BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme is in the spotlight again after explicit praise of the First Minister by American author Chelsea Clinton was edited out of the programme.
The daughter of former President Bill Clinton and Hilary Clinton was visiting Scotland to promote her new childrens’ book when she was interviewed by BBC Scotland.
Ms Clinton told interviewer Pauline McLean: “My admiration for your First Minister talking about the challenges of being a woman leader, I think that’s an incredibly courageous thing for her to do, to have that level of candour …”
However when the item aired on the flagship evening news programme Reporting Scotland, the segment containing mention of the First Minister was missing. In its place viewers heard the interviewer say: “… and she says she has been particularly impressed with the way Scottish politicians, especially the First Minister, have been prepared to talk candidly about their experiences.”
The edit prompted questions on social media with people asking who cut the clip and why the six second segment containing mention of the First Minister had been removed.
Interviewer Pauline McLean replied: “I edited the piece – as I do all my items. The clip in which she names the FM was close to a minute long. I thought the more important line was her wider admiration of female politicians in Scotland – which she did say – and we’d namechecked FM across the day.”
Some users of social media remained unconvinced, with one saying: “Such a bizarre decision. Which other country’s media would edit out praise of its First Minister? That you see this as acceptable given the current conversation about Scottish media is telling.”
The episode is the latest controversy to hit BBC Scotland’s flagship news programme and follows the Jenny Marra ‘fake news’ scandal and presenter Jackie Bird’s blunder when comparing Scottish GDP with that of the UK.
The BBC was also recently accused of operating a pro-Union agenda after the broadcaster targeted two pro-independence bloggers in a row over copyright. It eventually backed down.
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