Tag Archives: Religion/Belief

Guardian publishes correction… before the readers write in

A curious correction in the Guardian on Saturday: for “inappropriate language” in its Guide magazine, published in the same newspaper. It would seem that someone spotted the potential fall-out, in time for a correction in the main section but not in time to amend the Guide.

So the Guardian has in fact apologised for something before the complaints came in and my Googling would suggest there’s has been little to no online comment (correct me if I’ve missed a forum thread etc.).

The correction (Saturday 20 March):

Apology: In today’s edition of the Guide there are two instances of inappropriate language. The headline for a film article on page 17, and the section in Charlie Brooker‘s column, page 52, which begins “Take Jews” were intended to be satirical but should not have appeared in the Guardian. Brooker says that he is “aghast at the prospect of my satiric intent not being clear, or my choice of words causing genuine upset”. These elements will not appear on the website versions of these articles and we apologise for any offence their inclusion in the Guide has caused.

As outlined above, the amendments were made for the online versions. In the headline case: “Hollywood might be run by Jews, sinners and Scientologists these days, but the Catholics once called the shots” became “Hollywood might be run by Scientologists these days, but the Catholics once called the shots” for the online edition.

In the other incident, Brooker’s Jewish analogy in his piece about MTV show Jersey Shore does not appear in the online version. Brooker criticised the programme for its ethnic stereotypes of Italian Americans and re-wrote its structure with examples of  Jewish sterotypes, to explain how in another context a Jersey Shore format could be “altogether more incendiary”.

Brooker says it was satire, but it was of a kind that was later considered inappropriate by the Guardian editors. Who was right? Should the Guardian have pulled the extract?

Writing on LiveJournal, AlexS, thinks the correction was wrong:

Properly placed in the piece, this thought experiment is clearly intended to demonstrate just what a grubby little exercise Jersey Shore is. Anyone reading it in that context and failing to understand that it is satire rather than anti-Semitism is too stupid for their opinion to be worthy of consideration. But the ‘Corrections and Clarifications’ column says that while the piece was “intended to be satirical”, it “should not have appeared in the Guardian, before dragging Brooker himself on for a little Maoist self-criticism session. The Guardian: officially the paper for people too retarded or permanently offended to recognise satire.

BBC head of religion and ethics disputes Sunday Telegraph article

Aaqil Ahmed, the BBC’s head of religion and ethics, has criticised the Sunday Telegraph for the way it presented his comments in an interview. In a BBC blog post yesterday, Ahmed writes that he had given an interview ahead of the Church Of England’s Synod debate and its motion on the issue of religious broadcasting on televisions:

The article appeared on Sunday under the headline “Church is ‘living in the past’ says BBC chief”. Great headline – but the truth lets the story down. The problem is: I am that BBC chief and I definitely didn’t say that. In fact there were a lot of things in the Sunday Telegraph article that surprised me when I read them.


The Sunday Telegraph article quotes me as saying that the BBC should not give Christianity preferential treatment. The question I was actually asked was whether minority faiths should be treated differently from other faiths – to which I replied that all faiths should be treated in the same way and that I don’t believe in treating any faith differently. It’s all a bit different when you put it in its proper context, isn’t it?

Full post at this link…