Ben Ward

December 26, 2008

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This raises serious questions about whether Channel 4 should receive an increased public subsidy for their programmes.

Conservative MP Mark Pritchard, via Ahmadinejad show 'causes offence' · BBC News

I think Conservative MP Mark Pritchard is a prick. I didn't watch President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Christmas address, but I think Channel 4 are brilliant for putting him on. At a time where cultural differences between nations are extended over a distance that most people will never travel, C4 do something to expose people to alternate world views and connect them to the personalities that are going to be involved in the next twenty years of international relations.

They make no judgement about whether what he says is right or wrong, they just exercise their right to free expression. That they are condemned for this by politicians, rather than Ahmadinejad be condemed for anything he said, says a great deal about the incompetence of politicians as communicators, their desire to get publicity through a media shitstorm rather than providing insight of substantive value and their pushing that Ahmadinejad should not be allowed to address British people suggests they don't like the idea of having to produce evidence of substance when they want to shoot him later on — it is of course much easier when they can just describe him as whatever they like unchallenged.

Seeing him, seeing that he's a human being, knowing how he sounds when he speaks. To see him, hear him and disagree with him through intellectual discourse and engagement is far more valuable to the populace of nations than slander from the political class. That politicians would rather not have the public engaged with the figures of the wider world suggests they are not up to the task of interacting a complex, multi-cultural society.

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