March 18, 2009
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While I agree with Graham Linehan's sentiments about the Express / Dunblane gutter-scraping story, there's a part of me that feels uncomfortable with the Facebook groups and petitions. I didn't see the original story because I, in a revelation which may surprise none of you, don't read the Sunday Express. And I cannot help but remember the way in which liberal souls decried the Daily Mail whipping up a frenzy over the Ross-Brand-Sachs affair, escalating the number of complaints from people who hadn't heard the orginal broadcast but were persuaded that they'd certainly have been offended if they had. From what Linehan says and what I read at Chicken Yoghurt, this story appears to be a despicable, underhand piece of 'journalism' that displays a shocking lack of moral fibre from everyone involved. But I'm not going to read the original, because I know I'm being sent there with the intention of being outraged. Like the Daily Mail readers who watched the videos and listened to the audio after reading about how disgusting it was and, by golly, they saw that it was so. It's too late now for me to form an opinion that I would comfortably believe to be my own so I'm keeping away from the groups and the exhortations to complain. Which is a shame, because some things are worth getting worked up about, but not if the hive mind moves grass-roots campaigning into the same pot as mindless knee-jerkism.