Sending coals to Newcastle

Sadie gave me the heads-up about a new State Department initiative (on your taxpayer dime, of course):

The BBC World Service is to receive a “significant” sum of money from the US government to help combat the blocking of TV and internet services in countries including Iran and China.

In what the BBC said is the first deal of its kind, an agreement is expected to be signed later this month that will see US state department money – understood to be a low six-figure sum – given to the World Service to invest in developing anti-jamming technology and software.

The funding is also expected to be used to educate people in countries with state censorship in how to circumnavigate the blocking of internet and TV services.

The logistics of this make sense.  As the article goes on to say, the BBC already has a significant presence in these regions.  However, given that the BBC is as anti-American, anti-capitalist, antisemitic, and anti-Israel as the repressive countries in which it is now about to enhance its presence, I can’t help but feel that we, the taxpayers, are being asked to pay to bring coals to Newcastle.

BBC religious program to be headed by a Muslim

Right now, Church of England officials are upset that the BBC’s religious programming department (which is, apparently, a very important department) is going to be headed up by a practicing Muslim.  It is unclear whether he got the position as a result of political correctness or employment mandates, but there he is.  Of course, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, and we’ll have to wait and see whether Aaqil Ahmed carries out his new assignment with admirable even handedness — or not.  One wonders, though, what recourse there will be if the latter proves to be the case.

And now for something completely different….

You all remember how, at the MTV awards, Russell Brand, a British comedian who was completely unknown to Americans went on a wild anti-Bush rant, with a few jabs at religious people, as well.  If you don’t recall, let me refresh your recollection:

If his aim was to be noticed by America, Russell Brand more than achieved his goal last night as he ranted that President Bush was a “retarded cowboy” while hosting the MTV awards.

The British comedian, who is a virtual unknown in America, left the crème of the music world stunned as he championed Barack Obama, ran down George Bush and made lewd jokes about the Christian pop band Jonas Brothers.

I’m happy to report that Russell Brand has finally gone just a wee bit too far, and he’s taken a chunk of the BBC down with him.  Here’s the story:

Jonathan Ross is a BBC radio host who pulls in a seven figure a year (in pounds) annual salary.  He had Russell Brand as a guest on his pre-recorded radio show.  Brand was also on the BBC pay roll, earning something in the low six figures (in pounds) annually.

These two boys arranged to have an interview with Andrew Sachs.  For those of you who are not afficienados of classic British comedy from the 1970s, this name may not mean anything to you.  But for anyone who has ever watched Fawlty Towers, you’ll instantly connect him with Manuel, the charmingly incompetent Spanish waiter, who never mastered English.

Andrew Sachs (who escaped Nazi Germany in 1938) is now a 78 year old man and, significantly for this story, a grandfather.  His granddaughter, who is a Goth performer, once dated Russell Brand.

Brand and Ross thought it would be too, too funny, as a sort of preparation for the Sachs interview, to call and leave a series of increasingly obscene messages on Sachs’ answering machine.  The BBC thought the messages were pretty damned funny, and allowed this pre-recorded show to be aired.  Here’s a taste of Brand’s and Ross’ humor:

Brand: I said Andrew Sachs! Look Andrew Sachs I have got respect for you and your lineage and your progeny, never let that be questioned.

Ross: Don’t hint.

Brand: I weren’t hinting! Why did that come across as a hint?

Ross: Because you know what you did.

Brand: That wasn’t a hint.

Ross: He f***ed your granddaughter! [laughter in the studio]

[snip]

Brand: [singing] I’d like to apologise for the terrible attacks, Andrew Sachs, I would like to show contrition to the max, Andrew Sachs. I would like to create world peace, between the yellow, white and blacks, Andrew Sachs, Andrew Sachs. I said something I didn’t have oughta, like I had sex with your granddaughter. But it was consensual and she wasn’t menstrual, it was consensual lovely sex. It was full of respect I sent her a text, I’ve asked her to marry me, Andrew Sachs.

Ross: This has made it worse, you have trivialised the whole incident.

Brand: Hang up, hang up! It’s trivialised it!

[snip]

Ross: No. I’ve got a better idea  –  let’s both put on striped shirts and break into his house, merely to delete the answerphone message  –  let’s see what happens. What could go wrong?

Brand: Nothing. Literally, nothing could go wrong as we smash our way into Andrew Sachs’s house.

Ross: No. No, we break in like cat burglars tonight when he’s in bed.

Brand: ‘Yes, while he sleeps.

Ross: …and go up to the pillow to kiss him to say sorry.
Brand: Kiss him up and down his body apologising, drench him in gin.

Ross: M********e him to say sorry. Make him feel better.

(bursts out laughing)

Brand: ‘So sorry, Andrew Sachs, this will make up for it. Go on finish it, into the palm of my hand. Good girl for uncle daddy, good girl for uncle daddy. (Laughs) There we go, what a show it’s been.

