Consistent double standards

She was fooled. She was duped. Sarah Palin gets the full unquotemarked treatment after listening politely to an imposter’s ramblings. I don’t know when it’s right to switch off a call in disgust, myself. Perhaps if the caller had made remarks about having sex with Palin’s daughter, eh? In the end Palin recognised instantly that she was talking to a radio DJ, and asked too quickly for the DJ’s own mind about their station’s listener call back facility (full audio, not on the BBC, here). The BBC meanwhile should know this only cheapens politics and public life, and that listening politely is a virtue not a vice. I can’t say I can fully defend Palin in this instance, but actually I don’t know what it must be like in her position with all the demands on her time, to be patient and polite and diplomatic in all manner of circumstances. What I do believe is that the BBC is selling this story with intemperate unqualified demeaning language which they would certainly not use of The One.

Another note about these consistent double standards- Martha Kearney rejoices herein a gotcha interview with George Osborne. She says, with a BBC hack’s usual mental rigour:

“What took me by surprise was George Osborne’s immediate admission that he had made a mistake.

I cannot recall the last time a politician did that (without being on the verge of resigning).”

Well let me help the dismal memory of this hackette out a bit- let me take you all the way back to, well, April, and to an obscure and unknown politician called Gordon Brown. I am sure he must have resigned after admitting mistakes? Otherwise we’d know that Martha Kearney’s memory was worth about as much as the BBC’s broadcasting standards and indeed their commitment to impartiality.

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21 Responses to Consistent double standards

  1. Peter says:

    Well, it has been suggested before that if Beavis and Loadsamunny had made the same calls to Mrs Palin’s ansaphone, the result might have been different. Probably wall to wall coverage in all the ‘best of the week’ reviews, lauded by the major media chatterati too?

    Still, an interesting moral equivalence in that this latest call – cheeky at worst – was also a.. ‘prank’.

    Maybe that’s the most extreme word they have in their lexicon.

    Be fun to ask the BBC if be this word useage they equate the seriousness of this ‘abuse’ with the other ‘jape’.

    Have to wonder about the competencies of the support guys that such folk can get through with tapes running (is that not illegal without being pre-advised?). If the call is unplanned/booked I’d suggest hitting 1471 and maybe even calling back before talking.

    I listened to this on SKY, and they are also milking it for all they can, and not in a good, or even remotely objective manner either. If that excuses Aunty for some, so be it. I actually thought she handled a bizarre call quite well, and to laugh it off with ‘C’est la vie’ was… classy. I can just see certain pols closer to home doing that when it happens. Which, of course, they are waaay too smart to allow. Mr. Bremner on the line, again….

    Marr and DG should be fun (in a cringeworthy, ‘so it’s safe to say a line has been drawn’ way) later.


  2. mikewineliberal says:

    If you read the Kearney piece, you’ll be able to set this in context. It starts with barely veiled attacks on Mandelson and then the BBC over Ross/Brand. It’s about crisis management strategy. Seems sympathetic to Osbourne if anything. The “mistake” kearney refers to is one of personal behaviour. The “mistakes” Brown owns up to are ones of policy. The latter a political trick; the former an admission of personal culpability. A thin semantic point to make biased bbc, which demonstrates nothing.


  3. mikewineliberal says:

    I saw ITN’s coverage of the US election the other day and was genuinely shocked at how pro-obama it was (and i’m entirely in the can for the Democrat). I know we expect more from the BBC because of their privileged position. But i think its coverage needs to be set in the context of the other broadcast media, which as far as i can see is far more obama leaning. Pretty much the entire journalistic cadre in the UK is pro-obama, with a few exceptions.


  4. Ed says:

    Peter- I think the main issue with the Palin article is the use of language- the BBC main headline said she was “fooled”. The article said she was “duped”. By contrast the Sky report just says she “failed to realise” the nature of the call, which it described as a hoax. Sky doesn’t let her off but the BBC puts the boot in. That’s typical. The BBC chose to use the most derogatory language and the worst possible interpretation of events.


  5. JohnA says:

    Why is it news anyway ?

    Why has the BBC paid nil attention to Joe Biden ? Stacks of serious gaffes there, and why not ask why he is now hidden away, hasn’t given a press conference since the start of September.

    After months and months of coverage by the BBC, would anyone guess how extreme the whole panoply of his friends/mentors have been ?

    9am Radio 4 “news” prog – all three reviewers of the press are pro-Obama. Surely a good producer would deliberately seek both sides of the issue, get some argument going ? Instead, all we get is the usual pap – Obama is transformative, to vote against him would be racist.

    The whole campaign coverage has been the most blatant sustained example of BBC bias.


  6. Allan@Aberdeen says:

    I watched the David Letterman show whilst in Norway last week and it was dreadful. All jokes were about McCain, all contrived footage mocked McCain and all we saw of Obama was a look of unconcerned bemusement at the cut and pasted ‘antics’ of McCain during their debate. The MSM create an image which reinforces their own prejudices about the Republicans yet they consistently refuse to examine the dubious background of Obama, and there is an absolute refusal to mine the reach seam of comedic material on Biden. Obama, whilst potentially funny, is no joke.


  7. Allan D says:

    “The reason that Carville and the 1992 US election are in my mind is because I am writing this at Washington Dulles airport.

    We are over here for the US election of course.”

    “…at the licence-payers’ expense, of course.”

    No credit crunch at the BBC.


  8. deegee says:

    From BBC coverage one could easily gain the impression that this election was between Palin and Obamma with McCain and Biden as justifiably ignored V.P. candidates.

    Judging by the limited coverage of the conversation, apart from being duped about the caller’s identity (surely a reflection of the screening process rather than candidate) Palin said nothing embarrassing.

    BTW How does one directly call any of the candidates, anyway? What is to stop serious nutcases rather than so-called comics harassing the candidates?

    Why are these ‘so funny’ attempts at satire directed at Palin and never at Obamma, Biden or McCain? Could it be that the ‘satirists’are afraid the first two might be just as easily duped and/or say something very embarassing OR that the third might not?


  9. GCooper says:

    I think JohnA has this nailed. The entire BBC coverage has been designed to achieve one thing – to support in any and every way possible the election of Obama.

    Why? Because he is black, young and on the far Left of US politics.

    He ticks every box for a European Leftist and there was never any way in which he was not going to receive their full, sycophantic, support.


  10. Barry Chubb's Sister says:

    Well I for one won’t be voting for Obama.


  11. Adam says:

    Obama is barely middle eastern.
    Media types live in a racist, stereotyped gagaland


  12. glj says:

    The canadian guy behing the prank was on Dotun Adebayo’s show last night, it goes without saying that Adebayo thought the whole thing was hilarious.

    But listening to clips from the call as well as explanations from the dj/”comedian” himself, it became patently clear that it just wasn’t funny – literally unfunny.

    Seems like the BBC are blazing the trail in unfunny comedy.


  13. Mailman says:

    JohnA, this is news because it reinforces the media perception of Palin being a dumb arse.

    The real pity here is it looks like America has been robbed of a person who could have made a very real difference in the white house. Instead, thanks to the distortions and arse covering run by the media, America and the world is in for 4 years of democratic failures.

    Mark my words! πŸ™‚



  14. betyangelo says:

    I don’t believe the Chosen One of the democrats will win, Mailman.

    Truth: nobody wins without the white guy vote. That’s just how it is. And white guys like Joe the Plumber, Tom the Soldier, Matt the Truck Driver, Dave the Cook, Bob the Carpenter – are certain a vote for McCain saves the nation from a marxist.


  15. betyangelo says:

    Sarah Palin isn’t going to go away, either.

    P.S. – They are democrats, not democratics, as in, “4 years of democratic failures”.


  16. Ed says:

    “Sarah Palin is a huge threat, and our campaign has feared her like you can’t imagine. If it seems unfair how she has been treated, well its because she has had a team working round the clock to make her look like a fool.”

    Fascinating (probably true) insider account of team-Obama tactics here


  17. Rob says:

    “it became patently clear that it just wasn’t funny – literally unfunny.”

    Like all of the BBC ‘satirical’ output for the last 20 years. Their entire output boils down to Marcus Brigstock sneering about George Bush – that’s it.


  18. Nearly Oxfordian says:

    The last time the BBC ever attempted satire was when Lord Haw Haw dominated the airwaves.

    Meanwhile, I am attempting to pleasure myself with a pair of snooker balls stuffed down my pants, that clack together when I jog on the spot.


  19. mailman says:

    And look how that one ended in tears aye NO! πŸ™‚



  20. Ross says:

    Too true Rob, and I’d add that Marcus Brigstocke represents the BBC fraternity to a tee.

    Middle class – and desperately embarrassed about it

    Public school educated – so he makes very funny jokes about everyone being gay

    White – so enduring post-post revisionist guilt complex

    Guardian reader – so he talks about nothing but the Daily Mail.



  21. Bumbandit says:

    So the BBC’s extensive coverage of the Brand/Ross furore was by the same logic, biased against…the BBC?!?!

    No, that would be too stupid even for you guys.