Mark Mardell, for you Americans and Canadians, is the North American editor of the BBC. You may never have heard of him, in which case you are fortunate; I rather wish I’d never heard of him either. If you are under the impression that the BBC is the beacon of journalistic integrity, a threadbare myth, I assure you, Mardell’s reports should be enough to disabuse you. But, of course, you live in North America; you don’t have to listen to him. We don’t and we do.
Mardell and the BBC are on a retainer for Barack Obama. Oh, I have no evidence here; it’s just that the quality of reporting would lead one to such a supposition. Take Mitt Romney’s recent brief foreign tour. It was all a public relations disaster, according to the Beeb. Mardell even began one of is blogs with the words “Mitt Romney has offended again.”
What was the specific nature of his alleged offence, you may wonder? Why, he said that the economic vitality of Israel compared favourably with its neighbours, something he attributed in part to the ‘power of culture.’ This was no rant, Mardell assures us, merely a ‘discursive chat.’ Well, at least you can take comfort from the fact that Romney does not rant.
Romney’s words here seem to me, despite the accusations of ‘racism’ by the Palestinian authority, to be wholly unexceptional: the democratic culture of Israel is far superior to that of any of its Arab neighbours, sunk for generations in nepotism, tyranny and forms of economic sluggishness that have hardly changed since the days of the Ottoman Empire.
So far as culture in general is concerned it would be far too tiresome to list all the Jewish thinkers, artists, musicians and scientists who have contributed to a common humanity. On the other side there is…oh, yes, there is the stone-throwing Edward Said.
Israel represents our values, the values that we once promoted, values that the BBC and its acolytes would now call into question. It’s all a question of cultural relativity, you see, with no system being inherently superior to another; and if the Arabs are failures, why, then, it’s all the fault of the Jews.
You might be interested in some more of Romney’s ‘gaffs’. In Britain he said there were some concerns about the security of the Olympics. It’s true; there were. In Poland he met Lech Walesa, the former Solidarity leader, praising those who stood against the all powerful state. In Israel he also said that Iran should be confronted, not appeased. Appalling stuff, don’t you agree?
You don’t get your news about American politics from the BBC. Neither, as a matter of fact, do I. I’m now in the habit of looking beyond the bias for a more balanced and nuanced assessment. I dislike the attempt to manipulate my views by a left-wing and state-funded broadcasting service that seems to have absorbed its journalistic ethics from the likes of Josef Goebbels.
“God damn America”, screeched Jeremiah Wright, Obama’s personal pastor, at the end of one of his ranting sermons, something the Beeb downplayed at the time. Never mind that; just concentrate on Romney, who thinks that an open and democratic society is superior to backward obscurantism. Shocking.