with Sarah Palin (he’s only the BBC’s North America editor, after all), but two days later he linked to an article about that interview by CBS’s Jon Friedman which he said makes a “lotta sense”. Friedman believed that the media had built up Sarah Palin, news to anyone who had followed its relentless mission to destroy her. He is dismissive of Palin’s performance during the interview, but he (like Webb) neglected to mention the careful editing ABC employed to make Palin’s responses seem less impressive. Friedman’s attempts to discredit Palin over her supposed lack of understanding of the Bush Doctrine is somewhat undermined by the fact that his own interpretation of the doctrine differs from that of Gibson. Friedman says it means, “the U.S must spread democracy around the world to halt terrorist acts” whereas Gibson had said, “The Bush Doctrine, as I understand it, is that we have the right of anticipatory self-defence, that we have the right to a pre-emptive strike against any other country that we think is going to attack us.” Incidentally, Justin Webb believes the doctrine means “that democracy inoculates nations from the hatreds and madness which lead to war.” His BBC colleague Matt Frei says it’s about “exporting freedom”. 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 so many versions of it out there. So, not such a “lotta sense” from Friedman after all.

    Webb’s next blog post began with this: “At the risk of losing some friends, I must say I think some of the anti-Palin stuff in comments on recent postings has gone way over the top.” Where on earth could these people be getting their skewed view of her? Perhaps they’ve been following a certain blog with its relentless negative message. At least he realised this observation might lose him some friends, i.e members of the rabid anti-Palin crowd attracted by the anti-Palin tone of his blog. Later that day Webb linked to the news that Chuck Hagel had expressed doubts over Sarah Palin’s experience. As with the rest of the BBC’s coverage of this story, Webb gave Hagel’s intervention far more significance than it was worth. Although a Republican, Hagel’s sympathies toward Obama are well known to American voters and earlier this year he was even being talked about as a possible running mate on the Democratic ticket.

    On Tuesday Webb returned to his earlier theme of whether Palin is the right choice for the Republicans. He suggested that Romney would be viewed as a better choice during the current economic troubles. One thing is sure • if Romney had been McCain’s choice, Justin Webb’s blog would have been filled with links to articles deriding the beliefs of Mormons. And Joe Biden’s gaffes would still have been ignored.


  18. Martin says:

    DB: So spot on. What got me was the sneering way Webb tried to wriggle out of his biased shite on BBC’s Newswatch the other week.

    I think the time has come to shut down the blogs of beeboids.

    Additionally, I see no reason why beeboids should be doing any other work outside of the BBC.

    I also think the time has come to flush the sewer out at the BBC and go through every beeboid who has an input to news and current affairs to ensure they are even handed.

    It should be a requirement that when the BBC does a political piece that someone is there to put both sides of the argument and not as the BBC does, getting TWO or more mincing liberals to give two or more leftist liberal views.

    As I pointed out in a previous post, everytime I make a formal complaint about bias, the BBC respond by telling me that their output is even handed, yet they never offer any evidence to back this up.

    This nonsense must end.


  19. George R says:

    Will BBC anti-Palin attitudes shift after this?:

    “Sarahs unite for health campaign”



  20. mailman says:

    Excellent coverage there DB, although I fear you, like everyone else, are merely p1ssing in to the wind.



  21. mailman says:

    “And Mrs Palin was widely lauded in the US media for her speech earlier this month to the Republican convention. ”

    Hahahahaha…you wouldnt know that if you followed the Beeb! 🙂



  22. David Vance says:


    No mail received at this end. Try me on d.vance1@btopenworld.com


  23. Zevilyn says:

    McCain’s embrace of Socialism is something of a surprise to me. He no longer believes in the free market.

    Hank Paulson and Ben Bernanke want to reward the crooks by giving them TAXPAYERS money. Why should the US taxpayer pay for CEO’s bonuses ffs?!

    Paulson wants the power to spend taxpayers money as if its his own. The man is a fascist and a crook.

    And guess which bank benefits most from the bailout? Goldman Sachs, which by an uncanny coincidence Paulson used to work for. The good ole boys sure look after each other.

    Paulson and Bernanke are un-American scum and I hope they die of cancer. This will destroy America and turn it into a Communist/Fascist state.

    Thank goodness there are still REAL conservatives like Ron Paul and Jim Bunning in the US.


  24. Zevilyn says:

    Also note that the crook Paulson has failed to guarantee that taxpayers will get their money back.

    Wall Street should be forced to give a large share of its profits back to the taxpayers they FLEECED.

    Where’s that guarantee, Paulson?


