I wrote recently about a game the whole family can play, in which the BBC's output makes perfect sense: just mentally title every programme "Why the government is consistently wrong on everything". I mentioned Huw Edwards (the newsreader) as a particularly useful player.
Tonight, I watched the 5 o'clock news where the BBC was headlining the 'decline' of '9%' in 'applications' to 'Universities'. It was fascinating. Here's a précis, and it's from memory, so don't quote me on the figures, but the direction of the conversation is right.
HE: Disaster as UK University applications are down by almost 10% on last year. Everyone's blaming the Coalition's imposition of massive rises in tuition fees.
Reeta Chakrabarti (Education Correspondent): Actually, it's not as bad as that. The 9% is only for England. Scotland and Wales are more like 1-2%.
HE: Aha! So our headline about a catastrophic UK-wide decline is a bit inaccurate, yes?
RC: Yes, it is a bit. And if you strip out mature students, the English figure is only about 2%, too.
HE: Let me bring in Nicola Dandridge from Universities UK. So, Nicola, pretty bad, but perhaps not as bad as all that?
ND: Yes, not as bad as we feared. And of course mature students tend to apply later than 18-year-olds, so the picture isn't final yet by a long way.
HE: So, to sum up, students are being put off in unprecedented numbers from applying, by the tuition fees issue. And yet the Coalition have been saying for months that no-one need be put off by the fees, as the loans need not be repaid until they are earning at least £21,000. The Coalition have had every opportunity to make this clear, but no-one seems to be listening. How can the Coalition have got it so badly wrong?
And on the BBC website, as of 23:00 tonight: