The US, the BBC, and Guns: Bias? What Bias? Agenda? What Agenda?

Mardell just can’t help himself. He made a video report from just outside the Washington Navy Yard yesterday, featuring interviews BBC freelancers collected from a couple of the mass murderer’s friends, as well as his own analysis.

Mardell said that mass murder of this kind is now “as American as baseball.” Isn’t that charming? He wouldn’t dare say that child rape or honor killings or beheadings were as Islamic as a prayer rug. The BBC’s editorial double standards are clear.

Most people here will recall the not-so-prescient words of the BBC’s top man in the US the last time there was a mass shooting on a US military base:

The truth is of course cloudy. The alleged murderer was clearly a Muslim, but there is very little to suggest that he adhered to a hard-line interpretation of his religion or that he had political or religious motives.

And he closed with this classic:

Still, searching for patterns and for answers is part of what it is to be human. I loathe cliche, but perhaps, for once, this is a “senseless tragedy”, devoid of deeper meaning.

Mardell wrote these words even after it was known that Maj. Hassan shouted what the BBC has watered down to “an Islamic benediction”, and news of his jihadi leanings was coming out. In other words, his personal belief system – and an agenda to stamp down any possible unapproved thoughts – caused him not only to ignore facts, but to push what he must have known was a questionable Narrative.

This time around, because there’s a different agenda – the anti-gun movement – no way is he suggesting this was a senseless tragedy – even though it clearly was – because he and the BBC want to push it. He admitted he was asked to do this in his previous piece, so we know it’s not just him, and is acceptable practice in the BBC newsroom. It’s almost as if Mardell’s saying, “Don’t blame me for this sickening display: I’m only doing what London asked.” I’m not generous enough to give him the benefit of the doubt, I’m afraid, as he has form. This time around, the tragedy can be used to push an agenda of which he approves, so off he goes.

That’s fine, some may say, because it’s only natural that people will question what some see as the US free-for-all when it comes to weapons of mass murder when this kind of thing keeps happening with the regularity of the phases of the moon. Well, in this case, the leap to push that agenda was based on false reports, even though world-class, experienced professional journalists know all too well that all kinds of crazy stuff gets reported in the early hours of these tragedies. It’s human to speculate wildly, and opinion writers and pundits – as well as titled BBC editors and silly bloggers on obscure websites which nobody reads – can do so as much as they like, since opinion is their job, not reporting of facts. Yet the line is blurred at the BBC. People whose job includes giving opinion also do reporting, and it’s sometimes hard to tell where one ends and the other begins. In this case, facts were already decided upon, and the agenda was ordered. (My own local paper, the NY Daily News, is equally guilty of this sickness, and the writer I think I dislike most wrote the idiotic cover article. The steep decline of this paper since a News of the World/NY Post guy took over is a topic for another rant. And it’s not even owned by evil Uncle Rupert. But at least it’s not my official state broadcaster with a legacy of trust and deep cultural connection spanning generations, and I don’t have to pay for it if I don’t want to.)

Now once again Mardell is talking out of his own agenda even after facts are known to render it baseless. By the time this video was finished, news was already coming out that there was no AR-15 involved. It’s pretty hard to shrug this off as the understandable result of the fog of confusion common in the first few hours after this kind of incident. Not only that, but the murderer’s primary weapon was not the shotgun he brought, but guns he took from within the premises. The gun-control argument was rendered irrelevant, yet Mardell pushes it anyway.

Even here he closes with a sigh (my inference, yeah) that this tragedy won’t push the gun-control debate in the desired direction. If he didn’t think it needed changing in a stricter direction, why ask the question he asked? If he was impartial – or the BBC actually cared about impartiality on pet issues – he would have stopped asking about gun control laws once it was known to him that banning assault weapons wouldn’t have prevented this. All Alexis had on him when he walked in the door was a shotgun. Even British subjects are allowed to own shotguns, so nobody can claim cultural superiority here. Anyone insisting that stricter US gun laws would have prevented this must by definition be demanding even more draconian laws than the UK has. Any takers?

Mardell reports the killer had a checkered past that should have raised red flags. How many times have we heard this now? Sandy Hook, Colorado, Ft. Hood, the DC sniper of some years back. One could make the case that most or all the newsworthy multiple murders by AR-15 last year were done by people who would qualify as mentally ill in some way. It’s becoming, as the sage said, as American as baseball.

