BBC - Christmas song edit - PC madness?

Chuck Igo
Tue Dec 18 14:38:07 EST 2007

Mike attempted to write (and i've attempted to interpret his pesky program 
with some cleared up typing)

> There's an interesting debate going on today at the Beeb
> Apparently, BBC's Radio 1 program has cut out the word "faggot" from the 
> song "Fairytale of New York," by the Irish band The Pogues and singer 
> Kirsty MacColl.
> In the track, released 20 years ago, MacColl sings "You scumbag, you 
> maggot. You cheap lousy faggot;" as her character in the song argues with 
> a character counter-sung by Shane MacGowan.
> The song is a perennial Christmastime favorite in  England; and arguably 
> even here in the on rock stations.
> At least 90% of its listeners are criticizing the BBC for editing the song 
> (according to its own online data, while one BBC online news editor claims 
> the figure is "virtually 100%"), saying, "it's PC madness gone wrong."
> BBC 1, however, is standing by its decision to edit the song.
> What say you, esteemed members of this list?
> Play it - unedited, edited, or simply don't play it at all?
> Has it even been a concern here?


 not sure about that particular song here in the states - but on the opinion 
to air it, edit it, or leave it out:  what you don't say, can't hurt you. 
so on the side of caution, depending upon your station's target, leave it 
out.  i'd opt for the "don't play it"

Then again - many songs that were hits came available with "edits" or 
"remixes."  some of the edits changed the offensive word, such as the 
revised Steve Miller Band "Jet Airliner" which opted in some cases for 
"...funky KICKS..." instead of "...funky s**t..."

Pink Floyd's "Money" implored us to ".....don't give me that good good bull 
(silence)..." instead of   "...bull s**t..."

In regards to seasonal songs, some stations have actually, 30 years down the 
road, been hit with calls and letters of protestation over The Kinks "Father 
Christmas."  some of these stations are rock stations; some are pop 
stations; some are classic rock/oldies stations.  one of them is the one at 
which i work.  our station has opted for omission on the side of caution. 
the decision is a wise one in this era of new-age sensitivity.

the sudden realization or discovery of some potentially offensive nature of 
the Kinks' song, which i have and will again admit - baffles me.  30 
frickin' years that song has been aired - NOW it's a problem?  likewise the 
above-mentioned dilemma faced by the BBC.

what about Deck The Halls!  OMG!  talk about the extreme (revisionist) 
references in that one.  as a proud Irish-American, i should be extremely 
and profoundly upset over the repeated calls to induce physical harm to any 
person refered to in the "derogatory" sense of such hertigage or ancestry. 
"Strike The Harp!"  even Johnny Mathis says so.  i won't even get into the 
suggested attire for the entire decorating process - talk about your 
old-school stereo-types! yikes!

just remember: if it's offensive to anyone, just say

"... as Don Imus says..."

then say it.  it's covered and protected as "reporting," or else they 
wouldn't print it or air it repeatedly in the mainstream media.

- -Chuck Igo
(knee deep in Christmas music since 12/22/07) 

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