A National Treasure - no doubt about it

Ok. So old Russ and Jonathan were seriously out of line. I think we get the point. But more offensive than their lewd behaviour was the way the BBC haters got their knives out, barely concealed under a gossamer cloak of hypocritical moral concern. These nasty people want to see an end to a national treasure, not for one second considering the cultural significance of this incredible organisation. The BBC is not perfect, but it is probably the greatest media outlet in the world.

Say no to mediocre TV & Radio; love your BBC!!


November 2, 2008 at 11:29:00 AM GMT John Self said...

I quite agree. Here are my comments from another blog (with apologies for the longwindedness and hints of pottymouth talk):

My view, for what that's worth, is that Brand is a talentless tosser - wants to be Stephen Fry but doesn't have the intelligence so mimics him in vocabulary instead - and that Ross is probably the most talented and entertaining presenter on radio at the moment. (I like his chat show too but it's definitely secondary to his radio show.)

What Brand and Ross did was ill-mannered, rude and unacceptable. However the people who have a right to complain about it are the listeners to Brand's show, and Andrew Sachs. There were two complaints after the show was broadcast, and the other 30,000 or so were made once the Mail on Sunday grabbed the story. Two complaints isn't very many, though frankly Russell Brand fans probably have pretty low expectations. But the point is that it's their expectations which have to be exceeded for a complaint to be sustained under Ofcom rules - not the expectations of Mail readers.

Andrew Sachs also complained to the BBC about it, and received apologies from Ross and Brand (and from the BBC) which he accepted.

I don't believe Georgina Bailie, the granddaughter in question, is a relevant complainant as nobody knew her identity, even after the broadcast, until the media publicised it. Sympathy for her must be tempered by knowledge that she's a member of Satanic Sluts Xtreme and has sold her story to the Sun, showing that she's probably not the sensitive wronged flower she was initially portrayed as in the media. She has also had a huge career boost, not out of Brand and Ross's comments, but out of the media 'outrage'.

The other point to take into consideration is cui bono? The Mail hates the BBC because it sees it as a representative of liberal Britain, which it hates. The Sun, Sky etc are owned by Rupert Murdoch who hates the BBC because it's a rival and has an advantage in the marketplace through the licence fee. Any criticism of the BBC from those organisations needs to be examined very carefully before being taken seriously.

The point against the BBC is that it does receive universal public funding, which is used by its critics to denounce anything they don't like. Of course, I don't like lots of things on the BBC such as Songs of Praise, EastEnders or Last of the Summer Wine, but I recognise that other people who pay the licence fee do value them. Well, I value Jonathan Ross, and my licence fee and that of just 40,000 of the millions of other people who listen to and watch his shows, can be deemed to pay for his £6m a year.

I dislike Brand, but for him to resign along with the controller of Radio 2 is ridiculous.

Probably the solution is for the BBC to move into a subscription mode. I have a funny feeling that all the people who complain that they never watch or listen to the BBC might mysteriously continue to pay for it anyway in that case. And if they don't, the moment something appears on it that the Mail tells them they shouldn't like, the BBC can tell them to f*** off.

November 4, 2008 at 11:38:00 AM GMT Mark said...

Well said, that man. The Beeb is a gem.