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A disturbed BBC...

Recalling the BBC's 1978 ban on The Jam's Down in the Tube Station at Midnight

Link Here6th October 2020
The Jam's anti-racism anthem Down in the Tube Station at Midnight was a song released with a message in 1978. It had a powerful message, too strong for the BBC who thought that the track wasn't acceptable to play on the radio and, subsequently, chose to ban it.

The track was met by hostility, eg when BBC Radio 1 DJ Tony Blackburn complained that it was disgusting the way punks sing about violence: Why can't they sing about trees and flowers?

Blackburn was not alone in the BBC as a figure who hated everything about the song and the broadcaster decided, at the time, that they had no choice but to ban the track from receiving airplay due to its disturbing nature.

The Jam knew that making Down in the Tube Station at Midnight as a single would be a bold move, one which would anger some quarters who simply wanted the music to be lovey-dovey and, in truth, not to reflect back at societal issues--a pivotal reason why they released it.

The Jam were three albums in and had become an unstoppable force of nature so, if the BBC thought that there ban would nullify the message, they were wrong as it became their second UK Top 20 hit, much to the delight of Tony Blackburn no doubt.



Correct English...

The BBC demands that programme makers get permission from divisional directors before using racial slurs

Link Here30th September 2020
The BBC has issued staff new guidance on the use of racist language in the wake of the controversy provoked by the use of a racial slur in a news report.

Use of the strongest racist language, as defined by broadcasting regulator Ofcom, must be personally approved by the corporation's divisional directors. There must be exceptional editorial reasons to use the strongest racist terms, the updated guidance reads.

The new guidance says the use of racist language must be editorially justified, and signposted, to ensure it meets audience expectations, wherever it appears.

It says the editorial justification test would now carry a presumption that such language will not normally be used unless a judgement at divisional director level had ruled otherwise.



Killing Whitey...

BBC responds to complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order

Link Here26th September 2020
Full story: Frankie Boyle...Whinges about Frankie Boyle and Mock the Week
The BBC received complaints about a joke on Frankie Boyle's New World Order where a black comedian, Sophie Duker, jokingly supported the idea of 'killing whitey'.

In a segment where the panelists discuss if the movement glosses over the complexities of a world where we all need to come together and kill whitey, Boyle played a clip of black author James Baldwin talking about black power in an interview on the Dick Cavett Show in the 1970s.

Responding to the clip, Duker said white power is Trump Tower - a nod to Left-wing allegations that the US President is a racist.

She continued: But when we say we want to kill whitey, we don't really mean we want to kill whitey. Duker then quips to the panelists we do to roars of laughter.

The BBC has now responded on its website to the complaints, as always without explaining what the complaints were about. The BBC wrote:

We received complaints from people who felt comments made during the programme were offensive.

Our response

Frankie Boyle's New World Order was shown after 10pm and its content is within audience expectations for a post-watershed, topical, satirical programme from a comedian whose style and tone are well-established.

Every week on the show Frankie puts forward a number of topics for debate, this episode was no different. The panellists' comments were in response to a motion that was written and presented in line with the programme's tone and style.

Sophie Duker is a talented comedian and a regular panellist on Frankie Boyle's New World Order, and we look forward to continue working with her at the BBC.

Update: Another joke

28th September 2020. See article from

Frankie Boyle defended by BBC after Priti Patel joke sparks a few more complaints.

The comedian joked that the Home Secretary is the one woman in Britain who can orgasm by imagining a slow puncture at sea in reference to the refugee crisis



Strictly virtue signalling...

BBC responds to complaints about same sex dancers on Strictly Come Dancing

Link Here19th September 2020

Strictly Come Dancing
BBC One, September 2020

We've received complaints from some viewers about a same-sex pairing on the programme.

Our response

Strictly Come Dancing is an inclusive show and is proud to have featured same sex dancing amongst the professional dancers in group numbers in previous series.

We have stated, in the past, that we are open to the prospect of including same sex pairings between our celebrities and professional dancers, should the opportunity arise.

Nicola Adams requested an all-female pairing, which we are happy to facilitate. The show is first and foremost about dance, the sex of each partner within a coupling should have no bearing on their routine.



The British Wokecasting Corporation...

BBC adjudication about the anti-government rant by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight

Link Here6th September 2020
The BBC has published it consideration of complaints about an anti-government rant by Emily Maitlis on Newsnight. The BBC writes:

Newsnight, BBC Two, 26 May 2020 03 September 2020


A number of viewers complained that the opening section of the programme showed bias against the Government, and/or its Chief Advisor Dominic Cummings and that the programme was inaccurate to state that Mr Cummings had broken the rules on lockdown. The ECU considered the complaint in the light of the BBC's editorial standards of impartiality and accuracy.


