Saturday 19 March 2022

'The BBC should correct this, it’s totally misleading and confusing and wrong'

Talking of Andrew Marr, his old editor at BBC One's The Andrew Marr Show is now his new editor on his LBC show. 

Yes, our old friend Rob Burley has landed at LBC too. 

Here's Rob, also getting his own voice back, agreeing with The Observer's Sonia Sodha that a BBC News website report about a horrific crime left something to be desired:
Sonia Sodha: When the imperative to respect a male serial killer’s preferred pronouns supersedes the journalistic duty to help readers understand a story about a terrible form of male violence against women.
Rob Burley: Quite agree. The BBC should correct this, it’s totally misleading and confusing and wrong.
The issue with the BBC report in question can be summed up by a couple of earlier tweets I read objecting to the same BBC report: 
Paul Embery: A man who killed a woman, attacked a second woman, is now accused of murdering a third woman, has admitted that he has “problems” with women, now identifies as a woman. So the media refer to him as ‘she’ and all crucial context is removed from the story.

Austin Williams: Last line: "She has also been charged with tampering with evidence". When you read this article, you realise that the BBC has also tampered with the evidence. Exhibit A: She, who recently identified as a woman, admitted to having "problems" with women.

 The report began: 

Pensioner arrested after dismembered body found in New York
A pensioner has been arrested on suspicion of killing and dismembering a 68-year-old woman she met online.
An adult female torso was found in a bag inside a shopping trolley near 83-year-old Harvey Marcelin's apartment in Brooklyn, New York. 
She has now been charged with second degree murder and concealment of a human corpse. 
Marcelin had previously spent more than 50 years in prison for killing two girlfriends.

In its original version the article described the arrested 'pensioner' as  'she' [3 times], 'her' and 'woman'.

The article was later amended to add a further sentence at the very end, with a further [4th] use of 'She':

She now identifies as a transgender woman.
After two days of criticism and anger, the article was edited again. That new information was moved a few paragraphs up...:
In 1963, a jury found Marcelin - who recently identified as a woman - guilty of murdering Jacqueline Bonds. After being paroled in 1984, Marcelin was arrested again for stabbing another girlfriend.

...with 'She has also been charged with tampering with evidence', returning to being the final paragraph.

This was about the time Rob tweeted his disapproval.

Regardless, the BBC is pretty much sticking to its guns. It seems you can take the BBC out of Stonewall but can't so easily take Stonewall out of the BBC.

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