Mardell Tells A White House Lie

Yes, I say “lie”. Mark Mardell is lying. I say he’s lying and not merely reporting something when he’s misinformed, or making a claim based on false information for which he’s not responsible. I’m saying Mardell is lying because he knows what he’s saying is not true.

The BBC’s US President editor continues pushing the White House talking points about the “Sequester” budget cuts on Today, and here’s a link to the printed version.

Sequester budget cuts: America’s grim fairy tale

It’s more or less the same biased stuff he produced the other day, which I wrote about here. This time, though, instead of avoiding telling you who really came up with the Sequester plan, Mardell just openly lies about it.

Many Republicans say the idea for the “sequester” budget cuts was President Obama’s in the first place. The White House rejects that.

Whoever came up with the idea, the 2011 law meant failure to agree would cut both cherished Democratic programmes that helped the poor and defence spending beloved of Republicans.

There’s even a bit of bias in the last line there, which I’ll get to in a moment. First, to expose the lie.

It’s not just Republicans saying it. By phrasing it that way, Mardell leads you to believe that it’s a matter of opinion. In fact, as I showed in my previous post on Mardell’s spin, the White House has admitted that it was the President’s offer. I’ll just reprint the quote from CNBC (not Fox News, not Breitbart) about it, to save defenders of the indefensible the pain of having to read another post of mine:

Woodward documents in his 2012 book The Price of Politics that team Obama first proposed the idea of the sequester. Expanding on his work in a Sunday Washington Post op-ed, he noted—as he has before—that both President Obama and his would-be Treasury Secretary Jack Lew lied on the campaign trail by saying the sequester originated with House Republicans. The White House has now ceded that fact.

“Fact”. Not good enough for you? Forbes says it was His idea. The Washington Post, which Mardell reads regularly, gives His claim Four Pinocchios, and provides evidence to back up the fact that it was His idea. Even Politifact rates the President’s claim that the cuts was Congress’s idea as “mostly false”Politico, which Mardell reads regularly, almost admitted it, but they couldn’t quite bring themselves to hurt Him and so framed it in an amusingly contorted bit of spin that would make Helen Boaden proud:

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) agreed to give Obama the authority…

Then there’s this bit from a different Washington Post article (not Fox News, not Breitbart):

Last year, the House passed two bills that would have stopped the sequester and replaced some of the spending cuts with others. But the White House said the magnitude of the cuts was unacceptable and would imperil critical government programs.

Anyone who gets their information on US issues from the BBC will be very aware of which Party runs the House. The President could have prevented this, but chose not to. Curiously, Mardell chose not to tell you about it.

If none of this is good enough for you, here’s White House spokesman Jay Carney, personal friend of BBC Washington correspondent and anchor of BBC World News America Katty Kay, saying, “the sequester was one of the ideas yes put forward, yes, by the president’s team.”

In other words, Mardell knows exactly who started this, exactly whose idea the sequestered cuts are, and exactly what he’s doing when he misleads you. Blame must always be shifted from The Obamessiah. Trapped in a world He never made, it’s not His fault, you see.

Almost forgot about the bias in that sentence about which cuts supposedly hurt whom. Consider the pantomime caricatures Mardell uses: the Democrats want to help the poor, while it’s the war machine that’s so beloved by the Republicans. Can you tell where you’re meant to boo and hiss, and where you’re meant to cheer? I guess that makes Mardell the pantomime dame, although that’s probably an insult to the integrity of pantomime dames everywhere.

In case you didn’t come away from all this “journalism” with the idea that the cuts supposedly forced on Him by evil Republicans would be a catastrophe for the country (another White House talking point which is going to turn out not so true) and, by extension, the UK and the world (which is why it gets promoted on Today), the BBC’s US President editor ends with this bit of dramatic prose:

There is seemingly no end to this toxic tale of cruel dismemberment and government by crisis.

Emotive terms, value judgment, full stop. Notice whom he’s criticizing, and who gets a free pass. This is an editorial, an opinion piece, not journalism. Don’t trust him or the BBC on US issues.This is your license fee hard at work.

