What a disgrace.
No I'm not referring to Jeremy Clarkson's comments on The One Show last night, saying that he would take all public sector workers "outside and execute them in front of their families."
No, its whats happened afterwards which is a disgrace. Unison coming out and demanding that he should be fired from the BBC with immediate effect.
Ed Miliband demanding that he should apologise publicly for what he said. Twitter going mental. The BBC News Channel using Jeremy Clarkson as a main headline (with updates on their funky little red banner at the bottom) and higher up in the news agenda than ACTUAL World Aids Day.
This whole media campaign is a farce. For these three reasons:
1. I can't believe that I'm writing this sentence, Jeremy Clarkson does not want union workers to be executed in front of their families. I doubt he does. If he does then that is a story, but my belief from watching him over a number of years is that he is playing just an act. That's all. An act. The same style of act that praises his own self-built police cars that would catch criminals but also would have spikes on the tires so women and children may have their legs cut off whilst it is parked. The same Jeremy Clarkson who said that lorry drivers have a hard time because they have to change gears whilst murdering prostitutes.
Yes we all know that he is a Tory, a snob, a loudmouth, an anti-environmentalist and a show-off, but what we see in interviews and on the TV is merely the exaggeration of his character. He cannot always be like that. Its his persona. You may not like his persona, you might think that he is erring on the extreme, but he is not encouraging people to be executed. Heaven forbid then why Unison want to get the police involved.
2. Why are the media stirring up this massive controversy about this man?
Because its easy for them.
I know that a lot of people don't like him, but the media are trying to make controversy as if it was said by a public official, a government employee or somebody else in the limelight, ignoring the fact that at the end of the day, he is an entertainer known for saying such things.
The media know he doesn't necessarily believe these views, a lot of us know that as well, but for those in telly and newspaper land it is easy for them to start a debate about whether he is right as an entertainer so say such things, because it encourages the sections of society who don't like him, or don't get him. It starts this vicious cycle that can fill up airtime pointlessly, and encourage writers, like myself, to comment about it in articles giving another another take on the situation. Like right now.
3. Jeremy Clarkson is now going to thrive from all of this publicity.
You know why Clarkson was on The One Show last night? Not from his own free-will, not because he wants to comment on a feature about otters and then crimes committed by dodgy builders in Surrey. No. He was on The One Show to comment on his latest DVD, which is out very soon and that you can go and purchase at all good retailers.
What the media has done in the last 24 hours has given him the exposure that his marketing and PR friends would be having a wet dream about. He'll be in the press lauded by commentators for days. His column in The Sun will this weekend or whenever be an unmissable read. His next series of Top Gear would instantly start a massive debate to drive viewers, just like the episodes after the whole Mexican brew-ha-ha with Richard Hammond and James May from last year.
So just think. For every hundred or so people 'outraged' about what he has just come out and said on Twitter and on TV (as expected), there is definitely some people out there thinking "When is his DVD out again?"
Our outrage is a win-win for him.
And that's why this whole news story is a farce.