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BBC news website asks users: 'Should homosexuals face execution?'

Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

From The Guardian:

Quote:
The BBC today asked users of its news website "Should homosexuals face execution?" on a talkboard discussion for a World Service programme for African listeners.

Posted on a BBC News premoderated talkboard, the thread was designed to provoke discussion ahead of the latest edition of interactive World Service programme Africa Have Your Say.

"Yes, we accept it is a stark and disturbing question, but this is the reality behind an anti-homosexuality bill being debated on Friday by the Ugandan parliament which would see some homosexual offences punishable by death," the post said.

The talkboard post asked users to send in their views to the programme, which goes out on the World Service and is also available online.

"Has Uganda gone too far? Should there be any level of legislation against homosexuality? Should homosexuals be protected by legislation as they are in South Africa? What would be the consequences of this bill to you? How will homosexual 'offences' be monitored?," the post added.

[...]

Liliane Landor, the BBC World Service acting head of Africa region, defended the radio programme and talkboard post, saying it allowed gays and lesbians from Uganda, whose voices have never been heard in the UK, to talk with dignity about the impact the legislation would have on their lives.

The show also included the opinion of those who supported the anti-homosexual legislation, including religious leaders, she said. "The programme was a dignified exchange between people who have differing beliefs," Landor added.

Landor said that the World Service realised that the headline on the talkboard was blunt, but it was carefully put in context. "We wanted to frame the question starkly, in order to reflect the stark reality of the Ugandan bill," she added.

The BBC Pride board, composed of gay and lesbian staff at the corporation, lobbied the World Service to change the headline and close discussion "to minimise negative reflection on the BBC".

Eric Joyce, the Labour MP for Falkirk, labelled the post "more than offensive". "It's completely unacceptable. And it's mainly British people replying," he said on Twitter.

 


Comments

N.Beltov
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Joined: May 25 2003

Should BBC executives face execution? What sort? Drawing and quartering? Lethal injection? Hanging? Crucifixion?

Electrocution by immersion in a bathtub with a TV thrown into the tub - might be appropriate, eh? Of course, the TV would be tuned on.... the BBC.


Snert
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Joined: Nov 4 2008

Quote:
The show also included the opinion of those who supported the anti-homosexual legislation, including religious leaders, she said. "The programme was a dignified exchange between people who have differing beliefs," Landor added.

 

That's a discussion that should never have been dignified.

 

Next week's question:  "Was 6 million enough?" 


Snert
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Joined: Nov 4 2008

Also, while I'm never keen on offensive speech being conflated into "hate speech", isn't saying that a particular group should be killed pretty much the proper, textbook definition of hate speech?

And if so, will these so-called religious "leaders" who phone in and take the "yes, they should die" position be rounded up and carted off to jail?  Or does religion excuse you from hate speech laws??  Could I phone up and say "no, I think that UGANDANS should all be lined up and murdered and I encourage us all to do that" with impunity?

This is all kinds of fucked up.  From the BBC???


Catchfire
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Joined: Apr 16 2003

Perhaps I should have put this article in Doug's thread about the Ugandan anti-homosexual law (and its American support), although it has a slightly different timbre to it.

This also brings up questions about the media's role in soceity. It certainly demonstrates the monstrousness and grotesqueness impartiality has the potential to produce on issues of human rights. Racism: justified or not? Is this 'debate' correlative in any way (in kind, not in degree) to the Munk 'debate' about climate change? It is one thing to allow the free exchange of ideas. It is entirely another to stage a farce so ingratiating to tyranny.

Of course, there is also a postcolonial dynamic at play, further complicated by America's involvement in the law. How should the BBC engage its African audience (if such an audience exists at all--most "contributions" are coming from Britain)? If anything, this maladrioit attempt at diplomacy demonstrates the BBC just has no place in the politics of Africa. Sorry, Queen E. You had your chance and you right blew it.


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