BBC Forcing Employees To Take Honesty Training

This is certainly an initiative right-thinking people around the world should welcome: in response to identifying several instances of fraudulent audience phone calls made by staffers during some of its programs, the BBC has decided to send its employees to - wait for it! - honesty training.

You really can't make this stuff up!

As reported by England's Telegraph Thursday (extremely grateful h/t to NBer SMGalbraith, emphasis added throughout):

John Humphrys and Jeremy Paxman will be required to join Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC, on a mandatory new training programme to teach honesty to BBC staff.

The Safeguarding Trust course is being set up as part of the damage limitation exercise by the corporation after the revelation that six children's and charity television programmes had misled viewers.

Mark Byford, the deputy director general, giving evidence to a Commons Culture Select Committee yesterday, said all employees, no matter how senior or famous, would have to attend the course if involved in making programmes.

How delicious. Unfortunately, not all at the BBC are behind this initiative:

But the BBC may find some presenters more resistant than others. Andrew Neil, who presents the Daily Politics show on BBC2 and This Week on BBC1, was contemptuous.

"All 16,000 of us are going to be sent to re-education camps, a bit like Pol Pot's Cambodia," he told his viewers.

Philip Davies, a Tory MP on the select committee, also questioned the need for the course as he thought the requirement for honesty ought to be obvious.

Yes, Phil, it should be obvious. However, what appears so to some is cast aside by others as a dreadful inconvenience.

Or, as SMGalbraith quipped in his message to me on the subject satirizing an American "news" producer chastising one of his stars: "Keith, will you please pay attention and stop bothering others or we'll make you do first grade again!"


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