Readers will remember InFacts, the unfortunately-named “fact-based” anti-Brexit website which was repeatedly slapped down by the press regulator for talking rubbish. InFacts‘ latest target is the BBC, which it reckons gives Brexiters an easy ride (yes, really). They have published a blog post castigating Nick Robinson for letting comments by Jeremy Hunt during a Today programme interview “pass unchallenged”. They say Robbo is “usually robust” but accuse him of “clearly wanting to talk about the NHS and Tory rebellion in parliament, rather than go over old ground”. They rule that Nick failed to “find a way to stamp on inaccurate or misleading statements”. Just one problem: Nick Robinson had nothing to do with the interview. It was conducted by Justin Webb.
I might take this more seriously if the first criticism wasn’t directed at me for an interview I didn’t do
— Nick Robinson (@bbcnickrobinson) December 17, 2017
Then InFacts‘ swivel-eyed founder Hugo Dixon accused Theresa May of failing to call out the threats against MPs. Except she did the day before Dixon’s tweet, and he was forced to issue a correction:
CORRECTION: Theresa May did tweet about this last night. Better late than never.
— Hugo Dixon (@Hugodixon) December 17, 2017
If you are going to call your website InFacts and boast about how you are a “journalistic enterprise making the fact-based case against Brexit”, you should probably make sure you get your basic facts right. Guido has seen supposedly respectable people like the Centre for European Reform’s Charles Grant promote InFacts recently – an error of judgment on his part. InFacts are cranks, but worse than that, they just aren’t very good…