Rather fascinating case  leading to an apology from BBC East Midlands for this;

“Back in January 2010, on the second day of the book injunction trial in Lisbon, BBC East Midlands reporter Mike O’ Sullivan asked the former Judiciary Police coordinator Gonçalo Amaral if his book was hurting the McCanns, Amaral’s answer was “Não, fale com os McCann”, which literally translated means “No, speak with the McCanns”. 

In what appeared to be a pathetic attempt to smear Amaral’s character, Mike O’Sullivan, who clearly doesn’t know Portuguese, decided to bleep Amaral’s reply (see the above video at 0:30) and broadcast to the world that Amaral had said “F*ck the McCanns”. Though several other UK, Portuguese, Spanish reporters were present at the book banning trial Mike O’Sullivan was the only one who made that (intentional?) assumption. It took 16 months and several complaints to the BBC complaints department, to the PCC, and to Ofcom for the BBC to finally admit that Mike O’ Sullivan was wrong [see bellow] and that Gonçalo Amaral reply was twisted, however no formal apology was issued.”

Read the case details here. My thanks to Joana Morais. 
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  1. Martin says:

    This is why the complaints system for the BBC needs reforming. It’s not enough that some cocaine snorting retard politics student reads them the BBC need to start taking complaints seriously and I don’t mean the usual Jeremy Clarkson garbage they seem to foam about but real complaints of bias and lies.


  2. My Site (click to edit) says:

    ‘It took 16 months and severalcomplaints to the BBC complaints department, to the PCC, and toOfcom for the BBC to finally admit ‘

    Funny, when they though they were on a winner, I got served within 24 hrs.

    Then, when it turned out they had no read what I complained about and knee jerked, badly, a got an apology.

    As to my request to please answer the charge, though… tumbleweed.

    Looks like I have 15 months a 3 week mor eto wait, then. I’ll set my Mac calendar.


  3. wild says:

    If they took their serious complaints seriously the BBC would cease to exist. Their complaints department It is nothing more than a PR exercise.

    Even IF their complaints department held them to account their producers would ignore them.

    Only competition (plurality of views) gives the viewer a chance to make up their own mind about what is going on in the world – which is why the BBC is against it.


  4. LJ says:

    See, as part of the ‘apology’ the BBC stated : “The Editor of the programme has discussed the outcome with the producer and reporter involved. In future, the team plans to use interpreters if clips from interviews are unclear.”
    The quote from Martin Brunt read : “The rest of us, through our interpreters, understood perfectly what he was saying.”
    Are the BBC seriously telling us that they tought he swore, but never asked an interpreter what the Policeman said, and couldn’t find anyone who speaks Portuguese to check it?? What a load of cobblers!


    • My Site (click to edit) says:

      ‘Are the BBC seriously telling us’

      No, they are not. Because they don’t have to, and know they don’t.

      I just had the latest from my Newsnight producer. It seems he’s run out of excuses and I have run out of ways of saying I need more than that.

      It coincides with another complaint ‘response’ to a much older one coming in. Pure, unadulterated cookie cutter.

      If there is anything to be gained, I’ll share here once I fire off a reply to both.


  5. Millie Tant says:

    Reading the above reminded me of something I read last night. Compare and contrast this twit story with others we know of who post bias and comments that bring their employer into disrepute:
    A  public servant employed to tackle lobbying reform has stepped down after she tweeted she hoped a campaign group ‘would die’.
    In comments that are deeply inappropriate for a senior civil servant Eirian Walsh Atkins posted ‘I wish unlock Democracy would die. I am prepared to help it along.’

    According to the Sunday Times Cabinet Office official Walsh Atkins also posted a string of tweets attacking ‘bloody rude Americans’ and ‘moronic tourists’ and now faces an internal investigation into possible breaches of the civil service code of conduct.
    Unlock Democracy, a campaign for constitutional reform in the UK, today tweeted a response to her outburst saying ‘Whitehall’s cosy relationship with the lobbying industry needs to die’ and ‘tweets don’t bother us but close government links with lobbyists do.’
    Walsh Atkins had been responsible for preparing the government’s consultation proposal for a register for lobbyists and had led the Cabinet Office’s refusal to disclose contact with the lobbying industry, under the Freedom of Information Act.
    In a statement released to the Sunday Time the Cabinet Office said ‘The official has personally apologised without reservation.
    ‘The comments were obviously unacceptable and in no way reflect the views of the Cabinet Office or the government.’
    They added that Walsh Atkins will remain employed at the Cabinet Office in a different post until investigations into her outbursts are concluded.
     Read more:

    Some public servants have a code of conduct and are answerable. Others seem not to and investigations and sanctions follow only if there has been a media fuss or if their misdemeanour offended narrowly defined sets of people. Hm…


  6. David Preiser (USA) says:

    Additionally, why was it acceptable for O’Sullivan to introduce Amaral as  “unfortunately” seeming to have a very low opinion of the McCann’s? That’s opinion and not reporting.


  7. Grant says:

    Great to see Portuguese on B-BBC.  Yes, your translation is correct !