I’m a couple days late on this, but it’s still worth a laugh. The BBC sent one of the legion of Beeboids they have making video magazine reports in the US to Los Angeles to cover the special holiday edition of the city’s “Guns for Groceries” buy-back plan. Usually it’s useful for getting illegal guns out of the hands of the gang-bangers, allowing the politicians to wave some trophies in front of the cameras and scare the community a little bit. The gang-bangers like it because they can unload old weapons or ones they’ve used in crimes (these are no-questions-asked exchanges, remember) for some quick cash to buy more illegal guns. It’s win-win.
We’re told that, while “many Americans believe” that the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms, the mayor thinks there can be more controls. The annual buy-back program, we learn, is proof positive that there are too many guns out there, too easy to access.
The crowning example comes at the end, starting at around 1:10 in, where the police rep says that people were turning in AK-47s and “parts for AR-15s”. The BBC’s John McManus then says:
“If that sounds extreme, well, last year’s haul of 1700 weapons included an anti-tank rocket launcher.”
First of all, it’s opinion that having these weapons available is “extreme”. There’s no mention of whether or not any of them were legal or illegal or what. Their very existence is, apparently, extreme. The Beeboid is projecting opinion – what may very well be mainstream British opinion – onto a report about domestic affairs in a foreign country. And for all we know, the AK-47s came from Mexican drug gangs courtesy of the President’s “Fast & Furious” scheme.
But the really funny part is the freak-out about the anti-tank weapon. This may come as a complete surprise to parochial, close-minded media luvvies living in a bubble, but one can buy these online and at shows and other places. They’re military surplus, rendered inert before sale.
In fact, this year’s scheme brought in two of them. If the intrepid, impartial journalists at the BBC ever bother to read the NY Daily News, they’ll know that, and know that the weapons were already rendered useless. Not that it stopped the nannies from waving it in front of the cameras. You can bet there won’t be a correction coming from the BBC. That would detract from the agenda.
The scary rocket launcher is, in fact, quite harmless, but presented here to wind you up. A propaganda piece, advocacy plain and simple. Are lots of other media outlets singing from the same hymn sheet and getting it wrong? Sure they are. Does that make it okay for the BBC to do it? Remember, they sent at least one Beeboid to LA to film and investigate, so there’s no excuse for lemming journalism here.
I bet the dopey Beeboid doesn’t even know any of this. I’m sure he and his editor completely believe the angle he’s reported. Their bias on this issue prevents them from reporting honestly and accurately. If they do know that the rocket launcher was non-functional, then McManus is telling a lie the way he reported it. Either way this is a journalistic failure.
It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t about the rights and wrongs of gun ownership, or anyone’s interpretation of the 2nd Amendment, nor is it about your opinion or mine of gun control laws. This is about a biased, misleading report from the BBC on a specific issue, where ideology informs and corrupts reporting. Even if you agree with the BBC’s position on gun control, you should still be displeased with them taking sides on any issue.
Bonus giggle: If I bought a nice Browning 1917A1 .50 cal machine gun and wanted to take it out the range, and I needed another can to carry my extra ammo, I could pick up a cheap one from the BBC-owned Lonely Planet website.
David, Happy New Year, for Tuesday.
I hope you and all at biasedbbc have a most productive year ahead of you to help bring down the edifice that is the bbc.
You wrote above : ‘Not that it stopped the nannies from waving it in front of the cameras’. I’d probably correct one word; I think it should be ‘ninnies’, but imbecile would be my preferred choice.
Anyway, whatever happens one thing is for sure; the bbc won’t reform itself and there’s much to do in the forthcoming year to bring them to account. Good luck and you have my support. It’s my intention to sever my relations with the organisation once my current licence expires, so, I’ll be £145 better off. Plus no cable tv payments. My goodness, what will I do with all that money?
You could use the rocket launcher as a club so still a lethal weapon 😀
And why hasn’t David Gregory been arrested for breaking state gun laws?
Because journalism. Laws are for the little people.
I’d really like to know.
Here’s all you need to know about why Gregory hasn’t been arrested:
Gregory under investigation, out of headlines
Last Friday, NBC’s David Gregory was making headlines as the subject of a D.C. police investigation after having displayed an empty gun magazine on live television. Later that day, NBC announced that Gregory had landed an exclusive interview with President Obama, and the issue more or less went away.
Personally, I think in the abstract it’s silly to prosecute him for using an empty magazine as a prop to make a point. It means he’s a biased journalist, yes, but that’s not a prosecutable offense. Yet. Give the Democrats time to push the “Fairness Doctrine” through.
But Gregory made a real mistake here. NBC actually did the right thing initially and asked the DC police for permission to violate the law in the interests of journalism. The DC authorities said no, but NBC went ahead with it anyway. That deserves a very public slap on the wrist for a number of reasons.
It won’t happen because we’ve entered a new age of a protected elite.
Good catch and especially so becuase this isn’t a case where the BBC can rely on Boadenesque ‘we got it about right’ evasions.
These were not rocket launchers. That’s a fact. You can have Karl Marx stop by and that would still be true. The BBC aren’t just pushing an agenda they’re flat out lying.
i wonder what all the luvvies in Hollywood think about this
Here’s what the po-faced Hollywood luvvies would like us to think, set against what they are happy to sell us in order to fill their own already bulging pockets. As David says in the post, this is not so much about our individual takes on the gun control issue (I’m absolutely against gun ownership here in the UK, the US can run it’s own affairs). The issue here is one of hypocrisy and a willingness to present falsehoods, whether deliberate or through ignorance, to further an agenda.
As Tim Stanley puts it in The Telegraph…
“But what is indisputable is the hypocrisy of an entertainment community that, on the one hand, insists it has a right to involve itself in public affairs yet, on the other hand, denies that it bears any responsibility for the moral impact of its own product.”
Further warning for the video clip…
“Contains extreme sanctimony”
Agree, after the first 30 seconds you can jump to the last 20 seconds and read the relevant message and so avoid several minutes of vomit-inducing celebrity pap.
I hear the total number of homicides in Obama’s home town of Chicongo has reached 500 this year.
Most strange when you consider how strict their gun laws are.
Chicongo – good one! That cheered me up from the misery of a streaming cold (I blame global warming for that…).
You’re right that the BBC should not have used what is clearly a non story on the rocket launchers for dramatic effect (I’m assuming those handed in in the past, which McManus refers to in his piece, were inert too).
Thus piece thoughwas for the British audience though and the use of “extreme” to describe assault rifles is fine. No media organisation in the UK would consider it anything less.
That’s very good, Jim. Glad to see you finally admit that you approve of the BBC using opinion to color their journalism in certain cases. Time for you to retire now.
You think journalism should not contain opinion? After you for the pipe and slippers I think. I want opinion in my journalism.
Okay, Jim, at last we get to the truth. You want opinionated journalism, so you must not like the BBC’s reporting very much since you always claim there is no bias.
Or is your entire presence here a charade of some kind?
You do know what opinionated means don’t you? It does not mean the condition of having an opinion. Or perhaps you are deliberately twisting my words.
Impartiality allows for opinion to be expressed.
Jim, please explain this at length. I don’t mean to twist your words. I simply don’t understand them.
Opinionated is a perjorative term suggesting the person unduly, aggressively and dogmatically holds by their opinions.
It might be different in the US.
No, I know what the word means. I don’t understand what you mean when you say you want opinions in your journalism while simultaneously defending the BBC against charges that there is opinion in their journalism.
‘I don’t understand what you mean when you say you want opinions in your journalism while simultaneously defending the BBC against charges that there is opinion in their journalism.’
See Jim, it’s not easy being misunderstood back that does it in a way which shows the person in reply is also trying to help with what you mean vs. what you say.
‘Thus piece thoughwas for the British audience though and the use of “extreme” to describe assault rifles is fine. ‘
Also navigating what I think you meant here… patronising much? This is a country where popping a bomb under a car about to be used to transport a family, to see the year-end go off with a bang, seems almost day-to-day.
Certainly not currently front page news in some places.
Here it is, tucked well away…
On second thought, Jim, allow me to ask a different question instead, since the BBC’s outright lie earned nothing more than a shrug of your shoulders. Sticking with your definition of opinionated, specifically the “aggressively and dogmatically” holding onto opinions, would you agree that Mark Mardell is the embodiment of it?
Jim, if I made a separate post outlining my case, would you do me the honor of reading and critiquing?
Of course, although I have responded to Mardell related posts in the past.
Did you see Dan Hannan’s view on Mardell when he left the Europe job?
Here if not
I thought this said a lot about both men.
I remember Hannan’s opinion. I assume you assume that I must respect him because he’s ostensibly conservative, and so have appealed to that authority, right? As if I’m incapable of independent thought. I agree that it says a lot about Hannan, but not what you think.
As for your limited comments on a couple of past Mardell posts, none of them concern what we’re talking about here.
“I want opinion in my journalism. ”
Head over to Fox News, Jim, plenty of opinion over there! 😉
I should remind you, Jim, that this piece was actually not intended for only a British audience. As I’ve mentioned before, the BBC has been ramping up their US presence with the goal of increasing their audience and revenue here. They’re quite enthusiastic about it. So enthusiastic, in fact, that last year they had the chutzpah to apply to the US Government for a taxpayer handout to fund their broadcasting.
This video magazine piece was definitely meant for US consumption. As Jeremy Paxman says, to “spread influence”.
Americans must get heartily sick of the likes of the BBC lecturing them on their gun laws when we have a very healthy drug industry here at home run by professional gun-carrying criminals. A dawn raid weapons clean-up by police a few months ago resulted in a number of guns being recovered from one estate not that far from where I live including an AK47 – and an RPG.
All about motes and beams, innit.
The BBC will have to stand in a very long line of people lecturing us. First in line (and, as the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy put it, first up against the wall come the revolution), are the NY Times and the WaPo and CNN and MSNBC and Nanny Bloomberg and all the celebutards who think the country should be run by an elite cadre of right-on thinking people. Most of them have armed guards, because their lives are more valuable than those of the proletariat, and many of them own weapons themselves.
Fortunately, the BBC has precious little influence yet, other than a bit of race-baiting in St. Louis. But they’re working on it.
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