Thursday, May 08, 2008

The last chance saloon?

Last year I blogged about Newsnight's tendency to dress up apparently "dry" items about politics as student skits, much to the amusement of the presenters and the bemusement of the audience. This provoked some comment, including a robust defence from the producer. I have only just had this item drawn to my attention. It ran as part of the BBC's Election Night coverage last week. Clearly they're taking the piss but whose piss is it? The politicians'? The licence payers'? Theirs?


  1. Anonymous10:39 am

    Didn't make it to the end. This kind of nonsense is the reason I no longer bother with TV news.

  2. This is beyond "The Day Today". I can't stand the basic assumption that we're not interested in the news itself. The 60 second news on BBC3 almost calls out to you "It's OK! It'll be over in a minute! Nearly done!"

    Here's another new low from today's news. There was a huge explosion near me last night that killed one person. Click on the link, scroll to the bottom and watch the enlightening, insightful footage sent in by some idiot voyeur:

    It's a dismal situation in TV news; you can almost see Charles Wheeler or John Simpson throwing their hands up in despair.

  3. Anonymous1:00 pm

    Reggie Bosanquet would have had a field day linking to that.


  4. I watched this on the night with growing incredulity. If it had been on any other channel I would have probably switched off. Because it was on the BBC and I assumed, against all evidence to the contrary, that they were working towards some point.

  5. Sorry to digress, but I'd better update what I said above. The link I gave has now been replaced. The old video clip near the site of the explosion was a minute of footage of some yellow tape, a police car, and a bored policeman. In the background there was complete darkness. In other words, "Nothing to see here." - but good enough to show on the BBC, it seems.

  6. Anonymous5:56 pm

    That's hideous, way past anything Chris Morris could make up.

    But if you've ever tuned in to Jeremy buffoon Vine's radio show, it's not surprising he'd jump at the chance to make an arse of himself.

    The fact that someone at Newsnight would let him though, is quite depressing.

  7. Anonymous6:00 pm

    I felt like I was watching another episode of the Apprentice when I tuned in to see Andrew Marr interviewing Gordon Brown for his sunday morning show, as recommended on The Word Podcast.

    He looked like a wee boy in a fat baggy old man's body - like some weird cross between Tom Hanks in 'Big' and someone who'd written in to Jim'll Fix it.

    "Dear Jim, could you fix it for me to be transported into the body of a baggy old scottish man and become prime minister for a few months?"

    Next week's task could be - pretend you're running the country.

    Remember to grimace at inappropriate times. And when the opposition say something hurtful in PMQ's which cuts you to the quick, remember to turn to the boy next to you and smile unconvincingly as if you don't care.

    The losing team - one of you will get fired.

  8. Anonymous6:03 pm

    Living in the US for eight years I've been able to enjoy the inanities of news coverage here with a feeling of smug British superiority. That has just evaporated...

  9. Anonymous6:16 pm

    Unwatchable - I got to 29 seconds.
    Sadly most of TV news is like this now - unwatchable - apart from Channel 4 news.

  10. Anonymous6:17 pm

    IMHO Jeremy Vine jumped the shark some time ago. He was teed up as the BBC's link man between "serious stuff" and yoof. For a while he came close to making a decent fist of it. But now he just comes across as a complete tit.

    Does anyone at the BBC really think that cowboy setup turned anyone on to politics? Stuff like this plays right into the hands of those who want to scale back the BBC.

  11. The thing I don't understand is that they already have anybody who is seriously interested in local elections watching - just who are they aiming these skits at?

  12. I actually feel a bit sick.

  13. I can't see the video, no YT at work, but all BBC News coverage is going mental. If you were to keep a record of things discussed on BBC Breakfast it would be utterly inane. This week I can remember "why people are returning to non-motor lawnmowers" - Seriously. Today it was. Bouncy Castles and the potential dangers of having one at a party. Cutting edge. Every day it's some inane, banal story that is meant to be engaging. It's pathetic.