Biased BBC making monkeys out of Labour

For all of those shitting themselves at the BBC’s ‘Ascent of Tory man’ graphic last week:

Friday Night Armistice
Friday Night Armistice
Friday Night Armistice

From Armando Iannucci’s late-1990s satire-a-thon, The Friday Night Armistice, broadcast on BBC Two.

I actually have vague memories of this. Brilliant. What a fantastic programme it was.

Images snaffled from James O’Malley, via TV Forum.


  1. I was talking to a friend that works for BBC English Regions last week and we got talking about the party conferences (that he has to attend for the BBC every year).

    He was telling me how, without fail, almost everyone at every conference (regardless of party) tells him it’s unfair that the BBC are so bias against his/her party.

    So the only conclusion I can come to from that is that, as a whole, the BBC is pretty un-bias to be honest.

  2. Hmmm…. the “both (or three) sides criticise us, so we must be doing something right” defence of media neutrality is superficially appealing but it doesn’t ultimately wash. For example, if the BBC was consistently pumping out hardcore Stalinist propaganda you’d get the same message from the main parties. Or consider the American situation, the right wing over there still considers the US media “liberal” (in the American sense) even though it would be considered on the far right in British political terms. Or, alternatively, consider a hypothetical BBC documentary about the “evolution of species” which describes it as a process of adaptation to environment but in which each change is intentionally made by an intelligent designer. It’d draw criticism from both evolutionary biologists and the ID crowd but would that mean it’s right?

  3. Yeah, but the BBC doesn’t actually do any of that, does it? Besides, I don’t think it’s just a case of “both (or three) sides” complaining about the BBC. I have seen people complain about the BBC from all sides, from every conceivable nook of the political spectrum, as far as I can tell. If the BBC was pumping out Stalinist propaganda then Stalinists would be happy — but they’re not.

  4. Personally, I think the Beeb is quite obviously weighted in favour of rightwing, statist and capitalist (yes, they are potentially contradictory) viewpoints, but I was using hypotheticals to try to get away from just saying “it is biased because it’s so mean to my opinions!”

    Rather, I’m arguing that the “everyone thinks we’re biased against them, so we must be doing something right” argument doesn’t necessarily work. Given that even the most blatant pandering to a viewpoint will still elict a minority saying that it’s biased against them (i.e. the “we’re a persecuted minority” tactic), my example being rightwingers in the US, it’s equally as plausible that “everybody thinks we’re wrong” is because “the section of society that we’re actually biased in favour of will still complain because we introduce a marginally different viewpoint once in a while.” This is a possibility that exists regardless of your views as to what, substantively, that bias consists of. Outside of a completely authoritarian-controlled media, there will be alternative viewpoints expressed (and thus allowing all sides to find something they don’t like), but it’s the qualitative range and quantity of airtime/page-space that they’re allowed that determines the extent of the bias.

  5. The monkey from the Ondigital marketing campaign should surely be made director general of the BBC. What he lacks in experience and perhaps skills, he makes up for in charisma. Plus he’s reknowned for his unbiased political stance and swinging from trees.

  6. Collie! Not seen you here for a while. I was just thinking about visiting the Disko forum again when I got the chance.