I was curious to know if there were any preliminary reports on the Brexit vote going on right now, so I popped over to the BBC. There’s nothing. They actually have some sensible restrictions on the media.
What can the BBC report?
* Uncontroversial factual accounts such as the appearance of politicians and others at polling stations or the weather.
* The practicalities such as when the polls are open, the wording of the question and expectations of when the result may be known are allowed.
* The BBC’s online sites will not have to remove archived reports.
What can’t the BBC report?
* The BBC stops short of actually encouraging people to vote.
* While the polls are open, it is a criminal offence for anyone, not just broadcasters, to publish anything about the way in which people have voted in the referendum, where that is based on information given by voters after they have voted.
* The BBC can’t report anything emerging from exit polls (which, by definition, are asking people how they actually voted), although the broadcasters have not commissioned any exit polls for the referendum.
* No opinion poll on any issue relating to the referendum can be published by broadcasters until after the polls have closed.
I marveled. The 24-hour news networks will be a circus on election day in this country — a very, very boring circus presided over by Wolf Blitzer and his mindless monotone, with Fox News providing the clowns. There won’t be any news here, either, but they’ll make stuff up.
To find out how the referendum turns out, we’ll have to tune in after everyone has voted. Amazing! And the BBC tells me that that will be at 22:00 BST, which is 4:00 my time (CST). We shall eagerly, but patiently, await the conclusion.