Ross: What’s that noise I hear? Ah, it’s a Sony Award coming your way.

Although Ross, Brand and the BBC standards department clearly thought this was good-humored fun for all, the British public, showing that all decency hasn’t been fully leeched away by a politically correct mindset that forces the abandonment of moral standards, went ballistic.  The BBC was deluged with more than 27,000 angry calls, letters and emails.  The Daily Mail (my favorite British rag) received over 5,500 emails on the subject, with more than 4,000 of them registering complaints.  You can get a taste of that here.

Even the BBC can’t withstand that kind of pressure (and that is a good reminder for those of us contemplating the coming “bipartisan” era of a completely Democratic government that may not be subject to any Republican braking mechanisms, such as filibusters.)  Heads have begun rolling:  Russell Brand has resigned, Jonathan Ross’s job is on the line (and the complaints against him are in full flood), and the BBC has been publicly exposed (again) as a moral vacuum.

But even that’s not the worst of it.  The worst of it is that Sachs’ granddaughter has delivered the ultimate insult:

In a frank interview with The Sun, Miss Baillie described how Brand was a flop in the bedroom, despite his reputation as a lothario.

Revealing that she slept with the star after their ‘lavish’ first date, she said: ‘ I’m not going to go into detail about what happened there although I’m obviously no shrinking violet.

‘I will only say he’s a disappointment in the bedroom considering he has had so much practice’.

She also said that Brand was ‘clean freak’ and would ask her to use mouthwash before she kissed him.

The details of the affair will heap more public humiliation on Brand, who has always been proud of his ladies’ man image.

Remember, folks:  In the entertainment world, you can do drugs (as Brand did), you can get arrested, you can solicit sex from prostitutes, you can insult America, you can have a completely psychotic episode — and you will be the recipient of tearful support from everyone, including Oprah.  But you can’t be bad in bed!  In an industry completely founded on sexuality, the discovery that Brand is a failure in the bedroom is the ultimate ignominy.  He’s through, folks.

How to say “I’m a coward” in 98 words

The director of the BBC has finally admitted that, yes, of course the BBC treats Islam with unusual deference.  Mark Thompson offers a 98 word defense of the BBC’s un-evenhanded approach:

‘My view is that there is a difference between the position of Christianity, which I believe should be central to the BBC’s religion coverage and widely respected and followed.

‘What Christian identity feels like to the broad population is a little bit different to people for whom their religion is also associated with an ethnic identity which has not been fully integrated.

‘There’s no reason why any religion should be immune from discussion, but I don’t want to say that all religions are the same. To be a minority I think puts a slightly different outlook on it.’

Right.

Ben Elton, a comedian who took umbrage at the BBC’s oh-so-PC censorship, had a different take on the matter (emphasis mine):

‘I think it all starts with people nodding whenever anybody says, ‘As a person of faith …’,’ he said.

‘And I believe that part of it is due to the genuine fear that the authorities and the community have about provoking the radical elements of Islam,” he said.

‘There’s no doubt about it, the BBC will let vicar gags pass but they would not let imam gags pass. They might pretend that it’s, you know, something to do with their moral sensibilities, but it isn’t. It’s because they’re scared. I know these people.’

It’s not the story; it’s the story about the story

Honest Reporting captured the first spin that the BBC put on the terrible story of the latest massacre in Israel (a Palestinian versus Israelis, of course) — and, as always, it was Israel who was spun as the brutal aggressor.  Orwell clearly understood something in the British psyche when he wrote 1984 — or, more accurately, he understood how socialism has always recognized that facts are meaningless, and outcomes are everything.

Autres temps, autres moeurs

I watched a pretty good movie last night, that was very pro-military; that showed the Iraqi military as being inefficient; and that showed Iraqis as being unbelievably brutal, both in terms of mob violence and in terms of the military’s and the secret police’s capacity for sadistic torture.  Surprisingly, it was made by the BBC.

Okay, now I’ll let you in on a few secrets to explain this weird anomaly, which has the BBC making a pro-military, anti-Iraqi movie.  It’s all in the timing.  The movie was Bravo Two Zero, and it was made in 1999 about an SAS unit that got trapped behind enemy lines during the first Gulf War, in 1991.  In other words, before fanatical Bush Derangement Syndrome took over the world, it was okay to concede that the Iraqis were capable of gross brutality and that Western military service could be carried out by honorable and humane men.

As it’s based on a true story, it’s a worthwhile movie for the Gitmo, waterboarding and Abu Ghraib crowd to watch, if only to get a sense of perspective.

There was sex, just no rape

The BBC presenter who was charged with rape was acquitted, when the judge concluded that there was no evidence of anything other than rough consensual sex (aided by admitted illegal drug use).  The whole thing is sordid, sordid, sordid, and still stands for the principle I advanced when I first mentioned the trial, which is that the media is every bit as bad as Iowahawk said it is (using tried and true NY Times statistical techniques).