TV - Brand and Ross, sacrificial goats to the forces of Evil.
I heard the original broadcast (enjoying Ross and tolerating Brand as I do) and it was obvious that Ross and Brand had gone too far in their phone call to Andrew Sachs. They knew it had too. It should never have happened, never have been broadcast and when it did, something should have been done about it very quickly. If they'd been slapped and allowed to move on, with apologies to all, it could have all been very different.
The following furore, initiated by the BBC hating right wing newspaper The Daily Mail, had an easy time of spinning it to their readers. It was outrageous, especially out of context of the show. Similarly, right wing newspaper The Sun, owned by BBC hating Rupert Murdoch was quick to spot an opportunity. Two well known and popular broadcasters who had cult (and at times unfeasibly large) audiences had made a mistake. Both have become easy targets, largely due to the envy of others. Brand because he lives an extravagant lifestyle, in and out of the bedroom, and Ross for earning more money than some people think he's worth. Some people just didn't like them. Brand didn't make things better by re-iterating the Daily Mail's past connections with fascism.
The newspapers and media went on to repeat Ross and Brand's calls in detail, expanding upon them and the original offence. Something which undoubtedly caused offence when broadcast (although generated 2 complaints) was then repackaged to cause offence on a wider scale. I can't see the morals in that myself. The Sun later signed up Sachs' granddaughter, who went on to make her own counter-claims about Brand, somewhat losing the moral high ground. But then, it has been known for people to be pressured by the media into this position. Sachs has maintained his dignity throughout, and one can only hope that when the media start running out of story, they don't start rummaging through his bins looking for dirt.
Ultimately, instead of this being dealt with in a sensible way, it has been done quickly by a BBC over-sensitive to criticism, in response to media managed public hysteria. As a result, the BBC itself has been damaged, and the contents of all of its programs are now subject to censure. It is, frankly, a dark day for a free Britain when The Sun and the Mail decides on what is fit and moral to be broadcast.
The real victims remain Sachs' and his family, but the damage to Radio 2 is a terrible shame, it has grown to become a much-loved institution under Douglas, and a home to numerous listeners who are too young at heart for Radio 4, but too old for Radio 1. I'll also miss Ross' Radio 2 show, which always helped me through my week.
It is yet to be seen what damage the media has caused and now they have tasted blood, who else will fall beneath their faux outrage. Not a penny shall either paper ever receive from me.
It's by the by, but there's a petition here, it's a 5,000+ and gaining about 1000 a day. Too late to save them perhaps, but still time to register your abhorrence at what has been done to them. If it gets to 30,000 plus it could provide some countermeasure to the moral outrage.