Not many people had heard of The Mash Report before Rachel Parris took the piss out of Piers Morgan’s grovelling adoration of Combover Crybaby Donald Trump. But one other BBC presenter had looked in on the show, that being Andrew Neil, who declared it “thirty minutes of self satisfied, self adulatory, unchallenged left wing propaganda. It’s hardly balance. Could never happen on a politics show. Except this has become a politics show”.
This, together with his now infamous misogynist swipe at the Observer’s Carole Cadwalladr, and the Beeb’s refusal to give her a right of reply after the alleged “man who bankrolled Brexit” Arron Banks defamed both her and Byline Media’s Peter Jukes live on The Andy Marr Show™, guaranteed that he would get a ritual roasting, and that Ms Parris would be the one to administer it. And so it came to pass.
Last night’s Mash Report featured Ms Parris as the show’s new “Impartiality Monitor”, with suitably inscribed sash to prove it. Plus the occasional reference to Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), and the age-old question of whether Neil wears an Irish.
So began the roast. “Andrew Neil’s Tweet has inspired us to address this issue of bias. Part of the BBC’s remit … is to show due impartiality”. She called Neil “the right-wing, pro-Brexit BBC news anchor”, which he won’t like, but tough titty. His criticism of the show had come as “Part of a fair and balanced early morning Twitter tirade about Observer journalist Carole Cadwalladr. He’s annoyed that Carole has exposed funding and electoral irregularities at the heart of the Leave campaign”. And there was more.
“And so, in a fair and balanced manner, he called her a Mad Cat Woman. This follows a year-long campaign of often misogynistic abuse directed at Carole, led by Leave EU supremo Arron Banks”. Then came the Barnet joke. “Unlike Nish [Kumar], Andrew Neil is always perfectly balanced. How else would that thing stay on his head?”
Rachel Parris gets ready to roast
And then the BBC itself got it in the neck, on impartiality. “In practice, it means giving a huge amount of airtime to fringe nutcases. Like Nigel Lawson, who was brought on Radio 4 twice to deny man made climate change, and given the same amount of airtime as the whole of science”. Anyone else in the crosshairs? You bet.
“And then we’ve got Steve Bannon, who’s a white supremacist, who has a lower hygiene rating than a kebab shop run by rats. He was recently given a platform on a BBC Scotland event. ‘Do you think people of other races are inferior? Pull up a chair, let’s have a valuable exchange of ideas. Maybe, just maybe, this time fascism will work out’”.
There was also a postscript. As Ms Parris said, Ms Cadwalladr “hadn’t been given a right of reply on the BBC for the misogyny directed at her by Andrew Neil. So we asked her for a statement”. And Brillo isn’t going to like it one bit. Nor, one suspects, is Lord Hall-Hall.
“‘Mad cat woman’ is the 21st Century version of calling a woman a witch. Next time Andrew Neil seeks to undermine the credibility of my reporting in order to shield his Tory mates who have been caught breaking the law on a truly epic scale, can I suggest he simply cuts to the chase and burns me at the stake”. Ouch!
Many a true word spoken in jest. I’ll just leave that one there.
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