BBC quiz show QI amends website following BBC Watch post

We are delighted to be able to report that, following our post yesterday regarding the QI website’s omission of any reference to the significance of Jerusalem to Judaism in an item about the city, the website has now been updated.  

The second paragraph of the amended version now reads: 

“Today, as well as being the spiritual centre of Judaism, it is the third holiest city in Islam. In Arabic, Jerusalem is most commonly known as al-Quds meaning ‘The Holy.’ Jerusalem is also of great importance to Jesus’s followers where more than a dozen Christian communities live side by side in (not always complete) harmony.”

Well done QI team!  

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31 comments on “BBC quiz show QI amends website following BBC Watch post

  1. He’s not exactly a proud Jew, he’s a “sorry-for-existing-please-don’t-hurt-me” one.

    The change on the website is welcome but doesn’t exactly do justice to the facts, does it? Jerusalem has been the spiritual centre for over 3000 years, not just “Today”. In fact, it was the spiritual and political capital of Judaism before all the other empires mentioned in the first paragraph (“Babylonians, […] Philistines, Assyrians, Persians, Greeks, Macedonians, […] and Romans”) set foot in the place. The Israelites were there *before* the Babylonian invasion, not after as their list suggests.

    • “He’s not exactly a proud Jew, he’s a “sorry-for-existing-please-don’t-hurt-me” one.”
      I think that’s the perfect description.

  2. Excellent.

    If there is one message I would send to the BBC it is that trust is so important. Honest mistakes can be forgiven but a persistant bias and misrepresentation takes on the colours of agitprop. Unfortunately, once an institution like the BBC begins to walk down this path on one issue, the public may start to wonder if it does so on other issues.

  3. Well done Hadar and BBC Watch. But this is not nearly enough from the BBC. Fry must be fired out of the Fry-pan into the fire. Evidence below from previous QI thread:
    Biodegradable October 15, 2012 @ 5:56 am
    Stephen Fry = Dirty Rotten Hypocrite
    http://www.thejc.com/blogpost/dirty-rotten-hypocrite
    Reply Duvid Crockett, King of DeLancey Street, /Home of gefilte fish and kosher meat. October 15, 2012 @ 7:14 pm
    + Stephen Fry = Self hating Jewish antisemite

    Reply Duvid Crockett, King of DeLancey Street, /Home of gefilte fish and kosher meat. October 16, 2012 @ 6:53 am
    +Stephen Fry = sef-confessed unprosecuted cokehead
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-1365952/Sneering-Stephen-Fry-dumb-confession-cocaine.html
    Reply Duvid Crockett, King of DeLancey Street, /Home of gefilte fish and kosher meat. October 16, 2012 @ 9:12 am
    Duvidl is currently BBC Watching a freebie sales pamphlet of BBC DVDs. It contains “The Stephen Fry Collection”, a 6-DVD set of 17 hours and 54 minutes of him remaindered from £29.99 to £14.99. It is covered with a 30-year-old black-and-white portrait photo. The blurb reads, “…Fry’s trademark curiosity, gentle wit and genuine passion.” Clearly the DVD-buying public was not convinced at £29.99. Will the licence-fee TV tax payer ever know the sales figures at £14.99 without a Freedom of Information Act application?

      • Bizarre! Ok, so Fry doesn’t believe in a supreme being and thinks organised religion has a lot to answer for. Disagree with him if you like, but to call him an antis emits, compare him to Ahmedinejad and conduct a which hunt is completely out of order.

        I have given fuller responses on the othe QI thread.

  4. Quite right for pointing out this most obvious of omissions. However, mentioning the BBC in the title and by hosting it on this very site suggests the mistake is one made by the BBC.

    Let’s be clear. The omission and the facts of the article have nothing to do with the BBC. The purpose of the article is about discrediting the BBC.

    The bbcwatch.org article omits to make CLEAR that the omission they sought to change was not even on the BBC site but QI.com. Nor does it made clear that QI.com is not owned or edited by the BBC. So whilst the TV programme is commisioned by the BBC and shown on BBC TV, the website QI.com has nothing to do with the beeb.

    It is lazy and dishonest to take an omission on a website not controlled by the BBC and infer that it represents BBC bias. A generous view is that the link with the BBC is tenuous. At worst it’s a deliberate misrepresentation aimed at adding to the evidence of BBC anti-israel bias and aimed at re-inforcing the views of those who already consider the BBC is biased.

    Well done for pointing out the omission but it’s shouldn’t be here.

    pennylan makes an interesting point about trust and the BBC. It’s an argument that could be levelled at bbcwatch.org

    If you would like to see a celebration of jewish culture take a look at BBC Four’s Timeshift’s programme on Klezmer music:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b01n8hdj

    A review of it is here:
    http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/3031_timeshift_klezmer_re.htm

    • Richard,

      First thoughts…..

      You are confusing two quite different things.

      Jewish culture pertains to Jews and the observations made by BBC Watch are about Israel.

      It is quite true that thus far the BBC hasn’t got around to bias towards Jews per se, but BBC Watch hasn’t made that claim. The site monitors the BBC as regards its reporting on a country – Israel.

      • Richard,

        Second thoughts! And in the spirit of inquiry.

        The BBC, then, licenses programs that it does not make. To what degree to you think it should be accountable?

        The reason I pose this question is not with QI in mind, but with regard to a program I watched some time ago and which prompted me to write to the BBC – and I’m not a serial complainer!

        The program in question was about Geert Wilders and ran under the title of something like “……the most dangerous man in Europe?” Quite apart from proposing speakers on both sides who, if the public but knew, were not depicted fairly at all, the program zoomed off for at least 10mins onto Israel! Linking ‘the most dangerous man (question mark)” and Israel was just agitprop.

        I understand that the BBC did not make the program – but it still went out under their licence. Those who complained addressed their concerns to the BBC and it was the BBC who replied.

        I don’t quite understand how this works. Companies produce programs and the BBC just broadcasts them? Doesn’t that suggest a public broadcasting corporation that is a tad, well…..negligent?

    • Any organisation that puts its logo or brand on a product or service, is offering that product or service as its own. Accordingly, it is 100% responsible for that product.

      • That’s what I would have thought, cityca. Especially if I’m paying that organisation.

        The public pay the government. If, say, the Home Office make a mistake then the rolling head will likely be that of a Minister and not a CS. On the other hand, it’s quite clear that if I buy a CD from a retailer and it’s faulty the retailer is not to be blamed.

        In light of Richard’s comment I am now really curious as to where the buck stops with the BBC. What a can of worms!

    • On the whole I agree with Richard. See my post on the other QI thread pointing out the production origins of the show.

  5. This site is proving to be a whole heap of fun. I am getting addicted. But do remember that the overall perception of I srael will be a function of the perceptions of regular people. And to be honest regular people are as interested in a stream of nit picking trivia as they are in last sundays results in the fourth division of the Albanian basketball league.

    You have succeeded in being entertaining but to be effective you have to do an awful lot better.

    A tip: If you have nothing of consequence to say, say nothing.

  6. Well done!! It shows that these monitoring efforts work, and they can be shamed into making changes.

    I think the original website posting also shows that there is a group at the BBC that deliberately makes these omissions and “technical errors” such as writing Jews out of Jerusalem’s history and current status, etc. Efforts like BBCWatch can win some gains against them.

    • But the website was and is NOT a BBC WEBSITE! And the show as broadcast did NOT MENTION THE CITY OF JERUSALEM EVEN ONCE!

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