  25. Verity says:

    Here is the nastiest TV interview with a political figure you will ever see. The vivaporous Katie Couric leaks venom all over Sarah Palin, who tries to answer questions that make absolutely no sense in the context.

    Palin, who is attractive, is made, with the help of clever lighting, to look washed out, lined and wan, and a dithering amateur, while Couric looks sleek, well-lit and in control. I have never seen a nastier TV interview in my life

    This display of prejudice and vicious intent makes Justin Webb look like Glenda the Good Witch from the East.


  26. Anonymous says:

    After only ever expressing an opinion when voting to terminate the lives of children who survive abortion. Obama simply doesn’t have the first clue about the economy.


  27. Anon says:

    Here is the nastiest TV interview with a political figure you will ever see. … This display of prejudice and vicious intent makes Justin Webb look like Glenda the Good Witch from the East.”

    Fairly tame questions but Palin was floundering.


  28. DB says:

    David Vance | Homepage | 25.09.08 – 1:29 pm

    Thanks, I’ll use that email next time.


  29. Verity says:

    Anon – No. They were pointless, silly, baseless, disconnected questions designed to puzzle Governor Palin and cause her to flounder around trying to catch a clue as to what the point of the question was.

    Did you think the fact that she was harshly ill-lit whereas Katy Couric had a soft key light was done in error?

    Katy Couric was throwing out completely disconnected – and in some cases, puzzlingly irrelevant – questions because she was aware that she was just providing bits for a jigsaw that would be assembled later, by the producer, to the disadvantage of the Governor. The Governor, by contrast, was trying to find the narrative from which Kouric was working.

    At least it demonstrates how frightened the fellow travellers are in the United States.


  30. Martin says:

    Zevilyn: This bail out will probably lead to another one. The city now know if they fuck up the tax payer will bail them out.

    What they should have done is suspend ALL city trading, send in the Police and arrest these city spivs. Then seize ALL their assets (personal and business) before handing over a single Dollar or pound from the tax payer.

    There’s a lot of nonsense over this debt thing. What is the point of throwing people out of their homes to then let the houses stand empty?

    Much of this debt is not debt at all. At the moment many houses are worth less than the mortgage, it’s ont as if the money has been pissed away on drugs and rent boys is it?

    Why not leave them in there and make them pay whatever they can afford until things sort themselves out?

    I just think a lot of city slickers are looking to make more money.

    Note how oil suddenly went up in price.

    The Police should be cracking skulls in the City right now.


  31. Peter says:

    They were pointless, silly, baseless, disconnected questions designed to puzzle Governor Palin and cause her to flounder around trying to catch a clue as to what the point of the question was.

    Did you think the fact that she was harshly ill-lit whereas Katy Couric had a soft key light was done in error?

    Verity | 25.09.08 – 3:53 pm |

    The consequences of the ‘set-up’ and how it plays if ‘outed’ in the US I will leave to others.

    However, from Nixon/Kennedy onwards I’d like to think modern day candidates and their minders are savvy in all that can happen under the spotlight, including underhand techniques… from any quarter. Mind you, even Guido walked right into Newsnight’s little honey trap a while ago.

    I hadn’t a clue until this blog who Ms. Kouric was, but I am now fairly aware of where she, and her network, is coming from. As would a UKIP spokesperson on the BBC, not that they should have to.

    Hence I would have thought all aspects of the interview should have been allowed for and prep’d beforehand.

    As to Mrs. Palin’s handling of the questions, I’d suggest a view of Mr. Prescott dealing with Mr. Paxman a few days ago. Garbage in: major serve back.

    Didn’t do anything for answering any questions or make me feel any better about his party, policies or person, but by heck it did make a smarmy news person look like a stammering little schoolboy, and his ‘profession’s’ obsessions with trivia as irrelevant to what’s real and important to the public as they need to be shown up to be.

    I’ll hunt the link down if anyone fancies a gander.


  32. DB says:

    The following comment, which included a link to my above history of Palin-bashing, has been “referred to the moderators” at Webb’s blog:

    You’re all over the place on this Justin. You began the day slamming McCain, three hours later you were on the Today programme saying he’s the one who’s captured the mood and Obama was dallying, and now you’re back to slamming McCain.

    And you can’t resist a link to a Palin-bashing article, can you? I laughed out loud reading Roger Cohen’s claim that, “Behind Palinism lies anger.” Obama’s entire campaign has been built upon Alinsky-inspired manipulation of hate. One only needs read some of the vile comments from Obama-loving, teach-the-world-to-sing “progressives” on this blog to see that.

