This is another post about the Tuscon shootings, but I’m not apologising because the BBC seems to be getting even more partisan about the affair, difficult as that may be to believe. Tuesday’s Up All Night on Radio Five Live gave Keith Olbermann the best part of twenty minutes to slag off the American right while presenter Rhod Sharp tossed up softball questions and agreed with every pompous sanctimonious comment from the MSNBC blowhard. Sharp’s evident political bias was matched only by Olbermann’s stunning self-righteous hypocrisy. Once you’ve listened (if you can bear it, that is) compare the butter-wouldn’t-melt moral posturing from Olbermann with this little collection of anti-Bush rage:

Incidentally, I know many of you have commented on the contrast in the BBC’s coverage of the Tuscon massacre with Jon Leyne’s report about the murder of a Christian man by an off-duty Muslim policeman in Egypt. No Pasaran has a blogpost about that very subject (and it’s attracted the attention of Instapundit).

UPDATE 17.20: More evidence emerges to undermine the BBC/MSNBC narrative:

“He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right.”


Rhod Sharp, regular host of Radio Five Live’s Up All Night, returned from holiday this week and on Wednesday morning received an update about recent events from Cash Peters:

Cash Peters: About three weeks ago I got into a little trouble with the very first stand-in we had, I got into a little trouble. We were talking about this RightNetwork, which is a conservative network, and I was going on about how I didn’t think it was very good – y’know it’s sponsored by Kelsey Grammer and he’s on it and I just didn’t like it very much. Well, I shouldn’t have said I didn’t like it because apparently I’m terribly biased for saying so [*]. Well then we breezed by that, I got over that crisis, then this week Kelsey Grammer writes to me and says…

Rhod Sharp: Oh, you’re kidding!

Cash Peters: Yeah – he’s following me on Twitter! I’ve now got Kel… I call it intimidation frankly, who knows what I’ll say about him next? But yes, Kelsey Grammer is following me on Twitter. It’s very exciting. I keep wanting to say something about him but then think nyah, better not. I better not say anything , it’ll only stoke the fire.

Rhod Sharp: That’s wonderful. Terrific. Terrific.

“Kelsey Grammer writes to me and says…”

Yeah, right. Try this – whoever runs Kelsey Grammer’s account decided to follow Cash Peters (probably as a consequence of Biased BBC) and Peters got the automatic “xxxx is following you on Twitter” email that everybody gets when someone follows them (such as nearly 10,000 other people have received from @Kelsey_Grammer) For the benefit of the BBC this became an ‘OMG Kelsey Grammer wrote to me personally!’ moment. And Rhod Sharp lapped it up. I’ve asked Peters about it on Twitter (yes, Twitter – like Stan with Facebook I’ve tried to avoid being sucked in but can resist no longer). I’ve had one somewhat evasive reply from him so far.

[*] “and I just didn’t like it very much. Well, I shouldn’t have said I didn’t like it because apparently I’m terribly biased for saying so”

Where might people have got that impression? This description of RightNetwork, perhaps?

“It’s all ‘Big business is more important than people, the rich shall not pay taxes, whatever makes a profit is far more important than people suffering.'”

Yes, nothing “terribly biased” about that at all.

"Democracy Kills"

On Wednesday’s Up All Night, presenter Rhod Sharp spoke to BBC foreign correspondent Humphrey Hawksley about his new book “Democracy Kills”. It opens, he explained, with a puzzle:

HH: Basically I’m trying to paint a scenario whereby a catastrophe is sweeping the world and you’re sitting in your house moments before you’re gonna be destroyed with your partner and your two children. One’s very bright and is a musician and wants to be a biologist – your daughter, about 13 – and your 11 year old son who’s a little lippy, gets into trouble at school but again very intelligent. And an elderly relative – mother, with diabetes, perhaps a little frail on the legs resting in the corner. And you’re very privileged because you have two choices of countries that you can actually flee to and you’ve been given sanctuary there. One of them has got pretty good health, pretty good education, you’re thinking of building a future for your family, your grandchildren, but not a lot of political freedom. The other one has got a great cell phone system, internet connection’s fine if you can pay for it, but you live 20 years less than the other country and people are fairly illiterate and it’s a fairly violent place. One of those countries is called Cuba, and the other is 90 miles away and it’s called Haiti. Which one would you take your family to to go and set a new life for yourselves.

RS: That’s a great question! That’s a great question!

The point Hawksley is trying to make of course, in his far from subtle way, is that the nascent democracy in Haiti compares badly with the communist regime of Cuba. Rhod Sharp chose to take his version of Hawksley’s family of overachievers to Cuba, naturally. I think I might have enough faith in my family’s resilience and resourcefulness to take our chances in Haiti and forego the wonders of the communist idyll. What would happen to my intelligent children when they question the Communist Party line in the classroom, for example? Not so much of a worry where Hawksley’s kids are concerned, I would imagine.

It’s interesting that Hawksley chose Cuba and Haiti as the basis for his argument and not, say, North and South Korea, or Israel and Syria.

Perhaps we could chip in and buy Hawksley and his BBC colleague Matt Frei one-way plane tickets to the communist dictatorships of their choice?

[If any Firefox users are having problems using the new comment system (as I was) try ticking “Accept third party cookies” in Options]