The BBC continues its ‘Altered States’ series of reports to convince you that the US has somehow become more divided and racist since the election of a black President in 2008. It wouldn’t be called ‘Altered’ if it wasn’t somehow different from before, right? The last installment also featured race and pushed a “Racist US” Narrative. I won’t go so far as to say the reference to the movie was deliberate because of the ugly, base, primitive nature of the proto-human to which the star reverted, and the BBC is making a subtle accusation that whites who will vote for the eventual Republican candidate want to turn back the clock to the days of Jim Crow laws, lynching, and real oppression of minorities. I’m sure the BBC editor in charge just thought it was a cute turn of phrase. But you can all draw your own conclusions.
The latest installment by digital media Beeboid Franz Strasser uses the racially divided city of St. Louis, Missouri to help paint that picture. The rich whites get the south side, while the devastated blacks suffer and are left to rot in the north. This selectively-portrayed microcosm is supposed to reinforce the notion that the US is racially divided, laying the groundwork for the idea that opposition to a black President is based on racism, rather than genuine, honest opposition to His policies. The city is clearly racially divided, and I don’t mean to denigrate the plight of African-Americans in this obviously failed city. I’m concerned here only about the biased reporting.
Strasser has previous on dishonest reporting for the BBC. His first series of reports were about immigration in the US (middle of pg. 4 of the open thread). The dishonesty lay in the fact that the word “illegal” was censored from every single report, even while he was reporting from two ‘Sanctuary Cities’, which openly flout immigration law and harbor illegals. It was especially dishonest to omit the term because this report was conceived and produced when the illegal immigration issue was at the top of the news cycle. This latest report for the ‘Altered States’ series is no different.
Spot the Missing Political Party. The Democratic Party has dominated St. Louis for more than 60 years. There hasn’t been a Republican mayor since 1949. All the policies which have contributed to the current sad state of affairs in the city have been enacted by Democrats. Yet Strasser fails to mention the political scene. If this had been a Republican-controlled city, you know the BBC would have made sure to point that out.
The first black Alderman (the Board of Aldermen is the equivalent of the City Council in other cities) was elected in 1943. Today, no fewer than 13 of the 28 Aldermen are African-American, including the Board President. Now, does this sound like a city where whites oppress blacks and keep them down? It sounds more like Democrats and Democrat policies failing them than anything else. Yet the BBC doesn’t want you to know any of this, as it doesn’t help the “Divided, Racist US/Racist Republicans” Narrative they want to create in your minds in this re-election year.
(Coincidentally, another Democrat-controlled city and home base of the Community-Organizer-in-Chief, Chicago, also has the Alderman system. Funny how that works, no?)
As it happens, the Tea Party movement, which the BBC often portrayed as racist, and US President editor Mark Mardell believes to be driven by crypto-racism, began in St. Louis, when a white woman started her own little protest against high taxes forced on the region by Democrats. This was weeks before Rick Santelli’s famous rant which gave the movement its name. Strasser missed an opportunity for race-baiting there because he, like all of his ill-informed colleagues at the BBC, simply didn’t know. Of course, everyone here knows of the BBC’s ignorance on the Tea Party movement.
In any case, there’s something else Strasser left out of his sad tale of one city divided. While showing you street after street of empty, boarded-up houses and dead commercial blocks, he deliberately left out the fact that those buildings are empty because the African-American population has been leaving the area in search of better schools. They left to seek out a better life for themselves and for their children, because the Democrat-controlled city has failed them repeatedly for decades. Instead, you’re left with a racially-charged story without a single mention of the politics which led to the situation, with no information whatsoever given to help you understand it.
As always, don’t trust the BBC on US issues. Especially, it seems, when it comes to one of their themed series of reports.
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A while back, the BBC followed the lead of their brethren in the Left-wing US media and tried to get you to think the Occupiers were similar to the Tea Party movement. This was done because – to the media’s dismay – much of the country failed to hate the Tea Party movement and buy into the demonization promoted by the press. So, having resigned themselves to that fact, the media luvvies tried to gain acceptance for the Occupiers by trying to promote the idea that they had similar ideals to the Tea Partiers. The BBC even played a little game of “Who Said It” to help drive home this notion.
Now it appears the two movements do have something in common after all: their opposition to The Obamessiah.
The unthinkable finally happened last night in San Francisco: the Tea Party shared a protest with the Occupiers, both groups angry with the same person. And who was this unifier, the only man who can bridge the divide and bring together all sides of the political spectrum? Why, President Obama, of course.
I don’t need to remind anybody here that the Narrative from the BBC has been that opposition to the President is not so much policy-based as it is steeped in racism. They simply refuse to acknowledge that people can be genuinely opposed to His policies for legitimate reasons. See the video of Mark Mardell’s appearance at the BBC College of Journalism for a reminder of his mocking of a Southern woman whom he describes as a racist, as well as his opinion that the Tea Partiers are really, deep down, under the skin, concerned about the Government spending money “on people not like them”.
So, one has to ask now: Is the Occupy Wall St. movement racist?
Over to you, BBC.
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This is regarding a comment from Dez on an open thread which had already dropped off the main page by the time I noticed it. I haven’t had time to put together the response his comment deserves, and since I think there is an important point to be made here, I’m making it a main post rather than continuing the discussion in the middle of an old thread.
A week ago on a previous Open Thread, John Horne Tooke commented in response to a criticism of BBC reporting by “As I See It” that the BBC’s biased coverage of the US had convinced his college-educated daughter that Republicans “do not believe in science”. It was on Page 7 of this Open Thread (Js-kit/Echo won’t allow linking directly to a comment).
That’s obviously about either Creationsim or Warmism, or both, on which the BBC has form. Basically this is based on the assumption that all Republicans are “climate deniers” and Christians who believe that the Earth is 6000 years old. The BBC has declared that skepticism that human activity is the driving factor in Global Warming is “anti-science”, and so all Republicans get tarred with that epithet, even though there are plenty who buy into Warmism. As for Creationsim, people like Justin Webb and Nicky Campbell (R5L Sept. 8, 2011) have conflated a belief in God as Creator (a very broad term) with the belief that the Earth is only 6000 years old, and suggested that, for example, both Sarah Palin and Rick Perry are unfit for high public office because of it. In the case of JHT’s daughter, she got it from Chris Evans. There’s probably also something there about opposition to embryonic stem-cell research being anti-science. It’s easy for the BBC audience to assume that this is the case for all Republicans, since the Beeboids themselves keep reinforcing that opinion. In short, biased BBC reporting, along with constant partisan attacks from BBC Light Entertainment personalities, forms incorrect opinions.
