Sunday, 22 January 2017

We dont need no thought control

Reading what I do, I know that lots of people in this neck of the internet and elsewhere were appalled at the idea of the BBC expanding its Reality Check function to police and pronounced judgement on social media, so I wondered if Feedback would reflect those concerns.

Not a bit of it.

To summarise what actually happened: 

(1) Roger Bolton's introduction described 'fake news'  and 'dodgy statistics' (including mention of the £350 million for the NHS figure).

(2) Then two 'concerned' listeners were featured. The first asked for the BBC to "educate people" over the facts. The second asked for the BBC to become "the place of choice to go for people who want to know what is happening in reality", especially when faced by false news on social media.

(3) Then Roger talked to BBC News Editor James Stephenson about the BBC's plan for Reality Check to counter all of the above, and answer those listeners' calls. Mr Stephenson made the case for Reality Check (also mentioning the £350 million figure), and Roger Bolton's questions simply reinforced the BBC man's points rather than challenged him about them.

So that was two Radio 4 listeners, a senior BBC editor and the presenter of Feedback all singing from the same hymn sheet over the need for Reality Check's expanded role and no questioning of it. 

Thank God for the internet!


  1. All the BBC, and anyone else for that matter, needs to do regarding the £350 million NHS fake story is actually look at what was painted on the side of the bus!

    Instead it gets permanently kept in the public's ear as something that Migel Farrage claimed, (he didn't - he wasn't even part of the campaign), or Margaret Thatcher's denial of the existence of society, (she didn't).

    The BBC is increasingly just talking to itself.

  2. I've not paid the BBC TV tax for decades, but I did listen to BBC R4 for the news. Now I have given that up too, because everything they say has such an obvious slant to it. Unfortunately many people won't see that slant until they give up the BBC, then go back to it.

  3. Fake News from the BBC about how the BBC will combat Fake News? What a shock.

    No conspiracy in evidence, just groupthink and dishonesty at the top.

    1. And, David Preisser, add the following to the "groupthink and dishonesty at the top" you so rightfully identify. The bright eyed young snowflakes who are accepted into the cult find themselves threatened with a loss of status and livelihood if they later step out of line. Most of them, faced with a choice between telling the truth and paying the mortgage, chose self interest. Pretending they are not being bought off, they are, in fact, bring bought off. Another word for this is corruption.

  4. On Twitter I have been deploying the hashtag #hasthebbcfactcheckedthis on all sorts of claims, some made of course by the BBC itself.

    The response so far has been encouraging, though has resulted in a couple of blockings from ever transparent BBC staff of little humour

  5. How about mentioning "project fear" in any fact checking.

    Also if the point is to resist "fake" news the £350 million figure was heavily debunked at the time, so surely there's no need for an additional reality check.

    It amuses that they call it fake, but then go on to say that yes it does represent the UK contribution before rebates.....i.e. more true than a lot of things reported by the BBC.

  6. Nick Robinson on Twitter says the BBC reports neither positively or negatively.

    And he 'quotes' himself.