It’s something that was never really interesting enough to make the news anyway, but working in a newsroom for 40 hours a week, a commentary starts to accumulate, and you either start talking to yourself about it (because talking about it is just embarassing), or writing something on the Internet.
The broadcast went out between 11pm and 1am, and was hosted by a comedian known for his sexual exploits and dirty nature.
After the broadcast, the victim in question (no direct reference so as not to give extra publicity) was boasting about the joke on her bebo account, saying that it was great to hear her group get a mention.
Until the Mail on Sunday contacted the victim for an interview following the broadcast, nobody – not the producers, not the listeners (bar 2 people, who complained because there was swearing), not the media at large – thought anything of the broadcast. Following the Mail on Sunday’s offer of a story deal to the victim, with a proposed editorial slant, for which she was paid, the story exploded as an “outrage”.
The story broke on the same day we discovered that, despite the injection of billions of pounds into the economic system, stocks were still falling.
The one person, if anyone, who should be offended by this, is not. It happened to him, yet he doesn’t feel it necessary to take matters further, saying “I’ll accept all apologies, but I’m not asking for them”. However, onlookers felt it necessary to complain. The victim here has no overwhelming desire to speak out against this, but lots of other people are outraged, so it is offensive.
17,998 of the 18,000 people who complained (99.98%) have not heard the piece – several complained because they “don’t like Russel Brand anyway”. The piece has been on Youtube for the past week.
18,000 is 0.05% of the license paying population.
The same corporation has broadcast, several times, a song that says “I did a shit on your mum”, yet nobody cares. If a female made the call, would anyone have cared?
Channel 4 airs the programme Fonejacker – a series which centres around people prank calling people for half an hour – concurrently, at the same time of day. Nobody has complained.
If I had my own TV show, I’d spend the week’s episode telling everyone in the audience, at home, and in the phone book that I’d fucked their entire family.