While eagerly trying to hound right-wing online platforms out of existence and bash conservative news outlets, the hall monitors at The New York Times remain fiercely defensive of the media’s government-supported left flanks — especially the British Broadcasting Corporation — even down to suggesting a snarky, Daily Show-type parody show on the BBC was cancelled because of racism and a “war on woke” politics.
Here was their headline for their pity party: “His BBC Comedy Show Is Canceled. His Political Fight Continues — Nish Kumar’s satirical late-night show “The Mash Report” ran for four years on the public broadcaster. Some believe it was a casualty of a ‘war on woke.’”
And for good measure, Times reporter Desiree Ibekwe made sure to tout Kumar’s self-serving accusations of racism. Meanwhile, stewing moderate/conservative BBC viewers have to pipe down, pay up, and take their woke medicine.
The comedian’s gross personal politics were on display with his choice of what amuses him: the “communist revolutionary” (AKA mass-murdering thug) Che Guevara:
In the comedian Nish Kumar’s study hangs a poster of his face superimposed onto the famous “Guerrillero Heroico” photograph of Che Guevara, the communist revolutionary.
The tongue-in-cheek image was created as a nod to how Kumar, 35, is perceived by much of the British right-wing press, the comedian said in a recent video interview, and was a set dressing for the most recent season of his satirical BBC news show “The Mash Report.”
In recent years the show, and more specifically Kumar, have become lightning rods in the very public grappling with British values known as the country’s culture war.
Earlier this month, the BBC announced it was canceling “The Mash Report” after four seasons. In a statement, the broadcaster said that the decision was made “in order to make room for new comedy shows.”
The paper at least allowed the conservative view to peek through, before switching back to gratifying Kumar’s healthy sense of self-importance (click “expand”):
Clips from the show regularly go viral here, and for several years “The Mash Report” has been criticized by some right-leaning commentators for being too left-wing for the BBC, which is publicly funded and so aims to be politically balanced.
The public broadcaster’s topical comedy has long been a sore spot for conservative critics. Writing in the right-leaning magazine The Spectator after the cancellation news, Tom Slater said, “Even among the politically monochrome BBC comedy stable, ‘The Mash Report’ broke new ground for liberal sanctimony and woke hectoring.”
Simon Evans, a right-leaning comedian who has appeared on BBC comedy shows, said in a telephone conversation that there was a left-wing predominance in BBC comedy and it posed a problem for the broadcaster. Most households in Britain are obliged to fund the broadcaster through a television license fee, but a section of them, he said, see their worldview “regularly trounced and dispatched and treated with contempt.”
Even in this context, it is, and always has been, important to Kumar that you know where he stands.
Give me a break.
Kumar sounds like a real laugh riot:
A week after “The Mash Report” was canceled, Kumar released two comedy albums at the same time. “It’s In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves” — Part One recorded in 2016 and Part Two in 2019 — both deal with the ills of racism, Brexit and what Kumar considers the ineptitude of Britain’s Conservative government.
But Kumar’s unapologetically political comedy has increasingly invited controversy.
Why? Racism, naturally!
And just as unsurprising was the reality that Ibekwe allowed Kumar’s accusation without pushback (emphasis mine):
The causes appear to be political, but Kumar, whose parents are first-generation Indian immigrants, noted another factor at play: “I am undeniably brown,” he laughed.
“I think there is a sense in Britain at the moment that you can be brown in the public sphere but you would better have one of three preapproved opinions,” he said. “And if you are a person of color and you are trying to critique the state, you’d better think carefully about that before you open your mouth.”
He added: “There is a section of the population that absolutely does not believe your views on Britain have the same legitimacy as somebody who’s white.”
Lastly, Ibekwe asked the question no one was asking: “So, what’s next for Kumar?”