The BBC Reporting On Behalf Of The President

The other day, DB posted about the BBC’s dutiful promotion of White House propaganda about Mitt Romney’s earnings from investment in Bain Capital. They put up the President’s campaign video, and helpfully explained how awful Romney was for earning money off of a failed company and sending poor innocent workers to the unemployment line. The campaign meant to attack Romney’s business record, attempting to tarnish his track record of successfully turning businesses around, and hoping to undermine the growing mood of trusting him more than the President on fixing the economy. In short, it was an attack ad. And, as DB pointed out, it was misleading. The BBC still reported on it without question, and only belatedly (after someone called them on it, presumably) added a mere link to a Romney video hosted elsewhere.

This isn’t the first negative campaign piece from the President, who was supposed to be above it all. There was the attempt to hurt Romney with that silly dog story, which of course backfired. There was the charge against Romney and the Republicans for supposedly waging a “War on Women”. The President tried to frighten everyone by telling them that the Republican budget would be “radical”, and harm the middle class, the elderly, and ruin everything while helping only the wealthy. And of course there’s all the class war rhetoric, culminating in the ill-fated “Buffet Rule”. Most recently, we had the relentless coverage of what turned out to be a less than truthful account of Romney as a homophobic bully.

Now that the President is trailing Romney in voter trust on five different issues, the BBC, perhaps inspired by a piece in the New York Times last week, worrying about attack ads from Romney while at the same time encouraging the President to “push Romney’s face down in the dirt”, is rushing to His defense.

Obama campaign and Democrats raise $43.6m in April

Pity the poor President, they tell you, because He’s the financial underdog in this race. Sure, He’s raised more money than last month, but the awful Republicans are making these nasty attack ads. Worse, the poor President doesn’t have the same wealthy Super PAC to help Him.

Making the announcement, Obama campaign manager Jim Messina said large sums were being spent by special interest groups against the president.

So you’re already prepared not to raise an eyebrow when reading this:

At the end of March, the Democratic Party reported about $124m of cash reserves, while Republicans had about $43m in the bank.

Correspondents say the Obama campaign could see a further burst of donations after his recent endorsement of same-sex marriage.

I bet “correspondents” aren’t even remotely cynical in that analysis, or suspicious of any motives for that endorsement other than sheer honesty and integrity, either.

Although Mr Romney’s direct campaign funding has lagged behind the Obama campaign, Republican super political action committees (super PACs) are spending millions of dollars backing his candidacy.

In a sign of the gathering super PAC offensive, one group, Crossroads GPS, backed by Karl Rove, former adviser to President George W Bush, said it would spend $25m on anti-Obama ads.

He’s the underdog, a victim, I tell you!

About $57m has been spent on negative advertising against the president since October, Mr Messina said in the Obama campaign video.

Are you pitying Him yet? Ire raised enough against the vicious Republican machine? No? Maybe the closing line will help.

Meanwhile, a super PAC supporting the president, Priorities USA, has struggled to match that level of funding, raising just $10m by the end of March.

And that’s it. Not a single mention of the attack ads His own PAC has been making. Like the one they released Tuesday, showing the poor former workers of that plant Bain closed, the same one with which the campaign and the BBC have tried to tar Romney by indirect association the other day. The workers likened it to being attacked by “a vampire”. Oh, and apparently Romney’s opponents used this exact same tactic against him in his failed 1994 campaign for Senate. The BBC won’t bother to tell you that, unless they can find a way to praise Him for the brilliant strategy.

Ads from the President’s Super-PAC are also going to be aired in several states over the next few days. Vice President Biden is out there now doing the class war thing as well, telling the people in swing-state Ohio that Romney is bad because he was a venture capitalist. But He’s the underdog, and only it’s all the Republican’s fault for going negative, right?

The thing is, campaign cash is only half the story. The other half – and perhaps the more important one – is the media being in the tank for Him. Again. Think it’s sour grapes from one of His enemies who imagines bias in every report, and finds conspiracies under every media hack’s bed? Think again:

Déjà vu: ABC’s Robin Roberts Admits She Got “Chills Again” When Interviewing Obama

Not so subtle Obama-rooting in the media

CBS’s Rose Fishes For ‘High Marks’ For Obama From Robert Gates

Then there’s that Newsweek cover. Plus, Hollywood is in the tank for Him again as well. Tom Hanks has narrated a 17-minute propaganda campaign film, all of Hollywood is re-energized for Him on the heels of His half-assed endorsement of homosexual marriage, and there will be a film about His heroic killing of Osama Bin Laden coming out in October. Even the BBC thought you should know about that one.

