Sunday, 2 November 2008

Ross and Brand

Many apologists of Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand, and commentators argue that "generational" differences about humour and morality make it impossible to define the Sachs phone messages as offensive. The argument goes something like this: my 14 year-old daughter thought it was funny, while I thought it was crass. Yet when I was 14, my parents thought That Was The Week That Was or Monty Python's Flying Circus was crude and vulgar. This is moral relativism at its worst, and it will (if it hasn't already) mean that literally any obscenity can be justified and no editorial or moral standards are worth enforcing.

If we allow rule by lowest common denominator to infect the attitudes of our national broadcasters we collectively lower ourselves into the gutter and will soon find that what for very good reasons was held to be reprehensible, is now the norm. It is much harder to raise standards once they've been allowed to fall, than it is to maintain a sense of decency, respect and fair play in public life.

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