How Insane Is Mark Mardell?

This insane:

The president had waved a copy of his hefty American Jobs Act and told them the USA had to catch up with the likes of China and North Korea in spending on high-speed rail and education.

The President of the most successful, most prosperous country in the history of the world says we need to catch up with North Korea, and the BBC US President editor is fine with it. Doesn’t bat an eyelash.

Okay, I admit I’m being mean. Actually, this is a mad typo. There will probably be a stealth edit tomorrow once somebody points it out to him, so I’ve taken a screenshot. If/when this gets fixed, I’ll post it. Be honest: you thought for a moment that the President actually did say that, right?

The President actually said we should emulate South Korea by adding more teachers. Yay, more government spending. I guess it’s difficult to churn this stuff out, especially when one has to go out amongst the great unwashed in flyover country in search of the elusive Obamessiah supporters, so I’ll be charitable here and shrug off this nutty typo.

Anyways, there’s something about China’s high-speed rail that he doesn’t want you to know about. China’s high-speed rail project has so far killed 11 people, and injured a further 89 people. And it’s losing money hand over fist. And Mardell thinks it’s a good idea to emulate? What is it with Beeboids covering the US and China’s autocratic ways?

Mardell sees nothing fishy – or curiously neglects to point it out – in the President’s seeking out the most sympathetic white audience He ever had, back before the 2008 election, when He was still the world’s sweetheart: students.

The president was talking at Fort Hayes art and design college and one pupil, 18-year-old Mel Dodge, told reporters he was an aspiring lyricist and admires Mr Obama’s skills.

“He chooses his words so beautifully,” said the teenager. “That’s why I came out here today, just to hear that in person.”

That’s just the kind of spiritual boost Mardell needed. Actually, it’s a high school in US parlance. Which means some of them will be voting next year – like Mel Dodge – and the rest are potential noisemakers on His behalf. I know this is just a language barrier thing and not an attempt to mislead. But there’s something else fishy here.

As a high school it’s part of the state/city-funded school system in Ohio. His Jobs Plan For Us has a couple lines sending over $350 million specifically to Ohio’s largest school districts (not colleges). Including the Columbus area, which covers this school. Totally targeted pandering. Oops, Mardell forgot to mention that bit. There’s something else about Ohio he doesn’t want you to know:

Ohio is just about the most key swing state there is when it comes to national elections. The President has spent half of His domestic traveling while in office to swing states. He’s visited Ohio fourteen times. Mardell didn’t want to inform you of that lest you start thinking too much about how this was an election campaign stop, geared in part towards unions. But now there must be a semblance of non-partisanship:

He wasn’t so certain about the politics, unsure that the president’s jobs plan would work. He wanted to look at the Republican field as well before he decides how to cast his first vote.

Yeah, sure. Mardell also has a bridge downtown to sell you. His blogpost is just past its midway point, so it’s time for a party political advertisement.

If Mr Dodge is not convinced, it won’t be through lack of White House effort. Senior advisor David Plouffe is just the latest to offer to answer questions by tweet.

This advertisement was brought to you by the Campaign to Re-Elect the President. And your license fee.

I’ve just got a detailed White House email on the beneficial impact of the act on Montana. Why Montana, I know not, but I am sure 49 similar missives will soon be in my inbox.

Yes, Mark, we know you’re well-connected and on the Democrat mailing list. You don’t need to remind us. Oh, my apologies, I’m being rude. The campaign ad is still going.

The president will, I guess, be on the road until this is done or dead.

“I guess.” That’s very silly, and pretty disingenuous. We all know that’s what’s going to happen, because Jay Carney already told everyone last week that the President will “travel all over the country; we’ll be to a lot of different places.” As if he doesn’t know. Hell, the President’s travel schedule is given out to the press, and it shows that He’s going all over the damn place now, mostly to those magical swing states. Just how stupid does Mardell think his audience is? And it’s not partisan at all, no sir. No way you’re going to hear from the US President editor that the only job the President is concerned about creating is His own second term. That’d be a bit too much analysis. Instead, Mardell gives us one of the more obvious signs of his personal political bias:

He is portraying what is a series of pretty partisan, controversial proposals as plain common sense, that no-one of goodwill could resist.

No one of good will, eh? That’s a purely emotional phrase. Mardell is clearly giving an ideological position, supporting the President’s message. Anyone who doesn’t agree with throwing another half trillion dollars down the rabbit hole would resist, based on an entirely different definition of goodwill, but he doesn’t see it that way, and tells you so. So now it’s time to provide “balance”.

