TV satire show responds to criticisms over its treatment of Jeremy Corbyn – but ignores the main issue

Jeremy Corbyn: still not an anti-Semite.

Thank goodness Beastrabban has been watching Have I Got News For You; it means I don’t have to.

He was the one who alerted me to Victoria Coren-Mitchell’s false claim that Jeremy Corbyn believes the anti-Semitic “Jewish bankers’ conspiracy” trope, broadcast on the show last month (October 2019).

Now he has written to say that the host of Friday’s (November 1) show, Jo Brand, made an announcement regarding complaints raised since that previous edition.

He wrote:

“The Beeb’s satirical panel game, Have I Got News For You, decided to reply to certain criticism regarding their treatment of the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn. This week’s guest host, Jo Brand, stated that the programme had been widely attacked by supporters of the Labour leader because the programme continued referring to him by his surname, while the Prime Minister was more informally called by his first name, Boris. This, it was claimed, showed a bias towards the Tory leader, which the programme disputed.

“Ummm, no. This is not why many of us object to the programme’s bias against Labour. We object to it because it pushes, like the rest of the media, the flagrant lie that he and his supporters are anti-Semites.

“Last Friday I put up on this blog immediately after the programme an article expressing my dismay at seeing this pushed once against by Victoria Coren-Mitchell, a broadcaster for whom I have otherwise immense respect. She made a joke about Corbyn believing in the anti-Semitic Jewish bankers conspiracy. He doesn’t. Never has done, and never will.

“He has a proud record of supporting Jews and Jewish issues in the UK as part of a general commitment to combating racism.

“But he frightens the British, American and Israeli political establishments by supporting Palestinian rights. And more alarming, horror of horrors!, he has the support of self-respecting Torah-observant and secular Jews.

“It seems that the outrage on social media with the programme and its treatment of Corbyn has got to the point that its producers realise they have to do something to tackle it.

“But they can’t defend their linking of Corbyn with anti-Semitism and bogus, murderous conspiracy theories, it seems. Nor can they acknowledge, it appears, that there is a serious issue here.

“And so they tried to head off criticism by rebutting a different issue entirely.

“This is not good enough, not by a long way. Some people might object to the programme for the above reason, but that’s not why an increasing number do.

Perhaps if we continue to voice our real objections, the Beeb might just have to come clean on the real issue. I hope so, but I’m not holding my breath.

Source: No, HIGNFY, That’s Not What We Object to in Your Treatment of Corbyn | Beastrabban\’s Weblog


  1. Mark C November 3, 2019 at 12:46 pm - Reply

    Jo Brand’s a Labour member too, you’d think she’d know better. But then, she did vote for Owen Smith in the leadership challenge…

  2. Frank Pitt November 3, 2019 at 12:51 pm - Reply

    Have I got news for you, I’m not watching it anymore and some of the contestants are quite beyond the pale. Jo brand you showed your true colours, you arsehole.

    • Mike Sivier November 3, 2019 at 11:28 pm - Reply

      I think she was just reading out what the editors wanted her to say. In its own way, there’s nothing wrong with that (unlike Victoria Coren’s words in the previous edition).

  3. timfrom November 3, 2019 at 6:51 pm - Reply

    Only one criticism of Beastrabban: Have I Got News For You is NOT a satirical programme, and hasn’t been for some time. It’s light entertainment at best, but at least it pleases the security services!

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