PS: I realize most people here don’t really care much about the US or much foreign stuff at all, and are mostly – and quite rightly – concerned with the BBC’s bias on domestic issues. All I can say is that you should be concerned that the BBC spreads poison elsewhere at your expense, and that they’ve clearly gone far beyond their remit of providing public service broadcasting and are actually dedicated to expanding the BBC’s tentacles across the globe purely because they can. The BBC exists now for itself, and not for you. It’s also a relentless drive for more revenue, something else that’s not supposed to be part of the BBC’s reason for existence. The BBC does this stuff in your name, and the BBC bias is everywhere, across the spectrum of broadcasting, all over the world.


Here is an interesting analysis of a BBC News bulletin provided by a B-BBC reader;

“The one o’clock news bulletin on BBC television today, the twelfth August 2011, was merely typical of all BBC news bulletins, but it would be useful to put it into a specimen bottle, for examination when- that is never!- the editorial slanting of BBC news reporting is subjected to full and detailed analysis.

In this bulletin the news editor launched the slur that Cameron had sought to take credit for using effective force against the rioters after the police leaders had been slow to intervene. (The BBC should be told to state their evidence for this or retract.) The left-wing misrepresentation of this claim is blatant beacause the Prime minister’s delayed arrival on the scene made this an issue which he would not and could not seek to exploit. Nevertheless when such a ploy is launched it is repeated as fact by other left-wing media colleagues. This evening, a Sky News political editor reported that some police chiefs whose names he could not divulge were secretly angry that Cameron was seeking personal credit.- real hard evidence! He then showed a clip of the Prime Minister talking on the subject with the tact and restraint that he had always maintained when this topic had been presented to him. The Sky commentator went on to give his authoritative verdict that Mr. Camer! on had moderated his attitude from the previous day, making an assumption into fact. Nice one!

The BBC bulletin targeted the Prime minister alone for raising this question in the parliamentary debate – with the sub-text that it was a preoccupation confined to the right wing. In fact, the BBC editor, as part of his duties must have seen the strong criticism to which Mr. Cameron was subjected from all parts of the house on the government’s failure to protect life and property during the agonising hours when the police applied the policy of non-provocative stand-off while rioters ran amok. If an objective reporter had chosen instead to quote the strongest expression of the indignation felt over this in the chamber, the words chosen would probably be those of Graham Stringer as eye witness and Labour Member for Manchester Blackley. The BBC was choosing to ignore also the harrowing testimony of thousands of citizens.

The last device of the BBC editor was to bring on the senior policemen. Previously, the left wing media would have represented them as the bungling enforcers of a Fascist state and would have only pointed their cameras at them if they were surrounded by reporters shouting repetitive questions and political and personal insults. However by a glorious irony, the BBC is now seeing these appointees of Tony Blair as absolute defenders of principle, who should have the authority to act without the interference of politicians. The Police leaders were therefore treated with reverence, as the bastions standing against the right wing political reaction of recent days.

The political purpose of what had preceded was made clear when a senior BBC News Editor was then interviewed to tell us that he was decreeing that the public debate should now move on (from the nasty matter about an ungovernable state – although he did not say so) to an examination of the reasons why the rioters/ protesters had acted in this way. We were given the warning that those who control the media were asserting themselves to divert attention from the realities of the previous week to the traditional theme of the guilt of the law-abiding victim. Evening broadcasts when inarticulate rioters nevertheless produced pre-primed sentences in this vein confirmed this.”


The underlying bias of the BBC comes across in some small ways as well as more obvious ways! I was listening to an interview concerning a new book on the interrogation of Rudolf Hess at 7.42am. John Humphyrs was conducting it and all seemed quite reasonable until suddenly, as from nowhere, Humphyrs makes a snide comment about waterboarding and then answers himself by pointing out that “some” use waterboarding as an interrogation tool. His voice was dripping in disgust – the most curious thing of all being that he seemed to talking to a voice in his own head. It’s located at 2.30m in – really odd. I suppose the BushHitler meme runs deep.