How the BBC put Bill Clinton in prison

2 July 2021

8:56 AM

2 July 2021

8:56 AM

Yesterday the US comedian Bill Cosby left prison, after the Philadelphia Supreme Court overturned his conviction for sexual assault in 2018. The 83-year-old Cosby had served two years of a three-to-ten-year sentence, before his verdict was overturned on Wednesday because of a ‘process violation’.

For a brief moment yesterday though, it appeared that the story could have even greater political implications, after a BBC News at Ten report.

Newsreader Huw Edwards began by introducing the story and then cut to the broadcaster’s US correspondent, who was reporting live from Philadelphia. Beginning her segment, the reporter gravely pointed to the Philadelphia prison watchtower behind her, before claiming that:

‘For the last two years this has been where Bill Clinton has called home. But tonight he will sleep in his own bed after the bombshell decision by Pennsylvania’s Supreme Court to overturn his conviction of sexual assault.’

Oops. After a pre-recorded segment went on to explain how Cosby’s conviction had been thrown out, a rather contrite Huw Edwards was forced to explain to viewers that the BBC had not bagged a world exclusive, and that the former US president had not actually spent any time in jail.

Mr S rather suspects that the BBC blunder will send the Clinton conspiracy theories back into overdrive…

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