Down with This Sort of Thing

ITV’s latest reality TV show, Celebrity Love Island has been slammed by Mediawatch-UK’s self-styled St Paul-alike, John Beyer. The game show features six male and six female “celebrities” confined to a remote Fijian island. The last couple to be voted off by viewers will win £100,000.

Beyer told Life Style Extra that the show was “immoral”:

Clearly incentives are there for fucking to happen.

They are expecting fucking, given they are awarding a substantial prize at the end of it. And if contestants fuck, then this is just promoting fucking.

What is worrying is that they are promoting fucking at a time when there are serious problems with fucking in our society. This is setting a very wrong example to viewers.*

He says that such programmes should not be shown on mainstream TV.

Celebrity Love Island seems to me to be voyeuristic for the sake of it,

he continues, tautologically.

I am surprised that ITV is going in for programmes like this. We are accustomed to reality TV on minority channels but to have this on mainstream TV is just wrong. I am surprised ITV executives have allowed this to go ahead. They have made absolutely the wrong decision.

Whatever money is being spent on these celebrities and this programme should be spent on better programming. I think people are getting tired of reality TV. It’s cheap TV without a script, good camera work or proper stories.

Hear, hear. Bring back proper stories!

*Beyer did not actually use the F-word here, substituting in order of appearance: “that sort of thing”, “relationships to develop”, “take part in sexual activity”, “immorality”, “immorality”, and “casual sexual conduct”.

37 Responses to “Down with This Sort of Thing”

  1. Christopher Shell says:

    Honesty would be good! The type of contestants chosen do lead one to this conclusion. Us werent born yesterday.
    Programmes like this not ‘reality’ in the sense that they are a representative random slice of ppl, or even of celebrities.
    However, the programme-makers are not upfront about this being one of their main aims. (Or else a subsidiary aim – a means to an end – subsidiary to the overall aim of publicity, viewing figures and spondulix.)

  2. tom p says:

    You’re right, doc, honesty would be good.
    They should call it Nonebrity Fuck Pit and be done with it, or Watch To See If Abi Lezzes Off For The Cameras

  3. Adam Bowman says:

    I’m still waiting for “Celebrity Minefield Hopscotch”, myself.

  4. Christopher Shell says:

    The reason they are not honest about their motives is presumably because, if they were, then what mediawatch and the rest are saying about the motives of certain currents within the media might be shown to be accurate. And that would never do.

  5. Andy L says:

    What aren’t they being upfront about? I think it’s plainly obvious to every viewer that the whole point of the show is hoping two of them will shag (preferably Titmuss and Loos).

  6. Tallen says:

    I think the main problem with the show is not that it’s morally reprehensible, but that it’s just plain shit. I’m all for seeing fit girls in tiny bikinis, but even that didn’t make this mind meltingly awful show worth watching.

  7. Monitor says:

    My bet’s on Bepe and Lee Sharpe.

  8. Christopher Shell says:

    Yeah but: what does everyone think about (a) the probable lack of honesty re the motives for screening the programme, (b) the consequent cheapening (supposing they get their hearts’ desire) of something very valuable (ie sex), when no-one in their right mind would want either to cheapen valuable things or overvalue cheap things?
    If they are really doing it all for kicks, titillation, sensation, publicity and money, then why not admit it? Because they have a guilty conscience about it? So why do they have a guilty conscience? That’s a point where Christians can suggest an answer more readily than nonChristians.

  9. Dan Factor says:

    Christopher. If you are so bothered about it don’t watch it. But leave others to make up their own minds.

    As for John Beyer. It’s so nice to know he still think he knows what is and isn’t good for us mere mortals to watch on our own TV sets. Perhaps I might email and tell him that I watched Celeb Love Island and there is sweet fa he can do about it. BWAH HA HA HA!

  10. Adam Bowman says:

    I think they don’t admit their real motives because they know it would remove the polite fiction of social experimentation that reality TV pretends to be, which they seem to think no-one sees through. A bit like if Hugh Hefner had suddenly admitted that Playboy really was about the tits after all. (Although, of course, it’s now possible to justify buying Playboy for its cultural icon status. But that’s probably an issue for the anthropology blog.)