Despite the White House campaign’s attempt to portray Him as the underdog, and no matter how many times the BBC worries about all those negative Republican ads, no amount of money from any Super-PAC or the evil Koch brothers or Fox News can compete with the full power of the entire mainstream media, from the New York Times and the Washington Post to CNN and MSNBC and ABC and NBC and the LA Times and Time and so many local papers, plus all of Hollywood and much of daytime television.

Yet the BBC dutifully pushes that Narrative anyway, like a foreign branch of the White House press office.

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20 Responses to The BBC Reporting On Behalf Of The President

  1. John Anderson says:


    I think you have already pointed out that Obama is looking ropy in some Democrat primaries – even though he is not being opposed by the only logical contender, Hillary Clinton.

    The BBC failed to report that Obama was humiliated in the West Virginia primary – where a state prisoner took over 40% of the vote !

    Obama is now looking just as vulnerable in Arkasas, where an unknown lawyer who has run no ads on TV, radio or press is polling only 7 points behind Obama.

    We may yet see Hillary as candidate ? Stranger things have happened – remember Lyndon Johnson pulling out of the scene in 1968 ? If the Arkasas vote actually goes against Obama, how does he look – just stupid and weak ?

    If I had been an Arkansas Hillary supporter in 2008 I would jump at the chance to get back at Obama. Indeed if I was any sort of realistic Dem, I would be already fearing that Obama could be trounced on his record by Mitt Romney – whereas Hillary would not be closely tied to the economic record of failure.

    The Arkansas primary is next Tuesday, I believe. Whatever happens, there looks to be a mood of deep disillusion among Dems about Obama.

    But of course you knew all that, Mardell has kept you fully informed of all Obama’s REAL problems, he would never dream of focussing on shiny-distracting-object “problems” that the Obama campaign tries to attach to Romney.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The BBC did end up reporting the West Virginia joke. They didn’t come out and say it was due to racism, but that’s what they meant when they reminded the reader that the President didn’t win the state in 2008. Although they mostly blamed the recent near-loss on the influence of a powerful coal industry which is unhappy with His energy policies. No mention that He’s actually tried to bankrupt them.

      Hillary won’t be challenging Him. That would be racist. She’ll wait until 2016


  2. alan says:

    When it suits the BBC, and Labour, Britain really is an island totally cut off from the rest of the world, its economy unconnected to world events and the vagaries of other country’s economies.
    That is when they tell us we should be enjoying unprecedented growth now if only the Coalition adopted the spend to save philosophy endorsed by Gordon Brownites and BBC economists, whether or not they have dated both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls.

    At other times Britain is an essential part of Europe, our destinies entwined, together we stand, divided we fall. They remind us that 40% of our exports are with Europe.

    What they don’t say is that we import more from Europe than we export to it, and our main export ‘partners’ are the USA, Germany, France and Ireland.

    As the USA, France and Ireland are pretty much economic basket cases as we are, the prospects of rapid growth based on exports to these countries seems remote.

    The BBC remains unconvinced though and continues to suggest Labour and its lavish spending, or should I say borrowing, plans are the right medicine. It, as said earlier, seems to take Britain’s plight in isolation from the rest of the world and sets out to illustrate the folly of Cameron’s way by contrasting our lack of growth with the apparent economic bounce in the USA.

    What they don’t mention is that that ‘bounce’ came from massive state spending, and many think it hasn’t worked anyway, but assume it has….that borrowing (half of Federal spending comes from borrowing) has to be paid back with interest….how to do that….by adopting the same measures Cameron uses now….tax rises and budget cuts….only as you dig deeper the cuts have to be deeper the longer you go on.

    California is a perfect example.

    It is the ninth biggest economy in the world and has a large budget deficit and debt burden….it was basically bankrupt in 2009.

    Now in 2012 Governor Jerry Brown has a new plan….and on paper.

