And that, as with so much else at the Tel, is because the paper cannot stand the claim up. The paper is now heavily paywalled (thank goodness for small mercies) but the Evening Standard, which is not, has lifted the story, telling “The new director-general of the BBC is reportedly set to tackle ‘perceived Left-wing comedy bias’ as he arrived for his first day in the job dressed in jeans”. Reportedly. Perceived. Evidence-free claims, then.
There is more. “The new director-general believes the corporation's comedy output is seen as too one-sided, The Telegraph reports [=claims without evidence]. Senior sources [who? Tory MPs? Brexit Party?] told the newspaper that Mr Davie believes comedy shows need a ‘radical overhaul’ in the coming months. Parts of the plans could see [or could not] a number of shows axed, but sources said no decisions have yet been made”.
Which suggests the “sources”, such as they were, are not privy to the BBC’s decision making process. Also, whoever dreamed up this drivel clearly does not understand the process of commissioning shows, an area where the Beeb has been cautious, maybe too cautious, of late. On top of that, the Tel fails to understand that satirical shows are likely to feature criticism of whoever is in power - like they did in the New Labour years.
Ben Bradley - whinging Tory
In other words, this story is a crock of crap, just another way of kicking the Corporation for one of the things it does moderately well and mainly uncontroversially. What are right-wing nonentities like Tory MP Ben Bradley wanting when they whine “In recent years lots of BBC comedy shows are just constant left-wing rants about the Tories and Brexit”. They don’t want any kind of balance. They want to silence their critics.
The sheer vacuity of the Tel’s propaganda is thrown into sharp focus by this snippet from a report in free sheet Metro: “Popular panel shows Have I Got News For You and Mock the Week are among those to have received complaints about their jokes against Conservatives and Brexit”. Mock the Week is bound to have a go at the current Government. Because it’s satirising what is current. And HIGNFY?
Which party leader, BBC bashers, came to public prominence through his appearances on HIGNFY? That would be alleged Prime Minister Alexander Boris de Pfeffel Johnson. Those Tory MPs are whining about a genre that made their own leader popular.
And Katy Brand reminded the whinging Tories “I also think a quick count of all the jokes made about Corbyn during his tenure would be….useful?” Because there were rather a lot of them. On Mock the Week. On HIGNFY. On The Mash Report. Maybe they don’t count.
As Ms Brand also noted, “There’s a word for asking people in the media to support a Government even when things are going very wrong … it’s called ‘propaganda’”.
If that’s what the Tories want, they should be told to take their whinging - and shove it.
Enjoy your visit to Zelo Street? You can help this truly independent blog carry on talking truth to power, while retaining its sense of humour, by adding to its Just Giving page at