Where Ignorance Is Bliss

The opening night of the Democratic National Convention and the First Lady’s speech were a rousing success, according to Mark Mardell, the BBC’s US President editor. And his ignorance is on full display.

For Michelle, the personal is political

Mardell has been seeking inspiration for months, and seems to have found it. But first, a little sneer while making a lazy attempt to compare Michelle Obama’s speech to Ann Romney’s:

Both women stressed their husband’s compassion. Both talked lovingly about their love. Both talked about their early life with their husbands in relative poverty. Tell me, is a coffee table found in a rubbish lorry and an ironing board as a dinner table a requirement for keeping down with the Joneses?

It’s very amusing to see this sniffing at class war rhetoric from a man who has no problem using it himself. Just the other day he was reporting that Mitt Romney made a statement “from his lakeside vacation home”, as if it mattered from where he was, and writing as if taking the day off was something strange and unlike how most Americans marked Labor Day. Mardell knows perfectly well what this is all about. and has played his part in creating the environment.

Obviously the main rap on Romney is his wealth. That’s just about the only thing the Dems have on him, really, so it’s a no-brainer that Ann Romney would have to play that game. But the First Lady? It’s especially amusing that Mardell’s readers will be confused by why Michelle has to “keep down with the Joneses”, with all her talk of struggle and a working-class background. The BBC has censored all news of her lavish vacations, and the backlash caused by them, costing hundreds of thousands of dollars a pop, yet has fawned all over her expensive designer dresses without shame. Unbeknownst to those who get their news from the BBC, there’s a lot of concern in the US about the Obamas, particularly Michelle, being out of touch, with their Martha’s Vineyard dalliances, fancy clothing, and expensive parties. Mardell can’t point out why the First Lady would even bother with this angle, because then he’d have to reveal a lot of unpleasant things. Can’t have that. So he moves quickly on.

Here’s Mardell suggesting that the President should be a cynical manipulator. He quotes this from Michelle Obama’s speech:

“Barack knows the American Dream because he’s lived it… and he wants everyone in this country to have that same opportunity, no matter who we are, or where we’re from, or what we look like, or who we love.”

And then says this:

Note, by the way, that last part – there is a big appeal to the gay vote here. Just think how powerful that would have been, if Obama had announced his support for gay marriage in the middle of last week’s Republican Conference, if Joe Biden had not blown it for him, and forced his hand.

Yes, just think how powerful that would have been in the President had been able to cynically manipulate voters’ dreams like that and use what they say is a human rights issue for political gain. Is that the kind of Hope that inspires Mardell? Would it be even more courageous of Him to wait until the right political moment?  Mardell isn’t even thinking about that. All he sees is political angles and theater. What’s more is that it gives him away as a supporter – of both the issue and the President – moaning about a missed opportunity.

Now about that ignorance. Mardell acts surprised at the major focus on women voters.

It is ironic that just as the convention got underway there was some evidence that women are going off Obama. ABC’s pollster Gary Langer writes about the new opinion poll under the headline “Obama’s popularity dips underwater”.

It is, he says, “the lowest pre-convention personal popularity of an incumbent president in ABC News/Washington Post polls since the 1980s.”

But the dip in the women’s vote is perhaps even more important.

Ironic? I don’t think that word means what you think it means. It’s only ironic if they don’t know about it.

Whether the Democrats knew about the polling evidence or not they had designed their first day to allow women to tell stories portraying President Obama’s re-election as important for them.

Is he kidding? Of course they know all about this. Who imagines that Mardell has some poll data that the White House doesn’t? They probably get the press release before he does. It’s actually a sad statement on how out of touch with reality the BBC’s top man in the US apparently is. The President has been concerned about the female vote for months.

Last year His stock among women voters was slipping, and the Dems were happy to see a rise in approval from them in February of this year. If there wasn’t an ongoing concern, it wouldn’t have been news in March that He was “gaining in popularity“.

In May, Romney started to do better with Republican women, which helped close the overall popularity gap between him and the President, who was actually losing ground among women. Like I said, it’s been a concern for months. Where has Mardell been?

Of course the Democrats were going to make a big focus on women this week. They’ve only been unsuccessfully pushing the Narrative that the Republicans are engaging in a “War on Women” for most of this year. That was part of how Rep. Akin’s foolish remark got such top billing that people could be excused for thinking he was the third man on the Republican ticket.

MSNBC sure was aware of the connection between the “War on Women” Narrative and the focus on women at the convention. They’re about as in lockstep with the White House as you can get. Did Mardell not know about this? He gets the same campaign emails as everyone else. What is he thinking?

As if this isn’t enough evidence for him that the Democrats know all about their need for focus on women voters, even without the very latest poll result. Why does he think they have two different abortion activists – one from NARAL and one from Planned Parenthood – speaking at the convention, plus the infamous Sandra Fluke, who wants the government to pay for her birth control?  Alert people knew as soon as Akin’s statement hit the fan that the Dems were going to make the “They want to steal our lady parts” a key message at the convention. Two weeks ago people were reporting that they were filling the speakers’ list with women. And you know Mardell and the Beeboids saw the speakers’ list long before I did. Furthermore, women have always been a Democrat core target. Women swing voters more or less gave one election to Bill Clinton (see: “Soccer Mom”). Where’s Mardell been hiding?

No, this is silly. It’s just plain ignorance on his part to wonder if the White House machine knew about the latest poll, or if it was mere coincidence that the first night focused on women like it did. What a failure.

On second though, though, what if Mardell isn’t so ignorant and is playing some kind of game here? What would be the journalistic purpose of feigning ignorance? I’d have thought being more honest about the whole story would make for a more interesting report. Knowing the full facts and background would make both Michelle Obama’s speech and the rest of the evening’s proceedings make more political sense. Mardell knows her speech was political, so why hide what’s behind it? Is he protecting her and the President by declining to mention why she had to “keep down with the Joneses”? Is he somehow protecting the President by acting as if this dip in popularity is sudden and unexpected and by playing the Party for Women they’re acting ironically?

Maybe someone else can explain what he’s thinking here. It’s a very poor effort either way.

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22 Responses to Where Ignorance Is Bliss

  1. Louis Robinson says:

    The Obama narrative continues to be written in the wind. O and M make this stuff up. Don’t they know people (except the cheer-leading media types) are up to their little game?
    Despite all the books on the subject, there’s something missing in their story – and its money. Michelle went to “Whitney Young, the public magnet school for Chicago’s upper class, while Barack attended Punahou, the private prep school for the top stratum of Hawaiian society. They were accepted to Ivy League schools despite undistinguished credentials, and both attended Harvard Law School.” So who paid for these elite schools?


    I expected Mardell to be doe-eyed at the Democratic Convention. He never fails to disappoint. But has he or anyone noticed who is NOT there? “Moderate” Dems are MIA. It is more like an MSNBC rally (far left) than a traditional Democratic one.

    PS: an update on the now canceled stadium finale. They say it was for “safety reasons”. Yeah sure. Remember, in the interests of reporting the truth, I was trying to hitch a ride on a bus from Atlanta to help swell the crowd? It turns out I needed to have photo ID (which I have) and proof that I was a US citizen (I am not). So I didn’t qualify. Ironic, isn’t it? This is the party that is against photo ID for voters!

    Sadly I’m going to miss Bill Clinton’s stroll down memory lane this evening, Obama’s acceptance speech tomorrow and the delightful Sandra Fluke’s plea for more free contraceptives. I’m home in the UK for a week and without a computer – so to in order to find out what happened I’m going to have to rely on the BBC domestic TV and radio services – Oh damn! That’s me in the dark for a while!


    • Guest Who says:

      Shame such holding of power to account seems to slip the minds of many, or maybe does not even occur to them, when caught up in the moment?

      Guess a refund is out of the question?


      • Reed says:

        Powerful, says the BBC fanboy. In three words, Michelle Obama is telling the American people “He’s like you”. (yep, really)

        …not too dissimilar from “we’re all in this together”, then. Strange – they love one, but deride the other.


    • John Anderson says:

      I rather liked Bill O’Reilly’s offensive suggestion that instead of showering down balloons, they should shower down contraceptives on Sandra Fluke.


      • Reed says:

        …as long as they’ve been paid for by the tax payer, otherwise it’s still a war on women.


  2. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Forgot to mention: Where’s the BBC coverage of Mayor Cory Booker? He was the opening act, and by all accounts his speech was very well received.

    Bad enough the BBC censored all news of when he accidentally strayed off the plantation and had to go groveling back to the White House after he criticized the President’s class war rhetoric – which he touched on in last night’s speech – but why not mention him now?

    Ah, I see I’ve answered my own question. Sad.

    Booker is a story the BBC needs to be telling: an apparently successful mayor trying to fix a lousy city, connecting with his constituents via social media and with a deft local touch. Why aren’t they?


    • hippiepooter says:

      He’s not a fellow hater. He’s a Democrat that Republicans can respect for his integrity and sincerity.

      Strewth he must feel lonely in his party.


