Saturday 18 October 2014

Have I Got Labour Smears For You

Both Have I Got News For You and Question Time are recorded on Thursday night. Question Time goes out 'as live' immediately after recording. I'm not sure what time of the day HIGNFY is filmed though, but it's probably fair to bet it's before Question Time is broadcast - which is presumably why HIGNFY continued to push the Labour Party version of the Lord Freud story. If they'd seen how angrily the QT audience reacted to Angela Eagle later that evening, they may well have dealt with it differently.

Or maybe they wouldn't have dealt with it differently. Maybe the writers of HIGNFY would have stuck with the Angela Eagle line regardless, simply because they can - and because no one's going to stop them or challenge them. BBC comedies and impartiality rarely go together. If they did, half the comedies on Radio 4 would have to be scrapped. 

Here's what they got away with this week over Lord Freud: 
Frank Skinner: Which other Tory had to issue an apology this week?
Paul Merton: Lord Freud.
Frank Skinner: Yes, Lord Freud, who said that some disabled people were not worth paying the minimum wage and some people with mental disabilities should be paid as little as £2.00 an hour. How did he change his tune after David Cameron threatened him with the sack?
Ian Hislop: He thought they should be paid the minimum wage.
Frank Skinner: What he actually said was, "Any disabled people should be paid at least the minimum wage. I care passionately about disabled people".
(Audience laughter)
Frank Skinner: Lord Freud got into trouble this week for saying that people with disabilities should only get paid £2.00 an hour. I wonder how much Oscar Pistorius is going to get for sewing those mailbags?
Frank Skinner [on Richard III]: He wants to think himself lucky he's not alive today or he'd be on two quid a week.
Joke-wise, the political targets were mostly UKIP and the Conservatives, though - and this perhaps suggests that HIGNFY is aware of having some responsibilities - there was a minute or so spent on the failings of Ed Miliband too, including: 
One person told Channel 4 News that expectations of Ed Miliband [in the TV election leader debates] were so low that, "If he comes on stage and doesn't soil himself...he will outperform expectations". 
That was probably the funniest joke of the night, and - tellingly - it didn't come from anyone involved in that night's HIGNFY. 

And much the same can be same about the second funniest joke of the night, which was simply the name of a Nigerian footballer who's name is the butt of some grim humour at the moment - Dele Adebola. 

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