Sunday 13 December 2020

Have They Got Bias For Us

In what must surely be the least surprising report into BBC bias ever produced, the Campaign for Common Sense analysed comedy programmes on BBC One, BBC Two and Radio 4 throughout November and found - across 364 slots - and found that 74% of the slots were occupied by comedians “with publicly pronounced Left-leaning, anti-Brexit or ‘woke’ views.”

So that's 74% of 141 comedians, with only two comedians - Geoff Norcott (of course) and Gyles Brandreth - holding openly expressed pro-Brexit or Conservative sympathies. 

Even DG Tim Davie has acknowledged that BBC comedy has a problem in this respect, so a letter outlining the findings from the CCS's director Mark Lehain won't be News For Him.. 

The Telegraph quotes Sir Robbie Gibb responding to the study:
This report starkly reveals just how much the BBC has to change to be truly in touch with the people who pay its licence fee. 

Comedy is not the exclusive preserve of the left and the BBC has a duty to reflect in its programmes the wide diversity of opinions held in this country, not just those with anti-Brexit or woke views.
But the real punchline here is the statement from "a BBC spokesperson". Its glib, dismissive tone couldn't be more BBC:
We don’t analyse our comedy by comparing numbers. We judge it on it being funny, how popular it is and whether it reflects a range of different voices and views.
The BBC always says "We don’t analyse our comedy by comparing numbers" to any quantitative study that comes their way - unless it's research that comes from, say, Cardiff University and tells the BBC what they want to hear! 

And "We judge it on it being funny, how popular it is and whether it reflects a range of different voices and views" is particularly galling as the study proves that the BBC's judgement is faulty and that BBC comedy barely even begins to reflect a range of different voices and views.

Well done to the Campaign for Common Sense for trying to prove the obvious, but the BBC have had a couple of decades of honing their responses to the kind of two-sentence brush-off quoted above and they were never going to get a respectful hearing from the BBC. 


And then there's Nish Kumar....

As Charlie notes on the open thread, the Telegraph article recalls the following:
On a past episode of BBC Two’s The Mash Report, Nish Kumar referred to the BBC’s impartiality guidelines as a requirement to provide “a platform for widely-discredited views because the licence fee dictates we should pander to weirdos”.

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