The BBC Trust once again proves its moral cowardice. Its editorial standards committee (ESC) has bowed to Israel lobby pressure and apologized for jokes made by Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle on BBC Radio 4’s Political Animal about Israel’s brutalization of the Palestinians. Boyle isn’t taking it lying down. He has struck back with the following open letter: (courtesy of Chortle).
Obviously, it feels strange to be on the moral high ground but I feel a response is required to the BBC Trust’s cowardly rebuke of my jokes about Palestine.
As always, I heard nothing from the BBC but read in a newspaper that editorial procedures would be tightened further to stop jokes with anything at all to say getting past the censors.
In case you missed it, the jokes in question are: ‘I’ve been studying Israeli Army Martial Arts. I now know 16 ways to kick a Palestinian woman in the back. People think that the Middle East is very complex but I have an analogy that sums it up quite well. If you imagine that Palestine is a big cake, well…that cake is being punched to pieces by a very angry Jew.’
I think the problem here is that the show’s producers will have thought that Israel, an aggressive, terrorist state with a nuclear arsenal was an appropriate target for satire. The Trust’s ruling is essentially a note from their line managers. It says that if you imagine that a state busily going about the destruction of an entire people is fair game, you are mistaken. Israel is out of bounds.
It is with great regret and hesitation that I arrive at the unsavory conclusion that it is in the interests of our safety as Americans that we begin profiling White Christians. The evidence for outbreaks of irrational White Christian violence is overwhelming. We, the conscientious people of color, must protect the nation from the dangers of that violence. The measures I propose to implement will be practical and just, little more than surveilling techniques and moderate physical compressions that will produce only minor inconveniences. Those White Christians who have nothing to hide will of course be unaffected.
If the past twenty years have shown us anything it is that White Christians are slaves to a fanatic ideology of hatred that is incompatible with the practice of modern democracy. Eric Rudolph, for instance, bombed the Olympic Village during the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and undertook a guerilla campaign against physicians and those who promoted a “homosexual agenda.” Theodore Kaczynski, popularly known as the Unabomber, bombed sixteen targets in nearly two decades of terror, including airlines and universities, the very symbols of American modernity. We cannot forget Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh’s 1995 truck bombing of the Oklahoma City Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, killing 168, including the seventeen children in the daycare center under which McVeigh parked his vehicular bomb.