CORRESPONDENCErnLetter FromrnEnglandrnbv Derrick TurnerrnTelevision’s Taste TerroristsrnBritish tclex’ision, like television almostrneverywhere, is dominated by left-wingersrnmasquerading as liberals. As a consequence,rnBritish television often denigratesrnthose traditions and institutionsrnheld in most affection by the indigenousrninhabitants of this country. In the interstices,rnit finds time to celebrate and promoterneverything that is not British, or atrnany rate not integrally British, such asrn”documentaries” vindicating various badrnthings. To take two particulady bad examples,rnthere was a famously biased BBCrnprogram called Deafh on the Rock, whichrncriticized British security forces for defendingrnthemselves against IRA terrorists,rnand thereby earned the BBC thernundying disrespect of all Unionists. In arnpart-mawkish, part-splenetic programrncalled Justice for joy, leftists attackedrnBritain’s already overgentle deportationrnprocedures and hinted that there shouldrnbe no immigration controls, by using JoyrnGardiner—a Jamaican who outstayedrnher isa by eight years, ignored three requestsrnto leave the country, and thenrndied inopportunely while she was bitingrna policemen—as an exemplar of saintlikernwomanhood, and as a svmbol of outragedrn”human dignity” and inalienablernimmigrant “rights.”rnAlthough there are many worthy tele-rn’ision programs, too much broadcastingrntime is taken up by films legitimizing violencernor sexual perersion, by chat andrngame shows, deliberately multiculturalrnchildren’s programs, social-realist soaprnoperas gritty with typical working-classrnlesbian intellectuals with mathematicsrndegrees, confessional and sermonizingrnprograms of different kinds, trashy comedies,rnemotive depictions and impertinentrnexaminations of what should bernpriate, doctored news bulletins andrnexcitable talking heads who jump tornconclusions and would like to involvernBritain in every war, every movement ofrnrefugees, every famine, every plague, everyrnearthquake, every human rightsrnabuse, e er’ political or religious controversyrnin the world. I am sure this descriptionrnwill sound familiar to civilizedrnAmericans.rnThese tendencies are especially noticeablernon Channel 4, one of Britain’srnindependent channels. Some examplesrnof recent programs give the general flavorrn—Dyke TV, for the gratification ofrnmilitant lesbians (the programmer concernedrnis herself one of the sorority);rnDrugs R Us; Hookers, Hustlers, Pimps andrnTheir Johns; Dusky Sapphos; Silent Porn.rnAlthough Channel 4 was set up to caterrnto minority tastes, and although they alsornshow many fine programs and avantgardernfilms that would not be shownrnelsewhere, Channel 4’s programmersrnseem ovedv concerned with those seamyrnand sordid things that should either notrnbe discussed at all, or only with greatrncare.rnThis process has been going on sincernChannel 4’s inception. Its previous programrndirector was once editrix of thernleft-wing newspaper, the Guardian. Shernis now managing director of BBC Radio,rnwhich shows that “Auntie” is not far behind.rnTo take just one example, BBC 2rntelevision has just begun —aytime TV,rnwhich, editor Neil Crombie promises,rnwill “be so glamorous and exciting thatrnstraight people will love it too.” ThernBBC has always been regarded as “Red,”rnand it seems to be still true (although thernBBC is always outraged whenever anybodyrnpoints it out). But some enthusiastsrndo not think the BBC is left-wingrnenough; the ghastly Janet Street-Porter,rnformer director of youth programming atrnthe BBC, recently said that television executivesrnwere all “male, middle-class andrnmediocre,” and asked why “those withrn’willies'” predominated in the industry.rnAll in all, conservatives should not,rnand most do not, expect much from therntelevision screen. But a recent episode ofrnThe Word, a “yoof” program on Channelrn4, must have surprised even many blasernright-wingers. The Word (possibly inadvertently)rnfosters eerything that tendsrntoward social dissolution. It glorifies minorit-rnaspirations (at any rate, the onesrnwhich conflict with majority aspirations),rneven to the extent of deliberatelyrnhiring presenters with strong regional accentsrnor unusual tastes. One presenterrnwas a bald lesbian from Newcastle with arnstrong Geordie accent. The less standardrnor middle English, the better, so farrnas The Word is concerned.rnPrevious episodes of The Word havernfeatured a performer named “Mr. Powertool,”rnwho pulls people across the roomrnby means of a rope attached to his genitalia,rnand “Santa Glaus” vomiting over arnchild. Encouraged by the ratings occasionedrnby “Mr. Powertool” and Co., ThernWord’s writers decided to introduce anrneven better viewer attraction. Althoughrnthe program’s audience is a generallyrn”right-on” group, this did not protectrnthem from the contempt of the producersrnwho deliberately released the contentsrnof a colostomy bag all over themrnwhile they were laughing.rnThis occasioned much hostile pressrncoverage, even from normally blandrnnewspapers like the Times, none ofrnwhich, however, had any effect onrnMichael Grade, the chief executive ofrnChannel 4. “I am in no way answerablernto the public,” he said when challenged.rnHe feels only contempt for the BroadcastingrnStandards Council, whom he hasrndescribed as “highly unrepresentative,rnmiddle-aged, middle-class busybody dogooders”rn—a description reminiscent ofrnStreet-Porter and which might, withrnequal justice, be applied to Grade himselfrn(except, of course, that he is instinctivelyrnlower-class). Only the Guardianrnstood up for Grade and Channel 4, andrnsaid that it didn’t matter if older peoplernwere offended, as they were not one ofrnthe minorities being catered for. Onlyrncertain groups deserve consideration,rnafter all, and society at large deservesrnnone whatever.rnWhat next for television’s schlockandrnsleaze-merchants? Every descentrninto baseness must be succeeded by another,rneven lower descent in order forrnmomentum to be maintained. Afterrncondoms, vomit, and bags of excrementrnha’e fully penetrated popular culture, wernarc almost inevitably bound for guts. Wernalready have horror films full of gore, andrnprograms showing hospital operations;rnwe are really getting too close to thern”snuff movie.” In a world where truthrnhas been inverted, where evil has becomerngood, where male has become fe-rnMAY 1996/31rnrnrn