An SNP MSP has been labelled “irresponsible” for dismissing BBC Scotland’s flagship current affairs programme as “fake news”,
Gordon MacDonald, who represents Edinburgh Pentlands at Holyrood, was commenting on a BBC article on social media which explained plans to help students identify real news and filter out fake or false information.
The MSP commented “for this to be effective we need a logo to identify ‘fake news’” alongside a brand image of the long-running news programme Reporting Scotland.
The term “fake news” entered the political lexicon during the heated 2016 US presidential election campaign and has since been used by politicians of all parties to dismiss reports viewed as inconvenient or unflattering.
Scottish Liberal Democrats MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton has called for Mr MacDonald to withdraw his comment.
Comparing Mr MacDonald to US president Donald Trump, Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “The BBC is clearly working hard to help children and young people identify fake news.
“People will therefore be very concerned to see an SNP MSP instead denounce the BBC as fake news.
“Gordon MacDonald should withdraw this irresponsible jibe.
“It is straight out of the Trump playbook and we have seen how elected politicians dismissing reputable news sources can have real world consequences.”
An SNP spokesman said: “This obviously doesn’t reflect the position of the SNP, but there is nothing more Trump-like than Alex Cole Hamilton’s pathetic, juvenile attention-seeking motion.”