139 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Craig says:

    On the Arizona Anti-Illegal Immigration Law, the BBC’s See Also blog (anonymous writer) presents a selection of US opinions on Democrat-appointee (not mentioned) Judge Bolton’s decision to block part of it.

    (Amazingly, it doesn’t link to the Huffington Post!)

    It begins with one of the law’s strongest critics, EJ Montini, a liberal at the Arizona Republic (didn’t like Bush, didn’t like McCain, doesn’t like Sheriff Arpaio from a read-through of his blog). 

    It moves on to the Washington Post and Stephanie McCrummen (who is usually their Africa correspondent). She’s there so the BBC can quote her saying “Illegal immigration in Arizona is down, as is crime, which is no more associated with illegal immigrants than any other subset of the population.”

    From one liberal paper to another and an editorial from the New Jersey Star-Ledger. Like Mr Montini, they approve of the judge’s decision, saying she acted “wisely”.

    A carefully-worded, scrupulously neutral editorial by the Christian Science Monitor is filleted for a brief passage that looks like a justification of Judge Bolton’s ruling.

    So far Obama hasn’t been mentioned – or praised. So next up comes Julia Preston of The New York Times, a pro-amnesty reporter. She says the ruling “broadly vindicated” Obama’s actions.

    More praise for Obama comes from Bob Egelko of the San Francisco Chronicle, who calls it “an Obama victory”.

    Lastly come Ken Dilanian and Lisa Mascaro in the Los Angeles Times. This is a piece of reporting rather than opinion, but the extract chosen reads (out of context) like a condemnation of Republican obstructionism.

    Plenty of liberal voices, but any conservative voices? No. Any supporters of the Arizona law or critics of Judge Bolton? No. Any critics of Obama? No.

    Biased BBC.


    • John Anderson says:

      Sometimes the BBC is so crazily biased that it is a parody of itself.

      The Arizona case was top headline on the World Service last night,  and very high up in the Radio 4 headlines.  I bet if the provisional views of Judge Bolton had been the other way,  no-one would have heard a dickybird.

      Much of the opinion I have seen is that even if it has to go to the Supreme Court – Arizona will prevail.  In particular, because any slight and almost invented problems in the Arizona law are far outweighed bty the seriousness of the ongoing situation in Arizona.  The rule of law is the core of democracy,  Obama is failing to apply the law sufficiently,  Arizona cannot be prevented from taking its own steps to increase the application of the law against illegal migration.


      Somehow the BBC fails to report such views.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        Has the BBC told you yet that 18 other states have adpoted a similar law, and that Rhode Island has been chekcing papers on suspected illegals for two years already?   No?  Thought not.  That context won’t support the false Narrative the BBC is trying to create for you.

        Don’t trust the BBC on US issues.


      • Craig says:

        They really are a self-parody sometimes.

        As I worked my way through that piece I thought they might chuck in maybe one defender of the Arizona Law, just as a sop to the concept of impartiality (probably someone who sounded intemperate). Not a bit of it. Even that was too much for them.

        To adapt and truncate David P, “Don’t trust the BBC.”


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Immigrant Beeboid Franz Strasser’s penultimate installment of his “Into America” series takes him back to the small town in Florida where he spent a high school year abroad.  He revisits his host family, where they talk about how great it was for their cultures to interact, how hospitable the US family was, and a couple of gags about Strasser’s hair being too long back then for Southern conservative tastes.

    It’s all very sweet, a lovely example of the very real open hearts of United Statesians.  Fine.

    What’s missing?  Any discussion of illegal immigration, which is the actual reason Strasser was sent on this propaganda jaunt.  The entire series was done to create the impression of a country of constantly changing and evolving immigrants, the Great American Melting Pot.  Again, fine.  But it’s meant to be used as a cudgel against those who oppose illegal immigration.  See how great and hospitable all these US citizens have been when confronted with immigrants?  There have been some speed bumps, to be sure, but the end result is always positive and welcoming.  The conclusion the BBC wants you to reach, then, is that people who oppose illegal immigration are the racists who threw up those speed bumps which everyone else – even in Florida and Kansas – triumphantly overcame.

    Strasser has posted his final installment, a summary of his road trip across the country.  I’ll get to that later.  I wonder if he’ll mention illegal immigration at last.


  3. Craig says:

    The BBC is nothing if not consistent on illegal immigration. It is always ‘intensely relaxed’ about it.

    Looking at Nick Bryant’s Australia blog shows this to be the case.

    The BBC’s Australia correspondent is always on message on the issue of immigration. He is squeamish about Australia’s “messy debate over asylum seekers, which never arouses the nobler aspects of the Australian character”. He repeatedly characterises illegal immigration as “the most paranoiac issue in Australian politics” (that word ‘paranoiac’ crops up in at least three of his posts) and is fond of using the phrase “dog whistle” whenever a politician talks tough on the any immigration issue.

    He quotes at significantly greater length from those advocating a liberal immigration policy and peppers his blog with posts praising Australia’s ‘multi-culturalism’.


  4. Craig says:

    As Martin has noted on more than one occasion, the BBC, represented by Nick Bryant, is clearly disappointed by Australia’s new Labor prime minister Julia Gillard. Whereas the chucked-out Kevin Rudd was an out-and-out left-liberal (and a pal of Obama), Julia is more conservative and isn’t wholly on message over immigration – and isn’t pushing hard enough either over ‘climate change’ (for the BBC’s tastes).    
    Nick Bryant, of course, still prefers her to the Liberal leader Tony Abbott, who is far more conservative than than his predecessor, the Cameron-like Malcolm Turnbull. Tony Abbott once famously described climate change as “absolute crap” and Bryant is fond of quoting attacks on his immigration policies (lots of ‘dog whistles’). Nick Bryant’s welcome for the “highly erratic” Abbott’s election? “By installing Mr Abbott, have the turkeys just voted for Christmas?”    
    Several of Bryant’s posts swoon (at length) over the memory of Gough Whitlam’s left-wing Labor government of the 1970s. He even seems to believe the conspiracy theory that the CIA was involved in Whitlam’s removal from office.    
    Kevin Rudd is viewed as a tragic figure by Byrant – a fallen hero, once feted by Barack Obama, brought down brutally by his failure to force through plans for an emission trading scheme.    
    On Obama: “I said that a new cadre of politicians was emerging, like Barack Obama, who find partisan politics rather tiresome, counter-productive and ugly.” Really?    
    In fairness to Nick Bryant though, he is surprisingly fair in his reporting of the debate over AGW. He acknowledges there is a debate for starters –  and, unlike so many of his BBC colleagues, has done for some time now. He even quotes opinion polls that Richard Black wouldn’t touch with a ten-mile barge-pole (namely one showing that less than 40% of Ozzies supported Rudd’s emmisions trading scheme in February.)


  5. Julio says:

    Missing Dimbo terribly here 🙁


  6. George R says:

    BBC Radio 4 ‘Today, this morning:

    Why do Mona Siddiqui, ‘Thought for the day’ recordbreaker, and (anti-West) Pakistan politician, Imran Khan, who both happen to be Muslims, get so much regular propaganda space on Islam Not BBC (INBBC), inc. ‘Today’?:

    Thought for the day with Professor Mona Siddiqui from the University of Glasgow.
    Former cricketer and Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan has expressed his anger at the effect the war in Afghanistan has had on Pakistan. He why he thinks his country is ‘fighting someone else’s war’. ”

    (For the record: