BBC presenter forced to apologise after misquoting SNP MP

A BBC Scotland reporter has issued an apology after misquoting comments from an SNP MP.

Business and Economy editor Douglas Fraser had accused MP John Nicolson of wanting to replace BBC Scotland with the new digital channel recently announced by the corporation.

In a tweet, the BBC Scotland reporter said: “New BBC Scot TV channel: News at 9: 80 new jobs @MrJohnNicolson SNP: ‘missed opportunity not to have ScotSix: new channel shd replace BBC1’ ”

The claim was rubbished by the SNP MP, who responded: “I didn’t suggest that it should replace BBC 1 nor do I think it should.”

Nicolson added: “No idea where Douglas got that from. Entirely inaccurate.”

Clearly frustrated at the lack of response from the BBC reporter, the MP later added: “I’m a great fan of public service broadcasting. But making up quotes really unethical as Douglas knows.”

Increasingly unhappy, the SNP MP requested a correction: “Hi Douglas. This tweet has been up for a day. Can you correct? The quote is inaccurate. Didn’t say nor think BBC1 should be replaced. J”

The impasse was finally broken when the MP himself published a transcript of what he had said, which showed it wasn’t what the BBC reporter had claimed.

However in a bizarre move the BBC reporter published the same transcript along with a tweet implying it actually supported his claim.

Challenged by other users on social media, Fraser finally acknowledged his error and issued an apology, saying: “I misunderstood @mrjohnnicolson arguing that new BBCScot TV channel isn’t enough I misquoted him I’m really really Sorry #Bigly Here’s why:”

However the apology was followed by a string of tweets from the BBC Scotland reporter in which the SNP MP was accused of having issued confusing comments over the new BBC channel.

The tweets prompted criticism from other users of social media.  One labelled the follow-on tweets childish.  Another accused the BBC Scotland reporter of digging a bigger hole for himself.

“You should have stopped at sorry. I mean well done and everything, big of you, but the rest. Sheesh, childish.”

“Doogie… you’re digging the whole deeper, pal. All he would like is a retraction. Entirely reasonable”

“what the heck was all that about? Just say Oops sorry. Only u misinterpreted him. We knew you got it wrong.”

Both men now appear to have drawn a veil over the matter and moved on.  However Fraser’s reputation has taken a bit of a dent as a result of the exchange.

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10 thoughts on “BBC presenter forced to apologise after misquoting SNP MP

  1. John Sharp

    The John Nicholson quote referred clearly and unambiguously to the Scottish Six programme only; so it’s hard to see why a seniour BBC reporter should have misunderstood in the first place.

    More curious is Douglas Fraser’s tweet of 01 March – the one in which he says “… He says I misquoted him. Here’s what he said:” and attaches the text of John Nicholson’s statement. How could he have thought that this helped prove his point. If a schoolboy/girl interpreted the text in that way, I think that one might advise avoiding a career in journalism. I suppose there might also be a more cynical interpretation that the tweet implied that Mr Nicholson was in the wrong; and that most readers wouldn’t bother to read through all the text and analyse what was said.

    How sincere is an apology when (a) it is expressed in inappropriately exaggerated terms (really, really; and #Bigly) and (b) has immediately attached some more whitabootery not associated to any of Mr Nicholson’s statement. It says to me – here are some apology type words, but really, I’m still going to blame you for something, just to try to take the heat off me.

  2. Andy McKirdy

    Another enemy of the Scottish people within the BBC, how many is that on the list now????
    Just don’t watch it or listen to it at all now, have to rely on this site and others letting me know what the BritNats are up to. Gone past the “they make me sick” stage.
    Anyone watching the likes of The Burd “interviewing” Mayhem and not wanting to put their foot Through the telly must be either a BritNat themselves or fairly dense, I would imagine that makes up all that’s left of their audience, along with the brave souls like yourselves that grit your teeth through it so I don’t need to wreck another telly!!!!!!!

  3. Alistair D

    I continue to watch BBC news and listen to Radio S when I can, only to be certain of the misinformation that they produce. You need to know to counter.

  4. Bibbit

    The BBC’s overweening sense that it is entitled to be unaccountable never ceases to amaze.

    Well done, Mr Nicholson, for deftly putting this particular wee BBC nyaff back in his box.

    It’s a sair fecht but, yer a bonnie fighter.

  5. Clydebuilt

    Today’s example of BBC Mis-Reporting Scotland

    Andy Murray beats Verdasco in Dubai Final, listened to sports progs. On radio Scotland since mid day……. Not one mention of Andy’s victory.

  6. Iain Ferguson

    BBC Scotland is full of twisted so called journalist always putting Scotland down and really needs to be cleaned out thoroughly. Fraser, Bird……….the list is to long to put on here.

  7. donald anderson

    Fraser is Labour Brit. Like many people I think there should be a Scottish BC. EBC is spy centre that even Goebbels envied the EBC and claimed they told more lies than him.

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