BBC broadcast of fake news
The BBC has broadcast fake news– false and misleading information – on its International news service, it would appear for the purpose of deceiving viewers over the UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s visit to the United States of America and meeting with Rupert Murdoch that the BBC never made International news service broadcast mention of when she travelled to the USA.
In the two days leading up to the US election Sally Bundock did at least twice during UK Prime Ministers extensive and repeated BBC coverage of her visit to India , referred to “UK PM May’s first visit outside the European Union since Brexit”. The words “since Brexit” presumably refer to the June 2016 referendum vote for the UK to leave the European Union.
I am a daily viewer of the BBC’s International news service and was surprised to find on other Internet news sites references to the UK PM have met with Rupert Murdoch and news reporting of journalist Mazher Mahmood [known as the “Fake Sheikh”] had been jailed after being found guilty of conspiring to pervert the course of justice.
No such news of Mazher Mahmood’s crimes were broadcast on the BBC, so I searched the BBC websites and still finding nothing, made an inquiry that became an official complaint Case number CAS-4076519-9VN1VZ to the BBC. The complaint that the BBC has broadcast false & misleading information – Fake news – after failing to report news of the UK PM’s USA meeting with Rupert Murdoch and referred to failing to broadcast or publish news of the UK news media crimes of Mazher Mahmood.
I have received an email reply from the BBC that appears in full below.
While never acknowledging or denying the facts of Sally Bundock’s broadcast of Fake news, it does state;
“These decisions are made by our news editors, taking into consideration the editorial merit of the stories at hand, and we accept that not everyone will think that we are correct on each occasion.”
“There are several factors that we take into consideration when deciding how to put together our news coverage. For example, whether the story is new and requires immediate coverage, how unusual the story is, and how much national interest there is in the story. These decisions are always judgement calls rather than an exact science,”
I believe it to misleading to categorize UK PM May’s meeting with Murdoch, who by his control of UK newspapers influenced election results in the UK and Australia, as a “judgement call” regarding a taxpayer funded news service’s failure to inform the public of important public interest information and then further deceive viewers of its news service by broadcasting Fake News.
The BBC’s reply neither acknowledging or denying the facts of my complaint of its broadcast of false information does suggest that it is aware of its own impropriety in its deception of its viewers.
The BBC’s reply does claim to “have reported extensively on the jailing of Mazher Mahmood in broadcast and online. I’ve included some links to our latest online coverage below:”
It has not reported on the crimes of Murdoch news media employee ‘Mazher Mahmood’ on the BBC International news service and my several searches of BBC websites, both before & after lodging the complaint & receiving the BBC reply, found no references what so ever to that name. On repeating searches for the name ‘Mazher Mahmood’ some websites – referred to below in the BBC reply – did appear on the same screen without the search website being ‘refreshed’. I know computers & the Internet have some strange glitches on occasions but this seemed very odd, leaving me to wonder if the BBC also indulges if fake archives within computerised database.
Mazher Mahmood: ‘Fake Sheikh’ jailed over Tulisa case – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37727631
Concerns about ‘Fake Sheikh’ methods ‘ignored by CPS and Met Police’ http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37571614
‘Fake Sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood guilty over Tulisa case – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37563509
The only BBC reference to Mazher Mahmood ever having any connection to Murdoch’s UK news media that I could see in these BBC Internet published news reporting was that he was a “former News Of The World investigations editor” which would require the reader to be knowledgeable of the history of ‘News Of The World’ and its connection to Murdoch before it was closed.
… Other Internet news services did have any interest in the United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Theresa May’s US meeting with Rupert Murdoch
I have also Tweeted the BBC’s Sally Bundock & referred her to her repeated BBC broadcasts of fake news “UK PM May’s first visit outside the European Union since Brexit”. She has not acknowledged or replied to me at @rjrbts. I do concede that the Tweet may have been intercepted [& not received by Sally B.] as I have experienced extensive hacking of my Twitter, email & PCs over the last few months in particular. The hacking may be the cause of my Comment posted to The Guardian Internet published website [‘Rupert Murdoch: ‘I’ve never asked any prime minister for anything’ dated 19 December 2016] referred to at the end of this WordPress post] not appearing, not now days later being referred to on the website as being denied posting due to non-compliance with The Guardian’s requirements, and now that website not offering any opportunity to post any comments or replies to the comments of others. I will inquire to The Guardian as to if I am experiencing some technical glitch or have been banned & denied access to the services that allow such posts by their reading public.
