The Daily Mail is really trying very hard to stir up some outrage about Channel 4's broadcast of The Big Fat Quiz of the Year over Christmas (see: The Daily Mail's 'Big Fat' storm in a teacup).
Ofcom received just five complaints about the show. But the paper is keeping up the pressure today in the hope people who chose not to watch the programme might still care to complain about it.
To help get things moving, the paper has reproduced some "ANGER" from the comments thread beneath its online article (continues...)
However, a quick check of the Mail's own website reveals the level of desperation at play here. Take the comment by Imogen from Truro for example.
That is currently the worst rated reader comment on the Mail's story, as determined by the Mail's own system which allows readers to vote comments up or down using green or red arrows. The second comment, from Don't Tread On Me (probably not their real name) is the second worst rated comment:
And the barrel-scraping doesn't end there. In fact, ALL of the comments used by the Mail to support its argument have a negative rating on its own website - even Tommy from Edinburgh's sinister suggestion that the entertainers concerned should be 'got rid of'.
Look, here's Duncan from Douglas and Audrey from York, and the person calling themselves telmac1 - with more red arrows than a Jubilee weekend:
Of course, the Mail couldn't very well publish the best rated comments from its own website, because they look a little like this:
And even this...
The Mail clearly wants to make life awkward for Channel 4 and old foe Jonathan Ross and ultimately seems intent on seeing increased censorship of the media (except for the Daily Mail, obviously).
In 2011 Jonathan Ross, whose Hotsauce production company is indeed behind the Big Fat Quiz of the Year, branded Daily Mail journalists "noxious human beings" and "insincere hypocrites".
"They are not people I respect and I can't see how they can have any respect for themselves," the presenter added.
That followed the controversy in 2008 when a prank call by Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand to actor Andrew Sachs - since called 'Sachsgate' - resulted in a couple of complaints to Ofcom. However, the number of complaints rose to more than 40,000 after tireless campaigning by the Daily Mail.
Clearly that is the benchmark for the Mail's latest claims of outrage. Urging its readers to complain, the Mail states:
"Ofcom... received five complaints [about Big Fat Quiz of the Year], but that number could quickly grow – in Sachsgate, an initial two complaints rose to nearly 45,000."
But hopefully this time around Ofcom has the good sense to ignore any complaints stirred by the Mail's campaign rather than the airing of the broadcast itself.
Nobody tuning in for The Big Fat Quiz of the Year will have been shocked to discover Jimmy Carr tells rude jokes or Jack Whitehall is prone to obscenity. If there was any lingering doubt about the content of the show then the fact it was aired in its entirety after the 9pm watershed is a well understood indication that there may be adult themes or language that some viewers may find offensive.
As such, those likely to be offended no doubt exercised their right to switch off or change channel.
Hence there were so few complaints.
(Hat tip to Warren Chrismas).