… but things will stay the same.
Matt Frei’s final edition of Americana before leaving the BBC gave him the chance to talk – once again – with one of his “favourite Washingtonians”, the Palin-hating conspiracy nut Andrew Sullivan. It was everything you’d expect from a BBC discussion on US affairs – Sullivan asserted (without any contradiction from Frei) that Donald Rumsfeld is a war criminal and that the highly partisan nature of politics in Washington is pretty much all the fault of the Republicans (who really should move to the left like Cameron’s – ahem – Conservatives). Their chat finished with some inevitable mockery of Sarah Palin.
Of course Frei’s departure won’t change a thing at the BBC (I noted in the comments that one of the first tweets sent by new Washington correspondent Adam Blenford after he started his new role was an approving link to Sullivan’s Daily Dish blog). The ongoing crusade against the American Right [cue scary music] continued this morning on the Today programme when Jim Naughtie discussed new BBC hate-figure Michelle Bachmann with Mark Mardell. The BBC’s North America editor, on-message as ever, took the opportunity to mention a three-month old gaffe from the prospective presidential candidate. Isn’t it amazing how these BBC US correspondents seemingly can dredge up every mistake ever made by any Republican of any note and yet never report a single one of the many verbal embarrassments from the mouth of Obama who is, y’know, actually president? (My favourite recent one – Obama last month describing the “Teutonic shift in the Middle East”. Imagine the fun the BBC would have had with that one if it had been Bachmann or Palin. Instead, nothing.)