    Remarkably he sounds a lot like Cameron, and he is a Democrat.

    The BBC do a decent job reporting it here, a less good job here seemingly trying to lessen the impact of his ‘cuts’ and promote the benefits of tax rises on the rich…the BBC’s Alistair Leithead saying….. ‘People rarely vote to raise taxes, but California Governor Jerry Brown is asking them to do just that by tapping into a sentiment from the Occupy Wall Street movement – and picking on the 1%. In November, voters in California will be asked to vote in favour of higher income tax rates for those earning more than $250,000 a year – and for a quarter percent increase in sales tax.’

    He seems hopeful to get the tax rise but the voters already kicked that into the long grass in 2009.

    However other BBC correspondents aren’t so sanguine about the value of high taxes…..
    ‘The region is at the epicentre of the foreclosure – or repossession – crisis, unemployment is way above the national average and high taxes are crippling business.
    As the state battles to bring a $28bn (£17.5bn) deficit under control, many public service employees have had their wages slashed and have been forced to cut their working hours.
    Furlough Fridays, when many state workers are required to take the day off, as libraries and other public buildings are closed, have become commonplace.
    California’s woes are far from being over.
    Its new governor, Jerry Brown, has only just begun to roll out austerity measures that will produce more hardship for millions of people as he seeks to plug the huge budget deficit.’

    So what does Governor Brown say?

    He wants to raise taxes for 7 years on the rich and increase sales tax for 4 years….but if that is not passed by the electorate he will have to make cuts….’deep cuts’ with government spending reduced to the lowest level since 1972-73.

    You can’t spend money you don’t have, we have to live within our means.

    Cuts will be made to education services, Universities, services for the elderly and the poor amongst other important government services such as law enforcement.

    We need to adopt fiscal discipline or there will be more cuts to important state services.

    We are focussed on shrinking State government and becoming more efficient.

    There is no third way…we need to make cuts or raise taxes (no borrowing?) to balance our budget.

    In January this year the estimated budget deficit was $9.2 Bn, now in May that has been revised to $15.7 Bn.

    Why? Revenue forecasts were wrong, promised too much spending on education programmes and prison medical services and the Federal government and courts blocked cuts to medical services and home care support….which forces California to make deeper cuts in other department’s budgets.

    “It’s better to take our medicine now and get the state on a balanced footing,”

    The alternative to taxes is deeper cuts….the budget must be credible and financeable.

    If budget cuts are made it will be in education, higher tuition fees for universities, and public safety officers such as park rangers, firemen, police, lifeguards , the judicial system and flood control measures.

    Why is this relevant to the BBC?

    The BBC presents the Coalition cuts as if they were merely an option…something that could be avoided by a government willing to borrow more….as an investment for the future…..Plan B….B for Borrow, Bust and Bankrupt.

    California shows that borrowing is the wrong approach and is thought sensible by few people.

    California does not intend to borrow its way out of a hole because borrowing in fact just digs you in deeper……‘we don’t want to dig ourselves into a hole that becomes virtually impossible to climb out of.’

    The BBC have written up the Californian problems but tucked it away where few will look…and I haven’t heard any talk of it on the radio…..lots about Greece and Ireland where austerity is apparently destroying them, but none about California…..where nothing but austerity in one form or another is on offer.

    The BBC presents America as the classic example of economic virtue….spend, or speculate, to accumulate.

    That’s a false picture of the US economy which has serious problems throughout not just in California.

    They are the voice not of ‘America’ but of Obama and the British Labour Party.

    You just had to listen to Justin Webb laughing along to Obama’s jokes about David Beckham this morning to feel a deep embarrassment and know Obama could read the phone directory and Webb would probably wet himself.

    Allegedly Obama’s dog is actually called ‘Justin’ behind closed doors.


  3. Beboidal says:

    “Meanwhile, a super PAC supporting the president, Priorities USA, has struggled to match that level of funding, raising just $10m by the end of March”

    I was tearful at this point. I almost reached for my credit card to make an illegal donation (they are taking illegal donations this time round, aren’t they?). But then I remembered that earlier in the piece they wrote this

    “At the end of March, the Democratic Party reported about $124m of cash reserves, while Republicans had about $43m”

    Dems ahead by nearly a factor of 3. Stop whining, BBC, your boys are doing good.


