… 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.)

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20 Responses to FREI’S TO GO…

  1. John Anderson says:

    Michele Bachmann is Tea Party through and through – or rather,  an expounder of TP-style ideas long before the TP movement started.

    And she is quickly catching on as a coherent and popular Repub contender for 2012 candidacy.

    Lord how the BBC types must hate her.  They think they have demonised Palin so much that she cannot appear credible to a British audience – now they have to go through the whole process again with Bachmann.


  2. john says:

    Hopefully the US Immigration Control will do a “New Jersey” on Matt Frei’s Visa :
    Fuck off and don’t even think of coming back here again.


    • D B says:

      Unfortunately he’s staying in the U.S. for more of the same on behalf of Channel 4 News.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        So Frei can continue his partisan poison about the US, but at least it’s not on behalf of the official state broadcaster, and he isn’t hosting a whole news broadcast targeted directly at the US we’re expected to trust just because it’s the BBC.


  3. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Well said, DB.  We’re 18 months away from an election, yet the BBC is more obsessed with it than anyone in the US not working for a campaign or in media assigned to cover one.  There is so much more going on in the US that’s vitally important, yet the Beeboids are mostly interested only in what affects their beloved Obamessiah.  All US issues, it seems, are viewed through the prism of Him.  Bachmann isn’t interesting because of her values, but because she represents a possible threat to The Obamessianic Age, and a possible return to darkness.

    There’s really no point in any BBC coverage of the US if they still look to Andrew Sullivan for guidance.  David Gregory dismisses Piers Corbyn out of hand because of some comments about earthquakes, yet it’s perfectly acceptable to treat Sullivan as credible despite his insane birther conspiracies, which – contrary to any claim of Corbyn’s – have been publicly proven to be false?

    I call BS on the BBC.


  4. John Anderson says:

    The lawyers who write the Powerline blog always seem to me to be pretty level-headed.  One of them has known Bachmann pretty well for over 10 years – they live in the same state.   So when he argues that Bachmann is NOT “a flake” – as the BBC will henceforth try to portray her – I take some notice of him.

    and of the Weekly Standard background biography he refers to :


    Before Palin first e,merged as VP candidate,  I had read quite a bit about her excellent record as a reformer in Alaska – and had a chance to check out over dinner in London what a senior Alaskan businessman thought of her,  how she was rated.   He expressed lots of respect for her.

    But the BBC seldom if ever focussed on Palin’s track record in Alaska – they just went for the HuffPo/NYT/WaPo/White House smears and adverse talking points.

    I expect the same will now happen for Bachmann.  Nothing positive,  everything negative.  If anything,  she may frighten the BBC weenies even more than Palin did.

    So the BBC will take a consistently hostile view of Bachmann.   But then – what happens if she wins the nomination,  in straight combat with candidates like Mitt Romney ?     If she emerges as the favourite for the Repub party.  Does that make the whole Repub party stupid,  flaky ?   I guess that will be how the BBC will play it – the Repub Party has been “captured” by the crazy Tea Party folk.

    Time and time again the BBC demonises politicians on the right – the Saul Alinksky method.   Often using outright lies,  always using bias of commission and omission. 

    This endless vendetta at the BBC against the right ought to be prohibited by management instruction/policy guidelines.  If they can proscribe the word “Terrorist” they can proscribe all the damning epithets such as “extreme right-winger”.    But of course they won’t.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      guess that will be how the BBC will play it – the Repub Party has been “captured” by the crazy Tea Party folk.  
      The Republican Party should be so lucky…..


    • hippiepooter says:

      >>This endless vendetta of the BBC against the right ought to be prohibited by management instruction/policy guidelines.<<  
      It is, and the BBC take those guidelines as seriously as the people who wrote them.


  5. John Anderson says:

    The hatchet jobs on Bachmann have already started in the US.  But sometimes they backfire.   First – maybe a lot of voters are now innoculated against the venom and poison some journalists try to spread – they remember the unbalanced treatment of Palin and the failure to probe Obama (over whom many now have buyers’ remorse).

    Rolling Stone had a hit-piece on Bachmann – which turns out to be effectively plagiarism from a 2006 article on her.  Rolling Stone gets the backlash fro lazy gutter “journalism”.  

    I’m waiting for another Dan Rather moment.


    • John Anderson says:

      and Rolling Stone appear to have withdrawn the offending article.  Shot themselves in the foot,  it seems.


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    On the topic of Michelle Bachmann, the News Channel just had a lame sequence where they cut to a live feed of her announcement speech, already in progress.  The stupid thing is that the producers knew perfectly well that they were about a minute away from the weather break and so couldn’t spend more than a few seconds on it.  But they did it anyway, and the result was that Stage Performer Maitliiss got more words out in her intro (spitting out the words “Tea Party favorite”) and after the producers cut away from the speech back to the studio than we heard from Bachmann herself. It sure as hell seemed like, rather than giving the viewer a chance to hear the speech, they saw it as an opportunity for a gratuitious attempt to scare the viewer with the “Tea Party” rather than give any sense at all of the candidate in question.  She spoke about three sentences before they cut back to more editorial comments from Maitliss.

    Tea Party, Tea Party, Tea Party.  Audience:  Boo!


  7. George R says:

    BBC-Channel 4’s? Frei: playing down the West (of which he is part), playing up China, to the end:

    ‘Valedictory’! for his ‘ex’ BBC Democrat tonight:

    “And Matt Frei delivers his valedictory essay for Newsnight in which he asks if the US is in long term decline, and we discuss if the 21st Century might really be the Chinese century. ”


  8. DP111 says:

    The ULTIMATE SARAH PALIN is a Dumb, Dumber, Dumbest, STUPID MORON Bitch Paul Revere 


  9. Lloyd says:

    Do you think the beeb are capable of running a Michele Bachmann article that doesn’t mention Sarah Palin?


    • John Anderson says:

      The BBC has invested a lot of time and vituperation in attacking/demonising Sarah Palin.  To the general UK audience,  a lot of that mud has stuck.  So they want to have a read-across to Bachmann, of course,  so their earlier investment is not all wasted.

      Is there a single BBC presenter or commentator who has treated Palin fairly ?   Expect much of the same unctious bias with Bachmann.


  10. London Calling says:


    “Palin 2.0?
    Could Michele Bachmann end up in the White House? ”

    Note the “end up” – you know, like Obama “ended up President”.
    Interesting choice of words: not “win the presidency”, that’s too much legitimacy. Habits of thought betray their unfitness to report.


  11. Beeboidal says:

    Cheerio, Matt. Don’t forget to take this with you.


  12. hatethebias says:

    Note the BBC News at Ten – Mark Mardell’s commentry on Bachman bigging up her “gaffes” and airing the clip where Chris Wallace asked her if she was “a flake”. No mention of the rapid heartfelt apology from Wallace for using such demeaning language.

    Incidently, concerning gaffea, anyone seen ANY reference on the BBC about Obama’s inability to distinguish between alive and dead recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor? No, I thought not.


  13. John Anderson says:

    It was disgraceful to mention the Chris Wallace clip – Wallace had abjectly apologised very very quickly.

    I am afraid you will have a very long wait for the BBC to present a summary of all the gaffes made by Obama.

    Or Bachmann in her candidacy announcement saying – “Look,  no teleprompter – and when I am President we will probably abolish the teleprompter”