So I extrapolated from that to a pet peeve of mine, and replied that if JHT’s daughter also thought that the Tea Party movement was driven by crypto-racism, he’d know whom to blame. I was of course referring to the BBC US President, Mark Mardell, along with the fact that the majority of BBC reporting about the Tea Party movement has suggested that opposition to the President was based more on the color of his skin than on any policies. There’s plenty of evidence for this, which I’ll get to in due course. Dez disagreed with me. His comment in full is below the fold.
No! It’s all the fault of Mark Mardell because he told the BBC College of Journalism that; “I’ve been to lots of Tea Party meetings and I honestly don’t think most of them are racist… I think for them it is about the Government spending their money…”
Bascially, Dez’s argument is that since others besides the BBC have pointed to fringe elements and isolated incidents, the BBC cannot be blamed for influencing public opinion on this matter. I won’t put words in his mouth and say that Dez also believes that the Tea Party is driven by racism. I think he does, although I’m happy to be corrected if he chooses to explain himself. Furthermore, he’s also misrepresenting what Mardell actually said at the BBC CoJ.
First of all, let’s discuss who influences public opinion. 50% of the UK public watch the BBC for their news. The BBC has far more influence there than any other television news organization. BBC News Online is Britain’s most popular news website, especially seeing a 109% boost in visitors during the last two years from that desirable 18-24 year old demographic. Nobody has as much influence in online news as the BBC. Outside of that, while Radio 4 has lost some of its audience share, Chris Evans has nearly 9 million listeners. So when he says the Tea Party is racist, he reaches more people at the same time – including JHT’s daughter – than just about anyone else in Britain who isn’t an athlete, royalty, or on X/Strictly whatever. Then there are all the Left-wing comedy programmes and news quizzes, on both radio and tv. The Beeboids at the Today Programme believe they set the agenda for the nation’s news each day. No other media organization has anything like the number of channels or online presence or audience figures of the BBC. It’s not even close. The BBC has by far more influence on public opinion than the rest of them.
The Daily Mail may have passed the New York Times as the top online news source, but how much is that due to celebrity gossip and photos of women in bikinis, never mind the fact that the NY Times has a pay wall which cuts readership short? The Mail got 45.3 million unique visitors in December, Those figures are worldwide, not only British readers. The BBC suggests that’s more about “popular journalism”, big photos, an search engine optimization than the quality of the actual hard news, so it’s difficult to claim that the Mail has more influence on public opinion than the BBC. Sure, the Mail can raise a fuss sometimes and affect a tiny bit of change, as Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross found out. But do 50% of the public get their serious news from the Mail, or do more of the British public read their website for news than BBC? Clearly not.
So I think it’s fair to say that the BBC has more influence on public opinion than any other media outlet. Does the BBC overwhelmingly try to tell you that the Tea Party movement is racist, inspired by racism, or is filled with racists? Yes. The list is seemingly endless.
Jonny Dymond recently made a dishonest report about how hate groups are on the rise because there’s a black President. This was part of the BBC Narrative which began in 2008, that opposition to The Obamessiah can be due only to skin color and not policy.
In one of his earliest blog posts since taking over for Justin Webb, Mark Mardell was openly asking if opposition to the President was driven by racism. He said that, considering how important racism has been in US political history, “it would be strange if it now mattered not a jot”. In his first weeks on the job, Mardell was already ignoring the main economic policy points of the Tea Party movement and Republican opposition to a Democrat President, and focusing instead on a suspicion he has, based on small evidence.
Not long after that, Kevin “Teabagger” Connolly was pushing the same Maureen Dowd article from the NY Times that Mardell waas. In that same post, David Vance also tells us about Gavin Essler in the Daily Mail scowling at those Hitler signs, and whipping up fear that someone might assassinate the President. So even if the Mail does have a negative influence on the public, we can partly blame Beeboids for that, too.
There have been plenty of comments on this blog about Richard Bacon and Victoria Derbyshire pushing this same Narrative, never mind all those edgy comedians who make a good living working the Left-wing tropes.
The next issue is whether or not Dez is correct that the outliers his examples highlight are enough to convince someone that the Tea Party movement is, in fact, racist. I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog trying to show that, contrary to BBC reporting, the movement is actually driven by people’s unhappiness with the President’s and the Democrats’ economic policies, and there’s no need to get into all that here.
The short answer is that every large gathering and movement is going to have its parasitical fringe element, people who ride the coat tails of the larger movement to push their own issues. It’s become a cliché that every Left-wing protest march will feature someone with a “Free Palestine” sign or a “Troops out of Iraq” placard or a hoodie with that “A” for Anarchy symbol, regardless of the issue of the day. But we don’t say that the student riots protests against tuition fees were driven by support for the Palestinian cause. The same thing goes for Right-wing gatherings and pro-life supporters or similar. So there are obviously going to be some racists somewhere who see protests against the President as an opportunity to bare their own racist grievances. It can’t be helped. Hell, there might even be people who actually are racist, but are also legitimately concerned about the destructive economic policies.
However, I’d say that it’s impossible for a grassroots movement which grew into a national phenomenon to be largely driven by racism if Herman Cain and Col. Allen West got so much support from them. The second Tea Party protest I attended back in 2009 was hosted by a black man. And how racist can people be who vote for Bobby Jindal or Marco Rubio? Or are there actual racists who hate black people but have no problem with Indians or Hispanics?
But I think it would me more informative to instead answer a question with a question.
If we’re supposed to accept that the Tea Party movement is driven by racism based on a few outliers and isolated incidents, would Mardell and Connolly and John Horne Tooke’s daugher and Dez equally say that the Occupy Wall St. movement is driven by anti-Semitism if I provided several examples? Would they do what we’re so often instructed not to about Muslims and extremism or young black men and crime, and stain the majority for the behavior of the few? Would, then, the following be enough evidence to declare that anti-Jewish sentiment does matter a jot in the Occupy movement:
Pete Sutherland traveled to Zuccotti Park all the way from Georgia Friday, shivering as he wielded a handmade sign that read, “The Reason the Arabs Hate Us.”
“Jews are the smartest people in the world,” said Sutherland, 79. Not in a good way.
“They control the media.”
But no one tells the truth about the Hebrew people, as he sees it, because “the media doesn’t want to commit suicide by losing the Jewish advertisers.’’