This edition of Newsnight was broadcast at the height of the controversy over a journey taken by Mr Cummings with his family to Durham, and a subsequent trip to the nearby town of Barnard Castle. It sought to examine in detail the available evidence and assess the political fall-out from the decision by the Prime Minister to defend his Chief Advisor. The opening remarks, by the presenter Emily Maitlis, set the scene.

At the beginning of the programme:

Tonight, the public can see that Dominic Cummings broke the rules, so why is the Government tying itself in knots to defend him?

Dominic Cummings broke the rules. The country can see that and it's shocked the Government cannot. The longer ministers and the PM tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to the scandal is likely to be. He was the man, you may remember, who always got the public mood who tagged the lazy label of elite on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now; one of fury, contempt and anguish. He made those who struggle to keep to the rules feel like fools and has allowed many more to assume that they can flout them. The Prime Minister knows all this, but despite the resignation of one minister, growing unease from his backbenchers, and dramatic early warning from the polls and a deep national disquiet, Boris Johnson has chosen to ignore it. Tonight we consider what this blind loyalty tells us about the workings of Number 10. We do not expect to be joined by a Government minister but that won't stop us asking the questions.

Section 4 of the Editorial Guidelines demand due, rather than absolute impartiality, defined as adequate and appropriate to the output, taking account of the subject and nature of the content . Presenters may not give their opinion on controversial subjects but are allowed to offer their professional judgements, provided they are rooted in evidence. It is against this guideline that the complaints have been assessed.

Some complainants have also argued that it was inaccurate to state Mr Cummings had broken the rules. To the extent that Ms Maitlis offered this as a statement of fact it would potentially engage Section 3 of the guidelines on accuracy. However in the ECU's view, given the question of accuracy is in this case inextricably intertwined with that of impartiality, the latter is the pre-eminent test against which this broadcast must be judged.

In the ECU's view there was clear evidence at the time to support the assertion that many, though not all, voters felt anger at Mr Cummings' behaviour. The story had run prominently in the media for several days, and a petition calling on him to resign had gathered a large number of signatures - reaching one million shortly after the Newsnight broadcast. A number of Conservative MPs had also expressed disquiet, and the unhappy mood on the backbenchers was reflected in a later contribution from the programme's Political Editor Nick Watt. To that extent Emily Maitlis's opening remarks in relation to the public and political mood of the country were rooted in evidence and a legitimate professional, rather than personal, opinion. The ECU also took into account the fact that a programme like Newsnight is designed to provoke debate and discussion. Viewers expect presenters to ask difficult and challenging questions on their behalf and there is more latitude to play devil's advocate under such circumstances than in a conventional news bulletin.

BBC News say that the remarks were intended to explain the questions Newsnight planned to raise about Mr Cummings' trips. In the ECU's view however they went beyond an attempt to set out the programme agenda. The definitive and at times critical nature of the language -- asserting without qualification that Mr Cummings broke the rules, that the country could see that , and that the Prime Minister was guilty of blind loyalty in refusing to sack him, placed the presenter closer to one side of the debate over his behaviour. At the time of broadcast a statement from Durham Police had yet to be published and arguments over Mr Cummings' behaviour were largely based on varying interpretation of rules which lacked an agreed arbiter, and concerned laws yet to be tested in the Courts. In the ECU's view the opening remarks did not sufficiently acknowledge such uncertainties.

BBC News has conceded that the introduction did not meet the required standards on accuracy or impartiality. In earlier responses it accepted that more should have been done to explain the purpose of the piece, and that the script risked giving the perception that the BBC was taking sides and voicing an opinion on a controversial matter. Whilst some complainants believe BBC News should have gone further, in the ECU's view this is sufficient to judge the editorial matter resolved. This means that although a breach of standards has been identified, no further action is required.

Some complainants also expressed concern at the managerial response to the breach of standards. However the ECU's remit does not extend to judging whether disciplinary action against individual members of staff is warranted or what it should consist of, as that is a matter for BBC News and not the complaints process.

Complaint resolved



Updated: The British Wokecasting Corporation...

Tim Davie takes over at the BBC and promises to rein in its political bias

Link Here2nd September 2020
Tim Davie officially takes over from previous BBC Director-General Tony Hall today.

Davie thinks comedy broadcast by the BBC is perceived as targeting the Conservative party more often than it does the left. He strangely omits to mention a similar bias in the BBC's anti-government news shows, notably Emily Maitlis and Newsnight.

The corporation's new director-general is due to outline the issue in his first speech on Thursday. Advance news releases  say the BBC will commit to producing material that is more inclusive of beliefs across the political spectrum.

