Saturday 28 April 2018

BBC Reality Check v Jon Sopel

According to CNN, who interviewed Kang Kyung-wha, "South Korea's foreign minister has said she believes President Donald Trump is largely responsible for bringing North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to the negotiating table". 

According to CBS, "National security experts, and even the South Korean foreign minister, are crediting Mr. Trump for bringing North Korea to the table."

Well, that's their view, but it's not the view of the BBC's ever-so-impartial Reality Check.  

"Does Trump deserve the credit for peace talks with North Korea?", it asks. before answering its own question with a clear 'No':

So there you go. It's the South Koreans and the Chinese who deserve the credit, according to the BBC, and not Donald Trump. 

Indeed, the article goes out of its way to give Donald Trump no credit whatsoever.

And all the BBC's chosen experts agree with the BBC - and disagree with CBS's chosen experts. 

Intriguingly, the BBC's Reality Check is also at odds here with the BBC's North America editor, Jon Sopel. On last night's BBC One News at Six, he was asked, "Is Donald Trump claiming much of the credit for this?" and replied:
I think Donald Trump could justifiably say, "I have done this and no other President could probably have brought this about". Look, he inherited a policy of strategic containment. That was going nowhere. Then North Korea were suddenly doing these tests which showed they were much more technologically advanced. And Donald Trump, unlike another other President I think would have done, ramped the language up to Volume Ten, "weapons being locked and loaded", there would be "fire and fury", and he even talked to the UN about the total destruction of North Korea. I think that had two effects: I think it made North Korea realise that they were dealing with a rather different US leader and I think it made the Chinese worry as well about what could happen to the peninsula. The Chinese have played a key role in this and Donald Trump has acknowledged that. Now, of course, all these talks could go wrong. They may not happen. But at the moment it looks almost certain that talks will happen with Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, and six months ago we were talking about the possibility of a nuclear confrontation. Now we are talking about the possibility of peace. And, in anyone's language, that must be seen as progress.
Maybe the BBCs Reality Check needs to give Jon Sopel a 'reality checking'. 

Or vice versa.


  1. I've been trying to wean myself off critiquing the increasingly irrelevant and wholly risible BBC Reality Checks. So thanks for that! :)

    The Reality Check hipsters are so sloppy they can't even achieve internal coherence. The "claim" they say is:

    "Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in agree the US President deserves credit for peace talks with North Korea."

    So that's what they are checking? - well the only verdict on that has to be that it's true because that is what both have said. They can't put a sentence together correctly! What they really mean to check of course is the following claim: "The US President deserves credit for peace talks with North Korea, as agreed by both Donald Trump himself and South Korean President Moon Jae-in."

    Sloppy writing, sloppy thinking - why do we have to pay for it?

    The "verdict" is of course pure vindictive BBC: enough wool to provide deniability but also enough venom contained within to kill an elephant.

    The fact that the "free, fair and impartial" Sopelman disagrees with them provides a nice comedic element.

    Why aren't they reality checking the "claim" of Mark Easton and Ben Butcher that there are only 40,000 asylum seekers in the whole of the UK?

    1. John Sopel should stop digging - so should the BBC. Arrangements are being made for DT to visit Mrs May and the Queen. I hope that his visit will be centred on Chequers and Windsor Castle or Balmoral, and specifically not London. Balmoral would be best so that the Sopels of this world should be seen standing by the gates at the ned of a long drive, in the pouring rain, with their soggy crowd of protesters bussed in from London.

      Sopel and his left-wing friends should not think that their insults towards DT are echoed from up and down the land. Nor should be imagine that they will easily be forgotten either by DT or the licence-paying public.


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