BBC's u-turn on scumbags, maggots and faggots

As the old saying goes 'if it ain't broke, don't fix it' or in this case try and seem politically correct by trying to fix the lyrics of a song that has long been established as a classic component of the yuletide repertoire. So it seemed odd that the BBC decided it needed to introduce an inelegant edit of the Pogues duet with Kirsty MacColl on the 'Fairytale of New York' track in case someone might take offence. Well offence was taken but it was fuelled by the decision to tamper with a song that the public has for years accepted as a classic. As the BBC saw complaints pour in over the course of the day they finally decided the whole thing was a bad idea and undid the edict and the edit to restore the song to its original form.

What this episode highlights is not that the lyrics penned and performed by the Pogues or Kirsty MacColl were unacceptable but it is the attempt at censorship of certain words that highlights the fact that those making the judgment about the censorship decision were influenced by conscious prejudices that did not transcend into the the literal and contextual form of the original recording (Mediabeak is aware that this sort of analysis belongs on Newsnight review accompanied by a tortured artistically troubled expression but is going to indulge it anyway!)

More on the story:
BBC's original decision HERE
The U-trun from Sky News HERE

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