  4. johnyork says:

    I thought our top man, Dez / Scott or whatever she is called, has made it perfectly clear to all of us here who barely have a grip on reality, that he, and he alone, should be the only one to quote the NYT as fact when it suits.
    After reading your articulate rebuttal, could a reconciliation with reality be on the cards for Dez/Scott ?
    If not, I await his/her/their response, for I’m sure it will be one hell of a doozy !


    • Mat says:

      Never happen as I think they are currently getting the champagne / nibbles and sticky back plastic for the blue peter leaving /arriving party they will be hosting in their play room with Geoff from the dirty book store and mad Philys from the park!


  5. David Preiser (USA) says:

    May as well put this here. Note to Mark Mardell and the entire BBC staff in the US: here’s clear evidence of that wonderful bipartisanship in Congress you’ve all been pining for.

    Obama budget defeated 99-0 in Senate

    The Dems have a majority. Every single one of them rejected the President’s joke of a budget. In the House of Reps. – controlled by the evil Republicans – His budget was also rejected by every single Democrat. The final vote was 414-0.

    In other words, the vote in all of Congress was as unanimous and bipartisan as you can get. How about it, BBC?


  6. deegee says:

    Is Obama as Gay as he is Black?


  7. geyza says:

    What a load of pointless hot air is being spouted about Romney and Obama.

    The Fact is IF Romney wins the nomination, (and with Ron Paul grabbing loads of delegates from Romney in the caucus states, that is far from certain), the fact is that regardless of whether Romney or Obama wins the election, the real winner of the 2012 election will be Goldman Sachs, the Federal Reserve and the corrupt corporatist system that they both support.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Your hero has less delegates than Gingrich. Santorum has more than Gingrich and Paul combined. Both Santorum and Gingrich are probably going to give their delegates to Romney. Even then, it’s quite possible that he’ll win enough on his own after the Arkansas, Kentucky, and Texas primary, since the other three have stopped campaigning. Sure, some Paulites will mobilize, but he’s not going to win the whole show.

      There is no “if” about Romney becoming the nominee. I’m no fan of Romney, but he’s not anything like a real corporatist the way the President is, and not anywhere near as dangerous to the economy or personal freedom.

      Unless you’ve got evidence proving that the chart I’ve linked to is false, Ron Paul is irrelevant.


  8. John Anderson says:

    It really does look as though Obama could be defeated the Arkasas Democrat primary next Tuesday – defeated by a nonentity ! The guy opposes Obamacare, thinks Obama is too thick in with the bankers, and is worried about the debt levels not being tackled properly

    As I mentioned earlier in this thread – this puts me in mind of Lyndon Johnson being forced to withdraw from standing in 1968.

    If Obama actually loses – or is almost beaten – how on earth will Mardell or his US honchos explain it away ? (Racism won’t do – this is part of a pattern now.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      No, it will still be down to racism. Just like West Virginia, McCain won Arkansas in 2008, and it’s Clinton territory anyway. To the Left, this will be seen as a pattern of racism, as there is no logical reason – according to Mardell – to oppose the President on policy issues.


  9. DB says:

    Today’s New York Times has a story about a GOP Super PAC’s plans to run negative ads linking Jeremiah Wright to Obama.

    Cue faux outrage from David “Chicago Politics” Axelrod:

    And a short time later here’s Katty Kay dutifully on message:

    My replies:

    And this is what I said back in February:


    • DB says:


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      So if Katty Kay is concerned about Romney’s ad focusing on Obama’s religion, does that mean the BBC’s feature on Romney’s religion was a hit piece?


  10. DB says:

    I haven’t caught up on all the open thread comments so apologies if this has been mentioned already – Chris Wallace of Fox News Demolishes the BBC’s Katty Kay on ‘Jeopardy!’.


  11. DB says:

    Heh – a literary agency representing Obama in 1991 produced a promo pamphlet saying he was born in Kenya. Like Elizabeth Warren claiming she’s a Native American – lefties will use whatever identity politics serve their purpose at the time.


  12. DB says:

    Talking of which – here’s James Jones, director of Panorama’s The Mormon Candidate, on Twitter today: