If you would like to be outraged, turn to page 4

What an odd week it’s been. On Wednesday afternoon, I was sitting in Dublin airport, a sizeable snowstorm visible through every window, sipping what was alleged to be tea and flanked on all sides by the moral outrage of the British press. The TV in the hotel had Sky News, so I’d caught moments of the scandal as it unfolded by, even now, I can’t quite believe how it was escalated so quickly by the delightful, intelligent and well-rounded individuals who work for the Mail.

If  I might just, briefly, focus on the point that I believe to be key to the whole situation. Prior to the papers getting hold of the story, there had been five complaints, and only two had come immediately after the show had aired. Now, it’s also worth stating that what Brand and Ross got up to in that particular programme should not have been broadcast. But, I think it says a great deal about what that show must have been like that such content only provoked two complaints from its actual listeners. Thus, the people tuning in for that particular programme were, almost entirely, untroubled by that incident and felt it was in keeping with what Saturday night on Radio 2 offered.

I could spend several days writing about the people who are willing to be engineered into moral outrage by the very people who claim to want to protect our delicate little minds from such filth, but I’ll try and keep it brief. If what was said was humiliating for Andrew Sachs‘ granddaughter, then why on earth did the Mail decide to take something that had only been heard by a little under half a million Radio 2 listeners and reprint it for the benefit of the masses?

That Russell Brand, he’s outrageous. The things he says aren’t fit for the good people of Britain to hear. Why not read them instead?

It’s typical Mail reportage.

So-and-so went to a film premiere last night looking really slutty. Here’s a fucking huge picture of her so that you can examine exactly how slutty she looked. Hands on the table at all times, please.

As someone who struggles with the notion that God guides us all through our daily lives, I’m tempted to try and organise 10,000 complaints about Songs Of Praise. I find it offensive to my beliefs and, although I’ve never seen it, they sing songs about God and bang on about him being a redeemer and stuff. Honest, I read it in the paper. Then again, I could engage my brain for, ooh, maybe five seconds, and realise that this programme isn’t for me. That’s why I haven’t watched it and it’s why it hasn’t actually offended me. There, that was a really unnecessary crisis averted, wasn’t it?

On Thursday night, Newsnight gave over the first thirty minutes of the show to this story. Thirty minutes! Still, it’s not like a super-power is about to appoint a new President or anything, is it? Emily Maitlis appeared to want to leave Mark Thompson as close to death as her sense of humanity allowed during her interview and actually bothered to quote a fairly typical Frankie Boyle crack from Mock The Week at him twice, in the hope that he would condemn that and give the hacks something else to find some fake ire over.

I know that this blog is essentially about music, but I get a lot of my musical info and awareness from some of the BBC’s outstanding broadcasting. The Beeb means a lot to me and the access I have to it is something I cherish. The thought that this story will lead to an even more timid BBC than we already have, post-phone-in scandal, genuinely troubles me. Not as much as Fox News does, mind you.

 

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