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Thursday, March 31st, 2005 at
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Guardian – BBC rejects Springer complaints: BBC governors rejected a record 63,000 complaints from viewers over the decision to broadcast Jerry Springer – The Opera yesterday, prompting renewed criticism from offended Christian and “decency” campaigners. The governors’ programme complaints committee was split on the wisdom of allowing the show to go ahead in January, but ruled by a majority of four to one that the decision was not in breach of internal guidelines… John Beyer, the director of the pressure group Mediawatch, said the decision was “yet another example of the BBC’s stupefying arrogance”.
Pwhahahahahahahaha! Yes, John Beyer not arrogant. Stephen Green not arrogant. BBC arrogant.
Media Watch Watch – BBC rejects Springer complaints: The only member of the Committee to disagree with the decision not to uphold complaints was Angela Sarkis, a former Vice-President of the African Caribbean Evangelical Alliance. Stephen Green has called it “a black day for British broadcasting”.
The full report can be downloaded by clicking here (PDF)Passage of note: One recurrent paragraph in many of the complaints referred to the opera containing “8000” expletives and the reported comments by Roly Keating, Controller of BBC Two about the programme pushing “back the boundaries of taste and decency”.The committee covered two important points that were also raised here (quite a few times):1. The number of expletives was greatly exaggerated2. There is no record of Roly Keating making such an belligerent/antagonistic statement (which mysteriously echoes a favourite catchphrase of John Beyer), and he has no recollection of making itBut it was these two false claims – combined with the disgraceful opening paragraph (“The Sikhs have made a stand – but will Christians?”) that made the email circular that prompted most of the complaints so ‘potent’ (see below). And we still don’t know who started it off.This was one of the reasons why I made a FOI request to the BBC to get more details about the complaints. This request was denied, BTW: Your further requests for copies of all complaints sent to the BBC, the breakdown and information on threats to BBC staff are also outside the scope of the Act. Information about BBC programmes, content and their production is not covered by the Act. (Schedule 1 of the Act says that the BBC is covered in respect of information held for purposes other than those of journalism, art or literature). I wanted to see these complaints in detail in order to:- Find out exactly when they started, so I’d have a better chance of tracking down the source of the original email- Determine how many (or if any) multiple complaints came from single individualsSadly, the trail has now gone cold, so we’ll probably never know who was behind the original email. Or exactly how potent it was.Linky-dinked timeline follows (most comprehensive/important entry is in bold):January 6, 2005 – Jerry Springer, the BBC, Mediawatch UK, and those f**king c**ts at The SunJanuary 7, 2005 – John Beyer, Tara Conlan, Rupert Murdoch and the Echo ChamberJanuary 7, 2005 – Murdoch speaks all Aussie-like regarding the f**king swearing on the BBCJanuary 8, 2005 – Tara Conlan: shamelessJanuary 8, 2005 – Jerry Springer: chat and post requestJanuary 9, 2005 – Jerry Springerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr —- breeeeeath—- *grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr….rah!January 10, 2005 – Tara Conlan and John Beyer have misled the Christian communityJanuary 10, 2005 – Tara Conlan and John Beyer: Careful Now….January 11, 2005 – Christian Voice – Stephen GreenJanuary 12, 2005 – Please forward this to everyone you know!*January 19, 2005 – Stephen Green denies being the source of the Jerry Springer protest emailMarch 1, 2005 – Stephen Green; full of Teh Glory of God, self-importance or crap?UPDATE – As the Guardian article notes, Ofcom will be making their own ruling shortly. They state here on their website that: In accordance with our guidelines, we have requested a formal response from the BBC. Because the Director-General has declared that, in his view, the programme was suitable for broadcast, the BBC’s response to Ofcom will be the Governor’s Programme Complaints Committee view on the matter. As soon as we have received the BBC’s response and reached a decision, we will notify complainants and make our Finding available on our website.UPDATE – Media watch Watch – Springer verdict – reactions