Tuesday 24 February 2009

It's political incorrectness gone mad!

Perhaps (sorry, Newsnight) the thing that the BBC does best is CBeebies. It is pretty much worth the licence fee on its own. For this parent, there is quite a difference between advertless, educative BBC programming and all the other children's channels out there on the digibox.

I wrote some time back about how one of its unsung achievements is the subtle approach to disability awareness and integration of the brilliant Justin Fisher (aka Mr Tumble).

Mr Tumble is a particular hero: the way he introduces all toddlers to sign language in Something Special, almost certainly without anybody noticing, might be as good a model of integration as we have anywhere in our society.

So let's hope that can help everybody to keep the latest 'controversy' in in its place. Sarah Ismail, blogging on Liberal Conspiracy is rightly disturbed by the "One-armed presenter is scaring children, parents tell BBC" headline in the Daily Mail, and offers a cogent defence of the excellent Cerrie Burnell.

But its good to hear too that the Mail's online commenters are so strongly on the side of the presenter.

Perhaps the Mail can say its just reporting on the story, rather than seeking to fuel the controversy and its report does include the presenter herself and various disability groups space to challenge the (nine) vexatious complaints made about her. being allowed to present

But, come on Daily Mail, here is a great chance to do the right thing. Why not follow up your report with a thundering editorial challenging the daft complaints, which leaves nobody in any doubt that - like your readers - you have come down on the right side of this issue.

Why, you could even say the complaints were 'political incorrectness gone mad'!

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