Thursday, 2 August 2012

"Robust and confrontational" is no excuse

TV Gameshow host, Jeremy Paxman, he of the craggy features and rugged appearance is in luke warm water for describing the Book of Genesis as "hogwash" during a screening of the Newsnight programme.

Mr Paxman aka Paxo to his friends, then went on to say that those who believed in the Old Testament are  "stupid people". Jeremy is a star par excellence when it comes to reasoned intellectual debate.

Of course, as anchor man on the quiz show 'University Challenge', JP is in pole position to know about such things and to be able to let us lesser mortals know what's good for us and what isn't.

He has a Master's in Blunt Interruptions gained at The University of Reader's Digest, don't you know?

Auntie Beeb has expressed shock and horror at Jeremy's pronouncement and the good old BBC Trust has issued a statement, parts of which are included in this report:

 "Although Mr Paxman's use of the terms 'religious hogwash' and 'stupid people' was not intended to cause deliberate offence, particularly to those with religious views and beliefs, the use of the terms was offensive to some of the audience and there was no clear editorial purpose for their use in the context of this Newsnight item."

The Trust decided some Newsnight viewers were "unlikely to have expected Jeremy Paxman's typically robust and confrontational interviewing style to extend to the use of the terms 'religious hogwash' when introducing the story of Genesis, and 'stupid people' when talking about those with a literal belief in the Old Testament in the context of the item about religious myths."

The BBC has also issued a further comment stating that Paxo's comments did breach guidelines on harm and offence, they did not breach guidelines on impartiality.
Hmm.....well, thank goodness they decided that Jeremy's comments were not intended to cause deliberate offence, otherwise, a few Catholics that I know of, might be spluttering over their Manzanillas tonight.

But, what on earth is meant by guidelines on impartiality?

1 comment:

  1. Calling every Jew, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant who ever lived "stupid" demonstrates a remarkable lack of a knowledge of history and culture, a lapse of courtesy, and a failure to argue a point above the level of the schoolyard.

    - Mack in Texas