Lewd call storm driven by 'salary envy'

Lewd call storm driven by 'salary envy'

The storm over lewd phone calls by Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross may be partly driven by “salary envy and schadenfreude, a senior BBC executive said today.

Radio 1 'Newsbeat' editor Rod McKenzie highlighted “synthetic” anger over the incident, insisting the corporation was being attacked by its “usual critics”.

The intervention, on the BBC’s Editors blog, comes despite Director General Mark Thompson issuing a personal apology for the calls and suspending the high-profile presenters.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Conservative Party leader David Cameron have also joined condemnation of the explicit answerphone messages left for 'Fawlty Towers' actor Andrew Sachs.

However, Mr McKenzie insisted the reaction from younger BBC audiences had been broadly supportive of Ross and Brand.

The response from 'Newsbeat' listeners had initially been “two to one” in their favour, and had now swelled to “six to one”, he added.

Some had been “amazed” that the Prime Minister chose to comment amid the global financial crisis, according to Mr McKenzie.

“There’s anger: some genuine, some of it synthetic. Some of it comes from the BBC’s usual critics,” he wrote.

“For media folk profile and salary-envy and schadenfreude may play a part in all this.

“But how many heard the original transmission and how many are responding to the newspapers’ quotes or others’ arguments?

“I’m not here to defend or attack anyone – but there is an alternative view we are seeing strongly expressed by our young audience which is certainly worth wider consideration.”

More on this topic

Louis Tomlinson criticises BBC Breakfast after awkward interviewLouis Tomlinson criticises BBC Breakfast after awkward interview

450 jobs to go as BBC cuts news services including 5Live and Newsnight450 jobs to go as BBC cuts news services including 5Live and Newsnight

Carrie Gracie hails Samira Ahmed over BBC equal pay disputeCarrie Gracie hails Samira Ahmed over BBC equal pay dispute

Samira Ahmed wins sex discrimination equal pay claim against BBCSamira Ahmed wins sex discrimination equal pay claim against BBC

More in this Section

Woody Allen: I don’t feel vindicated by recent film successWoody Allen: I don’t feel vindicated by recent film success

Conductor discusses impact of child sexual abuse with Desert Island Discs hostConductor discusses impact of child sexual abuse with Desert Island Discs host

Stacey Solomon celebrates son’s first birthdayStacey Solomon celebrates son’s first birthday

Britain’s Got Talent judges wowed by straw playerBritain’s Got Talent judges wowed by straw player


Lifestyle

Last week, I wrote about 'small is beautiful' as a key to an improved environment for all living things after this Covid crisis is finally over. As I wrote, I saw, in the mind's eye, the village where I live in west Cork and from which my wife and I are temporarily exiled.Damien Enright: Community spirit can ensure we pull through - together

Fifty years ago, a fox was spotted in Dublin’s St. Stephen’s Green. The unfortunate animal was chased by local ‘gurriers’. It took refuge in a tree but was promptly stoned to death.Richard Collins: Wildlife taking back the streets of our cities

The north pier on Cape Clear has been eerily quiet these last few months as no visitors disembark. The ferry is not unloading boatloads of tourists from Baltimore, 45 minutes away, or from Schull, as it would normally.The Islands of Ireland: Cape Clear tells its side of the story

If the Donegal postman and amateur weather forecaster has it right, we could be in for water shortages in the coming months. Michael Gallagher, who predicted the scorching summer of 2018 and the 2010 freeze-up, says we’ll have a ‘lovely’ summer.Donal Hickey: Demand for water to soar

More From The Irish Examiner