BBC slips up, but bounces back

Update 1, July 28:

I forgot about Republican Louie Gohmert. Here he is bashing Mueller

Original post:

I watched the recording of most of Robert Mueller’s testimony before Congress. Not all of it, because I began to skip the Democrats’ questions as they made their loathing for President Donald J. Trump clear, at times referring to him as “Trump.”

Then I had a look at BBC coverage, fully expecting the bias to jump out at me, especially when the name Anthony Zurcher appeared at the top of the first Google result. It didn’t. It was so factual and balanced I nearly fell off my chair. Zurcher even included a few lines on the damning indictment of Mueller’s report by Republican John Ratcliffe who objected to his conclusion that he could not exonerate the president on the charge of obstruction of justice:

John Ratcliffe: … Which DOJ policy or principle sets forth a legal standard that an investigated person is not exonerated if their innocence from criminal conduct is not conclusively determined? Where does that language come from Director? Where is the DOJ policy that says that? Can you give me an example other than Donald Trump where the Justice Department determined that an investigated person was not exonerated because their innocence was not conclusively determined?

Robert Mueller: I cannot, but this is a unique situation …

John Ratcliffe: You can’t. Time is short, I’ve got five minutes, let’s just leave it at you can’t find it because, I will tell you why, it doesn’t exist. The Special Counsel’s job, nowhere does it say that you were to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or that the Special Counsel report should determine whether or not to exonerate him. It’s not in any of the documents, it’s not in your appointment order, it’s not in the Special Counsel regulations, it’s not in the OLC opinions, not in the justice manual and it’s not in the principles of federal prosecution. Nowhere do those words appear together because respectfully, respectfully Director, it was not the Special Counsel’s job to conclusively determine Donald Trump’s innocence or to exonerate him because the bedrock principle of our justice system is a presumption of innocence. It exists for everyone. Everyone is entitled to it including sitting presidents. And because there is a presumption of innocence, prosecutors never ever need to conclusively determine it.

Now, Director, the Special Counsel applied this inverted burden of proof that I can’t find and you said doesn’t exist anywhere in the department policies and you used it to write a report and the very first line of your report, the very first line of your report says, as you read this morning, this authorises the Special Counsel to provide the Attorney General with a confidential report explaining the prosecution or declination decisions reached by the Special Counsel. That’s the very first word of your report, right?

Robert Mueller: Right.

John Ratcliff: That’s correct. Here’s the problem, Director. The Special Counsel didn’t do that. On volume one you did, on volume two, with respect to potential obstruction of justice, the Special Counsel made neither a prosecution decision or a declination decision. You made no decision. You told us this morning and in your report that you made no determinations so, respectfully, Director, you didn’t follow the Special Counsel’s regulations. It clearly says, write a confidential report about decisions reached. Nowhere in here does it say, write a report about decisions that weren’t reached. You wrote a hundred-and-eighty pages – a hundred-and-eighty pages about decisions that weren’t reached, about potential crimes that weren’t charged or decided. And respectfully, respectfully, by doing that you managed to violate every principle in the most sacred of traditions of prosecutors not offering extra prosecutorial analysis about potential crimes that aren’t charged.

So Americans need to know this as they listen to the Democrats and socialists on the other side of the aisle as they do dramatic readings from this report that volume two of this report was not authorised under the law to be written. It was written to a legal standard that does not exist at the justice department. And it was written in violation of every DOJ principle about extra-prosecutorial commentary.

I agree with the chairman this morning when he said Donald Trump is not above the law. He’s not. But he damn sure shouldn’t be below the law which is where volume two of this report puts him.

However, the BBC never disappoints, and the bias was evident in a report titled Trump was not exonerated by my report, Robert Mueller tells Congress.

The opening sentences take a predictable dig at the President:

US President Donald Trump’s claim that he was “totally exonerated” by special counsel Robert Mueller was rejected by Mr Mueller in a hearing on Wednesday.

Mr Mueller said he had not exonerated Mr Trump of obstruction of justice.

Only then do we get a grudging admission that Mueller did not establish collusion between Trump and the Russians. I suppose an ‘editor’ read the report by Anthony Zurcher after it was published and decided to do some damage control. After all, only in its worst nightmares would the BBC want to be regarded as being fair to Donald Trump.

If hacks from the BBC see this post, they might like to be educated on the outrage from some Republicans over the witch hunt against the president, as expressed during several hours of questioning of Mueller on Wednesday. OK, it’s highly unlikely but hope springs eternal in the human breast:

Jim Jordan

Matt Gaetz

Ken Buck

Guy Reschenthaler

Ben Cline

And here’s Devin Nunes:

Welcome everybody to the last gasp of the Russia collusion conspiracy theory.

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11 Responses to BBC slips up, but bounces back

  1. Guest Who says:

    Jon Sopel got back to Washington yet having parked his a/c chilled Fiat 500?

    As an aside, where has he parked it and why given he surely lives in the USA? Rental? One of Andy Marr’s less cool sweet ride loaners?

