The BBC’s Censoring of News on the Gulf Oil Spill

I’m sure everyone remembers the BBC’s tireless, seemingly non-stop coverage of the Gulf Oil Spill a few months ago. It was declared the greatest natural disaster in the history of the US, with unfathomably dire environmental consequences. We all saw the footage of the soiled pelicans and turtles, and worried about shrimp and scallops. The occasional tear was also shed for what this disaster would do to the local economy, specifically the Louisiana coast and New Orleans, which had previously been devastated by George Bush’s failure to…er…by Hurricane Katrina.

As time went on, the various failures of the Obamessiah Administration kept cropping up in the news. The Administration’s inept handling of the clean-up effort, including being even less competent than Bush when it came to getting around the Jones Act and allowing foreign countries to send in ships to help out, started gaining attention. Then there was the fact that He ignored a pre-approved, pre-existing plan to burn off some of it, and then waited too long to react in general. Even we noticed here that He took nine days to even make a real public appearance about it, forcing himself to cut short yet another vacation. The BBC never said a word.

In fact, it got so bad that the people of Louisiana thought the President handling things worse than Bush did with Katrina. Meanwhile, the BBC was telling you about some silly anti-British sentiment because the President kept saying “British Petroleum” and one or two locals said something in anger in front of a BBC camera.

Naturally, once the media started carping about the President’s handling of the problem (even JournoListas were unhappy), Mark Mardell was there to support Him. At first, of course, Mardell declared that the real reason that people were upset was because the President wasn’t acting dramatically enough for the stupid proles. Then, when He gave a more ponderous performance, Mardell eagerly lapped it up:

It was a measured, sober speech of quiet power, the speech of a president projecting absolute command, if not empathy. But the last quotation says much: a strong, very American invocation of the country’s might and optimism, its ability to muster its strength and overcome.

It was intended to rally a people who were rather feeling he’d not gripped this crisis.

A less sycophantic view would be that it was an empty series of platitudes, with more fluff than substance. But not to a believer like Mardell. Soon enough, word got out that the Obamessiah Administration was colluding with BP to block media access to certain areas of the clean-up. Nobody was sure why, although the most obvious reason was to make sure nobody found out just how screwed up the whole situation was. The BBC, of course, censored that news, as they did for just about any problems the Administration was having. The only thing the BBC audience was allowed to know was that the President wasn’t making enough great speeches to please the unwashed masses, but He sure was taking responsibility and would make BP pay.

At one point, the President appointed a commission to study the spill, to find out what went wrong and recommend a course of action. Unsurprisingly, it was full of environmentals and policy wonks, with nearly all of them already having set opinions against the oil industry. Some of the commissioners were expressing their opinions on the matter – all anti-oil – even before the proceedings began. It was rigged from the start, but instead the BBC dutifully reported the White House talking points about it.

In between vacations and photo-op luncheons, the President found time to place a six-month moratorium on off-shore drilling. At the time, this was hailed by Greenpeace and the BBC as a much-needed action, necessary until we learned more about the dangers of off-shore drilling, put more safety measures in place, etc. The message was that off-shore drilling is bad, m’kay, and the President did the right thing for the environment and to save us all.

This ban cost thousands of jobs, and killed plenty of business and tax revenue for the region the President was supposed to be saving and protecting. As it was supposedly based on science and real danger, nobody objected too much, and the Gulf Coast, already devastated by Bush…er…Katrina, would suffer further hardship.

However, it turns out that this ban was done for ideological reasons and not based on science or technical expertise. In fact, we’ve since learned that the spill wasn’t all that bad. Even though it was visually very sexy, it seems that the damage was exaggerated. The media played a large role in this, including the BBC, and one has to wonder if this is in part due to the Obamessiah Administration’s collusion in blocking media access to key areas.

And what a shock: an independent investigation has found that the White House altered part of an Interior Department’s report to make it appear that a group of scientists and engineers approved of the drilling ban:

“The White House edit of the original DOI draft executive summary led to the implication that the moratorium recommendation had been peer-reviewed by the experts,” the IG report states, without judgment on whether the change was an intentional attempt to mislead the public.

So the ban, which cost thousands of jobs, and harmed the already precarious economy of the Gulf Coast region, was done for purely ideological reasons, and not based on science. Justin Webb told us that this President would bring science back and wouldn’t deny it based on ideology. Turns out this, just like so many of Webb’s other pronouncements on the President back when he was the BBC’s North America editor, simply isn’t true. Utter silence from the BBC, as usual.

The BBC aided and abetted the White House Narrative, in part by censoring key information. This was all done for purely ideological reasons, and not based on science or the facts.

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11 Responses to The BBC’s Censoring of News on the Gulf Oil Spill

  1. PDC says:

    It was a measured, sober speech of quiet power, the speech of a president projecting absolute command, if not empathy. But the last quotation says much: a strong, very American invocation of the country’s might and optimism, its ability to muster its strength and overcome.

    It was intended to rally a people who were rather feeling he’d not gripped this crisis.

    Yuck! The triumph of sugar over diabetes.


  2. Millie Tant says:

    It’s toe-curlingly embarrassing to read that and to watch a grown man making a fool of himself with such fawning nonsense. Why can’t people like Mardell and the Webb monster deal with an American politician and President on his merits? It is really dire how they grovel and prostrate themselves like guilty junior schoolboys caught out by Teacher. There is something desperately wrong with journalists who adopt this posture and something deeply wrong at Quality Control when the Beeboid Corporation keeps pumping out this type of drivel and sees nothing wrong with it.


  3. Martin says:

    Nice post David, Mardell really is a useless fat prat.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      It’s not just Mardell: it’s all of those who did any work on this story, from BBC News Online to the News Channel to Matt Frei, across the entire organization.  Mardell is just the easiest target because he makes egregious blog posts.


  4. gordon-bennett says:

    Very good post, DP. However, are you aware that the president is explaining everything but you Americans are just not understanding him.

    Or at least that’s what obama (Peace be upon Him) says.


  5. Phil says:

    In my opinion there’s something patronising about the BBC’s determination to give Obama the benefit of the doubt all the time. 

    Could it be because the president isn’t white?


  6. Umbongo says:

    Even that stacked inquiry in its preliminary technical report could only find – according to the Environment News Service – that “the BP oil rig explosion and spill in the Gulf of Mexico were caused by a “suite of bad decisions” and a “culture of complacency” rather than deliberate cutting of corners to save money”.  In other words it was down to bad judgement calls rather than deliberate corner cutting or technical incompetence.  Anyone who knows anything (or wants to know, which excludes the BBC whose collective mind closed a long time ago) about oil exploration/drilling – or any industrial process undertaken in difficult environments at the cutting edge of technological know-how – appreciates that this is not an exact science.   As far as the BBC’s reportage on this I don’t know what’s worse: the blatant bias or the world-class incompetence.


  7. David Jones says:

    Excellent post.


  8. jeremytayloratl says:

    For more insights read Bobby Jindal’s new book. Obama is a paper thin president.