Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Daily Mail pre-records its outrage

Jonathan Ross has apologised privately; he's apologised publicly. Twice. He's served his time on the benches. Surely, now, the Mail is going to join the rest of the world and move on from the Andrew Sachs phone calls, right?

Is it buggery. Today, it's got the mother-of, daughter-of Kate Sachs to share her pain as Ross returns to the television:

'He's being his usual self,' declares Kate, 47, in her first interview since the scandal broke. 'He's showing that he's back and unchanged and can do as he likes. The apologetic introduction was fine, but he started sniping about the saga straight afterwards.

'Ross is reacting to the public hype rather than to my family. He's ridiculing people's reaction to the radio broadcast and the BBC for its censorship of him.

Kate Sachs was reacting to Ross' first Friday Night With... - so, she'd seen the programme, right?

Um. No:
But if reports of the pre-recording of the show on Thursday are anything to go by, the slim comfort brought by a seemingly genuine apology at the start of the programme was swiftly extinguished as Ross cracked a succession of jokes about what happened.

So the Mail is running a piece about a woman's response to what appears to be the paper telling her about what might have happened at the recording. Could they not at least have waited until Kate Sachs had seen the programme before making her all outraged about it?
At the end of his show, Ross told the audience they could 'forget the last three months has happened'. But the Sachs family will never be able to. The three months which Ross callously described as 'fun' on his internet blog have been nothing short of horrendous for this once-serene family.

If my family had been torn horribly asunder, I'm not sure I'd be happily chatting about it to the papers in order to allow the story to go on churning away, but we all react differently to grief, don't we?
In short, the incident has caused a cataclysmic rift, one which may never be healed. Georgina - who was exposed in a torrent of pornographic images as a member of burlesque dance group the Satanic Sluts during the furore - has not spoken to her horrified grandparents since.

To be fair, though, it's not entirely Ross and Brand's fault that Georgina was in a burlesque dance group, and while it might make for an awkward family dynamic, wasn't the problem not so much the original phone calls but the digging into the protagonists' backgrounds that produced the material that "horrified" the grandparents? Isn't that less Ross and Brand's fault than that of the papers?

After all, the Mail and its tabloid ilk could have still run the story about how terrible it all was without also running pictures of Georgina in her knickers. Couldn't they?