The Beeb is damned either way...
I think it's less a case of "not rocking the boat" and more of trying to do anything in an environment where it will get a kicking for doing it.
The Murdoch press in the UK is unsurprisingly rabidly anti-BBC, as is the Daily Mail. (Amusingly the most balanced reporting the latter managed recently was its coverage of Top Gear in Argentina: it couldn't - as usual bash the BBC because that might have sided with the other side.) The current government is a general threat to it too.
It's a shame it can't just get on with what's it's doing and be left to it. It's unusual for any form of media to be as self-scrutinising as the BBC (how negative was the phone hacking coverage on Sky?) The last BBC DG left over the Saville programme largely because he was given such a hard time on the Today programme.
Surely a lot of all of this come down to "license fee? boo! I don't watch Strictly!" and ignores the other output which is well worth the money and wouldn't exist commercially (Radio 3/4, 6 Music).