…….Below – The BBC’s reply to my complaint;
From: firstname.lastname@example.org <email@example.com> Sent: Tuesday, November 15, 2016 1:59 AM To: Roger Bates Subject: BBC Complaints – Case number CAS-4076519-9VN1VZ
Dear Mr Bates
Thank you for taking the time to contact us.
I was sorry to read you were unhappy with BBC News. I understand you feel there has been a lack of coverage of Theresa May’s private meeting with Rupert Murdoch.
We know that not everyone will agree with our choices on which stories to cover, and the prominence that we give to them. These decisions are made by our news editors, taking into consideration the editorial merit of the stories at hand, and we accept that not everyone will think that we are correct on each occasion.
There are several factors that we take into consideration when deciding how to put together our news coverage. For example, whether the story is new and requires immediate coverage, how unusual the story is, and how much national interest there is in the story.
These decisions are always judgement calls rather than an exact science, but we appreciate the feedback that our viewers and listeners give us when they feel a story has been overlooked or marginalised.
In addition, we seek to ensure that, over a reasonable period, all sides of any public debate are explored and explained, so our audience can be better informed in coming to their own judgement of an issue. The BBC does not seek to denigrate any view, nor to promote any view. It seeks rather to identify all significant views, and to test them rigorously and fairly on behalf of the audience.
That said, we have reported extensively on the jailing of Mazher Mahmood in broadcast and online. I’ve included some links to our latest online coverage below:
Mazher Mahmood: ‘Fake Sheikh’ jailed over Tulisa case – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37727631
Concerns about ‘Fake Sheikh’ methods ‘ignored by CPS and Met Police’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37571614
‘Fake Sheikh’ Mazher Mahmood guilty over Tulisa case – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-37563509
Rest assured, we do value your feedback strongly and I’ll make the relevant production team aware of your concerns.
Thanks again for getting in touch.
BBC Complaints Team
NB This is sent from an outgoing account only which is not monitored. You cannot reply to this email address but if necessary please contact us via our webform quoting any case number we provided.
…… The Guardian news article with my posted Comment that does not appear days after it was posted. – Beneath this ‘The Guardian’ news article [& my post that does not now appear as posted or rejected] is my previous correspondence to the BBC that resulted in the reply “These decisions are always judgement calls rather than an exact science,” from the BBC.
….. Rupert Murdoch ‘I’ve never asked any prime minister for anything’ theguardian 19 Dec 2016
Rupert Murdoch: ‘I’ve never asked any prime minister for anything’
Media mogul writes to the Guardian to deny asking No 10 to do his bidding as Sky takeover attempt awaits government approval
- Rupert Murdoch’s letter to the Guardian
Rupert Murdoch: ‘Let me make clear I have never uttered those words.’ Photograph: Josh Reynolds/AP
Robert Booth and Jane Martinson
Monday 19 December 2016 19.29 GMT First published on Monday 19 December 2016 13.57 GMT
Rupert Murdoch has written to the Guardian to deny he ever claimed that Downing Street did his bidding, as an attempt by his US film and television group to acquire Sky is due to be formally notified to ministers.
The media mogul, who is chairman of 21st Century Fox, wrote: “I have made it a principle all my life never to ask for anything from any prime minister.”
In a rare move to write directly to a newspaper, Murdoch disputed a quote attributed to him in the Guardian and elsewhere in which he reportedly said: “When I go into Downing Street, they do what I say; when I go to Brussels, they take no notice.”
‘I have never asked for anything from any prime minister’ – Rupert Murdoch letter
Letters: There is much fake news published about me, but let me make clear that I have never uttered the words ‘When I go into Downing Street, they do what I say; when I go to Brussels, they take no notice’
In his response, Murdoch added: “There is much fake news published about me, but let me make clear that I have never uttered those words.”
