The BBC has hit back at the Daily Mail in a spectacular Twitter rant after a story appeared in Monday's newspaper listing the corporation's finances.
The BBC's press team publicly lambasted the newspaper for missing "crucial facts" in its story and adds "never let that get in the way of a good headline".
The Daily Mail article reports that the BBC spends less than half of its money, which is generated from the licence fee, on its programmes.
Using the BBC's official accounts, the Mail revealed that £2.4 billion of its £5.1 billion annual budget went on "public service content" in the year to April 2014.
But the corporation's press team condemned the Daily Mail for "ignoring basic facts", adding that the paper did not take newsrooms, edit suits and storyline development into account when calculating "programme costs".
Story about @BBC in today's Mail missing a few crucial facts (but never let that get in the way of a good headline).— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 15, 2015
Mail story ignores basic facts like around £270m of licence fee taken to support S4C & govt projects like broadband rollout & local TV— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 15, 2015
The clarifications continued:
According to Mail, prog costs don't include newsrooms, edit suites, storyline development etc without which you wouldn't have any programmes— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 15, 2015
Mail also says BBC 'pumps money' into commercial arm, BBC Worldwide. But Worldwide not funded by licence fee & makes money for UK programmes— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 15, 2015
And just in case there was any doubt:
Actually 90% of spending we control is on content, distribution & related support costs - figure is independently verified— BBC Press Office (@bbcpress) June 15, 2015
The BBC is becoming the focus of increased scrutiny among politicians, some of whom are calling for the licence fee to be abolished.
George Osborne has expressed his "impatience" with the broadcaster and said the fee "has to be rethought in a digital age".
Last month it was revealed that there has been a dramatic drop in the number of viewers, with more than 1.6 million households claiming they no longer own a TV set - an increase by 500,000 in the last 15 months.
Many enjoyed seeing the BBC calling out the Daily Mail with such a public shaming:
The sassiness of the @bbcpress replies to any Daily Mail article chastising the BBC are the best thing.— Begley (@JosephBegley) June 15, 2015
I'm loving the feisty look of @bbcpress this morning.— James West (@jameswest) June 15, 2015
Loving the @bbcpress fightback against inaccurate Mail story.— Gabrielle Villais (@GallulaRoma) June 15, 2015
The ballsy attitude of @bbcpress this morning is very pleasing.— Aaron Alexander (@aaronjalexander) June 15, 2015