US Chat Show Host Shocked By Revelations About his Sex Life

Big on the BBC website headlines today was this about 62 year old US talk show host David Letterman

A man has been charged over an alleged plot to blackmail chat show host David Letterman over sexual relationships he had with female staff members.
CBS employee Robert “Joe” Halderman, was arrested after an undercover sting operation, New York authorities said.
Letterman confessed during a recording of his show, broadcast by CBS, that he had had sex with female colleagues.
He said a man had threatened to expose the relationships unless a payment of $2m (£1.2m) was made.

The American people breathed a collective sigh of relief – a clean, decent and always polite media hero is saved from the clutches of a blackmailer. Letterman himself said “This whole thing has been quite scary”

I wish someone had asked him if he had tried to “knock these women up” but no doubt his representative would have said that such crude remarks about a prominent media celebrity were cruel, demeaning and quite uncalled for. However, of course, slutty flight attendants from Alaska and their 14 yr old daughters, would be quite legitimate targets….

Polanski – Another Victim Of Rendition?

Roman Polanski ‘in fighting mood’ says the BBC in a piece heavily larded with comments by people who are shocked – shocked – by the fact that the Swiss authorities should have arrested him and also be considering an American request for extradition.

The Beeb finds a lot of people in the arts world eager to condemn, not just the arrest, but the idea that the US should still be chasing him for something that happened over thirty years ago. The Swiss press is quoted directly

Switzerland let a guest walk into a nasty trap. We should be ashamed,” said tabloid newspaper Blick.
Daily paper Le Temps said Switzerland had “shocked film buffs and friends of the arts with its kindly and efficient co-operation with US justice. It has angered Poland and France”.

It almost smells like Rendition…

Strangely enough, even though Polish and French diplomats are mentioned adding their protests, the BBC fails to complete all the dots – so let’s ask Kate Harding of to add the little bit the BBC forgot, the bit that got him convicted…

Let’s keep in mind that Roman Polanski gave a 13-year-old girl a Quaalude and champagne, then raped her, before we start discussing whether the victim looked older than her 13 years, or that she now says she’d rather not see him prosecuted because she can’t stand the media attention. Before we discuss how awesome his movies are or what the now-deceased judge did wrong at his trial, let’s take a moment to recall that according to the victim’s grand jury testimony, Roman Polanski instructed her to get into a jacuzzi naked, refused to take her home when she begged to go, began kissing her even though she said no and asked him to stop; performed cunnilingus on her as she said no and asked him to stop; put his penis in her vagina as she said no and asked him to stop; asked if he could penetrate her anally, to which she replied, “No,” then went ahead and did it anyway, until he had an orgasm.

Now that makes the whole thing better balanced, doesn’t it?

Just saying…..

Anti Obama Violence Erupting in Kentucky?

Pelosi might be right about those anti Obama wingnuts, according to the BBC

US police are investigating the death of a man who was found hanged from a tree in rural Kentucky with the word “Fed” scrawled on his chest.
Bill Sparkman, 51, had been going door-to-door in Clay County collecting census data.
The FBI is investigating whether Mr Sparkman was victim of anti-government sentiment.

Earlier this morning it was on the front page but has now been moved to “Americas”…maybe because of this?

But the motivation behind the killing — if indeed it was a killing — is not clear at this point.
A spokesman for the Kentucky police told TPMmuckraker last night that police were still looking into death, that an autopsy has been scheduled, and no cause of death has yet been listed.

And notice that the BBC “forgot” this from ABC

Investigators are saying little about the crime, but some people wonder if his death in the remote part of southeastern Kentucky known for its meth labs and hidden marijuana fields had less to do with his job than simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And another strange factoid emerges, courtesy of TPM

Late Update: An FBI spokesman, ratcheting back speculation that Sparkman’s death was an act of anti-government violence, tells us that he was found with his feet on the ground, not hanging from a tree as previously reported.

mmmm…that little titbit about anti-government sentiment – was it so tempting that the BBC should couldn’t hold back? And would they have even bothered if it had happened before January 2009?

Just asking…….

BBC Once More Open to Climate Change Doubts…

It was a magical moment and, of course, the BBC captured it.

A 13-year-old Indian school girl has addressed world leaders during the inaugural session at the UN Climate Change Summit in New York.
During her speech, Yugratna Srivastava from Lucknow appealed to the world’s leaders to do more to combat the effects of climate change, asking “is this what we are going to give to our future generations?”

