Friday, 15 April 2016

Reality checking

I can't remember where I read it or who said it, but I do  remember that whoever said it was pro-Leave and anti-BBC, so not some expected to say what I'm just about to cite them as saying (if you follow me)... 

That person was praising the BBC News website's Reality Check. He (or she) felt it was a beacon of decency in the BBC's coverage of the EU referendum. 

It seems so to me too. It's uncannily even-handed in its debunkings, but it's also very firm. It delivers verdicts, and its verdicts don't usually hold their punches. If it's wrong it says so. If it's right it says so. And thumps are handed out right, left and centre (figuratively-speaking). 

So all credit to Anthony Reuben & Co. 


  1. I've been keeping an eye on this page for some time. I think I mentioned it in a comment a while back, but I didn't say it was pro-Leave or anti-BBC. They've been playing it straight as far as I can tell, but I haven't gone through every single one or counted them all to see how many on each side they've done. Equally important, I think, is to note the relevant quality of points covered on each side. Is there more crowing over low-hanging fruit from the Leave side? I did expect it would be weaponized for their programming.

    1. Sorry David, I didn't recall it as being you I was thinking of. Mea culpa if it was.

      I'm glad you think it's been playing it straight so far though, as that's my impression too. I've kept dipping into it for a while and never found much cause for complaint. As you say though, 'dipping in' isn't exactly rigorous analysis. But so far so good.

      For example:

    2. I wasn't really suggesting that mine was the comment you were referring to, just that I had also mentioned it. On re-reading I now see you meant that the commenter was pro-Leave, not the Reality Check debunking. No worries.

      There is plenty of time to go through and count them up. Of course, I can already think of a defense line should the numbers come out in the usual skewed fashion. It's not the BBC's fault that Leave have so many howlers in need of debunking, right?

  2. I suppose it would be tiresomely predictable of me to bring up Anthony Reuben’s Gaza figures debacle. (Search BBC Watch blog/ ‘Anthony Reuben’) Oh well. Too late.