Thanks to the obedient hackery of the legendarily foul mouthed Paul Dacre, we all remember Sachsgate, when Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross got a little over-enthusiastic and left a voicemail message that they later came to regret. There were few complaints at the time, but after the Mail On Sunday went into why-oh-why overdrive, anyone and everyone capable of getting righteous went into action.
Course I've got a f***ing sense of humour, c***
Emboldened by that memory, the Dacre attack doggies have decided to try for a repeat success by going not after the hated BBC, but the equally loathed Channel 4, over the latter’s Monday evening broadcast of the Big Fat Quiz Of 2012. Anyone who has seen this format in the past knows what to expect: it goes out after the 2100 hours watershed, it’s rude, and it’s irreverent.
And it was evidently too much for the Mail: “Channel 4 and the sick show they call comedy: Comedians guzzle wine and egg each other on to trade obscene jokes about the Queen, Philip and Susan Boyle” thundered the headline. There were “countless vile sexual jokes”, two of the participants “drank [a] bottle of wine each”, and Ofcom was said to have received complaints.
But clearly there had not been enough complaints, so the Mail included a video of the show, so its readers could hopefully be worked up into a froth and thus enable the appallingly moralistic Dacre to put one over on Channel 4. Sadly, though, many of the commenters effectively told the Vagina Monologue and his minions to stop whingeing and get a life. This advice has, sadly, gone unheeded.
Indeed, the Mail has now enlisted the assistance of equally righteous and self-promoting Tory MP Conor Burns – who also likes to trowel on his friendship with Margaret Thatcher whenever the opportunity arises – who claims to have seen some of the show. Once again, the Mail has gone into detail about the content and included the video. And once again, many commenters aren’t interested.
And, although the Maily Telegraph has lifted the Mail outrage just to be on the safe side, it is clear that Dacre and his fellow Righteous Brothers are not achieving the traction hoped for. Indeed, the HuffPost UK has observed “Daily Mail Faces Twitter Backlash For 'Manufacturing' Outrage Over New Year's Eve Comedy Show”, and that the Mail was being hypocritical in printing out supposedly “sick” jokes.
Moreover, as Channel 4 has pointed out, “Big Fat Quiz Of The Year is a well-established comedic and satirical review of the year’s events with well-known guests and is broadcast after the watershed with appropriate warnings”. In other words, unlike Sachsgate, viewers know full well what to expect, and it they aren’t up for that sort of thing, there’s always the channel changer or the off switch.
Or, in the Daily Mail’s case, they could always try some proper journalism.