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Low Fruit

OK, I admit it, I'm going for the low hanging fruit again: namely the incredible ignorance of presenters on the BBC World Service. The BBC says Romania used to be part of the Soviet Union. As the "C" in BBC stands for Corporation, one must presume that corporate responsibility is taken for statements made in its broadcasts. Surprisingly, this week's gaffe came from the usually competent James Menendez in an item on World Update about the former Eastern Bloc country assuming the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union.  The blunder is all the more inexcusable because the fall of the Communist regime in Romania was unusually violent and included the murder of the former dictator. The kind of thing anyone with pretensions to journalism would be expected to remember. Is there any quality control at the BBC? In recent months listeners have been told that Korea was divided north and south after the Korean War, when in fact it was partitioned at the end of the Second World War, and that the Anglo Saxons once ruled the whole of Britain. How can an organisation so ignorant be trusted to get anything right? Those who do not know the background to present-day events cannot be relied on to interpret them correctly. So, James, I say again that Romania was never part of the Soviet Union. Nor were Poland, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, Hungry or East Germany. There, I've done my bit to help the BBC get its facts right. 

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