I had a meeting with my boss at 4 pm today, and was delighted when he stopped the meeting at precisely 4:16, suggesting it was time to adjourn so we could go home and watch the inaugural festivities. I zipped home to catch the live feed streaming over the interwebs–thank goodness (I don’t have a TV)–and got to witness history, armed with a glass of M&S champers. The proceedings went along but I was mostly just watching as an interested observer until the point after the speech, when the military chorus came out to sing the national anthem and I inexplicably burst into tears!
Checking the BBC immediately post-festivities, I was terribly amused to find the following statement in the article linked here:
which reads, “Aretha Franklin then sang the US national anthem against a backdrop of clear blue skies and light wind.” Those who watched the proceedings might recall that Franklin sang “My Country Tis of Thee” which, although a lovely and patriotic song, is NOT the US national anthem. Although ironically of course it shares a tune with the UK anthem, apparently causing some confusion in the BBC newsroom! I logged a comment stating as much, and within an hour the article had been updated to this:
“Aretha Franklin then sang against a backdrop…” with no mention of the altered content nor my comment posted. Now I am not a big fan of changes to an article being made without it being noted that it was updated for factual inaccuracies; when I’ve come across similar issues on the Economist website they have both updated the article with a note at the end stating the correction, and left the comment in place to demonstrate the reason for the correction. Apparently the Beeb does not have an editorial policy which similarly acknowledges their own fallibility!
Regardless, the swearing in was lovely if slightly inarticulate, the speech was particularly interesting to this person who had not heard Obama deliver a speech previously, and America has a new president to rally behind even as the world economy (and the value of the British pound in particular) continues to crumble. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery…