Mardell Stares Into The Abyss

Mark Mardell seems to be preparing himself for a Romney win. Of course, it won’t be the President’s fault. From the BBC’s in-house magazine:

Mark Mardell… Our man in Washington

Millions more will turn out for the general election, but Mardell senses a great disillusionment in America and believes that this could be crucial to President Obama’s chances for reelection. Asked for a prediction, he replies that it will come down to turnout. ‘I think if he’s defeated he will be defeated by people who quite like him, don’t like Romney that much, but decide to stay at home [on election day].’

“Will you really lay down your life for me? Very truly I tell you, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!  (John XIII:38)

What’s this disillusionment about? Why would these people who like Him decline to vote for Him? They’re not racist all of a sudden, are they?

He admits that problems with the economy perhaps stem from American policies rather than presidential decisions….

What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but the people of Israel, who pursued the law as the way of righteousness, have not attained their goal. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone.  (Romans IX:30-32)

It’s not His fault, you see. Congress failed Him. The people failed Him. Nothing to do with His policies. However, by blaming the faithful for failing Him, the awkward question of why all those people are voting against Him can be avoided.

Plus a nice delusional dig at Romney:

…but believes that foreign policy will certainly take a different ‘tone’ under a Romney term, with ‘implications’ for the UK.

It’s hard to imagine Romney racking up a bigger body count than the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-in-Chief. How many new countries has the President taken war into again?

Actually, Mardell has always been firmly against the UK helping the US in Iraq and Afghanistan (he mentions them specifically), and for some reason thinks Romney will be George Bush all over again and drag you into new wars. Hasn’t the President been very clear, for example, that He won’t allow Iran to have nuclear weapons, and that there were “no options off the table”? This is a White House talking point, nothing more. Of course, it could also be a tacit admission that in a second term, the President will let Iran, China, and Russia do whatever they like. Which makes Mardell’s focus on Bush’s wars and the (economic) “It all started in America” meme all the more curious. After all, the President did tell Medvedev to sit tight on the European missile situation for now because He’ll have more flexibility then. But Mardell’s worried about what Romney will do.

Read the rest of it for laughs. His continued bewilderment by us United Statesians would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad and a little tiresome. My favorite line, though, is this:

While Mardell is cautious with his language at times, worried about how it might be interpreted, there are hints that he is a passionate man with strong beliefs.

Understatement of the year. They know it, and Mardell knows it. They just don’t care. But by all means, they expect you to continue to trust them on US issues.

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42 Responses to Mardell Stares Into The Abyss

  1. chrisH says:

    A joy to read.
    Good use of scripture-the book being fulfilled in its way eh?
    Let`s hope Romney brings Morning in America…or else it`ll be Mardells copies of the Morning Star for ever and a day!
    God Bless America-we here are counting on you to stuff the BBCs large hole!


  2. Earls court says:


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      What does this have to do with anything I said?


      • Ian Hills says:

        You’re American and everything that happens in the US ends up happening over here too, like pervs getting more rights, with political and media support (eg the beeb?) thrown in. That, I think, is the connection 🙂


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          Nonsense. Harriet Harman’s support for child pornography and lowering the age of consent was not brought over from the US.


  3. Louis Robinson says:

    And yet the BBC’s subtle anti-Romney drum beat continues. It appears that nasty, child-hating (Mormon, multi-millionaire) is going to cut a vital part of US children’s culture:

    The BBC’s Jane O’Brien (just how many reporters does the BBC have in the US?) reports “Hundreds of people have taken part in a demonstration in Washington DC in support of continued state funding for non-commercial broadcasting. Some demonstrators appeared at the rally, named the Million Puppet March, dressed as characters from the children’s programme Sesame Street, which is produced by the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).

    Here is some useful context:
    Shows like Sesame Street are multi-million dollar enterprises capable of thriving in the private market. According to the 990 tax form all nonprofits are required to file, Sesame Workshop President and CEO Gary Knell received $956,513 — nearly a million dollars — in compensation in 2008. And, from 2003 to 2006, “Sesame Street” made more than $211 million from toy and consumer product sales. That works out to around $50 million a year in profits. In the end, it’s the U.S. taxpayer that loses.

    Can you understand why Mitt doesn’t wants to defund this rip-off?


  4. David Vance says:

    Excellent stuff, David. Just watching Mardell brace himself


    • hippiepooter says:

      DV, Come Wednesday, Mardell will have a big smile on his face.

      Obama’s going to clinch it. Media bias and voter fraud will win the day.


      • Span Ows says:

        That’s my take on things too hippiepooter:


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        I think you’re probably right, but the one thing suggesting that the media bias might not be able to drag Him across the finish line is the fact that a lot of local media outlets have been talking about Benghazi, and major papers that endorsed the Democrat in 2008 have now switched. Combine that with the power of the internet to break free of the gatekeepers, and I’m thinking there might actually be a glimmer of a chance for Romney.


        • Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

          I fear you are probably right as well. I wouldn’t be surprised if Romney wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college.
          Romney’s team seem to be telling the media yesterday and today that the polls are getting it wrong. This might be just hope (have they got that hopey thing?) or desperation; but could it be, like happened in the UK in 1992, a reluctance of voters to tell pollsters their true opinions.
          I have wondered if fear of the ‘racism’ tag would push some US voters to tell pollsters they’re for Obama, but do the opposite in the secret ballot that really matters.


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            A sort of reverse-Bradley Effect? I dunno. If anything, I’m wondering if some independents and disappointed Democrats might just vote for the President again so they don’t have to think they’re racist, and out of a little bit of fear of riots and extreme racial division we’ve been warned about if He loses. Mardell and Dymond and others have already said that a vote for Romney is a vote against the hopes and dreams of people of color, and they’re really just echoing what the WaPo and NPR and NBC/MSNBC and the NY Times and the HuffPo are saying.


  5. Akusia says:

    I absolutely love the title. Hope the abyss is staring hard back at him! Mardell is broadcasting as I type.

    PS Have met only one American recently. She has not voted for Obama. Hurrah!


  6. Scrobs... says:

    Directly the announcement that Mark Mardell ‘is reporting’ comes on the box, we always assume the opposite view of what he spouts.

    As someone else here says, how many blasted journalists from the beeb are clocking up expenses in the US?


    • London Calling says:

      Probably less than the 300-odd who manage to attend the annual pilgrimage to Glastonbury, funded by you, to ensure coverage of this culturally significant rite of passage of teens and twenties. Except the 300-odd bbc-ers generally opt for the comfort of nearby hotels.


  7. Beeboidal says:

    I’m bracing myself against seeing Mardell’s beaming fat face on my telly after an Obama win, which I think is still the most likely outcome on Tuesday.


    • London Calling says:

      The outcome probably depends on whether 95% of Afro-Americans vote for Obama, or only 94%


      • mamapjs says:

        It might not be even close to that this year. Black pastors are in the pulpit recommending that their parishoners not vote for Obama because of the gay marriage issue, which the black religious community is strongly against.

        Also, I’ve recently seen vids of black citizens in cities like Chicago who are getting seriously ticked off at the Democratic party. They’re starting to realize that the Donks take their votes for granted, but don’t do anything that actually helps their communities.

        Things are changing here.


      • Fairfacts Media says:

        Obama might get the support of 109% of blacks.
        It depends on how many Democrats cheat!


  8. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    I thought the most inexplicable bit of the Mardell interview was the closing paragraphs.

    ‘There’s a lack of variety in the American media, which as a political animal I find horrific.’
    For instance, he postulates, very few American journalists would think to walk down to an unemployment line when covering a story on the stalled economy. Instead, they rely on press releases, academics and fancy graphics, with most exercising a pack mentality. ‘They don’t get out and talk to the people. It’s a huge problem for journalism here.’ This, however, is not something you could accuse Mardell of failing to do.

    So, if he claims that he gets out and samples the variety of the wide United States, why does he parrot the same narrow-minded pro-Obama rubbish as everyone else in the bBBC bubble that we are forced to pay for?


    • johnnythefish says:

      ‘Pack mentality

      I’m sure Romney can vouch for that.


    • Umbongo says:

      “Getting down to talk to the unemployed” is a favourite method of BBC journalism (when Labour’s not in power). Crudely chosen “vox pop” provides Mardell and his colleagues with spurious evidence that those whom the BBC dislike are irredeemably wicked. I have yet to hear on the BBC (or elsewhere) any vox pop interviewee tell Mardell – or, say, Esther Rantzen – to f*ck off or give a reasoned opposing view to that expected by the questioner. I’d be prepared to wager a substantial sum of money that this has happened. Indeed, it would only be news if someone queueing outside Job Plus in London said that his plight wasn’t due to the cutz or the uncaring toffs in office or plutocratic tax evaders.
      Vox pop tells us nothing when it depends not on what the word from the street might be but on who chooses where to obtain the “vox pop” (and from whom) and who edits it the product. Using a simplistic survey of “vox pop” as significant evidential input into a disinterested analysis of what might be happening in economics or politics is, I suspect, one of the “journalistic” principles taught at the BBC College of Crap Journalism. It’s another facet of the “how do you feel about your husband being murdered?” followed by “do you think the government is responsible?” school of sensationalist, trashy and biased journalism of which the BBC has become such an expert exponent.


    • Doublethinker says:

      ‘Lack of variety’ in the USA media. What on earth does he think its like back in the UK where our media is totally dominated by the state broadcaster which pedals its left liberal view to the exclusion of any other view.
      If Obi loses tomorrow the Democrats should campaign to get a state broadcaster for the USA, in fact if they promise to take the whole lot of them they can have all of ours for free.