    I worked a few decades overseas and never kept a car here. And tended as a consequence to use the train to get to and from the airport.

    It was a different time I guess.


    • Beltane says:

      Probably your decision would have been influenced by having to pay for the parking/storage? Our Jon doesn’t have to concern himself with such niceties – we’re happy to pick up all his tabs.
      Because he’s worth it.


  2. NCBBC says:

    Re: Pres Donald Trump – I cant think of a single person, now or in the past, who has been subjected to such sustained vicious attacks by the media and the establishment, over a period of almost three years. And far from folding and crawling into a dark hole, has given given his enemies such a hiding, that they are crying.

    The BBC should be ashamed that they have taken part in a witch hunt and a hate campaign against a head of state. They have no business in their vituperative propaganda against a friendly foreign country’s head of state. I certainly doubt they would do such a thing to an ayatollah.

    1. First he is the president of a loyal ally who has nothing but affection for the UK

    2. He is the president of the most powerful country in the world. Offending him is beyond stupid.

    3. The BBC has behaved in much the same way as our lamented ambassador to America. Despite his general stupidity, he had the good sense to hide it in supposedly confidential letters. The BBC has no such excuse, unless the BBC’s intent is to harm the UK.

    4. We are in a jam in the Gulf at the moment. Our two warships are out on their own. Why and how so?
    Within stones throw is the most powerful fleet in the world, and a half dozen US bases. These forces regard us as part of them. How is it that we have left ourselves in the cold?

    Though the BBC cannot be held responsible for the last, they certainly have contributed to a hostile atmosphere to the USA and its head of state, within and without parliament.


    • TrueToo says:


      True, President Trump has come under sustained attack from the Democrats, their allies in the lefty media and other assorted members of a worldwide motley crew and even his fellow Republicans – from the moment he stepped on the stage to contest the Republican primaries until now.

      Looking at it from that point of view, his supporters appear to be a small minority, but I think he has enough support within America at least to coast to victory in 2020. People really like his don’t-give-a-damn attitude and the way he punches back twice as hard at his opponents and often floors them.

      If he doesn’t win, the USA is up a creek with no paddle.

      Re your post below, I hadn’t thought that Zurcher might be behaving like a genuine journalist for now because of new political realities in the UK. I guess it’s possible.


      • NCBBC says:


        The BBC is under fire as it backed the Remain group. Its opposition to Brexit was total, no balance whatever.

        Now we have a supposedly Brexit PM. Too, there is the small business of the BBC forcing the elderly to fork out £155 to support the lavish life style of BBC apparatchiks. An election is coming shortly. The Tories are not too popular. The last thing they want is to be hitched to an unpopular BBC tax.

        The USA is not too happy with the BBC either. The BBC left itself open to political attack on all sides. I think the BBC is being careful in case it put itself in a trap.

        We will see more balance as well as Boris friendly comment till the danger recedes.


    • Scroblene says:

      Blair also took a load of dosh from them, Vlad.

      Seems to run in the leftie veins, all this blood money.


  3. NCBBC says:

    Then I had a look at BBC coverage, fully expecting the bias to jump out at me, especially when the name Anthony Zurcher appeared at the top of the first Google result. It didn’t. It was so factual and balanced I nearly fell off my chair.

    What has changed in the UK is the occupant of no. 10.

    From which one surmises that BBC’s attitude to Pres Trump was probably reflecting the attitude of T May. Her strategy could have been that if she offended Pres Trump, his vocal outburst would have been sufficient to get parliament to accept her WA. BBC would go along quite happily.

    It didnt work. Clearly Pres Trump outplayed her.

    Different boss, different tune.

    Moreover, the Mueller report was a damp squib. Different boss at no. 10, who is looking to the USA, and a confident Pres Trump, and all of a sudden things are looking very sensitive for the BBC.


  4. Richard Pinder says:

    Presumption of guilt is the principle that one is considered guilty unless proven innocent: thus the burden of proof is on the accused, not the accuser. Presumption of guilt is a denial of an international human right under Article 11 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was in response to the use of the presumption of guilt by the Fascists and Nazis in the war. But in America this human right was violated by McCarthyism (guilty of conspiring with Russia) in the 1950’s. It has now come back to America in a big way with the Democratic Party using it in the Kavanaugh incident (guilty of sexual assault) and Donald Trump and his supporters (guilty of conspiring with Russia). This is because the Clintons took advice from Liberal Fascists to “accuse the other side of that which you are guilty”


  5. Annunaki says:

    Yes but do not forget all the purple haired, pierced brigade over here, allowed to repeatedly march though London protesting against Trumps election (i.e. democracy) whilst supporting a sexual assaulter (Clinton) and his enabling wife who attacked the victims

    Repeatedly and delightedly reported by the BBC who ignored larger marches for Tommy Robinson BTW

    And who also ran a racist campaign against Obama, now conveniently forgotten, for the Democrat nomination


  6. MarkyMark says: