Anorak News | How The Islamophobic Daily Mail Spun A Lie About The BBC Banning BC And AD

How The Islamophobic Daily Mail Spun A Lie About The BBC Banning BC And AD

by | 3rd, October 2011

HAVE you been following the Daily Mail’s news that the BBC has banned the use of BC and AD on dates? Did you know that the BBC has changed BC and AD to the more “politically correct” CE and BCE?

Chris Hastings, Melanie Phillips (who deep into her rant admitted that she herself prefers to use “BCE” and “CE”) and Peter Hitchens were all on mesage. James Delingpole agreed. Yep, the BBC was banning Jesus, and in so doing was letting in the Marxists and destroying the country’s moral fabric. The BBC said the story was untrue. But the Mail knew that it alone was correct – even if proof said otherwise.

We were given a list of suspects:

The BBC’s religious and ethics department says the changes are necessary to avoid offending non-Christians… Some of the BBC’s most popular programmes including University Challenge, presented by Jeremy Paxman, and Radio 4’s In Our Time, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, are among the growing number of shows using the new descriptions.

The Mail even spotted a Muslim:

The website for BBC Religion and Ethics, headed by commissioning editor Aaqil Ahmed, who is a Muslim, is littered with references to Common Era and Before Common Era

Those words replaced an earlier caption which said:

the Corporation say, bizarrely, the change has nothing to [do] with Mr Ahmed

The Mail has form on the news that the BBC is anti-Christian:

Don Maclean, a former presenter on BBC Radio 2, told the Mail back in  2009:

Mr Maclean said: “They’re keen on Islam, they’re keen on programmes that attack the Christian church. I know there are things that need to be brought forward, but you don’t see any programmes on Anglicanism that don’t talk about homosexual clergy and you don’t see anything on Roman Catholicism that don’t talk about paedophiles. They seem to take the negative angle every time.  They don’t do that if they’re doing programmes on Islam.  Programmes on Islam are always supportive. …He said: “I think there’s a secularist movement in this country to get rid of Christianity.  Something must be done.”

And having lamented the his impression that the BBC links Christianity with negativity, he said:

The presenter claimed “the last thing we want is war on the streets” adding that “we need all the moderate Muslims to stand up and be counted”. He added: “They’re all in private telling you how dreadful they think Islamic terrorism is, but they’re not forming together in a group and standing up against it.”

Because all Muslims are involved in the terror game, right? How’s that for positivity?

Even after the BBC had stated that the story on the BC / AD ban was utter bollocks, Richard Littlejohn managed to tell Mail readers:

Only this week the BBC announced it was scrapping references to AD and BC because it didn’t want to offend, or discriminate against, non-Christians. To hell with the millions of Christians who pay the licence fee.

Even after the BBC had said it was nonsense, the Mail’s Steve Doughty wrote:

The finding that the nation remains overwhelmingly Christian comes days after it emerged that BBC programme-makers have been put under pressure to stop describing dates as BC or AD.
Instead, they have been told to use the non-Christian alternatives Before Common Era and Common Era.

The paper has been reported to the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) for the way in which it continued to peddle a story that was clearly wrong.

Boris Johnson had heard enough:

This decision by the BBC is not only puerile and absurd. It is also deeply anti-democratic, and I urge all those who are fed up with the advance of pointless political correctness to fight back… we deserve to be consulted before the [BBC] makes a decision of immense cultural importance, a decision that affects the way we will ask our children to think about the history of our civilisation… We are asked to call the years-before-the-event-we-cannot-mention BCE, or “Before Common Era”, and the years-after-the-event-we-cannot-mention “Common Era”, or CE. You should not underestimate the influence of this verdict.”

No. What is absurd, Boris, is the London Mayor who toils as a journalist on the Telegraph taking story at face value without performing the most rudimentary check.

The BBC’s head of religion & ethics went on the record:

“We have issued no editorial guidelines or instructions to suggest that anyone in the BBC should change the terms they use. The BBC, like most people, use BC and AD as standard terminology. But we recognise that it is possible to use different terminology, and that some people do: that is what is reflected on our Religion website. Even though we told the newspaper this, they ran the story anyway.”

The BBC had ealier stated:

Whilst the BBC uses BC and AD like most people as standard terminology it is also possible for individuals to use different terminology if they wish to, particularly as it is now commonly used in historical research.


‘The BBC has not issued editorial guidance on the date systems. Both AD and BC, and CE and BCE are widely accepted date systems and the decision on which term to use lies with individual production and editorial teams.’

The story ends there, right? Three times the BBC has denied the story. But still the Mail persists with the lie:

“The Government last night moved to safeguard BC and AD after The Mail on Sunday revealed they were under threat because they were considered offensive to non-Christians. Last week this newspaper reported that the BBC had replaced Anno Domini (the Year of our Lord) and Before Christ with the obscure terms Common Era (CE) and Before the Common Era (BCE)…”

The Mail has created a story from nothing and then declared itself the force of good that prevents the lie from becoming a truth at some point.


Posted: 3rd, October 2011 | In: Key Posts, Reviews Comments (2) | TrackBack | Permalink