BBC Scotland ridiculed after documentary promo is presented as news

BBC Scotland has been the subject of ridicule on social media after a documentary which featured a four year old Police Scotland report was presented as headline news.

The documentary ‘A Force in Crisis’ was presented by Samantha Poling who claimed to have been leaked ‘secret police documents’ which contained ‘claims of serious corruption and criticism of Police Scotland’s bosses’.

However the programme featured drafts of a report published four years ago when Police Scotland was under the command of Sir Stephen House.  House resigned his position in 2015.

The documentary was promoted heavily on BBC Scotland News’ twitter account with clips showing Poling in a darkened room apparently poring over the secret documents, atmospheric music added to the melodramatic tone.

The clips prompted mockery on social media with users lampooning the presentation.  One user tweeted: “I loved the piece on BBC Scotland showing the reporter poring over documents in a darkened room, late at night with pictures of officers in the background. Very reminiscent of “All the Presidents Men”

Others derided the clip, comparing it to a comedy show: “Who the f**k is that reporter who has only one expression who makes these wastes of resources? You know that look, a constipated faux concerned expression. Like Damian Day from Drop the Dead Donkey (contemporary reference I’m sure)”

“The lunchtime BBC Reporting Scotland advert for the ‘BBC Scotland Investigates’ Police Scotland programme was pure theatre: Dimmed lights, presenter with glasses edged over the tip of her nose opening a ‘Classified documents’ folder. Could easily believe it was meant to be comedy”

There was also anger at what some saw as more evidence of Scottish institutions being attacked by the BBC.  Celebrity mountain walker, Cameron McNeish tweeted: “Knocking the Scottish Police service and the Scottish NHS, the two major pastimes of #BBCScotland I suppose it ties in with their obsession with #SNPBaaad”

The programme was the number one story on BBC Scotland News throughout the day and into late evening.  It was favoured first over a serious bus crash which injured 29 people in Glasgow and then surprise backing for the Scottish Government from Scottish Labour and the Scottish Lib Dems over the Power Grab row.  The documentary was also the lead item on the flagship news programme Reporting Scotland.

The documentary has now led to calls from Unionist politicians for Scottish Justice Secretary Michael Matheson to appear before MSPs.  The calls follow a failed smear campaign conducted earlier this year which sought to oust the minister.  The smear campaign featured widely on BBC Scotland from January into February.

BBC Scotland’s documentary targeting Police Scotland will be seen by many as an attempt to resurrect attacks on Michael Matheson.

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8 thoughts on “BBC Scotland ridiculed after documentary promo is presented as news

  1. Michael Cavanagh

    what is it about elected conservatives and their preoccupation with television as their window on the world? They have to see this as a pretty shallow basis. I can understand if this wass a response to the ridiculous delays in responding to the death of Sheku Beyoh, but this particular line is with a management long gone, so what is the expected line of questioning?

  2. Big Jock

    There is a point people reach when stories are rehashed over and over when it just becomes boring. People stop listening and their eyes glaze over.

    The BBC seem to forget that every family has a relation or friend in the emergency services or NHS. The police and NHS bad stories are personal. I work in the private sector and if the BBC hounded my firm every few months our lawyers would be shutting them down.

    But it seems the NHS and Police are fair game because they don’t fight back. Why are the police lawyers not knocking down the BBC doors for harassment.

  3. Robert Graham

    I guess we have got used to the never ending merry go round .



    Insert any public service here then it all starts again .

    But in the meantime any reference to previous administrations use of PFI in Schools – Hospitals – and the debacle of The Edinburgh Tram Fiasco ,
    yes reports are featured with no reference to Labour or Tory involvement , and are structured to give the impression that its the current governments fault ,

    Half of Scotland after being worked on by this BBC have been left with the impression that the SNP are useless and incompetent , but even the ones who believe this guff if they take the time to look around they will see the country isn’t grinding to a halt and nothing works , so its a small step to see through this fog of obvious lies .

    Waken Up Folks this BBC dont tell the truth . Just look around is it Armageddon out there .

  4. Ian

    Ffs!! I actually just noticed that word again.. ‘crisis’ lol… Oh jeez, I’d laugh if it weren’t so serious…. Anyhoo, I’ll make my way home through destroyed powerless streets, avoiding the marauding armed gangs, maybe rake the bins for food for my rickets ridden kids, fill an old bucket with water from the puddle in the boot of that wrecked car over there..hope it’s not too stagnant…. No. No I won’t. I’ll walk down the busy and industrious Street to the train station, get on the clean, comfortable and dry train, connect to the WiFi, read a book, get home, eat dinner, maybe have a drink of lovely clean water drawn straight from the tap. I might then login to the repeat prescription system to order up some medicines for a relative (all previously and happily paid for) from the NHS…’s a wonder I how I manage to put up with this life…with everything being in such a mess…always in ‘crisis’…. 🙂 Roll on Independence… It’ll only be better..think of that….

  5. Ian

    This reporter regularly has these sort of shows, which are usually promoted continuously as news. I have always ben critical of BBC for with-holding news so that it can prmote these “investigations”. Usually, they are into things such as the Glasgow security business or some such. Usually Glasgow orientated. What is clear is that these reports tend to more about the reporter than the facts. She clearly sees herself as the star of the piece. And the style is always melowdramatic and overly wrought.

    This was scraping the barrel at the very least. Only an organisarion with an agenda would focus on something this old. Clearly they calculate that it can do damage.

    Reporting Scotland reported it, the day later, with reference to less police on the beat since a few years ago. Not mentioning that crime is at a historic low. Not that there remain more cops than when the last coalition government was in place.

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