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Is the BBC "Fair and Balanced" ?

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BBC chief: mock Christians, not Muslims

February 28, 2012 by Don Surber http://blogs.dailymail.com/donsurber/archives/52176

BBC director-general Mark Thompson believes it is OK to mock Christianity on his network, but not other religions because they “very close identity with ethnic minorities.” Those other religions also have adherents with AK-47s. In an interview posted online for the Free Speech Debate –- a research project at Oxford University, Mark Thompson allowed that mocking Jesus is OK, but that depicting “Mohammed might have the emotional force of a piece of grotesque child pornography.”

Britons have an odd view of free speech that seems foreign to many Americans. England is a foreign nation after all. Mark Thompson’s view of free speech seems in line with the American liberal view that if it’s white, it ain’t right.

But there may be more to it: Outright fear may cause officials at BBC to treat non-Christian religions less rough.

From the London Daily mail:

He suggested other faiths have a ‘very close identity with ethnic minorities’, and were therefore covered in a far more careful way by broadcasters.

But he also revealed that producers had to consider the possibilities of ‘violent threats’ instead of polite complaints if they pushed ahead with certain types of satire.

Mr Thompson said: ‘Without question, “I complain in the strongest possible terms”, is different from, “I complain in the strongest possible terms and I am loading my AK-47 as I write”. This definitely raises the stakes.’

But he added that religion as a whole should never receive the same ‘protection and sensitivity’ in the law as race.

Excuse me, since when did Britons start owning guns? I thought AK-47s were banned. So part of the double standard on religion is based on fear — the other part on race. He recalled the BBC’s airing of “Jerry Springer: The Opera,” which drew hundreds of protesters in 2005 for, among other things, a depiction of Christ in a diaper.

From the London Daily Mail:

At least 45,000 people contacted the BBC to complain about swearing and its irreverent treatment of Christian themes. Many said that no one would have dreamed of making such a show about the Prophet Mohammed and Islam.

Mr Thompson has now appeared belatedly to accept their argument. In an interview, he said Islam was ‘almost entirely’ practiced by people who already may feel in other ways ‘isolated’, ‘prejudiced against’ and who may regard an attack on their religion as ‘racism by other means’.

But he said that Christianity was ‘an established part of our cultural-built landscape’ which meant it was ‘a pretty broad- shouldered religion’.

He conceded that the broadcaster would never have aired a similar show about Mohammed because it could have had the same impact as a piece of ‘grotesque child pornography’.

Perhaps if Christianity were not associated with white people, he might feel differently.

I offer this quote as proof: “I think religion should never receive that level of protection or sensitivity. But I think it is wrong to imagine that it therefore goes into the general swim and that a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed is no more challenging than a debate about what two plus two equals… The point is that for a Muslim, a depiction, particularly a comic or demeaning depiction, of the Prophet Mohammed might have the emotional force of a piece of grotesque child pornography. One of the mistakes secularists make is not to understand the character of what blasphemy feels like to someone who is a realist in their religious belief.”

One man’s realist is another man’s hypocrite.

Either take them all on — including atheism — or stay on the porch.

Edited by G&D

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