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>> News > United Kingdom
BBC Ordered to Stop Referring to itself in Third Person - July 19th 2003

The Broadcasting Complaints Commission has ordered the BBC to stop referring to itself in Third Person following a string of articles covering the Iraq Dossier scandal during which the BBC accused the British Government of “sexing up” the report.

Once the Government started accusing the BBC of foul play, the corporation retaliated by referring to itself in third person, in an attempt to brush off criticism as if it was being directed at someone else.

“It’s absolutely ludicrous,” Alistair Campbell retorted, “How on earth are we meant to damage their reputation when they insist on reporting it on their news shows in that god-damned annoying impartial tone. It’s only served to strengthen the weight of their accusations.

“I sit there and give a press conference about how the BBC is making fallacious accusations. Later, I switch over to BBC1 at 1 o’clock and Anna Ford is sat there saying ‘Alistair Campbell has accused the BBC of lying…’ with a smug grin on her face as if to say ‘Yeah right Campbell. We’re the one’s lying…’

“No wonder no one believes us with reporting like that.”

Regular TV viewers were also frustrated with the BBC:

“It was so confusing. A reporter said something like ‘David Kelly was suspected of being a BBC Mole’ and I thought ‘What channel am I watching?’ I mean, that’s like M contacting the Russians and saying ‘that guy Bond might be working for us’

“It just confused the hell out of me, so I’ve written and complained. I need to know exactly what channel I’m looking at without remembering which number I pressed on my remote or looking at the logo in the corner.”

The BBC has taken the order very seriously and says that to avoid any further confusion, in the future it will refer to itself in 2nd person - especially when dealing with reports concerning Alistair Campbell.


Random Perspective acknowledges that some people may consider the recent death of Dr David Kelly to be a sensitive issue and would therefore like to assure people that this is article is not intended to make fun of this serious issue in any way.

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