Tuesday, 18 October 2005

Silencing Stephen Green

I have blogged before about Christian Voice and how uneasy I feel about them getting so much coverage on national media. It looks like I am not the only one who is not happy about this. Recently after another inept performance from their leader Stephen Green on the Moral Maze on Radio4, I decided to write and complain to the BBC.

Stephen Green, leader of Christian Voice
Stephen Green, leader of Christian Voice.
Here is what I sent them:

I am very concerned that the BBC (both television and radio (radio4)) regularly invite Mr Stephen Green (leader of Christian Voice) to express his extremist views on air. While his movement has no apparent legitimacy (They refuse to divulge the number of their supporters, see your own reports on the Today Programme), he has managed to gain unprecedented and unjustified access to your programmes which enables him to air his extreme ideas.

I am aware that the BBC has a duty of presenting a balanced view of all arguments but it seems to me that repeatedly inviting Mr Green has more to do with his entertainment value (he is always almost certain to say something outrageous) than with the real validity of his arguments. In the meantime, he is gathering importance and dubeous legitimacy on the BBC's back. As I recall, he has also been able to be interviewed unchallenged (without a supporter of opposed views present to counter balance his words) a few times on the Today Programme.

I am sure you would be quite easily able to find representatives of religous movements with better credentials and legitimacy than Mr Green. This would make for more rational and interesting debates.

Here is the response I got:
Dear Mr [Zefrog]

Thank you for your e-mail.

I note that you are concerned at the frequency with which Stephen Green from the extremist Christian Voice magazine appears on BBC programmes and I acknowledge your claims that there are times when his views go unchallenged either by an interviewr or an opposing guest.

Appearances by Stephen Green on our programmes are entirely within the BBC's commitment to robust and legitimate argument from differing perspectives. Panellists are invited to appear on the basis of what we hope they will contribute to the programme and not who they may or may not represent.

However, I recognise your concerns about Mr Green's credibility and can assure you that your comments on this matter will be fully registered and made available to programme makers and indeed senior management within the BBC. Feedback of this nature helps us when making decisions about future BBC programmes and services and your views will most certainly play a part in this process.

Thank you again for taking the time to voice your concerns.


[J. C.]
BBC Information

So if you have a few seconds to spare, please write to the BBC.

Read more about Green's activities.

I find it amusing to note that my complaint was responded to by someone whose initials are JC...

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1 comment:

  1. I could not agree more. This 'minority' group although entitled to their view. Should be reflected as such, a minority group. And allowed some exposure in the media yes. But not so much as they have been getting.

    As they will not inform people of their numbers, only leads to the conclusion they are smaller than they appear.

    How many LGBT groups, Asian, Islamic and other such 'minority' groups have numbers reaching into the 1000s and don't get BBC coverage.


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