Saturday 2 February 2019

An exchange of views

Definitely a Democrat

A BBC News website report, published overnight, provoked an early morning tweet from DB, linking to Newssniffer, copying in various BBC reporters:

The "comical" nature of the first few versions of the report is made even more worse by the fact that the first three versions (the ones that don't tell you Mr Northam is a Democrat) mention "the Republican Party of Virginia". 

Indeed, reading the original three versions of the report, I suspect most readers unfamiliar with Governor Northam would simply assume he was a Republican from the way the BBC wrote those versions.

Maybe one of that bevy of BBC beauties who DB copied in to his complaint had a hand in the report though, because the next update did introduce the word "Democrat". (Coincidence?). 

The headline, however, is sticking with 'Virginia Governor Ralph Northam sorry for racist yearbook photo'.

To his credit, one beauty - Jon Sopel - replied to DB's tweet (though quite what he's "disagreeing" with in his first reply isn't clear!):
Jon Sopel: He’s a Democrat. There. And I disagree. I think the fact that he is a Democrat will intensify the pressure on him from liberal groups to fall upon his sword. 
DB: It doesn't say so in this online report: … If he was Republican the headline would say "Republican Governor..." and it would be mentioned again in the opening paragraph. 
Jon Sopel: It should be...
Jon Sopel: Just checked on front page of BBC Website. Prominently says he’s a Democrat.
DB: But the actual report doesn't.
At which point the Twitter conversation stopped.

Anyhow, the front page of the BBC website (as accessed here the UK), as of 7 o'clock this morning, does not prominently say he's a Democrat:


  1. I read it and thought he was Republican!

  2. Craig you missed a Sopel Tweet
    After DB said It doesn't say (the party) in the initial report and "If he was Republican the headline would say "Republican Governor.."
    Sopel replied
    "It should be..."

    1. Cheers for pointing that out. I'd completely missed that thread. I've added it now.

  3. I can confirm that the current BBCNews homepage link title doesn't mention he's a Republican
    ..and there is a reason for that
    The BBC have created a brand new webstory ..and that doesn't mention that he's a Democrat .. so again the reader will assume he's a Republican
    The page/link is titled "Virginia Governor Ralph Northam refuses to quit over racism row"

    Your screenshot is probably similar
    There the title is "US Governor says he is sorry fro 1984 racist picture"
    That is probably too a brand new disappeared or retitled


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