Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Racism and homophobia

Which way will the Daily Mail and its readers jump when someone makes an intolerant statement?

Today we had Sky Sports apologises after Dick Best makes live race slur against Delon Armitage, where the man in question said:

'You've always got to have a coloured boy in the team'.

There is an almost total lack of the type of outrage the Mail would have expressed had this been someone on the BBC. Especially Jonathan Ross.

The story goes on:

His co-presenter Millie Clode later apologised. '(Best) made remarks that he thought were off-camera.'

Which is fine with the Daily Mail because Carol Thatcher's remarks were off-mic (and a 'joke' - a joke which we have still yet to hear, even as she defended herself on the Andrew Marr programme on Sunday) and the Mail doesn't mind that type of racism.

At time of writing there are only 3 reader comments. The two rated negative say: 'there is no defence for such a comment,' and 'His comment was crass and stupid and totally unnecessary!' It takes a special kind of bigot to rate those the negative comments on show here. By tomorrow, you can imagine all the 'political correctness gone mad' comments will be present and correct.

But what happened yesterday when the Mail comments section became full of...fairly reasonable comments. Magistrate quits after telling Steps singer Ian Watkins 'gays are paedophiles' in documentary was the headline. The Magistrate in question - Byron Butler - is quoted as saying:

'I think probably it's a suspicion of the mainstream that they [gay men] perhaps will interfere with young people and so on. And that's historically been the case....That is the danger - paedophiles.'

Yet almost all of the comments were critical of Butler, calling his comments 'scary, 'stupid' and 'not suitable for a member of the human race'. Bravo - although the commentator saying that he is 'entitled to his opinion' is also rated positive.

So racism and homophobia are still fine, but equating gays and paedophiles is even beyond the pale for them.

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