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Commentary

Creative with the truth?

Back in the days of Margaret Thatcher and the Australian ‘Spycatcher’ trial, Sir Robert Armstrong brought the phrase ‘being economical with the truth’ into contemporary usage. It means conveying an untrue version of events.

John Benton

Over the summer we have seen a crisis of trust developing between British audiences and those responsible for what is shown on our TV screens. Broadcasters have been caught manipulating the truth; perhaps they would say being ‘creative’ with it in order to produce greater impact. The latest example emerged at the beginning of August. ITV was to transmit a documentary titled Malcolm and Barbara: Love’s farewell, on the tragedy of an Alzheimer’s case. No doubt this is a worthy and moving subject. But before it was broadcast it came to light that the final scene was intentionally misleading. Here the patient ‘passes away’. The man’s brother blew the whistle. Malcolm Pointon actually died three days later.