Sunday, December 20, 2009

The BBC makes a weak attempt at an apology

A few days ago I wrote about the on-line BBC discussion entitled, "Should Homosexuals Face Execution?" Well, the BBC has apologized. But according to the Associated Press, it was the title of the debate, not the substance, that the BBC management agreed was offensive:
BBC World Service director Peter Horrocks wrote in a blog posted on the broadcaster's Web site: "We apologize for any offense it caused." He said the headline was too stark in hindsight. Editors had changed it to "Should Uganda debate gay execution?" after they closed down the debate.
In its apology, the BBC defended their decision to debate the Ugandan bill.  I'm all for freedom of speech and won't question the station's right to debate whatever it wants. But can anyone think of a time in recent history when a British news organization posed the question of whether a class of people should actually be put to death? 

Unfortunately, the ensuing debate brought out the worst in people.  It was clear that the very question gave some people who commented on the BBC website a chance to spew their hate.  What were the folks at the BBC thinking?  How could you possible have a reasoned argument for killing a group of people for no other reason than who they are?

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