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.
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.”
Missed last night's report launch? Catch it here: https://t.co/uHvWFIN7N0— Centre for Media Monitoring (CfMM) (@cfmmuk) December 1, 2021
Many thanks to panellists @MirrorAlison @EmmaTuckerST @BBCMarkEaston @NesrineMalik @inzyrashid Wajed Iqbal, & Faisal Hanif, and guests @BrianCathcart John Holmwood, & Wajed Iqbal.
"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