In spite of this, Mardell is worried about gun control laws which have absolutely nothing to do with this tragedy instead of what he knows is a systemic failure to keep seriously mentally ill people out of trouble. He knows this is the real problem. He brings it up himself in both the published article and this video report. It’s a big, big problem. I dare say it’s hard not to have developed even a tiny bit of pity or sympathy for the poor bastard who seems to have been a decent sort who just went mad. And now yet more families are hurt and diminished, lives cut short, hearts broken, because of a broken system. But not the one with which the BBC is obsessed.

Yet in his text piece he blamed lax gun control laws for the police deciding not to prosecute Alexis for shooting somebody’s tires and for firing a gun into a ceiling. Gun control laws aren’t relevant to those incidents either, but Mardell either doesn’t understand that or doesn’t care to.

The Ft. Hood murders were not a “senseless tragedy”, yet Mardell speculated that they were, because he had an agenda on his mind. This time it really was a senseless tragedy, but he’s not speculating that it was one and instead is finding a reason for it, because he has an agenda on his mind. Gosh, it’s a shame this tragedy can’t be exploited to change the debate, isn’t it? If that’s not on Mardell’s mind when he wrote and said this stuff, why did he keep saying it? Who other than anti-gun people have this perspective?

Mardell says that this tragedy will not change the debate about stricter gun laws, but gives the wrong reason for it. He said in his printed piece that US culture needs to change first. In fact – and he knew this by the time he made this video report – the reason it won’t change the debate is because it’s irrelevant. No assault weapon was involved, and the only weapon the killer brought to the party was one even BBC employees in Salford could own.

There is no other explanation for what he’s done. His judgment is clouded. And it’s not just Mardell.

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26 Responses to The US, the BBC, and Guns: Bias? What Bias? Agenda? What Agenda?

  1. Guest Who says:

    ‘his own analysis’
    That’s not news.
    And before a Flokker tries a cute comment, you will know what I actually mean.
    The BBC system, from narrative establishment to editorial propaganda backed by censorship, is institutionally broken.


  2. chrisH says:

    And still no need for the BBC to contemplate the fact that the likes of this murdering nutter had a mental health record-which is probably the biggest indicator of who should not be allowed to have a gun(and this bloke presumably was breaking Washingtons laws in bearing one)…and who(the vast majority of the US citizenry) should be able to bear arms should they want or need to.
    In other words it`s a criminal, mental health issue-not a touchy feely “can`t we just get along” issue which is all that the likes of Mardell can reduce it to.
    They only want Obamas team and the gangsters like Duggan to carry guns-and if we get picked off by the crims, then the BBC get another story to wring their f***in hankies over.
    And another few nights for Jim, Evan Justin or Lardell in the Washington Ramada gratis.
    Hasn`t the USA got anybody apart from Ted Nugent to give us the truth from over there?…FFS, Mardell knows nothing that Obama hasn`t pre-chewed and spat up Mardells bottom as a suppository.
    Utter crap-the BBC have got to go….


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      The thing is, Mardell is well aware of the mental health issue. He points it out himself, and obviously the latest BBC profile of the murderer is all about that. It’s perfectly valid to talk about red flags and ask why they keep getting ignored.

      My complaint is that they kept going on about gun control even after realizing that it was irrelevant to this tragedy. Except for the shotgun part, of course. I’m happy to talk about the apparent absence of controls at gun shows. But any discussion about that will also have to include a discussion about mental health laws and people going on some register which can be tracked and to which gun dealers will have to access, just like they do now for background checks at stores. All kinds of potential problems there, too, but I certainly don’t object to opening it up for debate.

      Unfortunately, that’s not what Mardell and the BBC are doing.


    • DP111 says:

      We must always keep in mind, that the BBC takes great care of its employees. The last thing it wants is if they are beheaded on the streets, particularly in the UK.

      Its not surprising thus, that the BBC is fearless when exposing the “murderous violence” inherent in Buddhism or Christianity, but they have to be a lot less brave when it comes to Islam and Muslims.

      I understand that BBC security and legal affairs department must have told BBC execs, that they have no way of defending the BBC, if they step out of the sharia line.


