Monday, 29 March 2010

Richard Desmond newspaper accuses other media outlets of producing 'filth'

Yesterday, the Sunday Express ran a front page headline Families hit by BBC 'filth'.

It wasn't, in fact, a plumbing problem at Broadcasting House, but a feeble attack on online catch-up services. Although the headline focussed on the BCC, ITV and Channel 4 were also mentioned. But, as ever, it's the BBC that was the main target.

David Stephenson's report, which seemed highly influenced by the prudes at Mediawatch, feigned outrage at the accessibility of sex and violence on BBC iPlayer and the like.

The idea that five-year-olds would be watching Wallander was rather unlikely. Nonetheless, the Express was adamant:

The result is that highly impressionable children are becoming hooked on TV programmes which have unsuitable images and dialogue, leading to long-term concerns for their mental health.

The same concerns, incidentally, that some people might have about 'highly impressionable adults' reading the Express.

It goes on:

The Sunday Express watched an episode of the adult crime drama Wallander on the BBC iPlayer by simply confirming, with one click, that we were over 16...

From the ITVplayer, the Sunday Express downloaded an episode of Secret Diary Of A Call Girl, featuring adult sexual content. Again it took one click.

Now, the Express newspapers are owned by Richard Desmond's Northern and Shell company. They also own several pornographic television channels. This includes Television X, whose website needs only two clicks before 'highly impressionable children' could be seeing hardcore porn.

Indeed, starting from Google, that was significantly easier than finding far, far, far less explicit stuff on iPlayer.

Desmond also owns the Daily Star, which shows a topless page 3 girl every day and carries a very large number of adverts for phone sex in every edition.

So is the Sunday Express really in a position to complain about 'filth' elsewhere?

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