Thursday, July 13, 2006

Would they have said that 'Alexander' was a turkey?

Irish state broadcaster RTÉ fell the wrong side of this latest decision of the Broadcasting Complaints Commission (, subs. req'd):

The fake fly-on-the-wall satire "The Unbelievable Truth - Colin Farrell's darkest secrets" was labelled a tasteless and vulgar display that made a mockery of the Catholic faith in a complaint by a priest.

A scene from the fictional programme showed a man dressed in priest's vestments pretending to handout Holy Communion to a group of men. But instead of saying Body of Christ, the character announced Body of Colin Farrell, and a close-up showed it was Viagra, not sacred hosts, that was being handed out ...

RTÉ said the programme, narrated by comedian Colin Murphy, was by its nature iconoclastic, designed to attack popular or traditional beliefs, presenting fictional biographies of high profile Irish celebrities.

That's a remarkable, apparently self-granted, mission statement for a state-funded broadcaster; what stands out in particular is its cowardice posing as bravery given that Colin Farrell is in fact popular whereas the Catholic Church is an easy target. Unfortunately, the upholding of the complaint will probably only confirm the Dublin 4 rebels in their self-image as part of the avant-garde.

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