By John Brindley - Staff Author
DANNY BAKER is spot on – his Royal chimpanzee tweet was, as he rightly says, ‘a stupid gag’.
Even he can’t defend it, how can anyone else? Yet his instant sacking by the BBC highlights another, far more dangerous and insidious, brand of stupidity.
I’m no Danny Baker fan. Rather the opposite, to be honest. I’ve always found him irritating because, unlike the pompous 61-year-old himself, I don’t consider him to be the funniest talent to walk the earth.
My argument, however, is far different: someone who has worked for employers over a long period deserves more backing than being thrown to the wolves for a one-off comment he clearly regrets – and immediately took back.
I realise, however, that we don’t live in that kind of world anymore.
You can be at the very top of your profession for years but should you fall foul of political correctness for even the very short time it took Baker to delete his tweet, you are hung out to dry.
Had he written a news article he could have amended it. In a pre-recorded radio programme, his gaffe would have been edited out. But deleting an item on social media is no defence. Today’s thought police don’t allow for changes of mind.
Making an admittedly pathetic and tasteless comment about the skin colour of Meghan Markle is regarded as a sacking offence.
But a Prime Minister who takes the country to war on a pack of lies, aiding and abetting the deaths of around 1,000,000 people mostly with brown skins doesn’t stop that person appearing on the BBC as a self-appointed ‘expert’ on any number of subjects.
Who has caused real harm – Danny, the tasteless comic, or Tony Blair in the real world of life and death? Remember, too, Blair has never apologised for his mistakes – he still believes he was right.
We have, you see, lost the ability through the curse of political correctness is distinguish between a bomb and the written word – one kills, maims and causes suffering over a whole lifetime, the other mildly offends for a few moments before attention is drawn to the next news item. But never mind….
Baker has been associated with Radio 5 Live on and off since 1990. Ok, you could argue he’s already served his sentence but, more seriously, should anyone live on a cliff-edge in their job when they have contributed so much over the years?
It’s not even the case that the BBC will benefit from its knee-jerk action.
A penitent Baker would have probably drawn even higher audience figures for a while. Now instead he will probably get a job with another broadcaster more prepared to live with controversy.
But no, the Beeb bless it, can’t be seen to compromise with its PC listeners. Don’t mention the fact that most who tune in for their combo of news and sport are anything but PC in the first place!
They broadcast the drama of a week of great comebacks as first Liverpool, then Spurs defied logic to reach the Champions League final.
But they couldn’t bring themselves to produce the most needed comeback of all – a victory for common sense over political correctness.
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