The quote was originally reported in the Evening Standard by Anthony Hilton, who wrote in February: “I once asked Rupert Murdoch why he was so opposed to the European Union. ‘That’s easy,’ he replied. ‘When I go into Downing Street they do what I say; when I go to Brussels they take no notice.’”
When asked by the Guardian, Hilton said: “I stand by my story.” He said Murdoch made the remarks in a conversation in the early 1980s, when Hilton was city editor of the Times. Hilton, now a columnist for the Evening Standard, has referred to the anecdote several times over the years without either a denial or a complaint from his former boss, until now.
The denial from Murdoch comes at a highly sensitive moment for his business interests, with Fox’s proposed £11.2bn takeover of the 61% of Sky he does not already own expected to be notified to the UK government for approval.
The culture secretary, Karen Bradley, has 10 working days from being notified to tell Ofcom whether a public interest investigation into the proposed takeover should be launched.
The former Labour leader Ed Miliband and former business secretary Vince Cable have called for the takeover to be blocked and referred to the regulator.
A previous attempt by a Murdoch company to acquire the remaining part of Sky was withdrawn in the summer of 2011 at the height of the phone-hacking scandal, which was exposed by the Guardian and led to the closure of the News of the World.
However, Fox, the company bidding on this occasion, does not own the newspapers; they are published by a separate business, News Corporation. The newspapers were hived off in the wake of the hacking scandal.
During the Leveson inquiry, Murdoch made a similar statement about his political influence, saying “I’ve never asked a prime minister for anything in my life” during a day of testimony in April 2012.
However, that was contradicted by John Major, the former Conservative prime minister, who told the inquiry shortly after Murdoch gave evidence that while the media mogul “never asked for anything directly from me … he was not averse to pressing for policy changes”.
In particular, Major described one meeting in the run-up to the 1997 general election in which Murdoch “made it clear that he disliked my European policies, which he wished me to change. If not, his papers could not and would not support the Conservative government. So far as I recall he made no mention of editorial independence but referred to all his papers as ‘we’.”
Major added: “Both Mr Murdoch and I kept our word. I made no change in policy and Mr Murdoch’s titles did indeed oppose the Conservative party. It came as no surprise to me when soon after our meeting the Sun newspaper announced its support for Labour.”
The ultimatum, Major said, was delivered at a private meeting three months before that election, which resulted in the Tories losing heavily to Labour.
Harold Evans, the former editor of the Times, has also said that a private meeting between Murdoch and the then prime minister Margaret Thatcher over lunch at Chequers, the official country residence, led to a “coup that transformed the relationship between British politics and journalism”.
Evans suggested that a deal was brokered at that meeting in which Murdoch offered his papers’ support to Thatcher in return for approval for his purchase of the Times and Sunday Times in 1981.
Hilton, while working at the Times, saw a lot of the paper’s proprietor, with dinner in Murdoch’s Green Park flat and conversations in his office in Gray’s Inn Road. The conversations were between owner and employee, not part of a formal interview, so there is unlikely to have been any verbatim note or witnesses.
Hilton used the comment in his February column as part of a wider discussion about the nature of the relationship between corporate power and government. That column concludes with an observation about Murdoch’s comments: “That was some years ago but things have not changed that much.” …………
My comment posted to The Guardian Internet news article
Rupert Murdoch: ‘I’ve never asked any prime minister for anything’
Not appearing as posted or as rejected
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“There is much fake news published about me, but let me make clear that I have never uttered those words.” said Rupert who declines to confirm or deny any knowledge of the false & misleading information he has published & the fake archives of his newspapers with news articles published erased or altered for those false records sold by Australian public libraries & British Libraries UK London. Is Mr Murdoch again being deceived by his subordinate journalists, Editors & others? Some detail of some of the crimes & corruption corrupt journalism conceals can be viewed at https://rjrbtsrupertsfirstnewspaper.wordpress.com/2016/09/27/rupert-murdochs-fake-archives-of-newspapers-corrupt-journalism-and-billions-of-dollars-of-unaccounted-for-public-debt/ that includes media releases of Australia’s financial reporting law enforcement [ASC since renamed ASIC] the news articles reporting of which have been erased from Murdoch newspaper Adelaide Sth. Aust.’s ‘The Advertiser’. Those media releases being the only means I was aware of the information & requested the corresponding media releases.
