Saturday, January 08, 2005
Nice work if you can get it
Hurrah! As I write, Jerry Springer - The Opera is in full flow on BBC2. The religious bullies have lost this battle but they're unlikely to give up, especially not now they've won the support of the Conservatives.
On Radio 4's Any Questions last night, Tory spokesman Michael Ancram came out in support of censorship. Do the Tories imagine they can win the next election by copying the fundamentalist tactics the American Republicans? If Ancram wants to be back in power, he'll need considerably more votes than the 45,000 Christians who complained to the BBC.
Meanwhile, the dispute has taken a bizarre turn. Christian objectors to the broadcast claimed that the musical contained more than 8,000 expletives.
Not so, says the BBC.
A reported total of 8,000 obscenities was reached by adding every swear word sung by each member of the 27-strong chorus.I thought the religious protestors were arguing the broad principles. It turns out that they have been sitting in a London theatre, notepad and pocket calculator in hand, counting each rude word and multiplying it by 27.
However, on Saturday, a BBC spokesperson said the number was less than 300 and was arrived at "even using the broadest definition of an offensive word".
Not to be outdone, the BBC apparently employs someone to carry out a similar function and arrive at a more modest total. His occupation must be an ice-breaker at parties.
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