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The End of Free Speech?

Andy Gray and Richard Keys possibly inhabit a world which hasn’t moved on much from a kind of Bernard Manning/Jim Davidson circa 1975 axis. I wouldn’t have said the kind of things they said the other day and nor do I approve of them. However the remarks they came away with were obviously meant as a joke, no matter how tasteless that joke was. Gray’s behaviour towards the young female TV presenter in the clip I posted was boorish and ignorant. Again the eejit thought it was funny and the woman (Charlotte?) sent him a disdainful look which silently (and correctly) suggested ‘You sad pathetic individual’.

In the grand scheme of things these incidents were wrong but dare I say it, were no big deal.

I’m baffled though. I had a chat yesterday with a pal of mine who defended Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand at the time of ‘Sachsgate’. I thought their leaving the remarks they did on a voicemail and broadcasting it to millions was akin to walking over to someone in a restaurant and gobbing on their meal.

My friend who defended them at the time thought it was quite correct for Gray and Keys to be sacked when their tasteless but private remarks were overheard.Yet he continues to defend Ross and Brand for a very personal verbal attack on an old man and his granddaughter which was quite deliberately broadcast to an audience of millions.

Where are we as a society when a broadcaster can show  fully scripted and pre recorded shows containing material which mocks disability and goodness knows how many other discriminatory subjects with impunity? and yet will not tolerate an overheard private conversation?

Maybe the thought police have the answer.

Footnote: On last night’s Question Time, Edwna Currie came away with the following:

“I cheered when Andy Gray was sacked for his totally unacceptable remarks and behaviour. He is nothing but a fat slob”.

Shades of Gray

This is the incident which got Andy Gray fired from Sky TV

He had earlier made sexist remarks about Sian Massey who was an assistant referee in the match between Wolves and Liverpool on Saturday. In consideration of today’s laws and workplace regulations, Gray’s behaviour was wrong. It should have warranted a warning as to his future conduct.

However Sky Sports wanted rid of Gray and dug up the second clip so they could fire him for upsetting Uncle Rupert by taking News International to court decided that sexism, being such a serious breach of decency and behaviour, from any of its presenters should mean dismissal.

Sky Sports majority shareholder is News International.

News International owns the Sun.

The item below was published on their website today:

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