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Friday, 15 August 2008

BBC US election coverage - and another thing ...

The BBC's US Election correspondent Justin Webb's blog tells you all you need to know about the framing of the BBC's election coverage.

Practically every link is to the MSM (or the MSM's blogs). There aren't even links to sites like politico or Ben Smith or Matthew Iglesias or even Huffpost or others who you'll see driving the real news agenda through one glance at Memeorandum.

The news agenda in this election is web-driven in a way which Webb is clearly out of touch with.

Just a glance at the BBC's current headlines shows nothing but spin, which reflects MSM's angle.

US election takes a negative turn
attempts to claim that the Obama campaign is just like the McCain campaign. It's not. McCain went negative and largely because he had no alternative. But this piece doesn't explain why McCain went negative.

Candidates' possible running mates

has Hillary at the top. Why? UK name recognition? No other reason I think. She has been long written out as a possibility in serious political coverage. Next is John Edwards, is this a joke? Bill Richardson? Whoever wrote this should be fired.

Michelle: Barack's bitter or better half?
this says that:
She weathered a storm of criticism following a comment she made about her husband's candidacy, saying that "for the first time in my adult lifetime, I'm really proud of my country, and not just because Barack has done well, but because I think people are hungry for change".
Noticably, this was by Molly Levinson rather than Mr Bouffant Webb and she nailed this 'criticism ' to 'conservatives' and Fox. It's not brilliant but it's a darn sight better than Mr Webb. Give her his job.

My take? The Beeb's top correspondents are far too 'beltway' and consequently the whole operation is selling us, the license-paying UK public, a lemon in US election coverage. It often appears to a casual observer like me that they could just slob around with a family pack of Doritos and get their their leads from watching cable news and then feed that back to us. 'Job done'.

That is not journalism. That's lazy. Maybe the problem is further up the food chain in WhiteCity but, really, the final nail in any damnation of their election analysis is, again, shown up by Memeorandum - find me one blog post by Webb which any US political blogger has commented on. In terms of fresh thinking, he - and so goes the mighty BBC - are nowhere.

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