Chris Addison, one of the stars of BBC satire The Thick of It, has a pop at broadcast journalists writing in this week’s New Statesman magazine.
Stand-up comic Addison says broadcast journalists are more to blame than the satire industry for the negative way many members of the public view politicians.
He says: “The reporting of politics on television and radio in this country is itself turning into a joke. It doesn’t help that most TV bulletins give the impression that those involved have misunderstood The Day Today and taken it to be some sort of training video.
“The reporting is overlaid with a patina of knowing, matey awfulness, and every report seems to start from the standpoint that all the politicians involved are foolish and the reporter could have told them it would end up this way.
“The chief, but by no means only, suspect is the BBC’s Nick Robinson – a man whose style of failing to tell the news straight makes me want to bite chunks out of my television in despair. ‘Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear,’ he began one report, ‘what a week it’s been for Gordon Brown.’
“Do bear in mind, as he seems unwilling to do so, that he is not the sketch-writer for a sixth-form paper, but the BBC’s political editor.”
This isn’t a criticism of Addison, but I do get a little tired of the small army of sneering, clever-clogs, comics who make an amazingly lucrative living from mocking the work of journalists on an ever-increasing array of news-based comedy panel shows.
What would they make jokes about, I wonder, if it wasn’t for the army of under-paid (obviously Robinson doesn’t fall into that category) and over-worked truth-seekers out there knocking on doorsteps, sitting through council meetings and sifting through reports to provide them with source material? Just a thought!