On Monday - indeed in the very post below - I drew attention to Brown's sudden change of heart on TV debates. On the 10 o'clock news that night, Nick Robinson also confirmed that Brown's debate 'challenge' was included in the latest draft of his speech.
And yet, when Brown gave his speech yesterday, there was no mention of debates at all. It had suddenly been removed, and no challenge to David Cameron was forthcoming.
However, a funny thing seems to have happened. Click on the BBC link from Monday - the one that originally began with the line "Gordon Brown is ready..." And what you'll see is that the article has been completely altered to one titled 'We're not done yet, insists Brown', which is effectively a summary of his speech yesterday. I have not changed the link; it's the same page but with completely different content.
So why didn't the BBC leave the original story up? There are literally dozens of stories relating to the Labour conference, so it's not like they just had to get rid of the original content of the article or they'd run out of space. And keeping it up wouldn't have been factually inaccurate since, at the time, it was believed to be true. The fact that what was reported did not become a reality is actually a news story in itself, rather than something that should be swept under the rug. In fact, the only mention you'll now find about debates is in this new article, titled 'PM has made debate decision' - but he's not telling, apparently.
Saturday Seven Up
4 hours ago