A search on the BBC website for ‘Occupy Wall Street‘ brings up pages of articles within the last month (the first appearing on 23rd September). There are now well over thirty articles just about the U.S. protests from that period.

Compare that to an equivalent search for the ‘Tea Party‘. The movement took off in a big way during the first three months of 2009 and by April some half a million people were taking part in Tea Party protests across the United States. How did the BBC cover it? Very differently.

Somewhat belatedly, the first article to appear was a full-length one by Kevin Connolly, entering the world on 15/4/09 (the one with the “tea-baggers” reference).

This was followed on 20/4/09 by a very brief, ironic aside (in the BBC’s Obama Diary) from Kevin Connolly (“the modern versions [of the Tea Party] do not quite have that regime-shaking intensity about them”).

On 27/4/09 there was a personal ‘voter’s view‘ from a Tea Party supporter as part of a series of voter reflections on Obama’s first hundred days.

There were a couple of ‘Newsnight’ blog-posts on 29th April, one from Peter Marshall (“the Tea Party people are almost exclusively white”), the other by Paul Mason.

There was then nothing for four months (May-August 2009), while the Tea Party continued going from strength to strength. The BBC looked away.

Finally, on 14 September 2009 Mark Mardell almost woke up, with a sneering aside in a blog-post about Congressman Joe ‘You lie!’ Wilson (“Listening to the “tax-payers’ tea party” in Washington on the radio over the weekend, it struck me that if I were reading a transcript blind of context, I would assume I was listening to a demonstration of a growing resistance to a brutal and undemocratic regime.”)

A day later there was the briefest mention of the Tea Party movement in another blog-post by Paul Mason.

On the same day, Mark Mardell posted a piece called “Is race a factor in Obama protests?” Having put that question out there, tied it to the Tea Party protests and added that “the allegation is that many of those who are calling their president “un-American” mean he is not white,” he then blithely added that he’s was merely “describing and inviting debate, not passing comment”. You lie, Mark!
Finally, on 26/9/09 there was a dismissive aside in an article by Max Deveson saying, like their ideological opposites, that the Tea Party has “a shopping-list of grievances that did not necessarily gel very well together”.

Nothing more appeared on the BBC News website about the Tea Party movement during the closing three months of 2009, even though the Tea Party continued to go from strength to strength, enough to make every BBC reporter sit up and take notice in 2010 – whether they wanted to or not.

So, in contrast to the dozens of generally full-length articles in under a month about OWS that are already littering the BBC News website, the growth of a major political movement, the Tea Party movement, that shook the American political system in 2010 and continues to shake it in 2011, passed with just five full-length pieces and four other fleeting mentions in the course of an entire year.
At best that’s extremely poor journalism, at worst it’s ideologically-driven selective reporting. It’s almost certainly both.
Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to NOT THE BBC’S CUP OF TEA

  1. dave s says:

    Excellent post. It looks as if the OWS movement has really resonated with the average beeboid. I blame their youthful experiences of an almost universal left leaning education which managed to detach them from reality. Also their cosseted life as salaried stateoids has made them quite unfitted to take real responsibility for providing for themselves or empathising with those who do.
    Newsnight tonight had a barely coherent Michael Moore attempting to explain the movement. Even Paxman seemed baffled.
    If I understood Moore correctly capitalism is evil and needs to be replaced by something else- presumably created and run by stateoids. I thought the 20th century tried that. It was called communism.
    No wonder the Tea Party people frighten them. A self reliant and sound money society would have no place for the typical freeloaders “occupying” our cities.
    Yet another example of how detached from reality are the children of the Western bourgeoisie.
    Meanwhile in India and China their young are busy taking over from ours.


    • Reed says:

      Dave, This post contrasts the self-indulgence of the OWS brigade with the aspiration of Indian students…  
      For every OccupyWallStreet participant, there are 20,000 kids in India cramming for a calculus final.  
      In other words,  

      the Indian kids are serious and the squatters on Wall Street are dilettantes looking for a concert ‘rush’.  
      Indian kids struggle to get ahead, the Wall Street Squatters struggle to get laid.  
      the Indian kids may have bathed today, but it wasn’t in their very own tiled bathroom. The Squatters defecated on police cars. The epitome of kewl.  
      The Indians want a chance. The Squatters want a megaphone so they can take turns interrupting.  
      The Indians add, or will add, to global productivity. The Squatters will consume.  
      Indian kids hope. Squatters hate. Just ask them for the photo-copied list the nice union man gave them.  
      Indian kids have been educated. Squatters don’t need no education, at least not one they’re willing to pay for.  
      Indian kids study maths and sciences. Squatters major in Queer Dance Theory After the Death of Patriarchy.  
      Indian kids dream. Squatters scream.  
      Indian kids have learned to persist because life isn’t fair. Squatters are determined to repeal that basic law. “Down With Gravity”.


    • John Anderson says:

      Michael Moore is on Front Row tonight – the Radio 4 artsy programme.

      I don’t think he has a new film or book he is publicising.   No – I bet he has been asked on to prattle his leftie views.

      Leftie bias infects every damn corner of BBC output.

      And latterly Radio 4 Extra – Radio 7 as was – is giving work each evening to the likes of Marcus Bigmouth to provide brief links between each programme.   The BBC is just one big gravy-train for lefties – overpaid as staff,  or overpaid as hired-in “talent”.


  2. George R says:

    Yes, BBC-Democrat’s negativity and disparagement of the grass roots ‘Tea Party’ movement contrasts sharply with BBC-Democrat hyping and eulogising its like-minded ‘OWS’.

    It’s another classic case study in political bias from the masters of the  black art at the Madrassa of ‘Journalism’ of the BBC-NUJ.


  3. Geyza says:

    If the ‘occupy’ movement were against corporatism, then I would agree with them.  However since they have turned on capitalism, then they have lost the plot!


  4. Bupendra Bhakta says:

    I read that the OWS protest had got down to as low as 10 participants one day.  Still manages to lead the bulletins at the British Palace-Building Corporation though.


  5. D B says:

    Nice one Craig.

    What did Daniel Nasaw say recently? “I think the BBC’s been pretty fair to the Tea Party.”


  6. D B says:

    You know when someone starts telling you in detail about a dream they had and all you really want is for them to STFU? Well that, x100.


  7. cjhartnett says:

    Saw Newsnight for a bit last night.
    Presumably Plane Stupid gave Michael Moore permission to come over here to plug his newest film…because he was all over the BBC with his baseball hat.
    Neither Paxman nor Moore saw their conflab as anything but newsworthy.That two millionaires were able to bill the little people who carry them in their sedan chairs was not worthy of mention.
    In days of old , millionaires were NOT propped up by the taxpayer. If they had anyhting to say to each other, then they had clubs for this…the Garrick, Reform etc. 
    They were never given a BBC studio to spout on about the good rebellions they love to patronise from Hampsteads salons des thes.
    Any chance of a refund finding its way from Millionaires Row…or Wood Lane as we little people are apt to call it!


  8. George R says:

    Another report for BBC-Democrat to censor: this  by Martin BASHIR.

    -From Glenn BECK’s ‘The Blaze’ blog (inc video clip):

    “MSNBC’s Martin Bashir Confronts Occupy Supporter Over Anti-Semitism”


  9. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Well said, Craig. I can understand that the BBC leapt to report about the Occupiers while they refused to acknowledge the existence of the Tea Party movement for two months, as the Occupiers got arrested en masse immediately and the Leftoid US media – to whom the BBC looks for guidance on these things – championed the Occupiers from day one.  But that does not excuse the insults and negativity and fearmongering the Beeboids engaged in regarding the Tea Party, while they santize and celebrate the Occupiers.

    One group is full of “boiling anger”, while the other is “so nice”.  The entire US division is a disgrace, from top to bottom.


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Forgot to add that Craig is correct in stating that Mardell lied about merely opening the floor to debate about whether or not the Tea Party movement was based on racism.  Mardell was very clear during his session at the BBC College of Journalism that he believes the movement to be crypto-racist. 

    Mark Mardell is a bigoted liar.