  9. TPO says:

    “[Black] Pastor who prayed at Obama’s inauguration says all white people will go to hell”

    Just love the way the BBC are all over this story.
    Just kidding. Not a peep from them. Quelle surprise!!


  10. Guest Who says:

    Every morning, before walking the dog with the kids to school, I catch up on overnight emails and surf a bit with the TV on.
    Can’t speak for the BBC as I long gave up on its morning offering, so I tolerate SKY.
    Not today.
    They are obsessed with filling their schedule with airhead bimbos scattered around the USA ‘live’, asking the same damn stupid questions of ‘passers-by’ indispersed with shots of policy giants like Bruce Springsteen or Bonnie Greer and Sam Delaney here confirming it’s in the bag for Obama.
    Logically, no one knows. Or there are two pre-match forces obsessed with ensuring their drum beat prevails.
    All for an election in a foreign land that is important but, to me, not the end of the world whoever prevails.
    The media’s role is however pretty clear in this, and its function to inform, at least sensibly, having long passed, is now joined in the scrapheap on an entertainment basis too.
    I now, at this juncture, simply don’t care any more, and type in blissful silence.
    SKY cannot log my eyeballs and their news offering is only supported as they are less bad, and because I like the documentary channel and the US cop shows to de-tune.
    The BBC does what it does, as it always does, because no one has any choice.
    As a metaphor for the future of democratic voting, that is not a great prospect.


    • As I See It says:

      Agreed. Sky suffer from the Obama love just as badly as do the Beeb. However, I witnessed the Sky-News-bimbo skip any pretence of Mark Mardell-style dialectic (the BBC Master Blaster) for pure Superstition. Oh yes, My Cherie Amour news anchor lastnight (Yester You, Yester Me, Yesterday) took us over to live feed from the US and ‘the fantastic Stevie Wonder’ (she seemed to think it was her Happy Birthday) for some grainy footage of an Obama benefit gig apparently filmed on a camera phone.

      BBC/Sky political analysis from the States: Ebony and Ivory. Don’t you Worry Bout a Thing.


      • Span Ows says:

        You want my innervisons? Well, Obama certainly isn’t Misstra Know-it-all.


      • gordon-bennett says:

        Here’s a link showing that only 200 people turned up for an obama and Stevie Wonder rally.


        obama usually gets about 5,000 or less but Romney’s crowds are in the 30,000 range, a fact never reported on the beeb of course.


        • Deborah says:

          I heard mention of the Stevie Wonder rally on the BBC (Today?) without mention of the few people there. Did the BBC forget to tell me or just not think it important?


          • chrisH says:

            “Desperadoes…who`ll never come to their senses”.
            Next time the BBC tell us about the lack of gravitas and substance in politics…that we`re trivialising that bequest of Pankhurts and Brights…let`s remind them that the BBC thinks that Bruce and Stevie warbling/punching the air for Obama means then that-well obviously , the “cool” and the “chilled our secular saints” must be right, and these little canaries will be all sad if the Yanks don`t give Obama his “four more years”.
            Listen to Naughtie piece this morning that bled into the 8am news…risible!
            I love Stevie, and Bruce was good until 2001 or so…but I don`t care if Romney “kicks ass when he rock and rolls”….Blair/Clinton show us that politics and music don`t mix…but at least these two misfits knock Bragg into his newly pressed cloth cap…Burberry, and no other !


          • David Preiser (USA) says:

            Jim Dandy and Nicked emus and the others will tell you that the BBC doesn’t have to report that because most of the rest of the media isn’t either.


  11. Guest Who says:

    ‘I lived in Belgium. Something extraordinary happened around the corner from my home. A favourite local cafe hung out a stars and stripes.’
    Nah, nothing to do with anything the country may have done a while ago… this was a whole new thing.
    I may have edited out the bit that illustrates the point the ‘reporter’ appears to have been keen to make.
    He’s professional and impartial you know. Helen has told me he must be.


  12. Span Ows says:

    There are several opinions and good articles linked here: NYT, LA Times, Daily Beast, WSJ, Washington post and others:


  13. George R says:

    In describing America’s ‘divided’ society, one always gets the impression from Mardell that the ‘predominantly black-youthful-energetic-Hispanic-politically Left- Obama’ segment is much nicer and worthier that the ‘predominantly white-older-backward looking-religious-tea party-Romney’ segment; and whatever the outcome tomorrow, Mardell is confident that his political sector will ‘win’ a European social democratic future for America , which the ‘outdated’ Americans will have to learn is good for them.


  14. Sir Arthur Strebe-Grebling says:

    The bBBC’s Obama Correspondent seems to have missed this one.
    Witch doctor calls election for Barack Obama after analysing shells, bones
    A witch doctor from the Kenyan village where Barack Obama’s father is buried has predicted a landslide for the US president in Tuesday’s election.


  15. David Preiser (USA) says:

    You are Jeremy Bowen and I claim my five pounds.


  16. Earls court says:

    What about Common Purpose?