So, on a evening radio show on a Saturday night, a couple of comedians make a few "prank" phone calls to an actor much loved for playing a racist caricature of a Spanish waiter. They make a few lewd suggestions about the actor's granddaughter, saying (amongst other things) that she has slept with one of the comedians and that she's in a group called "the Satanic Sluts". The show is prefaced with a warning that it "contains some strong language which some listeners may find offensive", and only two of the half million or so people listening complain .... two.... and both are complaints for the foul language involved and not for the content of the calls themselves.
A full week later, the Mail on Sunday picks up the story and by Monday there have been a further 1,585 complaints. By Tuesday it's 4,772, by Wednesday - a full ten days after the broadcast - it's 18,000. The story features in today's copy of The Sun, with the granddaughter now suggesting (in what looks suspiciously like the language of a Sun journalist) That the two comedians are "sickos" and should be sacked by the BBC.
The BBC suspend the two comedians and presumably the number of complaints continues to escalate.
What a stinking pile of shit.
Granted, the messages that Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand left for Andrew Sachs are in reasonably poor taste, and I'm sure the old boy was pretty upset (and no doubt fairly bemused) when he listened to them. But all this furore? Two people complained on the day the show was broadcast. Two people. That's about 0.00005% of the listening audience. A whole week passed with very little comment before this story started to pick up speed. Now it's got up a head of steam and is driven by a putrid sense of mock-outrage and a feigned moral superiority.
Andrew Sachs perhaps has a right to feel offended, but does anyone else really? Do you really have the right to complain about something on the BBC that you've only heard about via the press, and not something you've actually heard with your own ears? The vast majority of the people who actually did hear the show apparently couldn't give a hoot. Are you outraged by proxy or something?
Does it matter at all that his granddaughter actually has slept with Russell Brand and is in a group called Satanic Sluts?
It's sickening, alright, but not because of anything Ross or Brand have done.
Have we really got nothing better to be upset about as a nation than this?
Yes, Ross and Brand are paid an enormous amount of money by the BBC, and yes they are both frequently juvenile and irritating..... but what else is new? Should we just burn them now and be done with it, or should we wait until a few more complaints are received?
We really, really need to get over ourselves.
Besides, what are we going to watch on Friday night now?