Davie hopes this will help restore trust and confidence in the public broadcaster as it faces questions over the future of its publicly-funded model.

Sources have said no firm decisions have been made on how the BBC will tackle perceptions of left-wing bias, though they did say some shows would be axed, hopefully this includes Newsnight. In addition, comedy panel shows will be expected to include guests with a broader range of views.

Update: Hope but little glory

2nd September 2020. See article from

The BBC has reversed its PC decision not to have Rule, Britannia! and Land of Hope and Glory sung at The Last Night of the Proms. References to slaves were the reason for the ban, but the BBC spouted some unlikely bollox about coronavirus and singing.

The U-turn follows fierce criticism from the prime minister, the British people and much of the press. The original ban had prompted Prime Minister Boris Johnson to intervene:

I cannot believe... that the BBC is saying that they will not sing the words of Land of Hope And Glory or Rule Britannia! as they traditionally do at the end of The Last Night of The Proms.

I think it's time we stopped our cringing embarrassment about our history, about our traditions, and about our culture, and we stopped this general bout of self-recrimination and wetness.

I do think this country is going through an orgy of national embarrassment about some of the things that other people around the world love most about us. People love our traditions and our history with all its imperfections. It's crazy for us to go around trying to censor it. It's absolutely absurd and I think we should speak out loud and proud for the UK and our history.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

Confident forward-looking nations don't erase their history, they add to it.

Now a select group of singers will now perform the songs after all.

The BBC's change of heart seems related to a change of boss with the incoming Tim Davie promising to be less woke than the outgoing Tony Hall.



History denial...

BBC censors an historically important and factual use of the word 'nigger' that explains the motivation behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln

Link Here16th August 2020
A short history lesson:

John Wilkes Booth's hatred of Lincoln grew as the Confederacy's cause collapsed. On April 11, 1865, he heard Abraham Lincoln address a crowd outside the White House. Lincoln advocated extending the vote to educated African Americans and all black veterans. Booth turned to his companion Lewis Powell and exclaimed, That means nigger citizenship. That is the last speech he will ever make.

On April 14, 1865, the Lincolns and their two guests, Clara Harris and Maj. Henry Rathbone, arrived late to Ford's Theatre for a production of Our American Cousin. As the president entered the theater, the crowd wildly cheered and the orchestra played Hail to the Chief. Lincoln set his silk hat on the floor, and the actors resumed where they had left off.

At about 10:15 p.m., John Wilkes Booth entered the presidential box, pointed a derringer pistol at the back of the president's head and fired. Booth then pulled out a knife, slashed Rathbone, and jumped onto the stage, declaring Sic semper tyrannis -- Thus always to tyrants, the Virginia state motto. Despite breaking his leg as he hit the stage, Booth escaped backstage and onto a waiting horse.

And this rather important slice of history was factually retold in a BBC history programme, American History's Biggest Fibs with Lucy Worsley , BBC Two, 1 August 2020:

And of course the BBC received complaints about the factually important explainer of the motivation behind the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

The BBC reported that it had received 158 complaints and responded:

The BBC posted the following response on its website (without explaining what the complaints were about):

Firstly we understand and we are sorry for any distress caused to any of our audience by language included in the programme. We recognise it is an offensive term and one that is rarely included in our output. We assess all content we broadcast on a case by case basis taking into consideration a range of factors including the programme and the context.

This film was the second episode of a history series originally shown on BBC FOUR last year and it explored the American Civil War, featuring contributions from a number of African American scholars. This episode included a John Wilkes Booth quote uttered in reaction to President Abraham Lincoln's 1865 speech in which Lincoln declared that people, regardless of colour, should have equal rights to vote. The language used in Wilkes Booth's statement was included to indicate the strength of his views and his attitude towards African Americans -- racist views shared by many at that period in America's history. A continuity announcement at the start of the programme flagged to viewers the nature of the content; this was reinforced by the presenter who alerted the audience before reading from the Wilkes Booth statement.

We have listened to audience concerns and have re-edited the programme on BBC iPlayer. If we were making this programme today we would not have included the word.

The BBC Director-General has issued the following statement which, whilst primarily about a recent BBC News report, also states that the BBC will be strengthening guidance on offensive language across our output.



Updated: You can't say that!...

BBC News responds to complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' whilst reporting what was said during a crime

Link Here9th August 2020
The BBC has issued a statement after a news reporter used the word 'nigger' when relaying how the word word used in a racially motivated crime.

Social Affairs correspondent Fiona Lamdin was fronting a segment about a black NHS worker who was hit by a car in a suspected racially aggravated assault, when she said the word whilst recalling racist language shouted at the victim by the attackers.