“I’m not anti-Semitic,” he finished.
The New York Times thought the Occupy movement was getting such a bad reputation that they went out to make a story defending them. The Times instructs us not to smear the majority for the acts of a few.
A quick sampling of the anti-Semitism on display among the Occupy Wall Street set yields the flamboyant and aggressive protester who yells,“You’re a bum, Jew” at his yarmulke-wearing interlocutor; the conspiracy theorist who laments that “Jewish money controls American politics,” and warns the Russians not to let the Jews take over Russia too; and the self-described Nazi with the swastika tattoo who regrets that America has been handed over to “other people.” Ah, people power.
I could go on. So do we declare that the Occupy movement is mainly anti-Semitic, or that it’s fair for people to get that idea? I didn’t say so after my encounter with the Occupiers at Zuccotti. In fact, I said that, despite the videos I’d seen and reports I’d read, I hadn’t seen any real anti-Semitism there, and so wouldn’t declare the entire movement tainted. Which brings me to my final point: Dez’s misrepresentation of Mardell’s CoJ appearance and misunderstanding and mischaracterization of my comment.
You can watch Mardell speak for himself here. (@ around 54:20 if the link isn’t direct)
Mardell mocks a Southern white woman while confirming his off-camera colleague’s opinion that racism was certainly a factor in the 2008 election. “You knew exactly what it was,” he chortles. He then says that he doesn’t think “most” of the people at Tea Party protests he’s been to are racists. “Certainly not in a straightforward sense.” Dez conveniently elided that bit. Which leads to his error about what I said. Mardell isn’t saying that most of us aren’t racists, he’s saying that it’s there underneath the surface of the economic issues. “Deeper than that, it’s about the Government spending their money on people who are not like them.” Dez conveniently elided that bit as well. Dishonesty? Or a simple mistake? Only Dez can tell us.
I said at the time, and have repeated many times since, that Mardell believes the Tea Party movement to be driven by crypto-racism. His own words tell you so. Now, I’m not blaming Mardell’s appearance at the CoJ for people being misinformed. That’s a misunderstanding on Dez’s part. What I am saying is that Mardell, the BBC’s top man in the US, believes it to be true, and that it influences his and his fellow Beeboids’ reporting. The question from his colleague presupposes that racism is a factor, and Mardell confirms it. This tells us the editorial opinion of and the conventional wisdom at the BBC, which informs all their reporting on the issue. In other words, they already thought that, long before Mardell’s appearance at the BBC CoJ. This is a problem. Aside from the smear factor, it also causes them to ignore or play down the real economic issues behind the opposition to the President’s and the Democrats’ agenda. Mardell can acknowledge that excessive government spending is a concern, but deep down it’s driven by racism. Even when writing about Herman Cain’s popularity, he actually thinks it’s important to ask if the man’s black skin would “bother any right-wingers”. So Dez’s portrayal of Mardell is absolutely false.
Of course there’s no memo going out telling everyone to push the racism angle or anything. It’s just groupthink, reinforced from the top. They read it in the Washington Post and the New York Times and the HuffingtonPost, and they hear it from their Left-wing associates and friends, and laugh at it with their favorite Left-wing comedians. It’s visceral, and is spread throughout the BBC. That’s why you hear it not only from Mardell and Dymond, but from Bacon and Campbell and all the rest of them.
And that’s why 50% of the public who watch BBC News, as well as heavens knows how many more who rely on BBC News Online – who combined make up the majority of the population – think the Tea Party movement is driven by crypto-racism.
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Well then, I doubt that there is anyone who has turned the BBC on today who has not been beaten around the head by the racism that abounds in the UK, in the Police, and as manifest in the murder of Stephen Lawrence. Look, like all civilised people I find the murder of any person revolting (One reason I am in favour of the death penalty, unlike the self righteous but hypocritical BBC ) but the BBC is absolutely cloying with all this talks of “Institutionalised racism.” I was amazed to hear former Met Commissioner Lord (sic) Blair actually boasting about the fact that the Police no longer treat all murders as equal. Truly we live in Orwellian times. I don’t understand how the BBC can elevate the murder of Stephen Lawrence to be above that of so many other vile acts but yet if we believe what it is broadcasting that is exactly the case. Do you agree?
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I’m no football fan but I think the BBC are off-side with their treatments of these two stories. First off, John Terry “racist” But earlier today, Luis Suarez “misunderstood”.Wonder could Terry claim he is of Uruguayan heritage?
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I came across this while looking for some Mardell quotes for a recent post, and saved it until after I’d had a long look at it and taken time to absorb it all. It’s an hour-long discussion with Mark Mardell and BBC Washington editor Simon Wilson about US politics and how the BBC is going to cover the looming (13 months away) second-most important election in human history.
Parts of it give a fascinating insight into the inner workings of the vast, multi-tentacled creature that is the BBC, as well as glimpses of how any large media organization operates. There’s talk of funding, use and distribution of resources, personnel, and reporting angles. On that score alone it’s worth watching. I’m going to post the video first, and my comments and analysis will be below the fold.
We learn that Mardell claims that he needs to ask not only what has gone wrong with the US economy, but why. He says he needs to ask not only if the Republicans hurt it but if actually the President’s policies might have harmed the recovery. He hasn’t done it yet, even after more than two years, and I don’t expect him to do it now. Still, he pretends that’s what he’s doing, and it’s nice to hear him acknowledge that it’s at least a valid question to ask.
Mardell states (@5:51)that the big story of the US economy is easy to “sell” to (meaning, I hope, gain the interest of)the British public because “it has such huge resonance here.” The President, he says, “is the last Keynesian standing. He’s still someone saying, the stimulus can work, that’s the way to get the economy going.” Mardell was encouraged, he explains, that after a recent blog post about the President’s latest Jobs Plan For Us, there were a bunch of Left-wing Brits commenting on his blog that this was great, the way to go, this is what Cameron should be doing, etc. This told Mardell that there was “a resonance” in Britain with the President’s policies. We’re seeing here clear proof that Mardell – and, as we’ll soon learn, the BBC – feels that he (and they) reflect the general thoughts and feelings of the British public. This supports Jeff Randall’s quote about how they think they are on the middle ground. And there’s much, much more of this kind of thing to come.
The first Republican candidate Mardell mentions by name is Huntsman. You may well ask who the hell that is, as he’s never gotten more than a couple percent of any vote or poll anywhere, and is on no one’s radar except far-Left foreigners and discussions inside the Beltway bubble. Mardell will return to Huntsman again, and we’ll learn later why that is.
