Saturday 23 April 2016

Gushing and Gloating

...let the candied tongue lick absurd pomp,
And crook the pregnant hinges of the knee...

When I wrote yesterday (in a comment) that the main report on yesterday evening's BBC One News at Six by John Pienaar felt "gushing" to me, I think I'd now add "gloating" too.

Here is a transcription of exactly what the BBC's deputy political editor told the BBC One audience about President Obama's visit to Britain. 

I suspect David Cameron will be feeling almost as grateful to John Pienaar as he did to Barack Obama after this piece of 'candied' reporting. He stressed the "friendship" between the two leaders almost as much as Mr. Cameron himself kept doing. He even phrased the bit about Boris in a helpful way to the PM, using the word "even" to suggest the London mayor went too far. 

Some particularly loaded words and phrases are highlighted in bold.

When the President comes calling he starts at the top. Touchdown at Windsor Castle for a private visit to the Queen. Well, as private as these trips ever get. The one place, the one person to whom Barack Obama defers.
Obama deferring to (the Queen) the Saudi king
Protocol rules even for presidents. And here's here not just as a courtesy on his farewell tour but to have his say on Britain's place in the world before her subjects decide. Now, which head of state's supposed to go in front? 
The royal welcome was warm enough - a lot warmer than those wanting out of the EU were about to feel about Barack Obama, especially after the business end of his visit, the President's next stop. 
And in Downing Street his welcome looked even warmer - not just because president and prime minister are quite good friends - you could see that! - but because the biggest star in world politics was here to help David Cameron in the fight of his life: keeping Britain in the EU and, in the process, saving the Cameron premiership from a messy and unhappy end. 
Then they were on. President Obama took his chance, and he wasn't holding back. 
(Clip of Obama speaking) 
Toughest warning yet by far. And he wasn't sorry for saying it. 
(Clip of Obama speaking) 
David Cameron couldn't have asked for more. The Out camp are convinced that he did. To him the choice was obvious. 
(Clip of Cameron speaking) 
Even before the President said a word you somehow knew something big was coming - bigger than Prince, the Beatles, the Stones all in a row, maybe some game-changer. And what a show it is when Barack Obama comes to town! In there (Downing Street) it's all about international diplomacy, high-stakes politics. Out here - forget the rain! - it feels a bit like a crowd at a rock concert. Everyone's come to have a last look at a president who's more popular than any politician here, even in their dreams. But can Barack Obama win minds as well as hearts? 
But if you didn't know these two were close - first names and all - you know now. Opponents - their opponents - are upset. One of them - Boris Johnson - even doubted whether the President he called part-Kenyan even had Britain's interests at heart.  
(Clip of Boris speaking) 
Side by side, shoulder to shoulder. Barack Obama's done his part, and more. The fight for Britain's future still hangs in the balance. And that will decide whether the dramatic support David Cameron's closest friend and ally has given today is remembered as a prize trophy or just a kind consolation prize. 
John Pienaar, BBC News.


  1. Most people I know are (a) unimpressed by Obama who seems to be all wind and no sails (b) don't look upon his visitation kindly (c) think it outrageous that Cameron stood there grinning while the leader of the USA threatened us, in effect, with trade sanctions (d) weren't taken in by his lie about the circumstances of the removal of the bust of Winston Churchill (Obama actually blushes when he speaks about this, knowing he is not being truthful) (e) are acquainted with the fact that Obama won't be President this time next year, so his prognostications amount to a "hill of beans" as the Americans say.

    1. A new YouGov poll (for what it's worth) says more Brits annoyed/angered by Obama on Brexit than pleased/inspired -by 41% to 28%. (31% fall in the don't care/don't know/other camp).

    2. Well if it's YouGov you can probably add 10 points to that 41%...

  2. Did Pienaar get to touch the hem of His garment? I guess the Beeboids haven't really had a chance to really worship Him up close in some time and are taking every advantage of the moment.

    1. I always like the photo of Anita Anand - arch Beeboid - in an Obama hat, smiling broadly that adorns Craig's comments on her "Any Answers" prog.


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