The SKWAWKBOX reported Diane Abbott’s damning comments concerning the behaviour of the BBC’s Question Time programme. During the pre-show warm-up, according to several audience members, Abbott was the butt of misogynist jokes and comments, while during the programme she was constantly interrupted and host Fiona Bruce contradicted her to corroborate a completely false assertion by a right-wing panellist.
The incident became a high-profile feature in the mainstream press and Abbott condemned the show’s “inappropriate and sexist commentary in the audience warm-up session“.
However, the BBC denied any wrongdoing – in spite of issuing a tweet via its @bbcpress account admitting that it ‘should have made…clear‘ that Bruce’s contradiction of Ms Abbott’s statement about Labour’s polling was false:
Of course, a tweet correcting the programme’s fake news in no way balances that fake news being broadcast live to a huge television audience.
That was not the end of the matter. The Labour Party contacted the BBC to complain about the incident – and to ask for the footage of the pre-show warm-up. But it appears that the request is going to be ignored.
The SKWAWKBOX contacted the BBC to enquire whether the Corporation would be sending the requested footage to Labour and whether this week’s Question Time programme would feature a correction of last week’s fake news.
After consulting with its current affairs team, a BBC spokesperson advised that it will issue no further correction beyond the tweet – and refused, despite requests, to say it would provide any footage to the Labour Party, referring instead to the following comment as its last word on the matter:
We are sorry to hear Diane Abbott’s concerns over last night’s edition of Question Time and we have contacted her team today to reassure them that reports circulating on social media are inaccurate and misleading. Diane is a regular and important contributor to the programme. As we said earlier, we firmly reject claims that any of the panel was treated unfairly either before or during the recording.A BBC spokesperson
The BBC has taken it upon itself to teach schoolchildren how to ‘spot fake news’ – yet it propagated outright fake news in its programme last week and is refusing to issue a comparable correction by advising its viewers during this week’s programme of the false information communicated the week before.
Not only that, but it appears to be ‘circling the wagons’ to protect those involved in last week’s inexcusable incident by withholding evidence that would either prove or lay to rest the claims of audience members about the comments during the pre-show warm-up.
Yet in spite of this nonsense, centrists – and at least one Tory MP, the ironically-named James Cleverly – have attempted to defend the BBC’s behaviour.
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