  11. tom p says:

    How can christians provide a better answer than non-christians? Are you trying to steal morality from the rest of us? The fact that you tar everything with the same brush even when it’s not crap like this suggests that you are less able to provide an informed and worthwhile response to the perceived problem of a bunch of semi-famous slappers on TV fucking in the bushes half out of sight of a bunch of TV cameras.
    The show is clearly the lowest form of moronic shite, and ITV can only hope to persuade people to watch it ‘cos everyone knows that abi titmuss is a right old slapper who’ll drop her knickers at the first sight of a camera.
    It’s for a generation that’s too afraid to own up to liking pornoography. There should be more honesty, and if a network wants to show porn, then it should (obviously at an appropriately scheduled timeslot). The sad lads who wank over titmuss in her knickers in FHM should buy Mayfair instead be honest and open about their motives.
    The problem is that this kinda show is guaranteed to get column inches in the prurient rags ‘cos when they do inevitably fuck, the pretence that that’s not what the show was all about is all the tabloids need as an excuse to publish the ‘full shocking pics’. It appeals precisely to a hypocrital and downright dishonest newspaper culture that prefers the mendacity of a faux controversy to anything else. This, in turn, is fuelled by organisations such as mediawatch.

  12. Andy L says:

    Again, I completely fail to see how the motivations behind the programme aren’t completely open and honest – they want them to have sex. That’s the bleedin’ point!

  13. Christopher Shell says:

    Hi Andy-
    The reason we (me, Ton, Adam) tend to agree that they arent open and honest is that they dont openly admit the true motives upfront.

    Hi Dan-
    That’s a bit like saying: if you dont like drugs on the street, dont go down the street.

    Hi Tom-
    I think that mediawatch by ocntrast are being honest. In saying that allowing such shows to be legal a message is being sent out and social ramifications are inevitable (given that the media are doing their level best to redefine normality), they are simply speaking the truth as they honestly see it (and as I also see it). We can’t pretend to see it differently – cos we honsetly do see it this way. It seems the most logical and economical conclusion. To say we honestly believe otherwise would be to lie.

  14. Exekiel 23 says:

    I don’t think we can say Media Watch are exactly “honest”, though – f’rexample, that ‘crucifixion’ Beyer got so worked up about in Doctor Who turned out to be entirely in his imagination, just like Jesus in a “nappy” in JS:TO. Coupled with his nasty little snit about wholly imaginary ‘censorship’ you begin to wonder if he shouldn’t maybe be spending less time in the fruit cellar with Aunt Mary.

  15. Christopher Shell says:

    To focus on details is missing the point. Even if the quoted examples are not examples of unhelpful standards in tv, there are a million others which are. The way u r writing, one would thing that the tiny details were more significant than the overall picture of which they are merely a small part.

  16. Christopher Shell says:

    On your main point: the reason they miss the point sometimes is that they are refreshingly unworldly & do not inhabit the tv culture as others do. This is a world away from being dishonest. It’s more like being innocent.

  17. tom p says:

    Doc – MediaWatch aren’t being honest either. They claim they are “Providing independent and principled opinion and research on harm and offence issues in the media”, yet what they are actually doing is providing rentaquote nonsense to fuel the ego of John Beyer when he sees his name in the papers.
    They also claim that Mediawatch “Has an established reputation for principled protest, informed comment and reliable research”, which is again not true.
    If MediaWatch were more discrimintaing and less obsessive in the nonsense they spout, then they would be respected. However, they are too much like the boy who cried wolf, desperately trying to whip up a controversy at every turn, instead of providing informed or intelligent comment.
    That’s why this place is so much fun, mocking the hypocritical sensationalists.

  18. Christopher Shell says:

    How do you know the stuff about John Beyer? You know as well as I do that the stuff about his ego is just a guess.

    By the standards of many nations at many times of history, this country does indeed commit outrages against what’s good, pure & right many times a day. It’s no time to be ‘informed’ or ‘measured’ while Rome is burning. Best to tailor volume of response to whatever it is one’s responding to. That means a lot of loud responses. The only alternative would be to succumb to the pressure and gradually see things as less and less scandalous until nothing really mattered and we were all sucked in.

  19. Andy L says:

    I completely fail to see what hasn’t been admitted quite upfront and openly that the purpose of the show is to hope the contestants enter into a relationship, preferably sexual.

  20. Christopher Shell says:

    When did they say that (the sexual bit)?

  21. Exekiel 23 says:

    Christopher, it’s not that long since you were decrying others for the paucity of their vocabulary. Your use of idiot constructions like “u r” (and its allied practice of occasional resort to littering your text with little drawings) really doesn’t do much to strenghten your position, does it?

    Now, you think that things like Beyer interpolating a non-existent parody of the crucifixion into Dr Who are ‘minor details’; I would disagree. In current media parlance these are what are known as ‘dog whistles’, and I sincerely believe that he deliberately misrepresents the programmes he wishes to criticise in order to maximise Christian outrage. Wouldn’t you say that this betrays a certain contempt for the Christian community at large?

    And I really do like your decision that when Christians lie, they do it because they’re “unworldly”. Do you seriously believe that a forty-year-old media campaigning organisation which manages to get quotes into the national press two or three times a week (seven times this month so far) is staffed by bright-eyed mooncalves, innocent of the world of media? Would you like to buy a bridge?

  22. Christopher Shell says:

    Last time I saw the guy and how he dresses he didnt look too modern or worldly wise. For which three cheers. There aint much chance that people who have a backgound of trad family life will be streetwise. It would go against the grain.
    Sorry about the dumbing down. It’s all in the interests of communication (I used to be a schoolteacher, & one has to avoid talking over people’s heads & maintain interest. I can hear you nodding off already….)

  23. tom p says:

    Just ‘cos a man dresses badly, it doesn’t mean that he’s necessarily a fool any more than he is a liar

  24. Christopher Shell says:

    He doesnt always dress badly. Just in an old-fahioned way. Without guile.

  25. tom p says:

    All clothes are a disguise of some kind. Wearing a sit doesn’t make you guileless.
    Being ostentatiously old fashioned doesn’t make you honest or trustworthy.
    It’s just a style that you personally like, no more, no less.
    Beyer is clearly a dishonest attention-seeking monomaniac who does his cause no end of harm.

  26. Christopher Shell says:

    Even if he is (and neither you nor I have access to his inner thoughts, motives and feelings, so why would we pretend that we did), I know that if I were in his position I would be speaking out not for transient shallow reasons like publicity but out of passion, because there are some illogical situations about which it is impossible (for me anyway) to remain silent and let the illogicality continue.

  27. tom p says:

    I’m still not sure why you’re defending the man. Fair enough, you share some views with him, particularly about this topic, but he does your cause no end of harm by making you seem like a bunch of know-nothing busybodies, who like sticking their beaks in and bellowing nonsense, even where they’ve not even a self-proclaimed remit to do so.

  28. Christopher Shell says:

    I suppose he comes from a background of close communities where the term ‘busybody’ is not recognised, but rather it is taken for granted that ppl will seek one another’s wellbeing. And close communities are a higher development of civilisation than the anarchy of everybody minding his or her own business – not to mention being a less dull or gloomy lifestyle.

  29. tom p says:

    Now who’s pretending to have access to his inner feelings and motives?
    Busybodies have been recognised in all forms of communities, whether close or disparate. In fact, I’d suggest that these close communities are more likely to have people interfering in others’ business and being busybodies, however they also have the benefits you cite – they’re just different sides of the same coin.

    Earlier (comment 22, and again in comment 24) you cited Beyer’s dress sense as a reason for trusting the man. In his pictures on the meejahwatch website he’s always pictured wearing a shirt and tie, often also a suit jacket. Have you never seen what politicians wear? Or lawyers? Or accountants? Or con men? Clothes may not maketh the man, but I find anyone who wears a coloured shirt with a white collar to be an untrustworthy spivvy sort of character, city wideboy style. Those shirts are not particularly old-fashioned, they are just bad and are a good sign that the wearer is vain, venal and stupid.
    Also, he doesn’t dress “without guile”, indeed, by wearing a business shirt and tie for his picture (albeit in terrible taste), he’s deliberately trying to convey an image of respectability and a businesslike manner, as though he’s official and competent, rather than officious and incompetent.

  30. tom p says:

    re above: Oh Christopher, I do try to be nice and understanding towards you. I know it can’t be easy being you. I try not to use perjorative terms like gullibles, but then you go and put your faith and trust in men like John Beyer. A man who looks like a cross between John Reginald Christie and a dodgy estate agent, a man who feels it is his solemn duty to pontificate uninformedly and unintelligently on anything at all even vaguely connected with the media, even if it happens to be union action at the bbc, which is clearly way off his organisations’s self-declared remit.
    I understand that you share a number of his views, especially the censorious ones, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t recognise him for what he is: a charlatan and an idiot, who makes those of you who defend him look fooish with almost his every spittle-flecked outburst. C’mon, doc, renounce the false prophet John of Beyer, for his way leads down a path of mockery and intellectual backwardness.

