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SimonNewman

" I sat in the White House three years ago and recommended that the GOP develops a strategy to work with London-based media. "

Well the BBC will always be unremittingly hostile to the GOP, so a sensible strategy I'd think would be to mark them with a "hostile" tag and ignore them.

BTW on this election, the Left (eg BBC) seems unwilling to admit that the voters voted for conservative candidates, albeit Democrats, because the US electorate is basically conservative. Conversely the Right seems unwilling to admit that those same conservative voters do oppose the Iraq war, because they think it was a bad idea, badly executed. The bulk of US voters don't seem much different from Daily Mail readers - fiscally & morally conservative, but also reality-based and cautious when it comes to progressive intervensionism. Whether that intervensionism labels itself Left (liberal) or Right (neoconservative) is less important.

SimonNewman

'interventionism', oops. :)

Simon Chapman

Good article Tim. Did you also advise the GOP what its BBC/London media strategy should be? And will you share that insight too?

Daniel VA

In your haste to attack the BBC, you seem to have overlooked that Gavin Esler was writing in a personal capacity for the Daily Mail, not on behalf of the BBC.

Making such sweeping generalisations about BBC opinion based on the opinion of one man writing in a personal capacity for a right-wing newspaper might lead some to conclude that it is not just the BBC that is "trigger-happy to draw big conclusions to their audiences' attention".

Scott Green

oh for God's sake...... Gavin Estler is the least of our problems.

instead of whining about BBC bias how about we get back to fundamentals?

politics for idiots lesson number 1:

get the policy right and perception issues will resolve themselves.

Editor

Daniel: I mentioned other sources of BBC bias, too, not least the Mail link to the BBC's own US correspondent admitting Corporation-wide anti-American bias. And as for your point about Gavin Esler writing in a personal capacity... I look forward to the BBC reporter - writing in a personal capacity - who praises Bush.

Gerard Baker has written on this subject in this morning's Times:

"Having written off American voters as ignorant dorks for getting it wrong two years ago, the world has been gracious enough to admit them back into the fold of intelligent human beings. You could barely hear the news this week on the BBC for the insistent crowing on the airwaves. When news broke that Donald Rumsfeld had been fired, the joy was undiluted. Democrats win and Rumsfeld goes. It was almost enough to make them all believe in a God again."

stephan shakespeare

"a sensible strategy I'd think would be to mark them with a "hostile" tag and ignore them"

Not sensible, in my view. You cannot ignore the BBC, they have far too much influence on public opinion (or at least the 'agenda' of the media which then massively influences public opinion).

America's neglect of British public and media opinion is damaging on two fronts. Firstly, it means Americans don't understand the changes within its key ally; secondly, it means those changes continue apace.

Those like myself who are keenly pro-American do worry about this a lot.

This is astonishing:

"get the policy right and perception issues will resolve themselves"

How can anyone in modern politics think that's all you need!

scott green

the iraq policy is a shambles and your first instinct is to argue for a new media strategy?

jesus wept...

so to you it's merely a perception issue?

lol, next thing you'll be arguing the iraq policy has been a stunning success!

We've spent the last 4 years trying to manage perceptions on this issue. The midterms are a stark reminder of the limitations of that approach. Unfortunately, and this is a lesson the current leadership would do well to learn, reality has an unfortunate habit of getting in the way*

*see politics for idiots lesson 1

toriesdontunderstandculture

Tim

You are obviously right that the BBC is a cultural and political disaster viz America's attempts to deal with terrorism.

However, given that the Conservative Party (i) has not even tried to dent the BBC, (ii) would not know how to if it did try, (iii) would screw it up etc - why do you think a political party thousands of miles ago will be able to do anything about it?

Your argument is similar to the eurosceptics who tell Republicans to "do something" to scupper the EU - when we cannot scupper it ourselves. The intellectual black hole of the Tories is simply incapable of understanding the CULTURE of modernity, that is why they cannot act - they do not see the problem because they share much of the BBC mindset (Clarke, Patten, Gummer et al).

The real problems are much worse than they seem even to you.

It does not seem to have sunk in inside the Tories that the BBC culture has successfully smashed not just the Republicans, who are v competent relative to UK Tories, but also Blair (ditto). They will easily smash Cameron if he wins.

There is effectively zero chance of the Tories combating the BBC - and it seems extremely unlikely they will try; everything points to them actually swimming with the BBC culture.

Even if Cameron wins, therefore, we will only see a repeat of Macmillan / Major - ie. disaster. Unfortunately the Party has got every big decision wrong for over a centruy (excluding Thatcher obviously, but equally obviously she was not a "true Conservative")...

The comments on this site are v good evidence of the way in which supposedly "conservative" circles are, because of modern education, incapable of understanding why they think what they do and how they are themselves indoctrinated by Modernism.

atheling2

"Not sensible, in my view. You cannot ignore the BBC, they have far too much influence on public opinion (or at least the 'agenda' of the media which then massively influences public opinion)."

I can and do ignore the BBC, and so do many other conservative Americans. We're acutely aware of the anti-American bias of the BBC and we have enough of it here with American mainstream media, thank you very much.

"America's neglect of British public and media opinion is damaging on two fronts. Firstly, it means Americans don't understand the changes within its key ally; secondly, it means those changes continue apace."

Hell, most Americans don't understand the changes within their own country, less those of their allies (or should I say ally). That'd be just too taxing.

The only Americans who take the BBC for its word in disseminating the news are the EU-loving, Leftist leaning types because the BBC reflects their values and mindset.

In light of that, now why in the world would Conservatives (i.e. GOP supporters) pay attention to that? Or even consider approaching it? In the long list of reforms that the GOP needs to consider, becoming buddies with the BBC is #1042 out of 1050.

stephan shakespeare

No, Scott Green, I'm not suggesting its just a perception issue. But is is ALSO a perception issue - do you think you can implement policies without effective communication? By ignoring the media obstacles?

ATM

There is a way to deal with the BBC. Ban state-owned news agencies from broadcasting into the US.

Go Metro

Maybe the BBC will stop being so biased towards US issues?

Hahaha. Just kidding.

scott green

Stephan:-

No, clearly not. An effective media stategy is essential, obviously. But we're in trouble because of a failure of policy, not advocacy.

Successful policies don't need aggressive advocacy Stephan, they sell themselves. GOP supporters were stuck selling a dud, and the electorate knew it.

Give me a policy I can sell, and I'll sell it. Simple as that. But, frankly, you can stick the Iraq policy where the sun don't shine. No media strategy in the world is going to get those numbers to turn until policy is set on the right path.

Thomass

What can we do about it? What kind of strategy can we have?

We've been complaining about US media bias for decades and nothing changes (example: New York Times).

US Conservative’s strategy for the BBC will end up similar to the one for NYT... take anything they say with a grain of salt and expect it to be spun and biased against them... Basically the same, I imagine, as the Brit conservative’s plan for the BBC….

RodS

Scrap the BBC - end of story. Even the BNP are now running rings around them.What happened to the well intentioned campaign last year to organise a mass boycott of the licence fee. If tried again I am sure the response would be dramatic. I was staggered to learn recently that the BBC (Like apparently the Olympic Constuction programme) does not pay VAT.

atheling2

Thomass:

What can we do about the media bias? Don't buy them and don't listen to them.

The New York Times is in a crisis with record low circulation. They've scuppered their own ship and rightly so.

That's the beauty of capitalism. If you don't like it, don't buy it. If enough people don't buy it, the product will disappear.

Thomass

Agreed.

And to the guy who keeps talking about Modernism... not buying them and creating an alterative (i.e., alternative media or counter-BBC-culture media) seems like the best form of counter attack to the BBC's bias... IMO...

First we had talk radio and then Fox… now the MSM is in decline / crisis.

If alernative media gained a foothold (ie, was trusted by many) the old media would thereby have to be distrusted because their visions conflict... and they loose power.

cf bleachers

The BBC is anti-America, anti-Israel and anti-Christian and anti-Jewish.

Given Britain's grotesque history with Israel and the "Palestinians"...it's of little moment that they hate America and/or Israel. It's not newsworthy or new.

The only thing that can combat subversive liars...is the truth. It's like Kryptonite to the socialist chic Eurobabblers and their sniveling toadies here on the other side of the pond.

The policy that is needed...is to shine a light on these vampires before they sink their teeth any further into the necks of decent people here.

SimonNewman

toriesdontunderstandculture:
"The comments on this site are v good evidence of the way in which supposedly "conservative" circles are, because of modern education, incapable of understanding why they think what they do and how they are themselves indoctrinated by Modernism."

My article on CH discussed this:
http://conservativehome.blogs.com/platform/2006/10/dr_simon_newman.html

"However, given that the Conservative Party (i) has not even tried to dent the BBC, (ii) would not know how to if it did try, (iii) would screw it up etc - why do you think a political party thousands of miles ago will be able to do anything about it?"

I thought this was well said. The BBC is among the least of the GOP's problems. Of course they're biased, but so is the US MSM. The solution is alternative news outlets; and make sure Fox News is credible - Fox needs to be more reliably honest than the MSM if it's to attract centrist voters. FWIW (not much), my impression of Fox News is that their field reports and basic news are good and reliable, but some of the anchors' comments are so grotesque they will turn away moderate conservatives.

cosmo

Scott:

I, too, believe in a policy-first approach.

But we have an economy performing at levels above that of the dot-com-bubble 90's. The deficit's just been halved two years ahead of schedule. All of this largely the result of this administration's policies.

Yes, yes, there are all sorts of structural and other problems to wrestle with -- but it hardly squares with the skewed description Esler provides.

Yet, the average American thinks the economy is positively in the toilet -- largely the result of politically-compromised coverage like Esler's.

Pangloss

Simon Newman is right about American conservatives and the BBC. Conservatives already recognize how skewed towards 60's style Che Guevara hero-worship the BBC is. It's too bad, since given their druthers most American conservatives would be anglophiles. But the BBC is no better than Al Jazeera, which brags it has based itself on the BBC. American conservatives don't worry about the Chinese press either, or that of Iran or Yemen, since they know that journalists in those countries, even when they aren't writing government mandated propaganda, are too full of nonsensical ideas to be trusted.

Don

As you state Esler really is biased, he is not prepared to present a rounded case.

On top of that his prejudices blind him to some facts.

In a previous Daily Mail column (4 Nov) entitled

"Is George W. Bush the worst president ever?"

he claimed that

"The budget deficit is the highest ever, an enormous black hole that is worrying global economists."

Well the budget deficit is not the highest ever & at 1.9% of GDP is well below the deficits in the UK, France & Germany.

Perhaps he doesn't know his budget from his trade deficit. That would be about par for the course for BBC journalists' knowledge of economics & business.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=414491&in_page_id=1770&in_a_source=

marc

The BBC is a far bigger danger to America and the world than most people realize.

See here.

http://ussneverdock.blogspot.com/2005/01/bbc-is-turn-off-its-official.html

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