Call it a journalistic sin of omission.
BBC News has been part of my news diet for years now. I’ve watched every morning in HD via Georgia Public Broadcasting’s agreement to air at 5 a.m.—through the Obama years and into the dark days of the Cletus administration*.
BBC has been a true leader on many modern-day resistance movements, including the Arab Spring, for which they produced a 3-part documentary; Ukraine’s deposed former Russian-stooge leader Viktor Yanukovych, now believed exiled to and holed up in Russia; and the Umbrella Protests in Hong Kong, where we had seemingly daily updates on how the movement affected Hong Kong’s policy and government. I could go on.
Curiously, BBC hasn’t reported on resistance to Trump with anywhere near the same ferocity as these other protests. And I’d like to know why. (Writer’s note: I’ve reached out to BBC for comment and will report back if and when I receive a response.) Why is this a slow-moving crime of journalism?
When it comes to global reporting and storytelling, BBC News is the gold standard. I’m in consistent awe of its reporters and anchors—who demonstrate relentless commitment to uncovering the truth and giving voice to the voiceless.
— Will's Nov. 6th Voter Jamboree (@bywillpollock) July 21, 2014
The Resistance, although a generic term, is producing some of the largest, most effective voter swings in modern-day American political history. It has had real-world consequences. Since Donald was
elected installed becrowned by Russia in 2016, seats in reliably red districts have seen 20, 30 and 40-point swings to Dems compared to Trump’s performance.
So of tonight's four open Republican seat special elections in Missouri, Democrats flipped one (HD-97) and overperformed Trump's win numbers by 18, 25, and 53 points in the others (HDs 39, 129, and 144)
— Fiddler (@cFidd) February 7, 2018
But those statistics of voter swings are just part of the story. The Trump-Russia investigation led my special counsel Robert Mueller should be a regular staple on BBC News, but it’s not. The administration’s cartoonish ineptitude—not to mention staff departures, sexual misdeeds and greed scandals—should also make BBC’s radar, but largely doesn’t.
Let’s look at a few factors as to why this editorial decision makes no legitimate sense.
The Resistance revolves around the work of Chris Steele, a British national
As a media and journalism analyst and observer, this is a critical question. The now-infamous Steele Dossier was written and compiled by a British former MI6 intelligence officer hired by investigative firm Fusion GPS. According to press reports, Steele was so wigged out by what he saw that he tried to engage his FBI counterparts to sound the alarm. Both he and Fusion founder Glenn Simpson believed they were witnessing a “crime in progress,” according to the transcript of testimony Simpson gave to Senate investigators (term used loosely).
What is the reason there is so little reporting on this? Why has BBC shied away from elucidating the ramifications and machinations in America that the dossier, a product of the United Kingdom, has caused? Are there plans to flesh out this reporting in the future?
The players implicated by this dossier would like you to think that it’s “discredited” or “dodgy,” but much of its contents has been proven true. So why not report it out? Why not dispel this talking-point lie pushed by right-wing lunatics?
Resistance to Trump in America has turned reliable conservatives off
I was a lifelong Republican, but I now agree with @benjaminwittes & @jon_rauch when they call for voters to support Democrats because “the Republican Party, as an institution, has become a danger to the rule of law and the integrity of our democracy.” Me: https://t.co/A5hC3YDiPv
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) February 8, 2018
Since Donald took office, we’ve seen a huge wave of support for Dem candidates nationwide. Victories in Oklahoma, Missouri and elsewhere are unusual to say the least given their deep-red histories. This year has seen a record number of women running for the first time, too.
But there is also a vocal and growing number of former republicans who simply can’t stomach what Trump’s GOP is peddling. Sometimes referred to as “Never Trumpers,” these principled conservatives have been disgusted by the flouting of laws and danger posed by worshipping a cult leader. Among many others I’m talking about Ana Navarro, David Frum, Joe Scarborough, Steve Schmidt and the above-mentioned Max Boot.
“That is why it is disgraceful that so many Republicans are actively abetting Trump’s attempts to obstruct justice by undermining the credibility of the FBI and the Justice Department,” Boot writes in the Washington Post. “In the republic’s hour of peril, most Republicans are either cheering the assault on democratic norms or pretending it doesn’t exist.”
Lack of reporting could cause a global catastrophe
The term “normalization” sounds innocuous, but it could lead to mass murder and genocide. Why? As BBC News reported yesterday in a straight-news manner, Mike Pence arrived as a “VIP” in South Korea. Meanwhile, Pence has been caught in a lie what’s he’s said about out Olympian Adam Rippon. Pence is just as problematic as Trump; he’s lied about Mike Flynn and about a great many other things. He shouldn’t be allowed to get away with repeatedly feigning ignorance.
Watch this and tell me you are not mortified.
This guy is the number two in charge.
I’m mortified. https://t.co/vn3M30kiG7
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) February 8, 2018
Reporting on his comings and goings like it’s just an average news day brings people who are actively subverting American democracy to an unacceptable level of normalization. As Fareed Zakaria reports: “He’s laid out aggressive markers in three different parts of the world, without any serious strategy as to what happens when they are crossed.”
Trump, while the Olympics are starting and Pence is lying about this one issue with Rippon, is actively seeking ways to strike North Korea. When does the investigation on this begin for BBC? Will it start only after the bombs start falling and North Korea retaliates?
America is in desperate need of counterbalance, given that there are numerous media outlets augmenting this assault on our democratic norms, not fighting it. Fox News, RT America, Brietbart News, InfoWars, WikiLeaks, Drudge and so many others are simply spokesmodels for Trump’s dangerous regime. So it’s more important than ever to have vigorous global investigative reporting to expose Trump and his people for the grifting know-nothings they are.
Trump is being investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller—reportedly on many fronts. Depending on whom you ask, his days as president* are numbered. Some are even reporting that sealed indictments have already been handed down and that we just don’t know about them yet.
CY ORIGINAL: THE FOURTH ESTATE IS DEAD—7 WAYS TO FIX IT
As of this writing, Mueller has secured two guilty pleas and two other felony charges against Trump associates. Donald’s approval hovers around 35%, depending on the day. He has no desire to govern, to read intel briefings or to actually do the work a president should.
If BBC approached The Resistance to Trump with the same tenacity as other political movements it would help America—Britain’s longest and most ardent ally—reject Trumpism and shine a spotlight on all his misdeeds.
WATCH: SpaceX's #FalconHeavy — a rocket the size of a 20-story building, containing 27 engines and a cherry-red Tesla Roadster as its payload — went up, up and away yesterday. (video by @JSkl) pic.twitter.com/x7XXeJfYua
— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) February 7, 2018
One small step… for a roadster?
This week marked a big leap forward for space travel with the launch of SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy, including a ride-along from a Tesla Roadster.
In test flights of the past, we’d see the rocket go up and the boosters separate and fall back to earth—either burned up in the atmosphere or dropped in a body of water.
But this flight saw the safe return of two of the boosters, in what one can only term the perfect stuck-landing. It’s as if SpaceX transferred Kerri Strug’s DNA into a space exploration mission.
— Will's Nov. 6th Voter Jamboree (@bywillpollock) February 7, 2018
The chemistry between Seth Meyers and Rachel Maddow is pretty great. She’s a frequent guest on Late Night, and they’re often dishing dirt on what Trump is doing to political journalism. This is a funny exchange where Rachel recounts her lone conversation with Trump, and it’s your Cure Your Crankies moment.
“There’s never been a president* more addicted to the news about himself.” Amen to that. 🔵
That’s a wrap guys. We’ll see you next week on Wednesday for Vol. 79—I’m off to play a tennis tournament in Fort Lauderdale with frequent CrankyYank collaborator Rob O’Connor.
He is the author of two books (Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way. Sign up for the mailing list, follow on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram–and check out the book links below. Make sure to comment often–cranky loves company.
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