30 October 2008

Ross/Brand: A tsunami in a teacup

Extraordinary goings-on at the BBC... Jonathan Ross suspended for 3 months without pay, Russell Brand out the door.

Because some rude messages (included in the broadcast on 18 October) were left on Andrew Sachs's answerphone concerning the fact that Brand had sex with Sach's 23-year-old grand-daughter. Well, nobody's going to condone swearing into people's answerphones on BBC radio - Sachs was pissed off and rightly so. But Brand and Ross both admitted they'd overstepped the mark and apologised, Sachs accepted the apology, and perhaps we would have thought the matter would have ended there - maybe with a fine for the presenters.

Instead, one of Radio 2's flagship presenters is gone for 3 months (at least it'll save the Beeb some money as he's grossly overpaid, but that's an argument for another day) and another popular show is off the air for good.

And why? Basically because the Mail on Sunday got hold of the story and ran it ten days after the show was recorded. These desperate fuckers at the Mail, who are in all probability far more depraved than Russell Brand could ever dream of, sell their filth - far more disgusting and warped than anything on Radio 2 - to an equally desperate audience.

There were 1,585 complaints received by the BBC after the Mail on Sunday story ran. How many complaints were received by the BBC before the story ran in the Mail? TWO.

The whole thing is a f***ing joke which once again proves that BBC director-general Mark Thompson is a government patsy put in to reduce the Beeb to a compliant zombie institution in the wake of the Hutton report in 2003. Your licence fee is now being used to pleasure Daily Mail readers... I wish Brand and Ross had attacked the gutter press in their statements to the media after the story broke.

Have we really progressed any since the days of Mary Whitehouse? Doesn't feel much like it.


Van Patten said...

'Your licence fee is now being used to pleasure Daily Mail readers'

Can you explain that statement. Are you implying the cost of the inquiry should have been fundede by what? Private investment?

The issue here is that I'm not required BY LAW to pay for the Mail on Sunday. I am required to pay a TV license (as the pleasant chaps from TV licensing remind me - see the link below. Kim Jong-il's propaganda is less threatening)


Hence the MOS already has the highg ground here. however 'depraved' they might be. I do agree that the punishment might seem extreme but Brand is about as funny as watching paint dry, and Ross is also somewhat overrated. I think the argument for retention of the license fee might be damaged by the furore over this. With any luck, it'll be abolished or the much vaunted Fox News GB will be instituted (receiving 50% of the fee)to counteract the left wing propaganda from the 'Brussels Broadcasting Corporation'.

giroscoper said...

The point is that the licence fee is being used to provide a steady diet of programmes that don't offend Mail on Sunday readers. It was nothing to do with who should fund the inquiry - although I would say the inquiry is a waste of money.

It's certainly worth the licence fee to avoid advertising on BBC services, that's for sure. I'd rather watch the programmes than have a steady stream of advertisements for crap products. Whilst somewhat regressive, I think it's a better system than funding with ads.

I'd agree that both Ross and Brand are overrated but that's not the issue here - Ross isn't being suspended because he's overrated after all.

I would say BBC coverage is pretty balanced - for example the North America editor, Justin Webb, seems to me to be a right-winger. I'd agree that the hard right is seldom represented but then neither is the hard left.

We already have Fox news GB - I think you'll find Murdoch owns Sky News?!

Adam Deen said...

another perspective


Red Two said...

The only thing more depressing than the BBC's inevitable overreaction in the face of the MoS' tedious campaign has been Thompson's toe-curling interviews.

Interviewer : "don't you think it's all gone a bit far?"
Thompson: "no no, it was all a disgrace, quite rightly we've reacted?"
Interviewer: "do you think, if the thing had been picked up and dealt with more promptly, that a lot of this could have been avoided?"
Thompson: "no no no. I assure you that the BBC management team acted on this as soon as we found out about it"
Interviewer: "Don't you think it's a shame that the controller of Radio 2 had to fall on her sword? How does losing her help the BBC and ultimately the taxpayer?"
Thompson: "It was her decision, it's quite appropriate, it was on her watch. I didn't pressurise her to leave at all. Oh no. And it definitely wasn't anything to do with me..."

giroscoper said...

Absolutely - as I said earlier, Thompson is a lame-ass. A patsy tasked with neutering the BBC. Maybe he is (to use Van Patten's terminology) "a FOX news agent".