All this brouhaha (how I have longed to use that word) about mentally-retarded schoolgirl bitching and bullying in the Big Brother house is quite interesting. If only because it reveals the decidedly peculiar relationship that Channel Four executives seem to have with the concept of 'offensive'. Apparently, calling someone a 'paki' is offensive, on the grounds that it is racist, but calling that same person a 'c**t' is...well...not.
Not only that, but calling someone a 'paki' is apparently illustrative of the personality of the name-caller and ought to be included in the show. Calling the same woman a 'c**t', however, doesn't tell us anything about the kind of person you are, it seems, and therefore must be bleeped out of the broadcast.
So it's OK to say paki on telly but not to say c**t. Or is it OK to say c**t and not say paki? I'm lost.
Whatever. With a bit of luck Charlie Dunstone will come good on his damage-limitation-exercise threats, and actually pull the plug on Carphone's sponsorship. Someone somewhere needs to put the sordid and sorry spectacle of Big Brother out of its misery.
Still, it's nice to see we're keeping a strong sense of perspective on the issue, in any case:
'Ofcom has received 7,600 complaints by telephone and e-mail about alleged racism towards Shetty -- about 200 times the number of complaints received over broadcast clips of the hanging of ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.'