    (Those on here claiming McCain is a coward – what’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?)


  33. Mailman says:

    DB, you would have better luck in tomorrow nights euro lottery than you will have with the mods.

    BTW, anyone posted this on Frei/Webbs blogs yet?




  34. Mailman says:

    hehehe, love this quote from McCain;

    “My opponent’s only solutions are talk and taxes. I’ll reform Wall Street and fix Washington. I’ve taken on tougher guys than this before.”

    Funnily enough, Obama had no come back. Wonder why? 🙂



  35. DB says:

    Mailman | 25.09.08 – 10:04 pm |

    It would be quite funny if people replied to my censored comment as if it was actually there – eg “37 duhbuh – I agree, Justin Webb simply repeats the last thing he has read” or “37 duhbuh – even though I can’t read what you’ve written I agree that Justin Webb hates Sarah Palin”.

    That kind of thing.


  36. Verity says:

    Pete – You’re naive and I’m not about to give you a course on Communications 101.

    The United States presidential debates are a national event and there are now people who ensure that the networks, the lighting, blah blah blah are neutral. Everyone learned their lesson from the Nixon and Kennedy debates. The media lessons are in every political texbook in the world, but thank you.

    If you think this applies to an interview in a TV studio owned by a corporation, that tells me you have been brought up on the BBC and government controlled broadcasting and you think political parties can dictate to people who own media empires.

    Trust me; you are not cleverer or more perspicacious or a sharper planner than the people running the cut throat presidential and vice presidential campaigns (of either party). You’re just not.

    Your little lessons and your little comparison with Guido are embarrassing. (No offence to Guido.) Until you’ve been in those muddy bayous fighting alligators, I suggest you maintain a discreet silence.


  37. Peter says:

    Pete – You’re naive and I’m not about to give you a course on Communications 101.

    I presume you are referring to my comment.

    And I note your personal views in reply that still come across as an attempted course in something.

    Pretty much as ‘I’m right; you’re wrong and that’s that’. Sounds like a few others around the broadcast firmament to me.

    As you suggest, I have indeed been brought up in the UK and seen how things progress. Interesting examples such as Mr. Brown’s HUD moment on the one hand, yet his seemingly only appearing on Andrew Marr, Breakfast TV or not at all for months as suits on the other. But even Mr. Blair still seems to sweat (which, with his mannerisms, was what I thought did for Mr. Nixon, as opposed to any studio tricks).

    Hence it seems things can still to an extent be mitigated, managed or mismanaged by minder teams, even with the only major national broadcaster there is.

    As opposed to a partisan and potentially hostile TV station.

    I don’t know, so I simply ask (maybe other US-savvy contributors) if a VP level candidate cannot turn down an invitation or request certain things be changed during preparation, if it is clear that these are been set up to their disadvantage? I know some celebs require post-approval, but maybe this is not a courtesy accorded pols.

    Certainly I saw on these pages Mr. McCain seemed to have been hijacked afterwards by a less than ethical photographer, though the expose of that rebounded.

    Never claimed, just didn’t, to be ‘cleverer or more perspicacious or a sharper planner than the people running the cut throat presidential and vice presidential campaigns (of either party)’.

    Simply wondered how all the set-ups suggested (were allowed to) come to pass. The day you can’t ask questions here is the day this blog ceases to have value.

    Your little lessons and your little comparison with Guido are embarrassing. (No offence to Guido.)

    To whom? Seems another bit of rampant projection from a minority (of one; so far) position. I just made a reference that tied to the discussion. Guido was (is, and one I appreciate FWIW) a thorn in the side of the politico/media establishment and somehow got managed into a studio situation by accepting the invitation, and then willingly engaged in an odd set-up that hardly served the actual debate or issues he championed/s well.

    As one who has worked in the world of media most of their lives (albeit in the ad world), I do know what can happen in a studio, and hence in prep and post. If you are low on the totem, you pays yer money and takes yer chances in weighing an opportunity to get broadcast exposure with any possible ‘spin’ the owners might choose to add if they are by history not in agreement with your views.

    I’d have thought being the most famous aspiring VP in recent history might have suggested more negotiating power. Getting her on gives you ratings, the only drug there is. Asking for decent studio lighting doesn’t seem an unreasonable call (if made), and if refused would reflect poorly on the station. Of course, walking out could be spun by enemies as a hissy fit so that’s what you pay those smart guys the big bucks for.

    Hence, and despite your information-lite feedback l wonder how the VP was put in, and allowed to be put in the position she was, at least as described, as it still seems to be ‘odd’.

    As the era of pre-vetted questions seems over (good for the media and public; not so good for pols who do need to think on their feet), how the VP handled daft questions is between her and the interviewer, and for those watching to judge accordingly. If Mrs. Palin told Ms. Kouric she was having trouble getting a coherent point across for her to answer sensibly I’d have been cheering her on. Maybe she was just trying to be polite, but I have seen where polite politics, at least on camera, has got us of late.

    In the best spirits of this blog, I cheerfully reject your final suggestion as the unwelcome, arrogant demand it reads:) Tone is hard in print, I know.

    Possibly naively (it’s still not a reason to remain mute, especially on this site, that prefers civil debate and playing the point and not the person I have usually found), but for sure always noisily, and often indiscreetly yours,


  38. Verity says:

    “I don’t know, so I simply ask (maybe other US-savvy contributors) if a VP level candidate cannot turn down an invitation or request certain things be changed during preparation …”

    Certainly they can! Will it be granted? If the station is on the other side of the political divide, not on a bet! In fact, having spotted what makes the candidate uneasy, they’ll intensify it. These are not state-owned organisations.

    Although the right is nowhere near as vicious as the left, I cannot imagine Fox News giving any advantage to Joe Biden, for example.

    “I’d have thought being the most famous aspiring VP in recent history might have suggested more negotiating power.” You underestimate the viciousness of the left. The bigger the game, the bigger the kill.

    In the presidential debates, yes, total fairness is ensured. There are rules. Other than that, anything goes. My only surprise was that the Reps agreed that Sarah Palin be interview by a rat-faced hissing lefty shrew like Katie Couric.

    You have been brought up on the BBC which is under an obligation to at least pretend to be fair. You did not understand my point that gave rise to your comment: ” Asking for decent studio lighting doesn’t seem an unreasonable call (if made), and if refused would reflect poorly on the station.”

    A) It’s not a station. Please understand this point. It is a vast nationwide network that has potential viewership of 300m. It is not some local “station”.

    B) You were in advertising and you haven’t figured out that the harsh lighting was deliberate? Did you notice that Katy Couric had a soft key light?

    American broadcasting networks are capitalistic organisations, not communist state funded organisations. They do as they please. If they draw he viewers, they can charge their advertisers more. If they lose viewers, they lose advertisers. So drama is the order of the day. They set Sarah Palin up to fail because it would be good TV, and also because they hate everything she stands for.

    That accounts not just for the lighting and the uncomfortable chair, but for the disjointed nature of the interview where there was no coherent train of thought. Governor Palin kept trying to find a connection between the previous question and the new question, but there was none. They were designed to disconcert someone accustomed to taking part in rational debate. And Couric, but not the Governor, knew they were all going to be spliced together out of order anyway.

    David Preiser will, I think, agree that my quick assessment is fair. I’d be interested if he had something to add.


  39. David Preiser (USA) says:


    I didn’t watch the interview, so can’t comment about the lighting or editing. However, it is totally obvious that the whole point of it was to continue pimping the canard that Gov. Palin’s lack of foreign policy experience matters. It doesn’t, and this is only a distraction to hide The Obamessiah’s known flaws in that area. That’s the only reason Biden is VP, the only reason everyone keeps talking about Biden’s experience and not his foolish statements, and the only reason to keep harping on Gov. Palin during an interview.

    This was obviously a set-up, since that was the primary focus. It’s well known that the US TV news producers are partisan, but they don’t have a Charter and Agreement to worry about. Even though Couric works for a national network, as you point out, she most certainly does not work for an Official State Broadcaster with any sort of legacy. Thankfully, that doesn’t exist in the US.

    All the media outlets are biased in one way or another, and, as you say, their livelihoods depend on eyeballs. Many make an effort to be reasonable, and they alienate their audience at their own peril. The fall of The New York Times is a perfect example.


  40. Verity says:

    Thanks, David, and that was an interesting supporting point about the NY Times. I understand they’re cutting whole sections now.


  41. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Verity | 26.09.08 – 5:32 pm |

    You heard right. I live in NYC, and in the last five years the Times has doubled its price and halved its size. It barely resembles the paper it was when I first moved here. The business section – one of their strengths that went seriously downhill in the last three years – is down to almost nothing, although they finally got around to increasing the online content. They even downsized my favorite music critic in May.

    May as well do a Rupert Murdoch and go to tabloid format.


  42. Ms. Know says:

    It was a moment when we saw who was going to put the country first. It wasn’t the liberal illuminati. Too bad the elitist made excuses for them.