The Brand-Ross affair has engulfed the BBC in a storm of protest. But commentators say the tide of criticism reflects something deeper – people are fed up with the BBC’s standards.
Daily Telegraph opinion
The depressing aspect of this grubby affair is that it is all of a piece with its [the BBC’s] arrogant belief that it cannot possibly be wrong on anything.
Accountable to no one, and with a guaranteed income of £3.2 billion a year, its own Andrew Marr has described its mindset thus: “The BBC is not impartial or neutral. It’s a publicly funded, urban organisation with an abnormally large number of young people, ethnic minorities and gay people. It has a liberal bias.”
In short, it has become dangerously divorced from the majority of people in this country.
This social and cultural dissonance has been exposed by the Ross/Brand imbroglio and the scale of public revulsion.
Daily Mail Opinion
The BBC must not think that getting rid of two filthy-minded, overgrown schoolboys – or disciplining the executives who authorised the programme – will bring this sorry affair to an end. For it raises profound questions about the entire culture and purpose of the BBC.
The first lesson is that it’s no part of a publicly funded broadcaster’s job to compete with commercial stations in producing smutty trash.
The metropolitan, anything-goes twentysomethings who seem to run the Corporation may think it excitingly ‘edgy’ to try to shock their paymasters.
But at this crucial point in the BBC’s history, viewers and listeners won’t stand for this treatment any longer.
What those who commission, produce and write for light entertainment today need to understand – and this message needs to go far beyond the cosseted confines of the BBC – is that the public have had enough.
The protests surrounding Sachs-gate stem from a fundamental antipathy to the way things have been going for the past 15 years.
We may not be able to turn back the clock to the golden age of Seventies sitcom, but those who would make us laugh – rather than weep with incredulous frustration – need to heed the wake-up call and turn over a new leaf, sharpish.