Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Gray Sky thinking

If what Andy Gray said off air was so heinous (rather than just rude, unpleasant and boorish - which it was) that it merits dismissal regardless of his eminent public position, then the fact that his private comments were later leaked is irrelevant and we should at all times and relentlessly pursue all who say (or believe) anything like it - and not just about women - right down to the man who wipes Murdoch's arse for him. (Spend a second or two to think of the possible consequences of that, by the way. The effects on the number of people hounded from employment, I mean; not those of wiping Murdoch's arse, though they are doubtless preferable to those of not wiping it.)

If, however, the problem is just that Gray's comments were, by whatever means, broadcast to the public, then those who believe this actually demean the case against his kind of casual sexism, since his only offence was being found out.

The trouble is, many of those I have heard on the radio tend to hold both views at the same time. I'm not sure that you can.

As for Murdoch and his companies, they are a morally neutral zone whose sole purpose is the generation of profit. We shouldn't forget that, less still congratulate Sky for their supposed backbone.


  1. I don't necessarily think Gray is a huge loss, but what I do ask for is consistency: Why not fire everyone who is suspected of having said boorish things in any context in which he (or, yes, she) might possibly have been overheard, and start clean? It's not like you'll find people who don't _think_ such things, but you might find a few who will be bright enough not to _say_ them.

    I agree that looking for anything owned by Murdoch to set some sort of moral tone is rather silly. Alas, in the absence, apparently, of real moral issues with which to grapple, most of us great unwashed will settle for something like this.

  2. But wouldn't that consistency simply show how absurd the knee-jerk is?

    To discipline all who step out of line would be entirely consistent but would lead to ludicrous and unsustainable outcomes; it would make people even more fearful than they are; and it would deny us the chance to test our opinions (including wrong ones) through open interaction with others rather than silence them through fear of the mob, however fragrant, until it forgets again and moves on to its next victim.