“This unfortunately, was a miscalculation”. Apart from being the understatement of the year, thus far, the so-called miscalculation has caused fear, almost mayhem and a diplomatic incident. It is yet another issue, between Russia and Georgia, who are at the best of times no more than very cool ex-partners.

The cause of the polemic is a TV programme that was broadcast showing the Russians just outside Tbilisi with their tanks; the commentary stated that there was a Russian incursion, an attack, a war situation. People who switched on part way through the programme were frightened witless. They would not have been party to the introduction about this being a scenario that was up for discussion on what could happen and how such an event might be handled by the State and individuals.

A Georgian diplomat was called by a friend to suggest he watched the programme. He initially considered returning to London to ‘continue his work’ and also grabbing arms. It then dawned on him that the pictures were showing the wrong season,it was clear that something didn’t compute. From the war scenes and commentary, the programme cut back to a studio audience to discuss the points arising. At this stage, the diplomat tried to contact his friends, only to find the cell phones were not working. It was not clear if the network had been cut or was simply overloaded with use. However, with a major contact network out of order, dreadful things could have happened. The reality is that there are Russian tanks some miles from Georgian capital city, but they are currently static, for the time being parked at peace.

The Russians do not believe that there could not have been Georgian Government complicity, that the programmers acted on their own and uncensored, unlike, it was said, the Russian Media that is totally controlled. (Opportunity for a dig). The TV company has breached Georgian broadcasting regulations and has to be punished, advised the diplomat.

When asked why they had not transmitted a message simultaneously with the scenario, stating, ‘THIS IS A SIMULATION’ the spokesman for the programmers/TV station replied, “This unfortunately, was a miscalculation”.

And how…….



  1. Quite clearly the TV company must be held to account; can you imagine what would ha==en o the BBC or any other TV company over here – let alone in America who are as ‘touchy’ as ever……AND Israel? Wow! 🙄 Quite right!

  2. There does not seem to be much doubt that the Georgian TV company are going to be held to account, together with particular individuals. It will have to be a fairly high profile enquiry and the appropriate outcome, seen to be done.

    The BBC can do no wrong, didn’t you know that? Difficult to assess the American public mind set most of the time. Israel is constantly on the alert it would not take much to set off the tinderbox.

  3. The ‘miscalculation’ was at best totally stupid. How sophisticated and experienced is the Georgian media business.

    Alertness, awareness, having some personal ability to help oneself, is one facet to the educational aspect of the programme, incompetence in presentation is inexcusable.


  4. As mentioned previously, the BBC can do no wrong, according to the BBC. As for other stations, they too put up a good fight against their artistic licence being challenged.

    I hope our disparate lot would not be allowed to be unaccountable for such a deplorable neglect of information; I would trust to high heaven, that broadcasts would not be allowed out without some warnings regularly flashed in during the broadcast.

  5. PS The Jonathon Ross affair was seen as pushing the boundaries of humour, and was constantly mitigated. To my deep concern, a large number of people in the public forum accepted it and supported the excuses. I am pleased that wider public indignation and the affront at the breaching of basic levels of decency, were not acceptable, were seen not to be up for grabs. It was this line that was supported by BBC senior management and the Board and held the sway. IMHO, rightly so.

    Public indignation in Georgia has been equally as vocal, from what I heard. No doubt there will be questions to be answered, and answered they will have to be.

  6. Other forms of the Media – including some braodcasts – get away with quite a lot via that iniquitous ruse, ‘public interest’ or ‘allegedly’…..Grrrrr

  7. It was interesting to hear about the jigsaw principle on one of the principle radio news features; the BBC can’t say they don’t know what they are doing now. You just have to be in a position to take on large organisation, or be able to orchestrate mass indignation.

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