In fact, there is intense debate about his ideas.

There you go. One sentence, with a once-in-a-blue-moon link to a known right-wing pundit, Cal Thomas. If this was from elsewhere, I’d say that might remotely be enough to balance out Mardell’s preceding statement that this “debate” obviously means that there are some who are resisting, and therefore have no good will. But as this is a Mardell post, there’s more coming to support the President.

He got backing on Tuesday for more spending from the Congressional Budget Office’s director, who warned cuts could damage recovery.

He got backing, sort of. But the CBO’s “backing” isn’t quite how Mardell presents it. In fact, the CBO boss says that “changes in taxes and spending that would widen the deficit now but narrow it later in the decade.” Which is pretty much exactly what the SuperCommittee is going to do. Just like in Britain (not including union bosses and UK-Uncut and their fellow travelers at the BBC), nobody really thinks severe cuts are happening this instant or tomorrow. For the US, it’s all about 2013 and beyond, and remember, only in a best-case scenario will there be barely $1.5 trillion cut over the next few years, which is a fraction of the actual deficit we need to cut. That’s why nobody on the fiscally responsible side was really happy about the debt agreement. Hello?!!? Short-term memory, anyone?

The CBO isn’t backing the President in the way that Mardell insinuates, nor are they really repudiating the Tea Party idea and instead siding with Ed Balls and Stephanie Flanders. In fact, what the CBO really says is this (does Mardell think nobody clicks through his links, or does he actually not understand what the following bit means?):

“Attaining a sustainable budget for the federal government will require the United States to deviate from the policies of the past 40 years in at least one of the following ways,” he said. “Raise federal revenues significantly above their average share of GDP; make major changes to the sorts of benefits provided for Americans when they become older; or substantially reduce the role of the rest of the federal government relative to the size of the economy.”

Raising revenues doesn’t necessarily mean draconian taxes only. Growth in industry and consumption raises revenues as well, since that’s all taxed to the eyeballs. So “raising revenues” means a lot more than just taxing the rich even more. And what’s that about changing benefits for seniors? Oh dear, oh, dear. Sounds like austerity and cuts affecting the most vulnerable to me, and as Social Security and Medicaid are going to be just about the biggest government expense in the near and long-term future (aging Baby Boomers joining the rolls, longer-lived population in general), it’s pretty major. Again, this is way more in line with Tea Party ideals than with Krugman/Balls/Flanders. And that last sentence about reducing the role of the federal government speaks for itself, you betcha.

Remember: the CBO boss said “at least” one of these three methods. It’s pretty dishonest to put it as just cuts are bad, m’kay, full stop.

So is that what Mardell thinks supports the President? One could just as easily say that the CBO statement is more about what the SuperCommittee is going to do than about whether or not we should add another half-trillion to the deficit. Oh, hang on: the CBO boss actually was saying this to their faces. The link Mardell provides is about the CBO boss’s first appearance in front of their first official hearing. Nothing to do with supporting yet another Stimulus package at all! Wow. Let’s just shake our heads and move on.

But the president’s plan is ideologically objectionable to most Republicans, even more so now that he has revealed how it would be paid for: by taxing what they would describe as “wealth creators” and what Obama would call the rich, oil companies and corporate-jet owners.

It’s ideologically objectionable to Republicans, but not to anyone of “good will”. How biased can you get? Actually, the President has already caved on the corporate jet issue (perhaps Oprah had a word in his saucer-like?), but never mind. Mardell must have missed that memo. I think a less ideologically blinkered person would mention small businesses as well, as they provide the vast majority of jobs in the country.

This is bound to get messy. The White House has confirmed that they will accept parts of the bill being passed.

What’s that last bit supposed to mean? I thought compromise and bi-partisanship were supposed to be the new American dream? Why is he warning about compromise and bi-partisanship? Weird. Unless one would be unhappy with the President giving in one iota to the nasty Republicans.

The danger for Obama is a loss of his simple message.

What simple message? Where did we see a simple message? Mardell sounds like he drank the Kool-Aid here.

He could get drawn into the wrangling and the less attractive aspects of compromise. He needs all the clarity his lyricism and beautiful words can conjure.

So compromise is bad now. Curiously, only a few weeks ago it was the one thing that would have saved us from a credit downgrade. And just the other day Mardell was telling us about how ashamed someone was of Congress for their failure to work together. Now he thinks its best for the President if He convinces everyone to do things His way, without stooping to compromise. You know, that’s just what the other of his concerned voter in that post said. Funny, that. It’s almost as if there’s an agenda here.