When Mardell goes through the candidates, I was willing – at first – to cut him some slack over how he leaves Herman Cain for last, as this was done a month ago and Cain had yet to achieve the prominence he has now. But notice how Mardell again dismisses the “pizza millionaire”. (Millionaire: Boo!) I’ll get to why I won’t cut him slack for putting Cain at the bottom later on. When he gets to Huntsman again, he says that candidate is the favorite of Democrats, and I’ll leave it others to infer an attitude behind his facial expression and the way he says it, as well as the audience reaction.
13:30 Mardell says that the country is changing, and while he can’t say specifically what the President has done to affect that change, the country “is changing in His image”. To support this he points to the fact that there are now two Governors of Indian descent in…ahem…formerly racist Southern states. He doesn’t mention that both Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindal are Republicans, because that would detract from the notion that The Obamessiah has redeemed us to some degree. Of course, he totally contradicts that notion later on, but we’ll get to that in due course.
Then he says “on the other hand”, black poverty is the worst it’s been in almost thirty years. We saw this same blinkered attitude come out in his two recent blog posts where he visited struggling black people in Chicago. Because He is black, somehow economic policies will be aimed specifically at helping black people. Only a naive person who has a poor grasp of government and economics on a national scale will think that a black President can have a specific, immediate affect on the economic situation of millions of black people across the country. It makes no sense, but that was part of the Hope and Change Mardell expected. His last blog post shows that he does know better than that, but his and the BBC’s obsession with race and racial politics keeps driving him back to silly ideas. And hey: wasn’t He supposed to usher in a post-racial era? Emotion is getting the better of reason with Mardell here.
Maybe His policies have been crap? Nah.
In any case, Mardell concludes this section by laying out what he thinks are the main questions or points he and the Beeboids covering the US should be bringing up:
1. What has the President done to put Himself in this position? 2. Big up the resonances with the British audience (assuming, that is, the British public thinks like Beeboids do on issues such as taxation and stimulus) 3. What are the wider implications for America?
Ask yourselves how Mardell and the BBC have done so far on these. From what I can tell, the answer to the first question is “Nothing! Never!” The other two go some way towards explaining the BBC editors’ choice of stories and angles. And I suppose there’s really nothing wrong with the second two as general guidelines. Also, be sure to keep these, especially the first one, in mind over the next year of noise.
The floor is then handed over to Wilson, who goes into the more pragmatic aspects of newsgathering and coverage. I found this part rather interesting, and license-fee payers might also be interested to know how their money is being spent, and just why the BBC reports what it does.
We soon learn from Wilson that there has been a “huge investment” in the BBC’s online coverage of the US. That will be clear to anyone having a look recently, just from all those lightweight, magazine-style pieces about parks and some woman giving birth just after running a marathon. Well worth the money, I’m sure. By now they will have 11 full-time staff doing online reporting or those “digital media” magazine-style pieces they teach in courses in those feeder schools. And that doesn’t even include the usual Washington staff like Kim Ghattas and Katty Kay, or Laura Trevalyan in New York, or the number of on-air talent traipsing around the country, like Steve Kingston and Jonny Dymond. I think we’ve all noticed for a while now that the BBC has ramped up their US coverage.
Much later in the video, Wilson explains how these new hires “put great value” back into the news by providing real stories, etc. You can all judge for yourselves how much value for your money there is in these magazine-style fluff pieces. He says it’s partially driven by “commercial” concerns, which is, I think, a hint of the new international subscription scheme they’ve come up with. He does say that some of the new commercial money will go towards paying for cameramen and extra crew to follow the radio guys around.
At one point later on, they discuss how social media will play an important role. No, it isn’t what you think. Part of it is actually a fairly reasonable, if brief, discussion about how there will be debate events and whatnot driven by Twitter, and so that will be an important platform. But there’s more, which I’ll come to soon enough.
@ 25:00 I just want to add some info to Mardell’s remarks about why it’s not so exciting to get that sit-down interview with the President. He says that it’s because the message won’t be much different from what you already get from the members of the Administration because, unlike in British Governments, there isn’t really much policy conflict or different Cabinet members briefing against each other etc. This is true, but he only half way explains why this is. Obviously in the US the Cabinet and all people holding the various key positions in an Administration are not sitting politicians, aren’t vying for leadership, and aren’t fighting to get promoted to a better Cabinet position. It makes a big difference in so many ways, functionally and in message management.
@28:00 question from another Beeboid about the Republican candidate nobody except Mardell has ever cared about or thought had a chance: John Huntsman. His name comes up yet again, this time because he’s the only one fretting about Climate Change. Check out how Mardell answers, and the audience reaction. No further proof is needed of the BBC’s inner thinking on this issue. The discussion expands to the “anti-science party”, etc. Judge for yourselves, of course. But I wonder how many of these “pro-science” Beeboids believe in homeopathy or astrology?
It’s obvious that Mardell likes Huntsman, and he even says that nobody likes Huntsman except the Democrats, and that he’d fit right in with the British Conservative Party. I know, I know, let’s not get started on how the Conservative Party should be held in violation of the Trades Description Act. Just more insight into the Beeboid mindset. But this is why I won’t cut him slack on ignoring Cain earlier, and in his reporting. Even a month ago nobody outside his bubble thought Huntsman was going anywhere, whereas lots of people were already starting to take Cain seriously.
32:00 In response to a question/statement about how all this focus on the election leaves less room for the more interesting bigger picture of what the US is about, Mardell says he’s always wanting to “tell a greater American story”. He claims that’s what he always tries to do. Which is pretty funny considering how I’ve been saying that he should be called the US President editor precisely because that’s not what he does at all.
Then he says one of the voices he wants to look into is the “wealthy African American community”, specifically where the President comes from. We know now that he went out and did that, resulting in his recent blog post I discussed here. I bet he didn’t get what he expected there at all.
33:45 Mardell reveals that former BBC World News America executive producer Rome Hartman wanted to “ban all stories about guns and ban all stories about poor black Americans”. Which just tells me what lay behind the crap which led me to call it BBC World Propaganda America.
But then he says this: “You can’t censor bits of a country, you know, because it doesn’t fit the image you would like.” Oh, really now?
35:00 Mardell says that Jonny Dymond has done “some fantastic stuff”.
36:45 Mardell says that Twitter “doesn’t follow BBC guidelines.” He’s referring to accuracy, and not revealing personal biases all over the place, but it’s nice to hear them admit it nevertheless.
