State owned broadcaster BBC2 have just produced a ‘comedy’ segment called Real Housewives of ISIS.
It is part of a programme appropriately called Revolting. The sketch itself is patently dreary and not funny at all. It mocks the very sick trend of individuals seeking to purchase wives as human chattel on line. In this case they are lured by ISIS terrorists to live in parts of the Middle East under ISIS control.
Unlike many, I have said that I am quite the opposite of a free speech absolutist, let alone a free speech fanatic. I believe in the full and unequivocal right to political free speech, but like millions around the world, I believe certain immoral and vulgar publications and images should be kept away from the general public.
That being said, this ‘comedy’ sketch is just so loathsome, it would seem like censoring it would be a waste of visual redaction. The sketch serves to normalise the most barbaric gang of savage monsters the world has seen in centuries and simultaneously makes light of the fact that vulnerable and uneducated women are susceptible to the perverse recruitment methods ISIS use online.
Of course, in war time, any enemy can and should be not only criticised and exposed but also mocked. I have mocked ISIS many times myself, but not in a way which humanises them or unconsciously pardons their crimes against humanity.
Mocking an enemy is an important way to keep morale buoyant during an extended conflict. But it is also important that when mocking barbarians like ISIS, one must never lose sight of the fact that ISIS and their fellow travellers represent pure evil which must be stopped. These people may be insane and there are often cartoonish elements to certain varieties of madness, but ultimately these people are dangerous.
Such a programme is symptomatic of a BBC culture that is totally out of touch with ordinary people in contemporary society. The BBC fat-cats living off generous state-funding derived from a regressive tax cannot seem to even produce a news item which accurately reflects the realities of the war in Syria. All they’d need to do is ask Eva Bartlett or Tom Duggan what actual Syrians feel about the terrorists destroying their lives and the government trying to rid the terrorists from their great cities.
But the BBC would prefer to rely on terrorist accomplices like The White Helmets or pundits sitting in 5 star hotel rooms in Beirut, rather than actually speaking with real Syrians, let alone the brave journalists who have been on the ground in formerly terrorist occupied territories like East Aleppo.
But they won’t do the job of real journalists as the truth about Syria does not fit the official agenda of the state broadcaster. Perhaps Vladimir Putin should make an official complaint about this propaganda…but then again, unlike political leaders in the west, he has far more important things to do…like actually helping Syria to fight terrorism.