Sunday 24 January 2021

One for BBC Trending?


Sounds interesting, Marianna. But what about daft MSM conspiracy theories promoted by political editors of major UK broadcasters, like the one about a Downing Street photo of the UK PM's call to Joe Biden featuring a photoshopped telephone cord?

Well, ITV's Robert Peston read a tweet today from a right-bashing parody account called Michael Govern Ready (@mikegove12):

It was a joke of the kind such left-leaning political parody sites favour - i.e. clever, if not especially funny - but ITV's political editor didn't seem to realise that and took it seriously. 

(The parody tweeter himself/herself couldn't believe that people ('normally sane' people) were actually taking it at face value. Whoever it is behind that account has had quite a day!). 

The sainted Robert then put his tin-foil hat on, stuck a couple of carrots up his nose, said 'Wibble!' out loud, and sprang into Twitter action with 3 characteristically gormless tweets (no offence!) spread over a couple of wasted hours:

  1. This is flipping weird. The phone cable should be visible in the mirror descending from Boris Johnson's watch, in this official Downing St picture. It’s not. What is going on?
  2. Or maybe the angle of the mirror just means it looks as though the cable is going straight down when in life it’s at an angle. I am just trying to work out if that’s physically (as in physics) possible.
  3. And just for the avoidance of doubt, Downing St tells me they would never doctor or photoshop a picture, and - as I assumed - it is the angle that makes it look strange. But it is certainly strange.

My favourite chain of Twitter responses (so far) runs like this:

  • Giles Dilnot: What ARE you talking about? It took less than two seconds to locate and is exactly where it should be.
  • Prof Colin Talbot: Giles is right. Think Robert should be going to Specsavers.
  • SharonTateModern: I think he should be going to the job centre, but suit yourself.

An even stranger thing here is that Downing Street actually dignified Robert Peston's dopey conspiracy-mongering with a response. 

I suppose they felt they had to because he's one of the UK's top broadcast political editors. 

(And the fact that he's one of the UK's top broadcast political editors is the strangest thing of all here).

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