Sunday 20 May 2018

Play for the Day: 'A Difference of Opinion'

Act One

Enter Media Guido and Rob Burley of the BBC, through different doors.
Media Guido: The probability of six guests selected at random all being remain supporters is 0.03125 - amazingly Peston has managed it.
Rob Burley: It’s not June 2016. Ex- Remainers are members of a Brexit delivering government and a Brexit supporting Labour Party. This measure is silly.
Media Guido: Brexit is still the main subject of discussion in politics, this is a political discussion show with six guests, none of whom campaigned for Brexit. You think drawing attention to that is silly. No further questions m'lud.
Rob Burley: I think the measure is wilfully designed to distort. Parking a specific programme I have no involvement with, I suggest we stop measuring as if it’s June 23rd 2016. It’s just not.
Trap door opens. Stephen Colvin rises, delivers heckle and descends again.
Stephen Colvin: (to Rob Burley) You are an embarrassment. The discussion is very much alive and it is up to so called impartial broadcasters to demonstrate it. 
Trap door closes. Exit Media Guido. Enter BBC Waste, stage right.
BBC Waste: Brexit still prism through which everything seen & decisions taken (govt policy shaped by opinions of those for or against within cabinet). Naive to think those who publicly back don't privately what to demur or seek to modify. Silly of BBC to ignore. Measure entirely appropriate.
Rob Burley: Disagree. Nuances of these issues reflected in the coverage but to base balance on position of guests pre-referendum is neither desirable or practical.
BBC Waste: Further difficulty with this position is this is the position BBC (rightly) adopts for aportioning airtime to political parties. But now not referendum views?
Rob Burley: We did in, yes, the referendum.
BBC Waste: Do love a robust courteous debate. Yes. Those attacking the BBC should also acknowledge the impossible task they have to balance. Good for Peston/ITV and others to be mindful of optics though. Looks bad. And very easy to  criticise.
Exit BBC Waste, stage right pursued by a 'Like' from Rob Burley. Enter Andy #FBPE, stage left.
Andy #FBPE: Therein lies the problem with the BBC...they think it was all over in 2016 and choose to ignore  both reality and the ongoing debate.
Rob Burley: That’s precisely the opposite of the point.
Exeunt omnes. Enter Tim Montgomerie. Turns to face audience. 
Tim Montgomerie: It’s not silly. BBC way of measuring balance classifies likes of Amber Rudd, Damian Green and Keir Starmer as pro-Brexit and that’s well short of giving the 52% the representation they deserve.
Curtain falls.

Will there be an Act Two?

1 comment:

  1. Sorry to Monkey Brains. We somehow lost a comment here. (I think it was me blundering). I've fished it out again:

    MONKEY BRAINS: I remember doing one or two Craig style stopwatch analyses of supposedly balanced BBC progs and the Remainers always got the lion's share of time while the allegedly 'neutral' commentators they called upon were nearly all tending to the Remain position. The 'neutrals' often came from EU funded organisations. Burley is deluded.


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