As if there had been insufficient revulsion at the comments by Carl Benjamin, who styles himself Sargon of Akkad, made towards Labour MP Jess Phillips - that he “wouldn’t even rape her”, and more recently that he may be persuaded to do so in extremis - the BBC has decided in its infinite wisdom to give The Great Man a platform.
New day, same creep
I kid you not: Benjamin has been awarded a solo spot on Victoria Live today. And he has been just as revolting a creep as ever, pretending that his “rape joke” has actually been praised by at least one rape survivor. Regretfully, he did not pony up any details of that survivor to Ms Derbyshire. Nor was he convincing at any point in the interview.
After Ms Derbyshire had read out the testimony of a 31-year-old male survivor of sexual violence, Benjamin replied “I respond to that by saying you’ve been lied to. You’re misrepresenting what’s happening”. Truth is lies, ignorance is strength. How about Benjamin’s comments? “The way that you report the comments is farcical”.
Jess Phillips - hasn't had an apology yet
Another testimony was read out to him. Before Ms Derbyshire could finish, he interrupted “There are two sides to every question, and I am empathising with the other side”. What does this mean? Who knows, and indeed, who cares? Benjamin became mildly animated. What about the survivors (now plural) on his side? “You pretend they don’t exist” he responded. That may be because they don’t exist. But he wasn’t finished.
“You’re not getting to the core of the issue. This is very surface-level interrogation”. Did he accept that “rape jokes” were damaging? “No. I’m aware of the politically correct narrative around this. But there is another narrative I suppose we can call the non-politically correct one that I support. I think it’s a lot more empowering not to be controlled by jokes”.
The reaction to the interview was not favourable towards Benjamin. “Carl Benjamin has no ability to understand the impact of his words about raping @jessphillips. He has no understanding of equality issues and the power of language. Even the worst comedy in working mens clubs would not have used rape as a joke” was typical.
Another response was “Carl Benjamin has just said on #VictoriaLIVE ‘I want comedy to come back to this country’ when defending his rape jokes about @jessphillips. Shame on him and good for @vicderbyshire standing up to this gross, gross man”. Comedy never left this country. But it might have grown up rather more than Carl Benjamin.
Ms Derbyshire was praised for not allowing Benjamin to put her off her stride: “Tremendous journalism by @vicderbyshire in her approach towards Mr. Benjamin on his attempt to normalise rape jokes. The continual gaslighting didn’t faze Victoria and his repetitive claim that he’s been smeared by journalists certainly didn’t wash”.
And one observer was unconvinced by Benjamin’s fantasy rape survivors. “I don't believe Carl Benjamin has spoken to anyone who has been raped and they certainly wouldn't have thanked him”. Dead right they wouldn’t. He came over as the amateur human being many already knew he was. But the really big question remained unanswered.
Why did the BBC give a platform to this creep? Not a good look. Again.
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