Thursday 9 December 2021

Fawlty analogy

It is widely believed that Julie Birchill  coined a phrase that goes something like  “A stupid person’s idea of a smart person.” Other versions of the same thing can occasionally appear, such as “a stupid person’s idea of an intellectual” or sometimes it’s “dumb person” who has the idea, and it sometimes appertains to Stephen Fry. Anyway, I think it applies perfectly to this MCB report by The Centre for Media Monitoring. 

“The Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM) is a project of the Muslim Council of Britain” 

This report looks (to me) rather like an example of a semi-literate person’s idea of an academic study, or a dumb person’s idea of deeply intellectual analysis.  I hope Julie Birchill is okay with that comparison in case I look like a poor man's Julie Birchill (?) or dumb person’s idea of someone who's trying to be her. (I wish.)

I can’t deconstruct this report because life’s too short to skin this kind of word salad, and to be honest, I just think it’s laughable, and furthermore, I’m a bit astonished (or maybe not) that the BBC’s Mark Easton would lend his tuppence worth of credibility to the report by appearing in the Zoom discussion about it. 

I’m only writing about this because  of Mark Easton’s amusing faux pas while  attempting to address the vexed question of “whether  it’s ever  necessary to identify anyone’s religion, or to mention that someone you are featuring in a report ”is a Muslim.” 

Attempting to expand on that theme, he began to offer a random example of that particular dilemma, citing “you wouldn’t always need to describe the famous entrepreneur Alan Sugar as  ……”  a panic-stricken look crossed his face - a brief hiatus, and he blurted  out……….. “ a Christian!” 

"Oh Lordy, what have I got myself into?" he might be wondering. “I mentioned it once but I think I got away with it.” 

Basil Fawlty circa 2009

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.