The BBC will air a special program about the Freemasons on Monday on the network in the Scotland (not on BBC/America, I'm afraid), and they sent a crew to visit with Grand Master Charles Iain Robert Wolrige Gordon, Brother Bob Cooper and several grand officers at the Grand Lodge of Scotland to talk about the Craft's Scottish origins.
At least BBC decided to go to the source, to their credit.
Bob is the longtime curator for the Grand Lodge, and as such, he is the official overseer of some of the most prized documentation of early Scottish Masonry during the transition from an operative to a speculative organization.
As a prequel to it, BBC/Scotland ran an article online today that includes some of the information from the show, including a short clip with Brother Cooper. The show itself may be a perfectly well done, well researched, and evenhanded presentation. Hard to say beforehand.
Ah, but the UK press...
Just when you think they'll disappoint you, they never fail to live down to your expectations.
What's the headline of the article?
A full FIVE references to The Handshake. THREE mentions of Rolled Up Trouser Legs. And throw in a random swipe about police officers who were Freemasons and an inkling that they let off Brethren from speeding tickets.
Straight out of the Superficial Reporter's Handbook.
The Daily Record did some fishing in the same waters (Scores: 2 Handshakes; 1 Trouser; Extra point for use of the word "nefarious"), along with tossing in needless Illuminati and occult references ("Secrets of Freemasons revealed as Grand Lodge lets in TV cameras and deny Illuminati and occult links").
Let's hope the actual BBC/Scotland program on Monday sticks to facts and not hyperventilated fiction and hyperbole.
I know. "Hope is the thing with feathers."