Full Fact response to BBC footage of Boris Johnson at Remembrance Sunday not good enough
There has been a significant response on social media to the BBC using old footage of Boris Johnson at a Remembrance Sunday service during a period of intense, often spiteful electioneering that is characterised by the output of propaganda, cover-ups and straight-up lying. It appears that Boris Johnson was not well turned out on the day and laid his wreath upsidedown and so a better turned out Boris clip was used. The response by Full Fact on this incident, is at best, described as ‘accommodating’ to the figurehead of the governing political party by saying nothing at all and reiterating a BBC apology.
Full Fact stated that a social media post had been shared ‘thousands’ of times. The very first tweet we found under its hashtag has been shared over 13,000 times and liked over 27,000 times. That tweet would have obviously been massively amplified into millions of views overall.
This is Full-Facts entire response:
This is true, the BBC twice used footage from the 2016 service instead of 2019 during the morning broadcast on the 11 November 2019, when discussing the election policies related to the armed forces which Labour and the Conservatives announced that day.
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Mr Johnson, who in 2016 was Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, laid a green wreath on behalf of overseas territories. This year as Prime Minister, he laid a wreath of red poppies.
In later news bulletins throughout the morning, the BBC used footage from the 2019 service.
Here is the response from just one tweet shared and viewed tens of thousands of times.
Ruaridh Arrow, a producer at BBC’s Hard Talk responded – “Calm down everyone, it was an accidental selection of the wrong clip, not a conspiracy. Unfortunately, it’s too easy to do in a hurry” – and got a quick very negative response.
(#wreathgate gets you an update on public response to this event)
Users on social media have made many valid comments – here are just a few:
“How archive videos are labelled, and how easy it is to confuse something from 13 November 2016 and 10 November 2019?”
“BBC says it erroneously showed footage of Boris Johnson from 2016 instead of yesterday when he laid a wreath upside down at a cenotaph Really, BBC? Last year you denied photoshopping a pic of Jeremy Corbyn to make him look like a Communist”
“What a day. From Nigel Farage being offered a peerage to the BBC splicing together footage 3 years apart in a “mistake.”
“Yesterday BBC accidentally went up into the attic to dust off 3-year-old footage of Boris Johnson laying a wreath instead of just Sunday’s footage where, Johnson totally fxxxed it up. It’s embarrassing what the media is required to do to prop up this PM.”
Mooncat666 decided on a more sarcastic response to get his point across – “The BBC have apologised for the realistic looking CGI of Jeremy Corbyn strangling a kitten whilst Boris Johnson cures cancer in a laboratory that was broadcast earlier. This was due to small production error in an editing suite – it was supposed to be a weather map.”
At a time when the BBC is being accused of political bias during Brexit, now they are facing the same accusations with this upcoming election. When Friday December 13th arrives this year, there will be a post-mortem on the most divisive election in living memory. As mentioned, this election will be characterised by misinformation, disinformation and especially of a government who are in the national newspapers daily for blatant media manipulation and propaganda.
Full Fact needs to keep itself firmly on the right side of the post-truth era that is undermining civil society or it will find itself with no public support but backed only by the likes of the media giants. And – yes, it says something when Full Facts biggest single donor is Google that provides substantial financial support plus $120,000 annually of free advertising and its own ‘automated’ fact-checking service.
The Independent published this letter from an eye-witness: