Tara Conlan: shameless

This entry was posted on
Saturday, January 8th, 2005
2:15 pm and is filed
under Christ….

Congratulations, Daily Mail; you just sold a newspaper. I knew you’d be too gutless to put something like this online…

Extract from print version of the Daily Mail – Sat Jan 08 2004:

BBC bosses get death threat as 50,000 complain over Springer
by Tara Conlan
As protest grew yesterday over the BBC’s decision to screen the controversial musical Jerry Springer – The Opera, it emerged that BBC bosses and their families have received death threats. Police are investigating warnings of ‘bloodshed’ made to the homes of key executives, understood to include BBC2 chief Roly Keating.

Note the author. Note the primary target of the death threats. Not the sheer audacity of Tara Conlan!

Her Dec 3 2004 article, which seemed to suggest that Roly Keating was deliberately goading conservative Christians, is the centrepiece of the main circular behind these protests. A circular that begins by asking if Christians are willing to go to the same lengths as Sikhs who recently made death threats of their own.

Even if it turns out that she didn’t inject words provided by John Beyer into Roly Keating’s mouth, she is largely responsible for these death threats. Yet here she is reporting it as if it’s nothing to do with her!

Telegraph – My show has 7,549 fewer swear words than people say, but who’s counting?: A pressure group called Mediawatch is orchestrating a campaign against the show, which it maintains includes 8,000 swear words, 3,168 of them f—s and 297 of them c—s. There are actually seven c—s in the show – four of them adjectives, and three of them nouns. At the National Theatre, the sentence in which they all appear often received a standing ovation. There are, in fact, 117 f—s in the show, all of them sung beautifully by a hugely talented cast, leaving Mediawatch with a shortfall of 3,051 f—s. The Daily Telegraph has gone to the trouble of counting all the swear words in the show and pegs the figure at 451, some 7,549 less than Mediawatch’s figure, but I think the organisation must have included category B and C obscenities such as “ass”, “poop” and “nipple” to hit this score.

An unofficial BBC count (which goes right down the list to include instances of ‘ho’) has the sweary count at 339, but personally I don’t think it matters. (Actually, I always found it kind of odd watching Jerry Springer in this country. Coming from the US, it has all the swear words bleeped out. These words would be broadcastable in this country after 9pm, and I’m quite comfortable about that. But broadcasters here do cut out moments of extreme violence and confrontation that were the trademark of the original show that this opera parodies – and I’m very pleased about that.)

What matters here is that the lie about the number of expletives – repeated in Conlan’s article referenced above and in The Sun today – was one of several lies in a campaign deliberately designed to outrage the Christian community.

What matters here is that John Beyer and Tara Conlan (and the lovely minions of Murdoch over at The Sun) spread these lies not to protect the public, but to further their own agenda.

What matters here is that – in these days of increased conservative confidence, with a recently stung and still vulnerable broadcaster, following a disgraceful incident of mob censorship – they very nearly got away with it.

I don’t think it’s entirely unfair to describe this as incitement to religious hatred. I’m seriously considering that criminal charges are in order at this stage. What do you think?

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