  31. Christopher Shell says:

    ok – but ultimately should we be reading too much into the fact that he is wearing a suit and tie? Loads of people wear a suit and tie. He would probably be criticised more if he didnt (the last time I saw him was by the Cenotaph – memories of Michael Foot & the donkey jacket). Personally I couldnt care less what he looks like. But anyway, of all the things to over-analyse!…
    Censorious – not the right word. I prefer to point out facts, and leave others to draw the implications (including implications that possibly the status quo has been wrong, and change may be needed) for themselves.
    The way you are speaking one would think I was a follower of the guy – whom Ive never really met (I guess we have spoken on the phone – possibly even in real life exchanged a couple of words? I cant remember.) I am strongly linked to him, as I am to others, in one way – we agree that there are certain things that demand activism – and we agree on what many of those things are. I have no idea about any of the rest of his life or attitudes.
    Why isnt it easy being me? I dont find it too difficult. Is the implication that it is easy to follow the crowd, and hard not to? If so, I disagree in my own case (since I have always found both equally easy) – but agree in the case of many others, since peer pressure is indeed powerful.
    But in that case we are agreeing that ppl are often influenced by peer pressure and/or just follow the crowd. Isnt that what Ive been saying all along? People often hold views for reasons of convention, nationality, culture, etc.. None of which is a good reason for holding a view.

  32. tom p says:

    You cited his dress sense as an indication of his lacking guile and not being worldy wise, in order to defend him from my charges of being a cynical liar, a hypocrite and asensationalist.
    I have merely pointed out that this argument doesn’t hold water.
    I have a feeling that it’s not easy being you, because you seem offended at a vast number of every day things and you are too trusting of liars who call themselves christians.
    All I’m trying to do is to get you to agree that you reckon Beyer’s an idiot who does more harm than good to your cause.

  33. Christopher Shell says:

    (a) I dont agree with intellectual discrimination – I think ppl should do the best they can with the intellectual tools at their disposal, and am grateful when they do. More research, less gut reaction is a good rule of thumb. Few of us always keep to it.
    (b) In fact, I tend to agree with at least 70% of what he writes.

  34. tom p says:

    “More research, less gut reaction is a good rule of thumb”
    Exactly. Unfortunately, Beyer seems to believe that it’s better the other way round, which would explain why he’s always firing his mouth off unnecessarily with ill-thought through phrases that betray his idiocy.
    Frankly the world could do with fewer ignorant bogmouths like Beyer, or at least fewer of his comments.
    I thought you were a meritocrat. Surely that position is precisely aligned with one of intellectual discrimination

  35. Christopher Shell says:

    I suppose we are meaning different things by ‘discrimination’. I didnt think that there could be any question that different ppl have different intellectual abilities. To say this is not to be discriminatory, but to state a fact. Those who know more about a topic should obviously be the ones to adjudicate about that topic.
    But we should also encourage ppl to make the most of whatever level of ability they have, great, medium, or small. (Incidentally, the way to do so is usually to engage in the necessary research rather than to pontificate in a taxi-driver manner!!!)

  36. tom p says:

    What you’ve written makes it clear that you do agree with intellectual discrimination. Unless this is yet another case where you’re using Shell’s Dictionary Of Made-up Definitions, Understood By Only One Man to define discrimination.
    There’s nothing wrong with being discriminating, it’s just when the discrimination is based on inappropriate grounds for the subject, such as skin colour or gender determining the right to vote.
    Anyway, my point is that Beyer is, the vast majority of the time, merely pontificating without having done the proper research. If he were an intelligent, well-informed man who didn’t spout mindless bollocks on anything even vaguely related to the content of TV programmes, then no doubt he wouldn’t be focussed on by mediawatchwatch. Indeed, this site would probably have a totally different name. However, he’s a half-witted gobshite constantly providing ill-informed copy for lazy hacks on right-wing rags, who consistently refuse to honestly cover most stories. It’s people like him that make people like you seem foolish, doc, and the sooner you realise that, the better

  37. Christopher Shell says:

    I believe in discriminationA – saying that different people have different capacities. No-one could fail to agree with that. It’s not the sort of thing where one has to lay one’s beliefs on the table, sonce there’s only one possible belief about this matter.

    I don’t believe in discriminationB, treating people worse, or in a derogatory way, because of their shortcomings (or even mere differences) in a particular area. Again, there is only one possible stance here. No-one can fail to believe in A; and no-one should believe in B.

    Surely your swearing undermines your intellectual claims?? If youre trying to show that another guy is stupid, it’s not the best strategy??