I would very much like to be able to tell you that this blog’s failure to comment on the Ross/Brand/ Sachs “incident” has been the result of a high-minded refusal to demean ourselves by following the tabloid pack, etc, etc.
Unfortunately, that is not the case. We have all been too busy with other matters to get round to it. And we don’t have a “line” on the matter, either, so what follows is entirely down to yours truly:
1/ If you or I, or some obscure local radio presenter had done anything approaching what Woss and Brand did, it would have been treated as gross misconduct and our feet wouldn’t have touched the ground.
2/ Taking the piss out of the rich, powerful and influential can be funny. Mocking inoffensive, not particularly wealthy, elderly people – even when they’re slightly famous actors – isn’t. The great Charlie Brooker put it rather well in an article written just before the Woss/Brand story broke: “Because we’re all just jerks in the playpen, when it comes down to it. And tossing insults and brickbats is all part of the fun, especially if its done with panache. But when anyone – no matter how annoying – stumbles and shatters their skull, you’d better shut up or help them. Why? because you’re also a grown up, stupid. And that’s what they do.”
3/ How is it that while Brand has resigned from Radio 2 (though that represents a very small sacrifice in his “portfolio” of lucractive interests), and an innocent BBC apparatchik has now followed suit, the £6 million-a-year gobshite Woss gets off with 12 weeks without pay and a public assurance from the director general that he won’t be sacked?
4/ Have you noticed the omerta of the new luvvies – the British comedy clique? Not one of these “cutting edge” clowns has broken ranks to call call Woss and Brand the assholes that they are. Others from the comedy establishment (like the Blairite groveller John O’ Farrell and his pathetic NewsBiscuit website) and some “liberal” commentators (like him and him) have suggested that it’s all a storm in a teacup got up by the tabloids, and also a threat to freedom of expression (not that these same liberal commentators seemed particularly concerned about real threats to freedom of expression).
5/ Finally, I just hope that this whole sordid business doesn’t signal the end of that wonderful comic tradition, the hoax phone call, which in the right hands (ie not those of Woss or Brand) can be a delight to be savoured…