Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The whining few are afforded too much influence

Credit: Monty Python
The man in the street

Joseph Gavin's Oftentimes: 3,000 complaints is enough too be considered public opinion and eventually, it is

It seems the easiest way to get publicity if you like to complain about everything is to attack the BBC. This is the most effective method of trolling. Just three thousand complaints over a four-day period from an organisation that reaches the entire population of the UK and beyond is enough to grab Top News status on a nationwide scale.

Following the BBC unabashedly Royalist TV and radio output over the queen's jubilee weekend, full of false/forced patriotism and black and white pictures, I personally would have complained more about the one-sided nation of the coverage and the panicked expressions on the faces of the presenters when they felt a waft of Republicanism or controversy. Something that was sorely missed and would have made for more interesting viewing. However people's main gripe were trivial details such as more time was spent discussing the pretty pictures in a studio than was spent actually looking at them. Because of those three thousand complaints, people's lasting impression from the shows will be a negative one.

Whether it was good or not isn't important and these people have the right to complain about a public service broadcaster, funded by the man on the street. The problem is that a tiny proportion of the population's opinions are being allowed to dictate public opinion, being afforded far too much clout. The same can be said for what became known as 'Sachsgate'. The incident where Russell Brand left answer phone messages on the phone of Andrew Sachs after he had agreed to do an interview about his brief time on 'The Bill', in which Jonathan Ross blurted out "Russell f**ked your granddaughter!" The main issue with this that the elderly comedy actor had no choice but to listen as the messages could not be deleted. I listened to the radio show as it went out, but the unpleasant moments were overshadowed by Russell's subsequent on air apology which took the form of an ad-libbed song, "I'd like to apologise for these terrible attacks, Andrew Sachs." One of the show's funniest moments.

As I remember the radio show which went out on a Saturday night attracted no great criticism until the complaints of three thousand people (probably the same offenders) were given the national stage on the ITV news and the complaints went up to 40,000. Of course, most of these people hadn't listened to the show, they were complaining about something they saw on the news. Something which could have been taken wholly out of context. The worst factor in this example was the fact the show was pre-recorded and checked before it was aired and sadly, Russell Brand was forced to quit in the ensuing media storm and Jonathan Ross's career has never fully recovered.

There were serious implications because of the blinkered view of the few, wrongly accepted as public opinion and then, with more publicity, it became public opinion. If the show's listeners who did not complain had joined force and complained about Russell's resignation, would the result be the same? Bluntly, there is far too much focus on the negative. Of course, the Big British Castle is not beyond criticism, though as 'the Savage Eye' on RTÉ2 has pointed out, many living in Northern Ireland would rather stick with British Rule than lose it.

"there's far too much sex on the television. I mean, I keep falling off."

About the Writer

Joseph Gavin is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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1 comments on The whining few are afforded too much influence

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By dchaitanya on June 07, 2012 at 09:44 pm

This is quite interesting gavin.

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