Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

Ross and Russ: what a fuss!

Posted in Broadcasting and Media, News and that by Adam Westbrook on October 29, 2008

Of the 50 or so blog entries which popped up when I opened my Google Reader this evening, there’s one topic which everyone’s got their two cents on. It’s what the Mirror is calling Manuel-gate.

Who’d have thought a prank phone call would shove the Recession, the U.S. elections and an unfolding humanitarian disaster to the sidelines.

But that’s clearly what everyone wants to talk out. I think because it’s something we’ve all got a strong opinion on.

As for me? Well, I’ve found throughout the last couple of days my opinion has swung back and forth. First I found the audio rather funny. Then I revelled in glee at the thought the Jonathan Ross might get his ¬£18m salary decimated (I still hope that happens). Then I felt angry at all the MPs who’ve stuck their nose and their opinions in, and back in favour of Russ and Ross. Then I felt I bit sad for Andrew Sachs who clearly is a bit overwhelmed by it all (he’s also lined himself up for Most Boring Man UK title). And back again feeling annoyed a good radio show has been pulled.

Sachs doesn’t seem that upset, more bemused. He, after all, built his career on what could be seen as a racist stereotype.

In order to have an opinion¬† on this you first need to listen to the whole thing, something 17,988 of the 18,000 people who complained haven’t done.

(part one)

I’m still undecided. Here’s what some other people think:

Chris Doidge raises some interesting points about what our language limits are.

Rod McKenzie points out the different responses from different generations.

Charlie Beckett at Polis reports on a speech by the shadow culture secretary, Jeremy Hunt.

Ooooh what av I dun??!

Ooooh what 'av I dun??!

Incidentally, if you’re reading this outside the UK, I’m very sorry. You won’t have a clue what all this is about!

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That Russell Brand speech in full

Posted in News and that by Adam Westbrook on September 8, 2008

So old Russer hosty-wosted the MTV VMA’s last night, despite being a virtual unknown Stateside. Caused a few upsets though, mixing sex and politics, when we know only Sarah Palin’s daughter’s allowed to do that.

Enough wise-cracks from me, here’s what the man with the massive mullet said:

On the US elections:

“As a representative of the global community, a visitor from abroad, I don’t want to come across a little bit biased, but could I please ask of you, people of America, please elect Barack Obama, please, on behalf of the world.

“Some people, I think they’re called racists, say America is not ready for a black president.

“But I know America to be a forward thinking country because otherwise why would you have let that retard and cowboy fella be president for eight years.

“We were very impressed. We thought it was nice of you to let him have a go, because, in England, he wouldn’t be trusted with a pair of scissors.”

On Sarah Palin’s daugher Bristol:

“That is the safe sex message of all time. Use a condom or become a Republican!”

On himself:

“…a little sex once and a while never hurt anybody.”

“I’m famous in the United Kingdom. My persona don’t really work without fame. Without fame, this haircut could be mistaken for mental illness.”

Meanwhile at the other end of the country, another Brit was making a big impression in America. Misery guts Andy Murray got through to the final of the US Open. Very cool. But incidentally I was talking to people on the street in the UK today and the phrase “couldn’t give a toss” was an oft repeated one.

I wonder then, which Brit made the biggest impression on the US of A last night?

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