COP26: Why Edinburgh and Glasgow can be pleased about gaffe by CNN's Wolf Blitzer – Scotsman comment

The backdrop is an all-important consideration when television crews set up for an outside broadcast from a major event.

There is often fierce competition to secure the best spots with no small amount of gloating over rivals deemed to have missed out.

So star US TV anchor Wolf Blitzer may well have been delighted that the CNN crew had managed to secure a wonderful spot beneath the historic walls of Edinburgh Castle.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I’m now reporting from Edinburgh in Scotland where 20,000 world leaders and delegates have gathered for the COP26 Climate Summit...” he tweeted.

But if the problem with this statement was not immediately apparent to his audience, there were no shortage of locals to explain his apparent mistake.

Fellow broadcaster Ruth Wishart replied: “Actually you're about 44 miles away from where the cast has assembled. It's called Glasgow.” Glasgow East MP David Linden joked: “Pictured in front of Castlemilk.” Even Specsavers got involved, referencing their well-known ad campaign: “Should've gone to Glasgow.”

Three hours later, a possibly chastened Blitzer tweeted about their forthcoming live coverage of the COP26 climate summit in “Glasgow, Scotland”.

Should we be outraged? Has our national pride been hurt? Not a bit of it. Given Blitzer is a stranger in a foreign land, we should cut him some slack.

Edinburgh Castle is a fine sight and makes a great backdrop for film and television (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Any Glaswegian fury will surely abate on the realisation that a large number of Americans may now view Edinburgh as a little more than a pretty suburb of Glasgow.

And citizens of Edinburgh can console themselves with a possible implication of CNN’s choice of location – that their city is simply better looking.

A message from the Editor:

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Thank you for reading this article. We're more reliant on your support than ever as the shift in consumer habits brought about by coronavirus impacts our advertisers.

If you haven't already, please consider supporting our trusted, fact-checked journalism by taking out a digital subscription.



Want to join the conversation? Please or to comment on this article.