Faux-Fury Fun With The Fourth Estate

  • 1/07/2009 11:21:00 pm
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones

As the Beeb LURCHES from SCANDAL to CALAMITY to PUNCHING SPARROWS IN THEIR TINY BEAKY FACES, it's time to unveil our annual new idea. There are so many tabloid headlines screaming sentences beginning with "BBC SLAMMED BY (x)", there really needs to be some sort of scale. After all, how outraged are we supposed to get? Like every vigilant Briton, we've put Ofcom on our Friends and Family list, but we need some kind of scale that tells us just how loud we should be shouting down the 'phone (or how hard to hammer the keys on our keyboard when expressing our anger at the pro-/anti-/NooLabour/TehTories/Europe/USA/Israel/Hamas/Imperial/Metric/Blur/Oasis BBC think-cops, when posting about it on their Have Your Say page). Well, frothing mentalists with usernames like "John England-Not-Britain, Gibraltar" need fret no longer, because we've knocked something up in our shed*.

(*Found a Flickr image with Creative Commons amendment rights and changed it a bit.)

Let's feed a few stories into our BBC Shockometer, and see if we've calibrated it correctly.

BBC slammed after screening porn star's lesbian fantasies (Independent, 6th Jan 2008)

The Story:

"The BBC came under fire today after celebrity lesbian couple Lindsay Lohan and Samantha Ronson were the subject of "gratuitously sexist and homophobic remarks" in an end-of-year show [BBC Three's 'The Most Annoying People Of 2008' - Ed]. Interviewed for the programme, former porn star Ron Jeremy described in some detail the sex acts he wanted to perform with Lohan and Ronson, while BBC Radio 5 Live presenter DJ Spoony said "hot and fit" women should be saved for straight men."

What this means:

BBC Three isn't getting any more watchable, a male porn star likes to think about sex when he sees attractive women, and DJ Spoony is a tosser. That's a triplet of non-relevations, right there.

The Shockometer says:

Nope, hardly moving. Time to try another story.

Daisy's whitewash: BBC race row over Night Garden doll's pale face (Daily Mail, 5th Jan 2009)

The Story:

"On the face of it, a small furry doll from a magical secret world seems an unlikely subject for a row about racism. Yet the BBC has found itself under fire about the colour of Upsy Daisy, central character in the children's programme In The Night Garden. Parents have complained that while she has dark skin on screen, an Upsy Daisy doll on sale in toy shops at upwards of £28.95 is much whiter. [...] Blogger Melanie Howarth wrote: 'I realise that the toys have been manufactured in order to make a profit and it has clearly been decided that a black Upsy Daisy will not make as much money as a white Upsy Daisy."

What this means:

Clearly, everyone in Britain is racist. And that's racist in the sense of "doesn't like people with dark skin", as opposed to the "anyone in Britain who wasn't born here" that closely mirrors the editorial policy of The Daily M.. ah, you're ahead of us. Or, someone with a bone to pick is clutching at straws, and bloggers are full of crap. Yes, including us.

The Shockometer says:

Ooh, a bit of a wobble there. Pointedly saying that the dolls cost almost £29 sent it all the way up to 'tepid'.

BBC accused of 'pandering' to No10 after Andrew Marr visits Downing Street for fireside chat with Gordon Brown (Daily Mail, 5th Jan 2009)

The Story:

"The BBC was facing severe criticism last night for 'cosying up' to Gordon Brown on a flagship political programme. The Prime Minister was interviewed yesterday on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show. But instead of travelling into the studio, Mr Brown agreed that the entire programme could be filmed in No 10. Other senior politicians are asked to travel into the studio when appearing on BBC1's The Andrew Marr Show."

What This Means:

The BBC have done the same thing as they've done with every other British Prime Minister since Churchill. And when you're the one accusing someone of doing something, it's not a story. Unless you're really desperate to fill in those editorial pages and you've run out of photos of actresses walking down streets.

The Shockometer says:

No, you really need to try harder, The Daily Mail.

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