Archive for May, 2005

Lazy journos rent quotes

Fergus Sheppard, media correspondent for The Scotsman, reports on Channel 4’s record profits this year. Who better to make an informed comment than Massah John Beyer, who branded the Channel’s programmes as “innovative in the wrong direction”?

Channel 4 seems to interpret its remit to accommodate programmes which it is difficult to justify as public-service broadcasting.

he mumbled.

Sheppard does have a scoop on Dr Who, though. An upcoming episode features a bisexual “time agent” called Captain Jack Harkness who tries to get off with both Rose and the Doctor himself. That should provoke an entertaining bit of outrage from some quarters.

Meanwhile, the BBC website has an article about the lamentable practice of product placing tobacco products in children’s films – something that Beyer finds “worrying”.

Companies, and not just the tobacco industry, like to use films to promote their products. It is a way of reaching their audience almost subliminally.

It is particularly concerning when it is targeted at children and also when it involves a product such as cigarettes.

Was his mind-numbingly banal comment.

Green’s speech

Cancer charity blackmailer and John the Baptist wannabee Stephen Green of Christian Voice has penned The Queen’s Speech (As It Should Be), and put it up on his revamped website.

Highlights of his demented power-fantasy include:
– a reform of the criminal justice system to the “Biblical model”; disappointingly no mention of stoning disobedient children (Deut 21: 18-21) or making rape victims marry their rapist (Deut 22:28)
– regarding “each human being, however vulnerable and dependent upon others, as made in the image of God”, and therefore banning abortion and in-vitro fertilization
– reintroducing the death penalty
– no place in government for “adulterers, cheats, liars, thieves and perverts”
– introducing flexible retirement to counteract pensions crisis and skills shortage which have been caused by abortion
– repeal the Hunting Act of 2004
– provide a safe haven for asylum seekers (if they’re Christian)
– abolish private contracts in the NHS and bring cleaning back under the control of hospital managers

These are just a few of the measures he has dreamt up… no, sorry, that God has decreed, because “God makes the law, not fallible human beings”. I recommend reading the whole thing. It’s hilarious.

Thanks to Garry from A Big Stick and a Small Carrot for the heads up.

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”.

Religious hatred law to feature in Queen’s speech

According to The Guardian, the government’s planned incitement to religious hatred law will be pushed through next session:

Peers have rejected this proposal twice in the last four years on grounds of “free speech”, but ministers have told Muslim groups that as it was a manifesto commitment they would now be justified in invoking the Parliament Act to override opposition.

Let’s hope that their vastly reduced majority will cause some problems here.

Reid rage

The Christian Congress for Traditional Values have finally come up with a response to Ofcom’s comprehensive debunking of the complaints against JS:TO. “Bishop” Michael Reid, founder of the CCTV and the distinctly dodgy Peniel Pentecostal Church (“BIG SHOP SALE” now on – “Super-low prices on sets of three titles…”), made the following statement:

This entirely predictable judgement is exposed by the shared patois between Ofcom and BBC executives who claim great artistic merit in the programme. A claim of artistic value is the customary defence for using the most odious and hateful material, deliberately chosen by the admission of BBC executives, to challenge traditional values – in this case the sacred image of Jesus Christ. It is the height of intellectual pretension to claim metaphor, satire and artistic dream sequences justify obscene mockery of Christ as a sexual deviant. That is an argument for no restraint at all in the name of art. We note too the dismissive reference to “some people” being offended. Sixty thousand official complaints to the BBC represent an historic outpouring of genuine outrage. Clearly the Ofcom Code will always give greater weight to what it calls “freedom of expression” over protection from offensive material. This judgement is risible and this Code is as valuable to standards of decency as a chocolate fireguard.

You’d need a heart of stone not to laugh.

We at the CCTV shall continue to fight to protect our imaginary friend from perceived slights,

the Mercedes-driving bishop did not add.

Deep Throat gets classification

The Indpendent on Sunday reports that the infamous porn film Deep Throat has been given an R18 classification which will allow it to be shown in British cinemas alongside the accompanying documentary Inside Deep Throat.

Unsurprisingly, this sticks in John Beyer’s craw.

Film classification is something that needs a thoroughgoing review. [Its history] has been to relax at every opportunity to accommodate every whim of film-makers.

The smut-campaigning Black and White Minstrels fan is probably worried that the film will provoke a rise in the incidence of fellatio. We find that hard to swallow.

Submission screened on Italian TV

Submission, the short film by murdered Dutch director Theo Van Gogh, received a screening on Italian TV last night. The state network Rai 2 showed excerpts from the 11-minute long film, in spite of death threats to producers from Islamic extremists.

The scriptwriter Ayaan Hirsi Ali has been under police protection since Van Gogh’s death.

KFC KOs Kipling

KFC ad
According to a Guardian report the Kentucky Fried Chicken TV commercial which features three helpline ladies singing with their mouths full has become the most complained about TV ad in UK history. It knocks out the previous winner, last year’s real-birth nativity play for Mr Kipling’s mince pies, by 1040 complaints to 806.

But it is not the most complained about advert in the Advertising Standards Authority’s history. That honour goes to the British Safety Council, who produced a leaflet to mark National Condom Week. They prompted 1,100 complaints for their image of the Pope wearing a crash helmet with the slogan

Eleventh commandment: thou shalt always wear a condom.

If anyone can send in a scan of that picture, I will anoint their feet with fragrant ointments.

UPDATE: MWW readers have missed their chance of a smelly footrub. I found it myself. Here it is, the UK’s most complained about advert ever!
condom ad


The potential strike by BBC staff at plans to cut nearly 4.000 jobs has moved smut-campaigner John Beyer to speak out against the action. He brands it – apparently without irony – “a serious threat to freedom of expression”.

Quite why he regards union-bashing as part of the remit of an organisation which claims to provide “an independent voice for those concerned about issues of taste and decency in the media” is anyone’s guess. But he goes on:

Licence Fee payers are entitled to a full uninterrupted service of programmes from the BBC and it is not appropriate for strikes to result in the possible censorship of programmes in this way.

Remarkable that a man in his position should have such a flawed understanding of the word “censorship”.

Trade Union action to pull the plug on transmissions illustrates where power in broadcasting resides. I hope that common sense will prevail and that viewers and listeners will not be denied access to news and current affairs programmes and sporting events that they expect to receive from the BBC.


High Court JS:TO decision “imminent”

The Christian Institute have emailed their supporters asking them to pray for the legal action against the BBC over the Springer broadcast (see 14 March article). The papers are due to be considered “imminently”, and the result will decide whether or not the Institute can go ahead with a full judicial review.

Please pray that in this judicial review the real issues will be exposed and pray for justice to be done.

The action is two pronged:
1) That the BBC broke its royal charter by airing the show, and
2) That it contravened article nine of the human rights act, which guarantees the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

The circular also mentions Ofcom’s recent ruling:

We are deeply saddened by Ofcom’s decision. It brings into sharper focus the need for a judicial review for the courts to consider this matter.

Ofcom’s ruling on how religiously offensive the show was (not very, when considered in context) will almost certainly have an impact on this case.