Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's Official - I Have Become Mary Whitehouse!

Yesterday I was bewailing the fact that the BBC website choses to cover topless tobogganing rather than real news. I figured since I'd gone to all the time and effort to moan about it - I might as well forward my angry comments to the BBC website complaints department. Today they replied...

"Dear Ms Smurthwaite,
Thank you for your email complaining about the tobogganing video on the News website.
I have looked at the video in question and think there is an inappropriate image within in. We are re-editing the video to remove that image. We are also re-writing the story headline.
We cover a wide range of content in video on the BBC News website. Some of it is light-hearted. A great deal is serious. We try to strike a balance between the two but accept that we will not please everyone, all the time.
I’m sorry if you found this video offensive.
Yours sincerely,
Mark Barlex
Editor, On Demand
1640 BBC Television Centre "

Oh dear. How did this happen? I was trying to complain about the focus of the news being on the trivial and tittilating rather than on real political and social issues. Mark seems to be under the impression I am offended by the sight of A NIPPLE.

So Why Do They Call It The News?

The BBC today is all over the story that some people in German went tobogganing topless. And yes, there is a video. It wouldn't look out of place on Girls Gone Wild.

Stories not featured on the BBC site today include Republican Scott Brown voting with the US Democrats on jobs, the decision not to investigate the authors of the notorious US waterboard memo and right here in the UK the country's biggest union (I think) Unison has voted to back calls for a 'Nordic Law' on prostitution.

And honestly the BBC is one of the better ones. What happened to journalists reporting stuff that mattered?

Monday, February 22, 2010

Easy Tiger

I was on BBC Five Live on Friday night talking about the wildly over-hyped story of Tiger Woods' public apology. Unfortunately the debate wasn't very interesting - other guests kept talking about "brand Tiger" and the impact on the game of golf. Big who cares!!

There is one point I was desperate to make but didn't get the chance though: Sex addiction. Apparently he's been in rehab now for "sex addiction". I am unconvinced that this is a real condition, and deeply unconvinced that Tiger Woods has ever suffered from it.
An addiction drives you to behave in ways you never would normally. If he was rushing to the bathroom during golf tournaments to frantically masturbate I would be prepared to consider it a psychological problem. Why does his condition only kick in when he meets gorgeous supermodels? Sleeping around when you're in an exclusive relationship is not a medical condition. It means you're a bad partner, a liar and a creep but it's not a diagnosis.
The notion that men "just can't help" having sex is a noxious one. No man has ever died from failure to poke his penis into something. And it's trotted out regularly as an excuse for rape and sexual assault as well as infidelity.
My friend Zoe put it best, so I shall quote: "What a knob. As if being an ignorant, self-serving prick was a disease. I think most of my ex-boyfriends have been infected with it, actually. Maybe I am a carrier!"