Prime Ministers generally instinctively understand what Rupert Murdoch requires of them without his having to ask but do meet with him as reported by The Guardian 29 September 2016 “Theresa May had private meeting with Rupert Murdoch”. The BBC has since then in October 2016 (8th & 9th. Sally Bundock) broadcast fake news referring to UK PM May’s visit to India “UK PM May’s first visit outside the European Union since Brexit”. Did the BBC & Sally Bundock know of UK PM May’s travel to the USA & meeting with Murdoch or did The Guardian get that wrong? My understanding from my correspondence to Rupert, PM May, the BBC & others is that they all know of the evidence of Murdoch’s news media fake news, fake archives & the related crimes & corruption concealed.
The BBC’s reply to my inquiry/complaint being, without confirming or denying the BBC had broadcast false information, “several factors that we take into consideration when deciding how to put together our news coverage. For example, whether the story is new and requires immediate coverage, how unusual the story is, and how much national interest there is in the story. – These decisions are always judgement calls rather than an exact science”.
UK taxpayers finance their own deception by paying for fake archives of newspapers, mostly imported from Australia, & BBC lies broadcast. Fake news has been a hallmark of Murdoch newspapers since the days of the first newspapers he ever owned. It seems doubtful that PM May will allow the Leveson Inquiry Part 2 cancelled by PM Cameron. Many questions remain unanswered.
****** My correspondence to the BBC
Fw: BBC Enquiries – Case ref: CAS-4076543-SLKMD0
Sat 11/12/2016 5:45 PM
BBC BBC (firstname.lastname@example.org);
BBC have your say
Complaint to the BBC Case ref: CAS-4076543-SLKMD0
Awaiting a response
BBC broadcast of false and misleading information
Sirs/Madams of the BBC Have Your Say,
Please pass this correspondence on to BBC administration management.
Unless prompt corrections are made by the BBC when false and misleading information is broadcast and/or published adverse consequences are more likely to result by decisions made based on the false information & the likelihood of those hearing the inaccurate information receiving the correction of the information is lessened.
Could you please also pass the correspondence below to your BBC complaints processing department and ask that they [or you] provide an indication of when a reply is likely to be received.
The BBC’s broadcast of false and misleading information
Sirs/Madams of the BBC,
In the two days leading up to the US election the BBC’s international television news service has broadcast false & misleading information. Sally Bundock has at least twice, on the second occasion 8 Nov 2016 in reference to UK PM Theresa May’s visit to India, referred to “UK PM May’s first visit outside the European Union since Brexit”. The words “since Brexit” presumably refer to the referendum vote to leave the European Union. Considerable repeated broadcast time was devoted to PM May’s visit to India.
I have only in November 2016 come upon news media reporting dated 29 September 2016https://www.theguardian.com/media/2016/sep/29/theresa-may-meeting-rupert-murdoch-times-sun ‘Theresa May had private meeting with Rupert Murdoch’ reporting “Theresa May had a private meeting with Rupert Murdoch during a flying visit to New York last week, in which she made her maiden speech to the UN as prime minister.” Other news media http://www.newscrasher.com/2016/09/29/theresa-may-had-a-private-meeting-with-her-boss/#comment-5197 also reported on PM May’s visit to the USA.
I am a daily viewer of BBC international news service and note that the BBC did not report on UK PM May’s travel to the US and meeting with Rupert Murdoch. It is reasonable to expect that the BBC would consider the UK PM’s international travel as news worthy.
I also note that the BBC news service did not report on UK newspaper journalist Mazher Mahmood employed by Rupert Murdoch’s news media https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/21/mazher-mahmood-murdoch-fake-sheikh-jailed-news-uk-leveson-part-two#comment-85938180 After Mazher Mahmood, Murdoch cannot be let off the hook.