By the way, that post of his saw Mardell visiting Democrats in Indiana, and he kind of forgot to mention that it’s another important election swing state.

In the end – wacky typos aside – this is all typical biased reporting. And sloppy and dishonest at that, one of Mardell’s worst. What’s the emoticon for putting one’s head in one’s hands and weeping quietly?

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29 Responses to How Insane Is Mark Mardell?

  1. My Site (click to edit) says:

    ‘There will probably be a stealth edit tomorrow once somebody points it out to him’

    Possibly sooner than you think….

    Not FoundError 404


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Sorry, link fixed now.  Too blinded by tears of laughter.


      • My Site (click to edit) says:

        Interesting that it still seems to be there, after a bunch of advisories and time. So much money, so many staff, so little care and attention.

        Maybe tell SKY and the BBC will copy in an hour?


        • My Site (click to edit) says:

          Even the cherry vultures must be asleep on their perches.

          Quick, on the intranet!

          Before tub of Mardell is embarrassed further.

          29. Derek_Watson 
          4 HOURS AGO

          “Sarah Palin makes gaffe, saying North Korea is US ally”

          Now Mark Mardell gets his Koreas mixed up!:

          “The president…told them the USA had to catch up with the likes of China and North Korea in spending…”


          Hopefully, Mark will be reading the comments and correct the error, which is just a typo (rather like Sarah Palin’s “gaffe”.)

          N. Korea train system may need a bit of support mind.




          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            The defense from defenders of the indefensible will be that Palin is a Presidential candidate or whatever and must be held to a far higher standard, while Mardell is merely a reporter and can’t be expected to be error-free every time when he churns this stuff out on deadline.  Except one of them posts on his own time on a computer and has an editor, while the other speaks ad lib with no script and no warning time to prepare a remark.


          • My Site (click to edit) says:

            Bit geeky, but I just had another gander and it is still up.

            So, either the £4Bpa news empire that is the BBc fires and forgets and only reads what it writes (hence, even excluding corrective blog posts not inc.), or tub of Mardell really sees N. Korea as a socio-economic powerhouse to emulate.


  2. hippiepooter says:

    I remember the BBC making a big thing out of Sarah Palin getting her Korea’s mixed up a while ago.  Happens to BBC Correspondent’s as well?  Who’d’a thunk?!

    Maybe just a Freudian slip of Mardell’s?  Wanting to show America up against a Communist State, like they try to do with Cuba over health?


  3. My Site (click to edit) says:

    Interesting to note that those pointing out the error are being showered with negative ratings.

    Seems the bubble doesn’t like to be confonted with its own delusion.

    As the BBC steams ahead with its ‘newer, faster, better’ blog system, I see these ratings being used, especially via ‘Editor’s Picks’, more and more to justify quote choices.

    Another piece of rigging to the wholesale corruption that is the BBC’s claim of speaking for the public.


  4. Reed says:

    New Headline : “Mark Mardell No Smarter Than Palin – Official”.


  5. Asuka Langley Soryu says:

    ‘But the president’s plan is ideologically objectionable to most Republicans, even more so now that he has revealed how it would be paid for: by taxing what they would describe as “wealth creators” and what Obama would call the rich, oil companies and corporate-jet owners.’

    Why scare quotes around what the Republicans say but not around what Obama says? Never mind, I’ll answer my own question. What the Republicans say is bullshit, and what Obama says is The Truth. Thanks for playing, Mark.


  6. pounce_uk says:

    Just want to say that actually the death toll from the above crash was 40 and that over the past 7 years over 120 people have been killed by the Chinese train system.


  7. Millie Tant says:

    Revealing post about His travels / electioneering an’ all.
    However, on one point, I read it that Mardell’s saying that He (Pres) is portraying them as proposals that no one of good will could resist.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Exactly.  The no one of good will can resist the President’s Plans, ergo Republicans who find them “ideologically objectionable” cannot be of good will.  And Mardell doesn’t say the President’s spending plans are ideological.

      This is among the most blatantly biased things Mardell has ever said.  And he’ll continue to get away with it because BBC management thinks the same way.


  8. wild says:

    “wealth creators” i.e. the opposite of Mark Mardell


  9. D B says:

    I wonder if Susanna Reid or Robyn Bresnahan will have anything to say about Mardell’s South/North Korea slip.


  10. Carruthers says:

    Why do socialists just love trains so much? Is it the top-down planning, requiring teams of bureaucrats and consultants and impact assessments? The fact that people have to obey timetables like so many compliant hive workers? The deeply unionised workforces that inherently go with railways? Simply their hatred of the car, which per miles travelled can really be no more polluting than massive steel railways, diesel engines and empty carriages being heaved to and fro? The destruction and forced purchase of anyone’s property that is in the way of new tracks?  The necessity of massive taxpayer subsidies for the rest of time, because the real price of fares is completely unaffordable?

    High speed intercity rail is considered by the bien-pensants of so many countries to be some sort of ingenious route to the future and prosperity, but in truth it’s 19th century technology really isn’t it? Routes and timetables are completely inflexible. It’s overwhelmingly used by the middle class going to meetings in city centres near the terminus. Working class people tend to work locally to their homes, or need to use the bus/car to get, you know, to the actual place they want to go to.


    • Martin says:

      Actually I like train travel, the problem is ours is so crap, partly because of the Unions and partly because the companies who run them are so useless.

      I prefer yo go by train than car (or flying) when possible, what we have to do though is sort out the bloody leftists.


  11. Martin says:

    No error, Mardell does think North Korea is a great place to live. ONLY state TV as well. Heaven for a beeboid.


  12. Louis Robinson says:

    I wonder if Mark Mardell in wide-eyed wonder at the big O will talk soon about Solyndra.  But sometimes it is what is NOT said that defines a reporter’s position on issues.

    Briefly, Solyndra – a “solar-panel manufacturer” – was granted a pile of money from the White House and became a poster child for O’s stimulus package.

    Surprise, surprise! Solyndra is bankrupt and subject of an FBI investigation. Where did $535m go?

    Now e-mails have turned up showing the White House pressured the Office of Management and Budget to agree to hand Solyndra stimulus money. The Washington Post (no conservative newspaper) concludes: “The e-mail exchanges could intensify questions about whether the administration was playing favorites and made costly errors while choosing the first recipient of a loan guarantee under its stimulus program. Solyndra’s biggest investors were funds operated on behalf of the family foundation of Tulsa billionaire and Obama fundraiser George Kaiser. Although he has been a frequent White House visitor, Kaiser has said he did not use political influence to win approval of the loan”.

    I will continue to watch for a report on the subject from the BBC. So far there are 33 words in this an opinion piece from Matthew Sinclair of the Taxpayer’s Alliance.

    Note to BBC newsroom. This is an important story. Follow it.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC cenosred the name Kaiser and the fact that he’s an Obamessiah bundler out of the one story they ran about this.  No reason to expect them to be more honest about it in future.


  13. cjhartnett says:

    One of our number posted James Delingpole yesterday-and HE in turn gave us a link to Sarah Palins speech In Iowa recently( Hillbuzz I think!).
    I am looking no further behind Obama, Mardell or any of them-I have not seen as clear an expose of the crony corporate capitlaist class in all my years.
    That speech needs addressing bt eh political class-and the more they try to besmirch or bug Sarah, the more I know she`ll be our girl very soon.
    If Chomsky had written such a critique he`d be the intellectual that the left says he is…but he coudn`t!
    Palin is brilliant…”hopey changey,, abd two great barbs at Obame when he was only a candidate( one referred to him writing his own autobiography before he`d even written a policy!)
    Keep up the posting David…but if Sarahs last speech in Iowa doesn`t yet make giant waves both sides of the pong , then we will only have ourselves to blame…she`s a wonder!
    God Bless the USA…and the mighty Sarah Palin!


  14. Margo Ryor says:

    The interesting thing about all this is as far as I can recall the President is NOT constitutionally empowered to introduce legislation. Granted he has every right to SUPPORT legislation but he isn’t supposed to write it – is he?


    • Martin says:

      That’s what they do in China and North Korea, I’m amazed Mardell hasn’t got a “Obama, President for life” t-shirt on.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Yes, a President can write legislation.  They just can’t actually introduce it, and have to get a Congressman to start that in motion.


  15. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Behold some of those people without good will who resist the President’s Jobs Plan For Us:

    Hill Dems pick apart Obama jobs plan

    Wait….Dems?  If Republicans are “ideologically opposed”, what about these guys?  Are they racists?  This is also from Politico, so Mardell sure as hell knows about it.  Yet the spin continues.