Talk Talk Talk Talk Talk Myself to Death: BBC Radio Rocked

Friday, October 31, 2008

BBC Radio Rocked

I'd heard that BBC Radio was under some amount of fire for a racy stunt from Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross, but until I read this post by Kevin Drum, I hadn't realized that the crisis had largely been drummed up by the Daily Mail.

Half a million people were listening to this. The reaction was....nothing. Literally. Apparently there were a grand total of two complaints after the show aired.

In other words, the public had spoken, and they couldn't have cared less. So what happened next? Answer: a Mail on Sunday reporter alerted Sachs' agent, who asked for an apology from Brand and got it a week after the initial broadcast. Still, no one cared. The next day, though, the Mail splashed Brand all over its front page and has been giving him front page treatment ever since. It's sort of like the Fox News 24/7 loop whenever they get their hands on something useful to rile up the rubes.

The Daily Mail seems to have gotten what it wanted. Brand has resigned from his BBC show, and a major BBC executive is out, as well. Jonathan Ross, a major media star in Britain--would it be misleading to compare his popularity to a sort of mashup of David Letterman and pre-Sirius Howard Stern?--has been suspended without pay, a move that will cost him an estimated $2 million.

And people say the printed press is dying.


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