Friday, February 06, 2009


You knew this was coming right?

Can we all just stop being offended?

In the wake of the reality-crunching horror of the Ross-Brand fiasco, anyone broadcasting anything that might just upset someone is in for a world of hurt. For those that have been living under a rock for the last few months, Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand were very naughty boys who said 'Fuck' on Radio 2 and left telephone messages to a frail old man about sexual activity with his grand-daughter. It was terrible. Literally DOZENS of people complained who had actually heard it ... and tens of thousands who hadn't. Subsequently Brand resigned and Ross was suspended and had had his pay slashed and his generally in the dog house where his every word is being watched by 'Concerned of Dunstable' for breaking some code or other.

You see, however, the problem is that Russell Brand was telling the truth. He HAD been having sex with the woman in question. And lets not believe that poor old Grandad was unaware of his darling granddaughters activities - she is in a band called 'Satanic Sluts'! And the grandfather? That was Andrew Sachs, who was booked to be on their show ... obviously to talk about flower pressing. Anyway, he's done alright, suddenly emerging from 'retired' status to land a slot on Corrie. Poor old thing.

ANYWAY, next we have Jeremy Clarkson, who cannot do anything right to start with, calling Gordon Brown a 'one-eyed, Scottish idiot'. Now, he does have only one eye that works, he is Scottish and the media has been making a mockery of his ability to do anything barring tie his own shoe-lace for months. So whats the problem? Oh people are offended! Apparently it ties disability to ineptitude. I even heard someone claim it was a racist comment?! Clearly, the masses have been calling for Jeremy to lose his job as well. He upset someone. Heads MUST roll.

You also have to juxtaposition this with Carol Thatcher, yes, the spawn of Satan herself. Carol decided that whilst she was relaxing in the Green Room of The One Show with such showbiz chums as Jo Brand, she would say Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 'looked like a Golliwog'. In front of Jo Brand!? And she has lost her job. And apparently, this is unfair and she shouldn't be sacked at all. Its an over-reaction and political correctness gone mad and the BBC are not acting on a level-playing field etc etc.

Carol? If you worked in any other media business and you were spotted in your place of work in front of company guests making racist comments and then refusing to apologise for them, you would be disciplined at least and probably sacked.

Clarkson? He's an idiot at the best of times, but he has apologised for the eye comment and for called him a scotsman (although I fail to see why on the second count) but not for calling him an idiot. Well done Jeremy. Thats it, let it be the end of it.

My point is that we cannot live in a society where anything which might slightly upset someone is deemed unacceptable and leads to a totalitarian reaction of intolerance. Down that route lies state oppression, the removal of freedom of speech and the suppression of comedy, ideas and most importantly our right to object. At the moment our media is held in some sort of improved standards death spiral fuelled by an unwillingness of the controllers to simply say 'No, sorry, thats not offensive. You are being over sensitive. Grow up.' to the people who are complaining.

And don't get me started on swearing!



redben said...

This isn't really about people being offended or political correctness gone mad. Its about the newsprint media.

Its never been the case that the newspapers have been about news, they've always pushed one agenda or another, but with the rise of electronic media, rolling 24 TV and radio news channels and the internet, any pretence they've had to provide the news has gone. To survive they've had to switch tack.

The modern newspaper is all about 'campaigns'. They find something they believe their readership will consider to be in the commnon good and they push it. Naming and shaming paedophiles, Jamie's school dinners and outrage over celebrity behaviour to name just a fraction.

In turn the 24 hour news channels, who have far too much time to fill with not enough news, get to have talking heads and phone-ins to discuss it over and over. They would never be so crass as to push one of these stories but when the newspapers do they will flog it for all it is worth.

The result is temporary mini-mass hysteria is whipped up until the next thing comes along. Whether its new pictures of Amy Winehouse smoking a spliff, out-of-touch footballers getting arrested or MP's on the take.

My advice is to ignore it. If enough people do it will go away.


Vodkashok said...

Yeah, because telling me "It wos the media wot done it!" has worked so well in the past to calm my fury...

Anonymous said...

Not trying to calm you down (although ignoring it is the best solution, as soon as you engage it in any way they've got what they want), just trying to direct your fury in the appropriate direction.