On 3 Nov 2016 prior to the BBC’s Sally Bundoch’s broadcast of false and misleading information I contacted the BBC through its website https://ssl.bbc.co.uk/faqs/forms/?eid=comment_appreciation&id=OGD38SL97HN7RCCK90CKILM6A8&mid=contact&uid=221712569#anchor asking about the BBC’s policy in regard to its failure to report on PM May’s visit to the US & meeting with Rupert Murdoch & the conviction for crimes committed by Murdoch news media employee Mazher Mahmood. [Contact is inconveniently limited to 500 words]
I have received a reply dated 11 November 2016 stating that it was not possible to answer my questions I have ask concerning BBC policy. The information has been accepted as a complaint Number CAS-4076519-9VN1VZ for which no indication for when a reply may be received has been provided.
It is my intention to post to a WordPress website the relevant information concerning the BBC’s broadcast of false and misleading information should a satisfactory reply and correction not be made by the BBC within an appropriately reasonable time. A week or two should be adequate time for the BBC to broadcast a correction of the information. Any longer will make the correction irrelevant and/or give the impression that the BBC is ignoring the problem & has contempt for the public’s right to have accurate information from a publicly funded broadcaster.
The question of why the BBC avoided reporting such obviously news worthy events remains unanswered. The BBC should be the expert and most prominent news media reporter on UK government decisions, governance matters and the travel of MPs and Prime Minister. It would appear that the BBC has an editorial policy of not reporting on events that may embarrass the UK government and Rupert Murdoch.
The most recent BBC broadcast of false & misleading information by Sally Bundock does reinforce the perception of editorial bias to the benefit of PM May, her government [previously cancelling the Leveson Inquiry part 2 – very little or nothing about that on the BBC news service] & Rupert Murdoch, that is to the detriment of UK taxpayers funding the BBC, the independence of the BBC and its requirement to inform UK taxpayers with the truth and integrity of a news service that should be expected of a taxpayer funded public broadcaster.
It is reasonable to expect that the BBC should acknowledge its broadcast of false and misleading information and make a prominent and full correction of what the BBC’s news service may claim was a mistake. It also is reasonable to believe that the BBC & Ms Bundock were aware that the information was inaccurate at the time that it was broadcast.
In my communication with the BBC I also made reference to the evidence false archives of newspapers published that is preserved within British Libraries UK London, of which PM May and Rupert Murdoch have been made aware. The fake archives that have also been exported to the British Libraries UK London [Colindale] conceal crimes and corruption relating to events of Australian national [& International] significance that have occurred in Adelaide South Australia where Rupert Murdoch began his media empire with the first newspapers that he ever owned. He has since then maintained a South Australian newspaper publishing state monopoly. The information & documentation posted to the WordPress website provide some insight into the crimes and corruption that is concealed.
I have seen the damage that is done by news media’s deception of the public with corrupt journalism. In the experience of South Australia, the state here I lived for most of my life, the cost has been billions of dollars in unaccounted for public debt.
The BBC has a duty to maintain honesty, reliability and integrity with its news reporting and risks its reputation built on a history of many decades of service to the public by its venture into lower standards of competence or lack ethics indicated by these most recent past deceptions of the UK and foreign news media viewers.
Please confirm that the BBC will acknowledge and prominently correct its error of the false information it has broadcast so as to demonstrate its independence of government editorial control and its dedication to reliable service to the public.
It is also reasonable that the publicly funded broadcaster the BBC on behalf of UK taxpayers ask the question to UK Prime Minister Theresa May ‘Will she and her government allow the start of the Leveson Inquiry Part 2 that was cancelled by former UK Prime Minister David Cameron?’ and broadcast her response. The Leveson Inquiry into the news media was and still is a matter of public interest with issues and questions of media and law enforcement impropriety still unaddressed.
Your prompt action and response is required.
Roger J. Bates November 2016
Further correspondence from the BBC on these issues raised would be welcome.
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> Sent: Tuesday, November 8, 2016 4:28 AM To: Roger Bates Subject: BBC Enquiries – Case ref: CAS-4076543-SLKMD0
Thanks for getting in touch with us.
You can contact the BBC News team directly via text, social media or email to share stories or issues which matter to you.
Full details on contact details can be found on the ‘Have Your Say’ section on the BBC News website:
I hope you find this helpful Roger and thanks again for writing.
BBC Enquiries Team
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Ask Rupert what he knows about the fake archives of his first newspapers and the crimes & corruption that his fake archives & corrupt journalism [Fake News] conceals.