  3. DB says:

    Take a look at the twitter feed of @BBCPaulAdams. Once you’ve scrolled through his gushing tweets about last night’s DNC speeches you’ll come to his comments from last week about the RNC. The contrast is quite jarring.

    I notice not one of the BBC’s many US journalists has even tweeted – let alone written a news article – about Dem National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz lying through her teeth. And she was lying about a journalist, yet BBC hacks would rather ignore a story that reflects badly on the Dems than stand up for a fellow scribe. Partisan propagandists of the Obama palace guard.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      Wow. Quote after quote after quote of the First Lady and other speakers, but FA about any speech from the RNC. All critical and “fact-checking”. And already he’s got three times as many tweets just from the first night – with no “Hm” or critique – as he does about the entire RNC. No bias there, then.

      And I laughed out loud at Adams claiming that the President has “some experience” on freeing people from dictators. WTF? Freeing them from behind, maybe.

      But at least Adams mentioned the existence of Cory Booker. Somebody should ask him why it’s not worthy of an actual BBC report.

      This whole spread of tweets is going on the list.


      • Reed says:

        FLOTUS now rebranded as “Mom-in-Chief”

        Good heavens – or perhaps ‘nanny-in-chief’

        Pass the bucket. 🙄


      • Reed says:

        This one is unwittingly revealing, though…

        “Being president doesn’t change who you are. It reveals who you are.”

        So true…so true.


    • hippiepooter says:

      This Wasserman woman is a real piece of work, though her surname does fit in very well with the freaks against nature agenda of the far-left controlled Democrat Party.


  4. Umbongo says:

    Was I imagining things when I heard the Divine Michelle claim in her speech that on graduation Barack (I suspect at the time she called him or, more to the point, he referred to himself as “Barry”) chose to work with the poor in Chicago rather than take some well-paid job on the East Coast?
    I suppose you could be correct in thinking that a “community organizer” in Chicago works with the poor. OTOH you’d be wrong to consider him working for the poor. In my experience of late 60s Chicago – under (the original) Mayor Daley – a “community organizer” was simply a ward heeler. He was there to get the vote out and was empowered by the ruling Democratic Party machine to distribute public jobs and contracts to buy the required votes. Any benefit to the “poor” was strictly coincidental and not the prime purpose of the exercise. I suspect we won’t hear this bit of background from Mardell: and I’m sure Michelle isn’t about to spill the beans.


  5. DNC says:

    The Republicans have a war on women

    Now here’s a tribute to Edward Kennedy, who never left a woman to die

    Tomorrow we’ll have Bill Clinton, who is not a womaniser

    Also Bill does not hate Obama and Barack did not call Bill a racist to his face


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Still waiting for the BBC to mention this video that was played at last night’s convention:

    “Government Is The Only Thing We All Belong To”

    That’s just a highlight quote, not the actual title. But it was the real point of the piece. Sure, it was made by the people in Charlotte, and is not an official White House campaign video. But they allowed it to be shown, which is tacit approval. Mardell and Daniel Nasaw and all the other Beeboids who were there last night probably didn’t even notice, just nodded their heads in approval, and moved on to more schmoozing and sharing ideas with their fellow travelers on what to report and how.


  7. Aerfen says:

    What amazes me is that Michelle O is such an incredibly confident and professional speaker. Where has she trained? She sounds more of a professioanl than her husband.


  8. Guest Who says:

    The Guardian has a view.
    Who that view informs, as delivered to their door, who knows?
    Most liked comment interesting as much for numbers as content.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      This is all been censored by the BBC. I guess the Jewish Lobby got them again.


      • Guest Who says:

        It is there, if tucked away…
        ‘In a procedural surprise as Wednesday’s events got under way, the convention reinstated language from the 2008 platform describing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

        In confusing scenes a voice vote on the language was called three times. Despite loud boos in the audience, convention chair Antonio Villaraigosa said he had determined that two-thirds of the convention had voted in favour.

        Reports emerged shortly afterwards that Mr Obama had personally intervened to change the platform’s language.
        Guess there was not room for a story about ‘party splits’, ‘anger’ and ‘questions being asked’ on what seems to have been a rather significant bit of ducking and diving. Or confirming such ‘reports’ even, before another ladle of awesomeness.
        Then again, there also seems an odd ability to entirely get on board with the notion of doing one’s best with a damaged economy too… if one t’other side of the pond.
        It’s almost like the objective circumstances don’t matter but only tribal fealty does.
        Possibly good (within reason) in a political ally; not so great in an impartial news medium.