Saturday, 4 February 2017

'Fails' (again)


Further to an earlier post, here's a BBC complaints response recently posted at Biased BBC which (though deserving marks for a nice try with the inventive climbing analogy) fails to successfully refute the charge. 

My favourite bit is: "And in this case, Mrs May failed to provide answers to the specific point that was raised. In effect, she fudged the issue. We’re sorry if you feel this showed the BBC was taking a view on the matter...".

I don't know about you but I think that shows the BBC taking a view on the matter too. 


Lunchtime Loather
BBC Complaints Department still very much “on message”…
My complaint:
The headline on this page is: “Theresa May fails to condemn Donald Trump on refugees”. Can you explain to me how the use of the word “fails” can be deemed to be impartial or unbiased? “Fails” expresses an opinion: the BBC’s opinion. I do not want to know and could not care less what the BBC’s opinion is as, and this may come as a surprise to you, I am quite capable of forming my own, thank you very much. Had you used the words “does not” instead of “fails” then I would not be writing this complaint, and you would not have to write me a reply telling me that my “complaint has been logged” and the “BBC got it about right”. There’s another beauty…
Their response:
Thank you for contacting us about our coverage of Theresa May’s news conference in Turkey. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-38784199)

We used the word “fail” in the headline in the sense that Mrs May did not address the specific question she was asked – as Laura Kuenssberg notes in her analysis: “…when pressed for an answer on Donald Trump’s controversial refugee ban she first of all, uncomfortably, avoided the question. Then on the third time of asking she would only say that on the United States policy on refugees it was for the US.”
It’s the same principle as a climber not reaching the top of a mountain – we would say they had failed to achieve their goal. And in this case, Mrs May failed to provide answers to the specific point that was raised. In effect, she fudged the issue.
We’re sorry if you feel this showed the BBC was taking a view on the matter but don’t believe that this was the case. While Donald Trump has featured heavily in the news recently, we have sought to provide rounded coverage, featuring supporters as well as those who disagree with him.


Aaaaaaggghhhhhhh!!!!!!

2 comments:

  1. Sorry, but I don't see a problem with 'fails' here. It's not a policy opinion or character judgment or value judgment. However, there is a problem in the response:

    While Donald Trump has featured heavily in the news recently, we have sought to provide rounded coverage, featuring supporters as well as those who disagree with him.

    They know this is BS, which is why they recently declared that it's unfair to play a numbers game and keep count of how many on each side they allow through. On top of that, as we know, is the problem of how they treat guests on each side. This line of defense is false. I would bet that there isn't a single BBC employee who believes it's possible to provide truly fair, 'rounded' coverage of Trump, because they believe he is inherently evil and it's impossible to find enough credible supporters.

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  2. No, sorry David, I think it IS a value judgement. May stood accused, not of failing to address the question, but of failing to CONDEMN Donald Trump. She could have 'succeeded' in answering the question but still have 'failed' to condemn Trump.

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