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BBC Faces Furor in UK’s Parliament

Jim Burroway

January 4th, 2010

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British newspapers are reporting that the BBC is facing mounting criticism in the UK’s Parliament over an online poll which asked, “Should homosexuals face execution?” The online forum elicited 206 published comments before it was closed.

Labour’s Eric Joyce, who told MPs about the online forum, said he was “completely mystified” as to why it had been set up. “We should be looking at what is going on in Uganda with abhorrence,” he said. “The BBC are probably thinking they are communicating with people in Africa. As it happens, everyone who has replied comes from somewhere else.”

Lynne Featherstone, Lib Dem youth and equality spokesman, said: “Suggesting the state-sponsored murder of gay people is OK as a legitimate topic for debate is deeply offensive. The BBC are only fanning the flames of hatred. They must act and apologise for their gross insensitivity.’

The debate was published by the World Service Africa Have Your Say forum, which is part of the BBC’s main news website. Its editor David Stead last night insisted he had thought long and hard about posing the question.

Well, as long as they thought long and hard about it, I guess that makes it all okay then. Incredibly, despite the worldwide outcry a BBC spokesman claimed that it had not yet received an official complaint about the question.

Click here to see BTB’s complete coverage of the past year’s anti-gay developments in Uganda.

Comments

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Richard W. Fitch
January 4th, 2010 | LINK

I guess the BBC must be waiting for QEII to say “Tsk-tsk-tsk”.

Timothy (TRiG)
January 4th, 2010 | LINK

The World Service is directly funded by the Foreign Office, not by the license fee. I’m not sure what this means for the amount the government can influence editorial policy.

TRiG.

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