37:15 As part of his explanation of his feeling about how important Twitter can be as a source of mood, Mardell references the Tucson shooting (of Rep. Giffords and several other victims). He says when that happened, “the idea came out from Twitter that this was a bigger story about America;it says something about the tone of our politics. I mean, that came from Twitter, and it was absolutely right. Now, whether it created that because people like me reacted, and thought, ‘Well, that’s a good point.'”
We knew at the time, and it’s known now, that this simply wasn’t true. The murderer was mentally ill, with more political influences from the Left than from the Right. But the media – including Mardell and the BBC – used it to whip up anger against the Right, blaming Sarah Palin as an accessory to murder, etc. Mardell even used this lie to promote the idea that the President was healing the country. It was a disgrace then, and it’s a disgrace now that Mardell still apparently doesn’t realize what he’s done, or that he helped promote a lie.
40:00 Mardell agrees with a question about doing public figure profiles and how he wants to widen the focus to say something about “a wider sense of America”. You mean like how we’re racists or anti-science or want justice at the point of a gun?
41:20 Wilson explains how some beats are more important than others, and how he’s spent his career in places which are “stand-by” stories. On a slow news day, he says, the BBC News producers will want to “just shove an Israeli-Palestinian conflict in, because people always that.” That’s not anti-Israel bias in and of itself, of course, and it’s a no-brainer that throwing red meat out will rouse the dogs and get an audience reaction. But how sad that they see it as titillation in this way. He does go on to explain how it’s just part of the news cycle, outlets need to put something out, etc., so I guess that’s just the jaded journo talking there, and won’t try to read any more into it.
43:15 A female Beeboid brings up Huntsman yet again (he’s gotten more mentions inside this BBC bubble during the last 45 minutes than in the entire US media over the last six months). “How much further to the Right has American politics shifted? Superficially, it would seem much further to the Right. Has the center ground moved far to the right of what we would consider the center here?”
When did we really shift to the Left, exactly? Justin Webb’s book about the “strange death of Social Conservatism” in the US aside, that is. Yes, we elected a Democrat, but that had a whole lot to do with white guilt and the self-congratulatory outcome of electing a black man, not to mention a general backlash from the middle against the policy failures of Bush’s second term, and the entire media (except Fox News and a couple of radio talking heads, sure) being in the tank for The Obamessiah, especially the agenda-setting New York Times and Washington Post, as well as the MTV/Comedy Central crowd. Let’s not forget that it wasn’t exactly a landslide victory, despite the swooning of the Beeboids, the way the electoral counts look, and the number of celebrities crying on camera. It was 52% to 46% of the popular vote. Decisive, yes. A sign that the country had moved so far to the Left that today we’re “much further to the Right”, no. Mardell, naturally, thinks the woman’s observation is correct.
The Tea Party movement started less than a month after the inauguration. That has to be the fastest cultural shift in history, right? And remember that the Beeboids said at first that the whole thing was just sour grapes from whites who wouldn’t have voted for Him anyway. Recall that Wilson was just a few minutes ago talking about how Presidential candidates must find the center ground to win elections. So why isn’t the woman asking if the President had shifted too far to the Left, and the country was moving away from that, which is by default to the Right, but not necessarily so far to the right of center? Because He’s in the correct place, of course, and anyone not agreeing must be wrong. Again, very revealing of the Beeboid mindset and ideological ground.
To prove his point that the country really has shifted to the Right, Mardell says that politicians and operatives who’ve been in the business for 30 years say that it’s nothing like the old days, when they could just have a drink with the opposition. If one isn’t lost in the mist of bias, one might say that it could also be due to the number of “to hell with business as usual” types who have come in, and the influence of the Tea Party movement being fed up with Corporate Welfare, Corporate Cronyism, Big-Government spending (all of which flourished under Bush, let’s be clear). Funny how when the Occupy Wall Street darlings say the same thing, they’re somehow not much further to the Left than these Beeboids. We can see the perspective here, see the prism through which they view everything. The US is much further to the Right on Social issues than Britain, as if the 60s never happened, says Mardell. Particularly homosexuality. I wonder if this isn’t just another example of the Beeboids assuming their own viewpoints reflect that of the country.
This reveals the difficulty as well as the madness of defining the US in British terms. It also shows that they really do look down on us from on high, and from the Left. Wilson follows this up by saying that “the divisiveness is just almost impossible to, kind of, quantify.” He says it’s worse than the Middle East, because Israel and Hamas sit down and talk sometimes. Yes, that’s right. Notice how none of this is blamed on their beloved Obamessiah. No mention of President “I won”, no mention of “don’t call my bluff”, no blame even remotely directed His way. Eventually Wilson wonders if there might be a bit of blame laid on the Democrats’ doorstep. He recalls that the Dems were vicious about Bush, so maybe there’s a smidgeon of that left, eh? How generous and impartial of you, Simon. You mean there might be someone else to blame? Unbelievable bias on display here.
50:19 After Mardell discusses how probably the best angle for the Republicans to take would be to push the line that the President may be a nice guy, very intellectual, etc., He’s just not up to the job, a female Beeboid asks how much of that is felt in the US, and that “I do think that’s the mood here, actually.” Wow. That’s the first time I’ve heard that coming out the mouth of a Beeboid. Mardell replies that he thinks it’s “pretty widespread”, then relates the story of a black Virginia businessman he met who said that in the real world the President would be out of a job for failing to produce.
I have to admit that I’m stunned by this. Not that Mardell is aware that people think the President is inept (he brings it up every once in a while), but that he understands that there’s at least a grain of truth to it and doesn’t place blame everywhere else. This is so absent from his reporting it’s not even funny. Sometimes we’ve seen him express disappointment when a speech doesn’t inspire him enough, or lay out the policy attacks he thinks would work, but no way has his overall reporting given anyone the idea that the idea that the President is inept is widespread, at least without qualifying it somehow by saying those people are ideologically opposed to Him or racist or something.
The next question is about how much religion will play in the election. Mardell again reveals that the BBC’s general anti-religion bias accurately reflects the views of the British public. Believing in God isn’t normal in Britain, he says. I guess Songs of Praise just panders to the tiniest of minorities? The Church of England is just something they put on the tin? I hope no Muslims hear about this.
