Monday, February 09, 2009

George Lamb's anti-Travellers 'joke' doesn't bother Ofcom

Ho-ho: Although George Lamb compared travellers to "asbestos", Ofcom have accepted his apology for this little exchange:

George Lamb: “He's now said ‘I'll give my land to travellers before I give it to Trump’

Marc Hughes: Did he say that? Brilliant

George Lamb: And you ain't moving travellers off basically. Travellers is [sic] like asbestos basically. The whole gaff is getting condemned."

Over to you, BBC:
The BBC stated that George Lamb’s show is an established feature of the 6Music schedule and the show has a “loyal following of listeners who understand and enjoy its somewhat quirky format and direction”.

Well, yes. But you could say the same about the Daily Mail.

Still, Lamb apologised, and Ofcom will consider the matter closed.

Also in the latest regulatory round-up: Alex Zane's date rape joke was up for consideration. This is where XFM attempted a pastiche of Mike Sarne's Code Of Love called Won't Take No For An Answer. Ofcom could see what they were trying to do:
It is clear from the introduction to the song that the programme was aiming to make a pastiche of Sarne’s original song. The presenters were attempting to satirise what used to be acceptable in the 1960’s but would now be considered totally inappropriate by today’s standards. If was therefore always possible that the result could be offensive and therefore the context that such material was presented would be particularly important.

However, the extract from Sarne’s song played by the presenters bore little relation to the pastiche they attempted. The subject matter and tone of “Code of Love” were vastly different to the presenters’ own song (which was supposedly inspired by the former). In Ofcom’s view, the presenters’ song was likely to have been perceived by listeners as recounting a physical and sexual assault. As such, the actions of the man in this song shared little resemblance to those of the suitor in the “Code of Love” extract played by the broadcaster. Ofcom also noted that the subject matter of the presenters’ song was portrayed as a light-hearted joke and the material was transmitted at breakfast-time, when children may be in the audience.

XFM had taken action before Ofcom started investigating, which helped matters - although it might have been a bit more convincing had it not offered up a justification in saying that the network wasn't "aimed at a conservative audience". What does that mean? There's meant to be something progressive in snickering at jokes about a bloke taking a woman down "where there ain’t no big lights" and ripping her underwear?

Viking FM somehow slipped up and invited a tea-time audience to call in with "stories about dogging" - Bauer apologised. And Northern Media Group's Northern Ireland radio stations and Your Radio in Scotland both invited listeners to text in to a pre-recorded programme, offering the excuse that it made the programme "more interesting" and "more interactive" respectively. More interactive? How is spending money sending a text to an empty studio more interactive? Was the station hoping to generate some sort of faith, where people communicated with an entity they knew in their hearts was a fiction? Ofcom was having none of it, and have issued a statement that this sort of thing will be cracked down on. In future.


Anonymous said...

To quote you: "Viking FM somehow slipped up and invited a tea-time audience to call in with "stories about dogging" - Bauer apologised."

- That's not the case. If you check the ofcom bulletin, you will see that it was a pre-recorded trail which was mistakenly aired.

Had it been a tea-time phone in, I'd have been really worried!

Simon Hayes Budgen said...

Fair point, MancLad - although the trailer did say "we're looking for your stories all about dogging", which would seem to be solicit the calls from a tea-time audience, even if they only wanted them to ring later...

achong hok lian said...

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