But later the BBC, wishing to be balanced, reported that not all the leaders were impressed…

Czech President Vaclav Klaus sharply criticized a U.N. meeting on climate change on Tuesday at which U.S. President Barack Obama was among the top speakers, describing it as propagandistic and undignified.
“It was sad and it was frustrating,” said Klaus, one of the world’s most vocal skeptics on the topic of global warming.
“It’s a propagandistic exercise where 13-year-old girls from some far-away country perform a pre-rehearsed poem,” he said. “It’s simply not dignified.”
Klaus said there were increasing doubts in the scientific community about whether humans are causing changes in the climate or whether the changes are simply naturally occurring phenomena.
But politicians, he said, seem to be moving closer to a consensus on climate change.
“The train can’t be stopped and I consider that a huge mistake,” Klaus said.

Whoops – sorry! That comment from the Czech President came from Reuters…couldn’t find it on the BBC – I wonder why?

The BBC and Afghanistan – Every Little Helps..

• US in Afghanistan failure warning
• Italians mourn Afghanistan dead
• UK army ‘rotten’, Iraq probe told

Full marks for BBC News today – three of the top online headlines fitted neatly into one of the key items on the Corporation’s agenda which appears to be to do everything possible to build up the Taliban as the genuine voice of the Afghan people and to undermine the NATO mission in Afghanistan (and also to remind us of previous problems in Iraq). Remember a few weeks ago when Paxman was haranguing the Afghan ambassador to Britain about electoral “corruption” and a proposed law allowing an Afghan husband to starve his wife to death if she refuses to have sex with him. Paxo forgot to mention that corruption was rife under the rule of the Taliban, that the wife starving law was designed as a political titbit to attract Taliban supporters and that the Taliban are explicitly opposed to elections or, indeed, any form of democratic political structure.

Keep tuned in for many further “failure”, “quagmire”, “probe” headlines unless, of course, the McChrystal/ Petraeus surge starts to work then Afghanistan will disappear from the BBC headlines just as it Iraq did during the Bush surge in 2007/2008 (derided and disdained by every talking head until it started to work…..)

Mardell OBNs Obama

The President of cool, calm and thoughtful

If there was a message, it was about tone. Opinion polls seem to show that whatever people think of his policies, people like the president. His calm and thoughtful manner, the impression that he will look at a picture in the round, rather than make a knee-jerk judgement, seems to go down well. This interview showed him as almost professorial, like a distinguished figure from a think-tank, compared with the Obama who roused the troops when he talked to the unions, or indeed when he addressed Congress. The message is that Obama is still keeping his cool, and sticking to long-term goals.

Mardell has only been BBC blogging for a few weeks but it is quite clear that he is attempting to out Dionne E J Dionne himself in reaching for that coveted place in Private Eye’s OBN spot. The gospel according to Mardell is crystal clear. Here is a cool,calm, reasonable guy just trying to do his best to keep his fellow Americans healthy by setting up a government controlled insurance option and a handful of wingnuts were dominating the media and drowning out reasonable debate

Indeed, in the four or five speeches I heard on the radio, details of tax rises and healthcare were hardly mentioned: the theme was “recapturing America” from “tyranny” and regaining “freedom”.

Mardell’s answer? Obama needs to “rise above” the 24 hour news cycle, focus on strategy and leave his “foot soldiers” (orchestrated, one assumes, by David Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel) to deal with things at the tactical level.

The implication here is that the US media (TV and print) is allied with Obama’s opponents in ferociously undermining the administration’s healthcare proposals….if only! The big guns of the US media (with the exception of Murdoch’s Fox channel and his papers) are as dominated by the left as the BBC over here. The Tea Party healthcare protests stemmed from a similar spontaneous grassroots movement opposing the magnitude huge burden of debt being placed on future generations by the Obama/Pelosi/Reid stimulus. The Tea Parties had been happening for months, well reported in the blogosphere but generally ignored by the US media (and, naturally, the BBC)

Whilst painting the opponents of Obamacare as a noisy, angry minority Mardell conveniently forgets the fact that most polls are currently reporting the USA as either evenly divided or with a slight majority against the proposals..

But then the US networks and the Beeb, so meticulous in reporting anti Bush demos, Hurricane disasters and corrupt Republican politicians, suddenly developed tunnel vision once the Democrats took over. Hence little or nothing was reported about the background of Obama’s prospective “Green Czar” Van Jones until the blogosphere pushed it forward. To be fair to Mardell it was bubbling just before he arrived (ignored by Justin Webb, of course, until Jones resigned) but nothing about the current ACORN scandal from either Mardell or, apparently, BBC News.

No doubt about it – apparatchnik Mardell toeing the BBC line in the USA as diligently as he did in Europe….