Michelle Bachmann’s chances hadn’t yet tanked when this was made, so I won’t blame him for going on about her here. I will, however, complain that he’s unfairly suggesting that she might still want the death penalty enforced for adultery and blasphemy. This simply isn’t credible. Nobody is going to get elected on that platform, and this isn’t a banana republic where the President can start hanging people on a whim. She can believe whatever she wants, and it’s simply impossible that as President she could even make the tiniest headway towards convincing Congress to pass some kind of of insane law like that. Yet Mardell is concerned. Does he really still have no idea how US Government works, or is his visceral hatred for religious belief causing him to have ridiculous fears?
As part of this discussion on the influence of religion, Mardell says that he thinks the Tea Party “got it right – or that the think tanks behind the Tea Party in Washington”. Wrong. There was and is no think tank behind the movement. It was going strong for two months at least before anyone tried to form a national organization or think tanks or activist groups started jumping on the bandwagon. Even after two and half years, they still don’t get it. There’s a difference between groups trying to have influence, lending support, or jumping on the bandwagon and being “behind” the movement. In one sentence, Mardell has demonstrated that he thinks the whole notion of a grass roots movement is discredited. Fail.
He says that the Left wants to highlight the social-religious aspect, while the Right wants to play it down. Does this mean that all those BBC reports whipping up fear about the social-religious aspect of the Tea Party movement come from the Left? I think we can say they do.
The penultimate question is about – you knew it was coming eventually – racism. A male Beeboid brings up the “visceral hatred of Obama”, and says that during the last election there was a lot of concern about race, and asks if there is “a danger” of “playing that down” this time. In other words, in the minds of these Beeboids, we’re still secretly mostly racist, and if The Obamessiah loses in 2012, it will be because of racism. Mardell first says that he knows it’s a factor, and recalls one of Justin Webb’s pieces featuring a southern white woman subtly expressing her racism. But then, he actually says that after meeting so many Tea Partiers, he doesn’t think most of us are racists. “At least not in a straight-forward sense”. He says that underlying the concern about government spending our money, it’s really about not wanting to the government to “spend money on people not like them”. That’s simply offensive, and made me swear out loud when I heard it.
Then he says that there are also people who feel disconnected because “they didn’t expect this sort of person in the White House.” Somehow the President “doesn’t meet their stereotype about what a black person is like.” Is that why Joe Biden praised the then-junior Senator from Illinois for being so “articulate and bright and clean”? Words fail, other than more swearing at the screen. And oh how Mardell smiles, very pleased with himself, while slandering about a hundred million people.
Still, what happened to the idea Mardell put forth earlier that there is a widespread notion that the President is just not up to the job? Yeah, never mind about that, then. Racist!
So yes, we’re still apparently racists, even though in the end Mardell admits that he hasn’t found racism to be as much of a factor as he thought he would. Well, thank you very much. Still, that hardly discounts the rest of what he said. Wilson agrees with his assessment. To judge from this, everything you’ve heard about fiscal responsibility is just a lie, a smokescreen to hide our racism. This is what Mardell thinks, this is what the BBC thinks, and this is what they want you to think. They simply cannot accept any reasonable justification for objecting to Socialist policies.
In all, a fascinating hour spent inside the hive mind, and very revealing on a number of levels. I hope this exceedingly lengthy post didn’t cause too much pain, but there was just so much to talk about.
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A couple of days ago, I commented on a previous open thread about Mardell’s latest journey amongst the great unwashed in search of more hope for the President’s chances of re-election. It was basic human interest stuff, anecdotes about how the economic crisis and continuing New Depression have hit black people hardest. He didn’t do any in-depth analysis in that piece, as it was just supposed to set the stage for his next, more profound installment, in which he said he’d find out why this is the case.
I gave my own two-cents worth about why black people have been affected most by unemployment in these times, wondering how Mardell would approach it seeing as how we have a black President and, according to all of Mardell’s previous reporting, none of it is His fault. To save people scrolling through the open thread to find the comment, I’ll reproduce that bit here:
It’s pretty obvious to someone who doesn’t live inside the bubble, but let’s see if Mardell discovers for himself that a far higher percentage of blacks work in blue collar and service industry jobs. These are always the first to go when the economy sags. I wonder if Mardell will understand the irony of the President’s penchant for attacking the rich, when it’s the rich who provide the bulk of the jobs in the service industry.
If rich people have less to spend, they don’t hire cars, they don’t have parties, they don’t go out to dinner as often, they don’t spend so much on vacation, they don’t buy more products so less needs to be manufactured, their businesses don’t have as many cleaners or secretaries or maintenance workers. I can say from personal experience and lots of first-hand accounts I’ve heard that the service industry in NYC has been hit very, very hard. When there are less of these kinds of jobs, there are a lot less employed black people.
And it’s not just the evil rich, of course. The unloved middle classes also spend money on all these things, and they’re tightening the belts as much as anyone right now.
Why blacks are overwhelmingly employed in the lower, more vulnerable job ranks is a topic for another discussion entirely. But the fact remains that they are more vulnerable, no matter who is in charge. We’ll see how Mardell deals with it.
As it turns out, in his next installment, Mardell has a partial clue. But he’s got other problems.
It’s kind of an odd title for a piece in which the success story is only the first part, while the rest is, as Mardell himself puts it, “depressing”. The first section is about the success of a new charter school in Chicago. I’m sure many here will enjoy the BBC actually reporting that one of these non-government schemes for education works very well for minorities, considering how they attack Michael Gove for his attempts to provide the same chances for success to minorities in Britain. In any case, Mardell starts things off with this bit of hope for the future, which is nice.
Then he gets into the details of unemployment. As it turns out, Mardell actually discovered that, as I said, blacks are especially vulnerable to public sector cuts as they are proportionally over-represented in government jobs. So good for him for actually doing a bit of research for a change. He missed out, though, on how so many of the service industry jobs held by black people vanish when everyone – evil rich and unloved middle class alike – tighten their belts due to increased taxation and economic recession. I suppose it might be too difficult for Mardell to admit that the evil rich and the sneer-worthy middle class actually provide lots of jobs. I have no problem with him adding the bit about “cultural and historical” reasons for blacks mostly having jobs on the low end of the scale, as it’s not exactly false. But it is a topic for another discussion, so he leaves it at that, as he should.
But the big problem for Mardell is when he learns this about his beloved Obamessiah:
‘The president is not God’
What’s this blasphemy? Who said such a thing? Another person whose criticism of the President is based on race? Er, no.
Robert Blackwell believes more enterprise is the answer.
He’s part of President Obama’s set, a good friend and a fundraiser.
Indeed, he once employed Mr Obama. Although he’s the same age as the president, with the same cool good looks, he could be Mr Obama’s younger brother.
“Cool good looks”? Is this superficial editorializing necessary? He just can’t help himself, even if he’s really suggesting that the job has seriously aged the President.
He is one of Chicago’s wealthy black professionals, who made his money out of a ping pong business before branching out into management consultancy.
He says the public sector cuts have hit hard.
“There’s no business that can absorb that community. Black companies are pretty small and neither government nor large corporations have a very good track record frankly doing business with blacks.
Therefore, there’s nowhere for these people to go who come off the public sector roles.”
New York has a big government department devoted specifically to help, guide, fund, and make contract connections for minority-owned businesses, and so does Illinois. You can bet every other state has a similar department. I guess we’re back to talking historically here and not bothered about the current situation, although I’m certainly not saying that everything is great and there’s a ton of business and job opportunities waiting for them at the moment. But this is really just to help paint the picture that blacks have it rougher than anyone else due to historical white oppression, so let’s not quibble over details, right? Still, I think I see where this is going. He’s not going to suggest that – quelle horreur! – the private sector is the only way to really create permanent jobs and that government can’t save the day, is he?
But Mr Blackwell says the challenge is really one of entrepreneurship.
“If blacks were to participate in proportion to their skill and population, we would have a lot more dollars in our community,” he says.
“We could hire people, we could take more risk. There’d be social capital. I think entrepreneurship is really the only way out. “
Oh, my goodness. This goes against just about everything we’ve heard from the BBC about how to create jobs in tough times. It also goes against Mardell’s own beliefs. How many times did he criticize the Tea Party for not believing the government should take care of everyone? The last time Mardell went amongst the blacks in a job center to ask how they were doing and what they thought, government spending was all the rage. How’s that hopey-changey stuff workin’ out for ya now, Mark?
While he has raised money for Mr Obama, he doesn’t seem like a fan of the president’s policies.
He says he’s a libertarian: he doesn’t think the government can create jobs and wants less red tape.
Sound a lot like what we’ve heard from the Tea Party movement. Yet when they say it, Mardell dismisses it as misguided and based at least in part on racism. Still, I give him credit here for not censoring this blasphemy and allowing you to hear it. It must have pained him greatly. But now for the most important question of all: Is this His fault?
But he doesn’t blame the president.
“Barack didn’t start this. I mean the economy was not in good shape when he came in,” Mr Blackwell says.
Whew! That was close. Is Mardell going to ask if the President’s policies made things worse, better, or the same? No way in hell. After all, when the President got His way with a Democrat-controlled Congress, Mardell thought it was a Golden Age. Instead, it’s time to protect the President.
“The other thing I think is the president is not God, which means he can’t control everything. If you believe in free enterprise, which I do, he has a limited role.”
“So he doesn’t create jobs, it’s the private sector that creates jobs.”
Few here do blame the president.
If they express a political view, it is that Congress is blocking Mr Obama’s policies: exactly the line the White House is pushing at the moment.
And exactly the line that Mardell and the BBC have been pushing. What about discussing if the President’s own policies have hurt job creation in the private sector? Nope, can’t have that. Mardell’s goal here is not to criticize the President. He’s here to find yet another way of telling you that none of this is His fault, and sure as hell isn’t going to suggest that blacks are always going to support the black man, regardless of what happens. It’s a fact, as far as Mardell’s concerned, that none of this is His fault, and that none of His policies have hurt the economy at all. No, they don’t blame Him, so neither should you.
Here’s another question glaringly absent from Mardell’s piece. It’s especially glaring considering the racial angle of the whole thing: what do these people think of Herman Cain? Instead, check out Mardell’s closing line:
But it remains a depressing fact that under the first black president, black people’s economic prospects have only got worse.
This is an intellectual failure. Black people’s economic prospects have gotten worse because the first black President was unfit for office, inexperienced, and has governed poorly, with the wrong ideology to create jobs and right the economy, or at least stop the decline. Every single one of His ideas has backfired, every single policy a failure in this regard. If you want a black President who might do something to help black people’s economic prospects, look to Herman Cain. And it won’t be cos he is black, but because he won’t be a far-Left ideologue pushing another misbegotten hyper-Keynesian spending bill.
But since he’s ideologically of the Left, all Mardell can do is focus on race.
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With a sister who wears the hijab and a cowboymad Muslim father who dresses like John Wayne, Seema Jilani enjoys a diverse family life. The Texas-based paediatrician, who has worked in Afghanistan and Pakistan and written extensively on health and social issues, is an engaging contributor to a new BBC documentary, American Muslim: Freedom, Faith and Fear.
Sure, why not? The whole family is Muslim, but their clothing is diverse, so that counts as “a diverse family life” when seen through the agenda-tinted glasses.
Other participants include a fashion designer, an imam, a comedian, a Marine, a Republican congressman and a forthright newspaper columnist – all with something to say about Muslims who live in the Land of the Free. The illuminating 60 minute tv programme, to be accompanied by a World Service radio documentary, emerged from a competition that invited proposals for a collaborative project between BBC Arabic and BBC Persian.
Which means it’s meant to be targeted at Mohammedans in those regions, and not for your consumption. It’s nice, though, that the BBC is actually presenting these people with a positive image of the US, for a change.
‘The original idea was to concentrate on the Bible Belt where there are fascinating similarities between devout Christians and devout Muslims,’ explains BBC Persian reporter Karen Zarindast.
You mean like how they think of women as childbearers first and foremost, subject to the absolute rule of the husband, and their feelings about homosexuality, for example? I won’t hold my breath.
The remit later broadened out and the resulting programme, commissioned by Global News, will be shown on BBC World News, BBC Arabic and BBC Persian in the run-up to the tenth anniversary of 9/11.
I bet it did. But we’re not at the ‘fear’ part yet. The BBC Persian reporter involved says this:
Originally from Lebanon, he went to university in the US in the mid-80s and this was his first trip back. ‘It was interesting to return after so many years, and I have to say that I fell in love with the country all over again.’
Again, nice to see a positive image about the US from the BBC, for a change.
It’s a familiar sentiment. ‘Everyone we met, from the most recent Muslim arrivals to the surgeon who left Pakistan 30 years ago, told us how much they loved America,’ says Farah. Zarindast, who moved to the UK from Iran 15 years ago, and travels regularly to the US, where her mother and brother now live, was also struck by Muslims’ loyalty to their adopted land.
What shock, eh? People move here on purpose to escape the sh!thole Mulsim countries they live in, and don’t hate it as much as certain Beeboids do.
‘Muslims in America are better integrated than in Britain,’ Darius Bazargan notes. ‘The country is more of a melting pot where people go to escape repression and really value their freedom.’
Shall we examine why that is, BBC? Any future documentaries about what’s preventing Mohammedans from becoming better integrated in Britain? Or have you already decided that it’s down to the inherent racism of the indigenous population, full stop?
Not that Muslims’ love of the States means they are always loved equally in return, he points out. ‘There seems to be more Islamophobia now than immediately after the 9/11 attacks.
Do you think it might have to do with the fact that there have been a few more attempted terrorist attacks by Muslims since then, not to mention Maj. Jihadi Nassan at Ft. Hood? Nah: it’s the inherent racism of the indigenous population:
‘Attitudes have hardened since the election of President Obama. People know they can’t express anti-black opinions but think it acceptable to be anti-Muslim. In fact, [in the case of politicians] their ratings can go up if they appear to be anti-Muslim.’
There you have it: we’re still bloody racists, only we keep quiet about the blacks now. And just like Baroness Warsi said, it’s acceptable to hate Muslims at dinner parties instead. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that not a single second of this is spent discussing any attempted terrorist attacks, or any incident which might even remotely have caused concern about Mohammedans wanting Shariah Law to take precedence over domestic US law in certain cases, or Mohammedan cab drivers in Minnesota refusing to pick up fares at the ariport if they have alcohol on them, or jihadi imams who are forced to leave. Nope, it’s all just racism.
And of course, the best bit:
In another side of the story, the documentary features white Americans who have converted to Islam as a reaction against Western materialism and the constant pressure to look slim and attractive. They include a woman who used to make her living photographing people in nightclubs and is now a devout Muslim.
You couldn’t make it up. It’s White Girl all over again. Remember, this is specifically meant for Muslim audiences in the Muslim World.
What you might call a step change…
What you might call pandering….
A positive message about Islam and Muslims, with a qualified mixed message about the US, and not even meant for you to see or even know about. All at your expense.
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I know I’m late in getting to this, but it’s been a long week. In any case, at the beginning of the clip (just after the intro voice over) listen to what the candidate on the stage says: “…we need workers…” Remember that for later.
Andy Gallacher is in a town where both the Democrat and Republican candidates are Mexican-American. The Democrat (the guy who says we need workers) says it’s an honor to be elected to serve, and diversity is what makes this country great. We’ve all heard that before.
Gallacher talks about how the race of candidates matters, but asks, since both candidates are of Mexican descent, how do the voters feel now? He gets a couple of Mexican-American vox pops to say that issues are more important than race. What a shock.
For what seems at first like no reason, Gallacher then speaks to a Mexican-American academic who says his research shows that, regardless of what they say beforehand, most people vote for the race in the end. The Beeboid even helpfully says, “for their own kind”. In stark contrast to all BBC reporting about white people, either in the US or UK, this is presented as a good thing. Hispanics need Hispanic representation. Never mind any non-Hispanics living in the area. If one non-white ethnic group has the majority, then it’s important for someone of that ethnicity to represent them in government.
I say it seemed at first there was no reason for Gallacher to bring in this academic to talk about racial voting because both candidates are of the same ethnicity. So why talk about whether or not the voters will vote for a Hispanic candidate? It’s a moot point.
Then we got to the part where he talks to the Republican candidate. Horrifyingly, he’s wearing a US flag pin on his lapel. He says he’s proud to be an American, while still being proud of his heritage. But for him, American comes before Mexican, as one is his cultural background and the other is his country. He also has lighter skin, no ethnic mustache, and no trace of the Mexican accent like his Democrat opponent does. So he’s presented to the viewer after the academic who speaks of racial voting because he’s clearly a traitor to his race. He doesn’t talk about diversity, so he is no good. The subtext here is that the Mexican-American voters will and should vote for the candidate who is more proud of the Mexican part than the American part.
Remember the beginning of the clip where the Democrat said in his speech that “we need workers”? Of course he’s talking about the racial politics of illegal immigration. When he spoke of diversity to Gallacher, he was spouting the same old theme we heard a few months back on the BBC that it was racist to be against illegal immigration. Of course the qualifier “illegal” is absent now, as it always is when advocates speak. The Democrat doesn’t care about the law: he cares only about his race. When he’s talking about “diversity”, he means we should grant amnesty to people who look like him. How bringing in more of the same will lead to diversity is beyond my tiny little brain.
The Republican doesn’t talk that way. Or at least isn’t encouraged to by the Beeboid.
The thing is, there’s racial politics everywhere in the US. Right here in New York, former mayor (African-American) David Dinkins endorsed the non-white candidate for State Senate in the Democrat primary in my neighborhood. Here’s his reason:
I grew up in Harlem where we taught that New York City is a melting pot. Well I don’t agree with that. I have always said that we are a gorgeous mosaic. We have as many separate ethnic identities as the United Nations. That’s why we have a parade about every hour and a half. But it is important, it is so very important, particularly for the people of this district who vote on Tuesday to recognize how important it is to understand that the city is changing. Most people in the city are going to look more like us than others and that’s just a fact. It is not a bad thing. It is frankly a good thing.
Imagine if Giuliani had said the equivalent. The BBC would be all over it. Not only that, but Espaillat’s opponent was a Jew. You’ll never hear from the BBC that anti-Semitism is common in the African-American and Hispanic communities. And NYC isn’t a border town, so it’s inaccurate to portray the racial angle in that Texas town as being due to its proximity to the border. The fact that they’re Mexicans is obviously connected to the border, but not the racial angle in the abstract.
But the BBC approves of racism when it’s not white people doing it, so never mind.
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Tonights Question Time live-chat will be here. The programme itself comes from Llandudno and the panel will consist of the former home secretary Jacqui Smith MP, Shadow Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan MP, the leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats Lembit Opik MP, Plaid Cymru’s Elfyn Llwyd and John Sergeant.
As usual, we’ll be staying open for business through This Week as well…..and hoping for gems like HobNobGate from last week. The BBC have been trying very hard to avoid a race controversy by removing all evidence of Andrew Neil comparing Diane Abbott to a chocolate biscuit from websites and iPlayer. There were, apparently, 15 complaints. Regular contributor and blogger Dazed and Confused has other ideas though. Enjoy.
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