  3. Span Ows says:

    This is probably on one of the Open Threads but a sit pertains to BBC America here goes:

    BBC bias muzzles U.S. Congress over Syria

    BBC America’s pro-Obama bias has been called into question after a new report by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism ( found that the publicly-funded, British broadcaster was heavily reliant on Obama administration officials as sources.


  4. Span Ows says:

    Also, not really BBC related but Piers Morgan and others really put their feet in it over the AR-15 misreporting yesterday.


  5. Mark II says:

    “caused him not only to ignore facts, but to push what he must have known was a questionable narrative”

    But this is Mark Mardell we are talking about – he is a true believer in the blessed Obama.
    Happy Ramadan (an Islamic benediction).


  6. Alex says:

    ‘Mardell said that mass murder of this kind is now “as American as baseball.” Isn’t that charming? He wouldn’t dare say that child rape or honor killings or beheadings were as Islamic as a prayer rug.’

    David, you’ve, in my opinion, hit the nail squarely on the head in highlighting the BBC’ s terrible double standards. I’ve been admonished many times by ‘Double Standards’ Dez and Albaman on the subject of the BBC turning a blind eye to Islamic atrocities, but whilst happily criticizing Christianity, America, Britain and the west on so many issues.
    We all know that most Lefties are gutless, effeminate Guardian-reading cowards who will avoid finding fault with Islam simply because they are frightened of being beaten up. AND THIS in a country that had the most powerful empire the world’s ever seen!

    Black, Muslim, gay, feminist, tree-hugger = untouchable in the book of BBC precepts.


  7. stuart says:

    i think mark mardell is going as loopy as john mccain just lately,very strange indeed is marky babes reporting from the usa,as for the latest mass murdering serial killer,what is going on there,all i have heard from the bbc and other media outlets is about the state of his mental health and his buddys lining up to say what a nice peacefull man he was,in fact he was a buddhist they claimed ummm,sorry but millions of people have mental health problems in the usa and the uk but they dont go around getting tooled up and go on shooting sprees murdering the innocents at mililtary bases,there is more to this story than the media is making out i reckon.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      No there probably isn’t. Lunatics are lunatics, end of story.


    • Stewart says:

      Yes I get the felling that we are being allowed less than, the truth ,the whole truth and nothing but the truth by those Turcopoles of the liberal inquisition , the MSM.


    • F*** The Beeb says:

      Whenever someone goes crazy people look for some other excuse. The right wing media outlets are just as guilty as the BBC. See the Chris Benoit double-murder/suicide as a prime example – the guy clearly lost the plot, and his autopsy showed he had extensive brain damage as well as people already knowing he was struggling with depression and unpredictable behaviour, but so much focus was placed on whether it had anything to do with steroids, and the WWE (Benoit was a professional wrestler) now wants us to believe it was just a domestic dispute which can never be proven and isn’t consistent with the many millions of domestic disputes, including violent ones, that DON’T result in the entire family being killed.

      It’s personal insecurity. People don’t like to face up to the fact that we’re all mentally and biologically vulnerable in the same way that people don’t like to believe life is all we have and our time is limited, so they find ways of convincing themselves that there’s another, rational, explanation because it’s scary as hell when there isn’t one.


      • David Preiser (USA) says:

        True enough, but that doesn’t excuse professional journalists working for a media organization with more influence than all the others put together. Especially when they not only look for an excuse but tell their audience specifically not to do so. Never mind how they all seem to look for the same excuse every time, across the spectrum of broadcasting.


  8. sirus says:

    i served mark mardell a triple cheese and tomato beefburger and a double portion of french fries when i ran a hamburger stall outside bbc headquarters in london 2 years ago


  9. Number 7 says:

    Lardell – why are we paying this wa*ker? Assuming he is a member of the ramblers association


    • Andrew says:

      If the football team that used to play at Burnden Park are called Wolton Banderers, then Mardell is a banker.


    • David Preiser (USA) says:

      You’re paying Mardell’s hefty salary and travel expenses because he’s a highly experienced professional political analyst. He must be because he used to be the political editor for Newsnight in between stints in the same capacity for the 6 o’clock news and “The Ten.” Can’t have much better BBC credentials than that. What that says about the BBC as a whole I certainly couldn’t say……


      • Span Ows says:

        You’re right, in fact I’d go as far as to saying that looking at those credentials (making, to be fair, a very impressive sounding CV) you would expect at least some hint of assured professional journalistic talent…hmmmmmmmmmmmm.


        • David Preiser (USA) says:

          And people wonder why I keep saying Mardell is a political anlayst rather than a regular journalist. Except for his first job at LBC, that’s what he’s always been. It’s all about his take on politics and political maneuvering. Editorials, opinion-mongering dressed up as factual reporting.

          Not that his successor at Newsnight was any different.


  10. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Another BBC report in the US has had an effect. This time, the BBC sent who knows how many people to lust after investigate the sexy tragic shooting in DC, and yet another of the scores of Beeboids working in the US put together a report revealing what’s been quietly coming out in the non-Left blogosphere:

    Review Team Will Probe Capitol Police Navy Yard ‘Stand Down’ Controversy

    Capitol Police officers stationed around Capitol Hill reacted with shock to a BBC report that Capitol Police commanders told a team of their heavily armed officers to stand down when they arrived on the scene of Monday’s deadly Navy Yard shooting.

    “Stunned” and “embarrassed” were among the reactions overheard from officers posted around the Capitol complex discussing the allegations that one of the best-trained tactical units in the city was ordered to leave the scene of a mass shooting.

    Apparently the local Navy bosses are going to have a rethink about their foolish, deadly policy. This is a good thing, and the BBC is to be commended for being honest enough to report this even though it goes against the anti-gun Narrative most of them have clearly been exploiting this tragedy to push.

    This is the BBC report itself:

    Navy Yard: Swat team ‘stood down’ at mass shooting scene

    One of the first teams of heavily armed police to respond to Monday’s shooting in Washington DC was ordered to stand down by superiors, the BBC can reveal.

    A tactical response team of the Capitol Police, a force that guards the US Capitol complex, was told to leave the scene by a supervisor instead of aiding municipal officers.

    The Capitol Police department has launched a review into the matter.

    Aaron Alexis, 34, killed 12 people at the Washington Navy Yard.

    “I don’t think it’s a far stretch to say that some lives may have been saved if we were allowed to intervene,” a Capitol Police source familiar with the incident told the BBC.

    Why the BBC got their attention instead of the local Washington Post or the NY Times or a major TV network, I have no idea. But if this deadly policy is changed, it’s a good thing. In fact, I’d go so far as to suggest that this is actually the kind of thing the BBC should be doing, instead of all the race-baiting and Radio 4-lite style character studies so beloved by media studies graduate programs.

    However, this is just more proof of how much the BBC is invading the US. The BBC believes it has a divine right to broadcast anywhere on the planet it likes, to send dozens or even hundreds of staff to locations near and far, in pursuit of fodder for the leviathan. This includes, in apparently ever-increasing numbers, the US.

    There have been other examples before this, such as Franz Strasser’s race-baiting story about St. Louis, which have gotten a reaction in the US public. His latest attempt to heap scorn and shame upon the US and to incite racial strife with a story about Wisconsin isn’t biased in the way the St. Louis report was, but the theme of racial shaming is still there, which is one facet of the whole “Altered States” series, as well as a favorite topic of BBC journalists in general.

    I bring this up in order to tell anyone and everyone who wants to insult me for caring about what a foreign broadcaster gets up to, who demands to know why I care or what I watch or listen to that they can go straight to hell. Furthermore, considering just how much the BBC can accomplish if they like, this really calls into question their editorial judgment about what to report and what not to report.

    This story is not being carried on the front pages of major US newspapers, and only Fox News has made much of it at all as far as I can tell. This means that the excuse we hear from the BBC and defenders of the indefensible that the BBC doesn’t have to report something if the rest of the media isn’t either is a load of crap. If the BBC is going to invade my country and force its unique brand of journalism on us, sending digital media studies grads traipsing across the landscape making all these “bespoke” video reports on all manner of human interest and ideological topics, then the least it can do it start reporting honestly on things like the IRS scandal or Benghazi or the imminent trainwreck of ObamaCare, or any of the other important stories they avoid. Yet they don’t, and we get excuse after excuse as to why it’s not worth reporting.

    This won’t work anymore. I have every right to be concerned about BBC bias, whether I’m forced to pay a license fee or not.