July 22, 2004

A typographical error or just ordinary ignorance?

Had to laugh in the car the other morning when the presenter on Morning Report (it may have been Rae Lamb) in summarising the Butler report mentioned that the British Intelligence service was called M16 [M-sixteen]. That old bearded National Radio sage Geoff Robinson had to correct her off air, and she apologised later. Anti-public radio pundits among you of course applaud this display of bad journalism. But, shock, horror, the same happened on Al-Jazeera in an opinion piece by Linda Heard. Did Rae and Linda go to the same journalism school?
But wait, there is more: "M-sixteen" also appeared in Bagehot's column in The Economist (July 17 print edition, I'm sure they corrected this already online).
Not a leftwing, proto-commie, towel-wearing conspiracy against the competence of pronouncing the name of our infallible intelligence services after all.

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