You may already have seen this, but the BBC ran a "fact check" on the Andrew Neil interview with Nicola Sturgeon on Monday night, and the results were rather amusing. They found that each and every claim Ms Sturgeon made was accurate, but they were obviously deeply frustrated by that discovery and couldn't leave it there, so in each case they needlessly added extra text along the lines of "but what she could have additionally said was..."
For example, in respect of her claim that almost all polls show an increase in support for independence, they admit that's true, but add that: "Excluding "don't knows", the average of polls this year has been 51% for No to 49% for Yes - extremely close but still marginal support for remaining in the union". Which is fine, but as Nicola Sturgeon didn't claim at any point that there's a pro-independence majority in the polling average, it's unclear what that gratuitous observation is doing in a purported "fact check" piece.
It gets better, though, because the article does tacitly identify one genuine inaccuracy from the interview. The only snag is that it was Andrew Neil who was guilty of the inaccuracy, not Nicola Sturgeon. This is what the fact check says about whether Scotland would need its own currency to qualify for EU accession -
"The EU rules for countries which want to join the EU do not explicitly say that a country has to have its own currency before it is allowed to become a member"
Which directly contradicts a claim made repeatedly by Andrew Neil in his questioning. When Ms Sturgeon pointed out that he was misleading his viewers, he talked over her loudly and refused to even acknowledge she had challenged him on the point. Indeed, the most bizarre part of the whole interview was when he informed a bemused Ms Sturgeon that she had "accepted" that a currency is required, even though every single viewer of the programme had just heard her vociferously say the complete opposite!
If the BBC run a fact check on a BBC interview with a leading politician, and find that only the interviewer got his facts wrong, you'd expect the article to say something like -
"This means that Mr Neil was not strictly correct in the claims he made in his questioning, and the BBC would like to extend our apologies to Ms Sturgeon and to viewers for this inadvertent error".
As they haven't done that, and as they've essentially just ignored the blatant contradiction between statements made in the fact check and claims made by Mr Neil in his questions, what conclusions are we entitled to draw?
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