Thursday, 30 October 2008
Every now and again, you get a glimpse of the real face of this country; the sad, mean, grotesque contortion of jealously, small mindedness and misdirected rage that lurks beneath the mask of spray-on decency and media prescribed civility.
This face was brazenly exposed in the series of events that have led to fans of an excellent entertainer being deprived of their radio show in an insane, media fueled escalation of an incident which as far as I can grasp involved a joke which suggested that a 23 year old Burlesque dancer may have had sex with someone.
Russell Brand has now quit the BBC and I would not be surprised if Johnathan Ross follows him out the door. I hope he doesn't, because he too in his context is an excellent entertainer and has been for years but really, why should he bother with us after this?
The BBC have behaved disgracefully during this entire idiot episode. Having paid Brand and Ross to be Brand and Ross, they have subsequently suspended them for being Brand and Ross, simply because a few morons whipped up into a fervor by professional bear baiters like the utterly vile Kelvin McKenzie have decided they are disgusted by something they have read about and not even heard.
Reacting to a situation they themselves have had a hand in developing, the BBC have looked like a lumbering, punch drunk fool, flailing aimlessly at anything that stays still long enough to look like a target. And the responsibility for the most important issue to emerge from this incident lies squarely with the BBC. In their reactive mishandling of this situation the BBC have allowed the talent at their disposal to be diminished and their output to be reduced in quality.
Worse, the BBC itself has been diminished by this, because it has backed down to bullying moralists and the gutter press without even the first hint of a fight. Their clear failure to get in front of what has happened means that the talent who remain in the BBC's employ know now that the BBC will fail to support them should they be unlucky enough to be the next "uppity celeb" targeted in some red-top engineered moral outrage publicity stunt.
The BBC's senior staff have allowed the corporation to be bullied and manipulated and a popular performer has been hounded from his job. Has anyone even mentioned where this leaves license payers who are fans of Russell Brand's show? Who is speaking for them in all this? The BBC would do well to remember that loudmouth moaners pay no more for their license than the next person - their obligation is to us all, not simply to those who, like spoiled children, shout the loudest.
In an atmosphere where hysterical reactions like this are allowed to pass unbalanced and, for the most part, unchallenged, the UK will end up with the utterly bland, worthless BBC the right-wing professional "decency" camp have dared only to fantasise about until now.
In short, we'll end up with the BBC we appear currently to totally deserve.
Very interesting to see Georgina Baillie's dewy-eyed chops plastered all over the red tops today wasn't it? Also very interesting to note that Max Clifford is her publicist. What's the betting that once her round of "justice has been done" stories dies out a few weeks later we'll see her again but this time in her work clothes alongside headlines like "Pwarr! Look What All The Fuss Was About!". I'm all for folk making their way in life, but at the expense of another person's career? One wonders if this girl's FHM spread is already in the can.
Another ominous development I happened across today was some simpering lummox of an MP who sits on a broadcasting select committee speaking on BBC Radio Scotland speculating as to whether or not "...the BBC should really be involved in this kind of comedy" while apparently sticking with the erroneous assumption that every license fee payer in the UK wants Jonathan Ross to hang.
I find it unbelievable that, even in the mealy-mouthed cross examination this carpet-bagger received, no mention whatsoever has been made during this entire affair about the millions of license fee payers who tune in to hear Ross every week (on average 3 million per week). Of course in order for your opinion to be valid these days it has to be a moan or a gripe - simply being a member of one of the largest and most loyal radio audiences in the country is simply not good enough anymore.
And now this. How more utterly out of proportion will this get?