Bad language used to condemn bad language
The Sunday Telegraph’s Roya Nikkhah reports on an “investigation” into swearing on post-watershed TV. The investigation appeared to consist of the Telegraph reporter sitting up with pencil and paper for five nights then phoning up a few of the usual suspects to comment on the “findings”. Hey presto! A Sunday Telegraph hell-in-a-handcart story.
Here are the findings:
In some cases, swearing began only minutes after the watershed, when young children could still have been watching. In all, f*** and its derivatives was used 88 times, s*** 26 times and p*** 13 times.
What, no c***? What is the world coming to?
Most amusingly, this reporter got the name of our favourite smut-campaigner wrong throughout the piece, referring to him as John “Meyer”.
And this is what the Massah had to say about language use:
The use of bad language on television is now completely out of control. The fact is the public is offended by bad language but broadcasters are doing nothing to respond to that concern – instead they are burying their heads in the sand and stretching the regulations to the very limit.
Masterly use of mixed metaphor there, conjuring an image of besuited broadcasters, heads buried in the desert sand with their arms stretched out sideways, like rows of upside-down Jesuses.
He goes on:
Obviously there are still plenty of young viewers tuning in after 9pm, so why do broadcasters think that so many obscenities after the watershed is OK? What is the point of the Government spending millions trying to improve our children’s language and literacy when broadcasters are seeking to undermine it?
Just in case you were forgetting just how loopy Beyer is, note that in this last sentence he is actually putting forward the theory that the broadcasters of this nation are involved in an active – but presumably clandestine – campaign to undermine children’s language and literacy, and that the method they are using to achieve their nefarious aim is to squeeze as many fucks shits and pisses into the post-watershed programming schedule as they possibly can.
And they would’ve gotten away with it too, if it wasn’t for that pesky Mr Meyer!