Quote of the day
"inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour"
Gordon Brown, condemning the culture of short-termism, risk-taking and greed virulent in the financial industry that has been key to the current economic meltdown? So you might think. But no - he was instead condemning a pair of Radio 2 DJs for an ill-judged prank on a nighttime show that prompted a grand total of two complaints from listeners at the time.
Let's consider things for a moment. We're sliding into a recession as global financial institutions wobble on unstable foundations, an American presidential election is days away and yesterday Parliament passed a pioneering and pleasingly tough Climate Change Bill: just three events that will have a huge impact on our lives in both the near and distant future. And yet this is the story receiving by far the most coverage.
Even the BBC's 'Newsnight' saw no shame in opening with it before going on to mention almost in passing the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo that UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has described as being responsible for a "humanitarian catastrophe". Bizarre the way the BBC is so masochistically self-flagellating in situations like these. Is it really dignified for Auntie to seek forgiveness by prostrating herself at the feet of 27,000 Daily Mail reading sheep who don't know who Russell Brand is, let alone listen to his show? John O'Farrell didn't pull any punches, accusing the Beeb of "cravenly caving in" to mob rule.
Anyway, the tabloids - no doubt relishing the opportunity to gain the moral high ground over a media institution - have got the blood they wanted, Brand having announced he's quitting the BBC as a result and Ross currently suspended pending an investigation. And do I smell something rather fishy in the fact that the brief clip of Georgina Baillie commenting on events had the Sun's logo in the top right hand corner? Surely the papers and the supposed victim wouldn't have stirred up a shitstorm just to make some money, would they? That really would be fucking offensive.