Saturday 20 August 2022

"It's not the BBC. You know, you actually get your facts right"

"It's not the BBC. You now, you actually get your facts right," Liz Truss playfully said last night to GB News's Alastair Stewart. 

Recently departed BBC presenter Dan Walker, clutching somebody's pearls, described that as "an incredibly dangerous slur. Dangerous for Liz Truss, for every viewer…for all of us."

Others might say that it's more worrying that so many influential types on Twitter are saying what Dan said as the BBC should never be immune from criticism. 

By coincidence, I had to fact-check the BBC twice yesterday and twice found them to be factually wrong.

Once came on a report about a social media user being banned from a couple of platforms which ended; 
The BBC has approached Google, which owns YouTube and TikTok, for comment.

I checked that because I was pretty sure TikTok is Chinese-owned - hence how controversial it is - and, yes, TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, not by Google. 

The BBC did stealth-edit it later to read, though it took them several hours:

The BBC has approached Google, which owns YouTube, for comment.

The other one concerns the partying Finnish PM  Sanna Marin, who the BBC News Channel spent hours on Thursday/Friday calling "the youngest prime minister in the world at just 36 years old". Radio 4's main Six O'Clock News on 18 August twice called her "the world's youngest prime minister," So this was stated as a fact across the BBC's channels for many hours. 

As lots of others were calling her that too I've still no idea why I fact-checked the BBC over that but I just felt the need to check and on doing so was surprised to read that she isn't. That's Dritan Abazović, prime minister of Montenegro. He's 39 days younger that she is. Sanna Marin was the youngest PM in the world back in 2019 but hasn't been since Mr Abazović became PM in April this year. Clearly no one at Radio 4 or the BBC News Channel bothered checking. It's really not hard to do so

To paraphrase Liz Truss, this was the BBC and, you know, they actually don't get their facts right.

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