Viewers of the BBC report took to Twitter to criticise the reporter's use of the word, with one user writing : A white reporter just said the N word on BBC I hearing this correctly? Another wrote about how they were absolutely flabbergasted at the news reporter's choice of language, adding: Have they apologised for this disgusting behaviour?

The BBC is also receiving complaints about the broadcast. Ofcom reported that it had received 280 complaints about the issue.

In a statement about the broadcast, the BBC wrote on its website:

Clearly we would never want our reporting to become the focus of such an important story. We have listened to what people have had to say about the use of the word and we accept that this has caused offence but we would like people to understand why we took the decision we did.

This story was an important piece of journalism about a shocking incident. It was originally reported by some as a hit and run, but investigations indicated that racist language was used at the scene and it was then treated by the police as a racially aggravated attack.

The victim's family were anxious the incident should be seen and understood by the wider public. It's for this reason they asked us specifically to show the photos of this man's injuries and were also determined that we should report the racist language, in full, alleged to have been spoken by the occupants of the car.

Notwithstanding the family's wishes, we independently considered whether the use of the word was editorially justified given the context. The word is used on air rarely, and in this case, as with all cases, the decision to use it in full was made by a team of people including a number of senior editorial figures.

You are, of course, right that the word is highly offensive and we completely accept and understand why people have been upset by its use. The decision to use the word was not taken lightly and without considerable detailed thought: we were aware that it would cause offence. But, in this specific context we felt the need to explain, and report, not just the injuries but, given their alleged extreme nature, the words alleged to have been used - a position which, as we have said, was supported by the family and the victim.

These are difficult judgements but the context is very important in this particular case.

We believe we gave adequate warnings that upsetting images and language would be used and we will continue to pursue this story.

Update: 18,600 complaints

6th August 2020. See article from

The BBC has received more than 18,600 complaints about the factual use of the word 'nigger' in a TV news report.

Broadcast regulator Ofcom said it received 384 complaints about the same report.

In its fortnightly bulletin, the BBC said it had received 18,656 complaints about the incident by Sunday 2 August. That makes it the second-most complained about incident since the BBC began using its current system in 2017. Only Newsnight's biased opening monologue about Dominic Cummings in May received more, with 23,674.

Update: The left eats itself and so the BBC has to offer grovelling apology

9th August 2020. See article from

BBC director general Tony Hall has apologised and said a mistake was made after a news report containing a factual use of the word 'nigger' was broadcast last month.

The BBC initially defended the use of the slur after more than 18,600 complaints were made.

Hall said he now accepts the BBC should have taken a different approach. In an email, sent to all BBC staff, Hall said:

I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

In his message, Hall emphasised it was the BBC's intention was to highlight an alleged racist attack. He said:

This is important journalism which the BBC should be reporting on and we will continue to do so. Yet despite these good intentions, I recognise that we have ended up creating distress amongst many people.

The BBC now accepts that we should have taken a different approach at the time of broadcast and we are very sorry for that. We will now be strengthening our guidance on offensive language across our output.

Every organisation should be able to acknowledge when it has made a mistake. We made one here.

Update: 508 complaints

23rd August 2020. See report [pdf] from

The BBC later noted that it had actually received 508 complaints.

Update: 18000 complaints

15th October 2020

In a formal complaints bulletin the BBC noted that it received 18656 complaints about the programme.



The Next Step...

BBC receives complaints about a same sex kiss in a children's TV show

Link Here3rd August 2020

The BBC has defended itself following complaints about airing a teenage same-sex kiss in a CBBC show.

About 100 viewers objected to a scene in which two girls share a kiss following a dance. It was shown in an episode of Canadian kids' TV show The Next Step which was broadcast in July.

The BBC confirmed online that complaints had been received about the storyline. The BBC explained that the kiss was part of its morality campaign to 'educate' kids in its progressive values. The BBC said:

This is an important part of our mission to make sure that every child feels like they belong, that they are safe, and that they can be who they want to be,

We believe that the storyline, and the kiss, was handled with sensitivity and without sensationalism, following as it did the portrayal of Jude and Cleo's developing relationship. And I'm afraid we do not agree that it was inappropriate for the audience age.

CBBC regularly portrays heterosexual young people dating, falling in love, and kissing. And it is an important way of showing children what respectful, kind and loving relationships look like.

Same-sex relationships have already featured in other CBBC shows such as Jamie Johnson, 4 O Clock Club, Dixie and Marrying Mum and Dad, and the first same-sex kiss on CBBC was in fact in Byker Grove, many years ago.

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