BBC’s Newsnight really has descended to a new low, blasts ROSS CLARK BBC’s Newsnight really has descended to a new low, blasts ROSS CLARK APPARENTLY I am a latent rapist, held back from lunging at women on the ­London Underground thanks only to a weak code of social conduct. PUBLISHED: 08:01, Fri, Nov 3, 2017 | UPDATED: 10:18, Fri, Nov 3, 2017
I learned this on Wednesday’s Newsnight. Though I hate to give the programme a plug, it is worth watching on iPlayer if you didn’t catch it just to see for yourself the depths to which a once-serious programme has sunk.
But it isn’t just the BBC. All week we have had activists and the Twitter mob trying to whip up mass hysteria over sexual abuse and poisoning relations between men and women in the process.
The programme began with a clip of Sir Michael Fallon’s resignation for the indiscretion – for this alone, as far as we are aware – of touching a woman’s knee 15 years ago. It then tried to conflate this with genuine sexual assault by featuring the experiences of three women, one of whom had been raped and another of whom had been in an abusive relationship.
The programme then attempted to lay the charge of sexual assault on men more generally by cutting to a series of clips of baying male animals, including zebras, gorillas and elephants, and a voiceover which implied that all men are genetically-programmed through evolution to be beastly towards women. Black widow spiders, for some reason, were not featured. BBC BBC Newsnight presenters Emily Maitlis and Evan Davies Related articles Sexual abuse is ‘endemic’ within Labour claims a Party staffer Issue of sexual abuse has been hijacked
Finally the cameras panned around the Newsnight studio where a serious-looking Evan Davies and Emily Maitlis sat on stools next to a logo reading: “The problem with men”. We were then introduced to a rather pathetic “jury” of men who were invited to review the failings of their own sex.
It was 20 minutes of self-loathing. “We have to have a complete rethink,” said one sorrowful middle-aged man.
“I don’t understand why it is appropriate to touch somebody when you are having a laugh and a joke with them,” said an earnest young man, earning him a pat on the back – metaphorical of course – from one or two others in the audience.
Genuine sexual assault is of course a serious criminal offence. But to equate it with everyday social contact – a shoulder nudge here, a pat on the arm there – is verging on collective madness. My wife asked me yesterday what I thought the next generation would think of it all. I said I wasn’t sure there will be a next generation unless it is produced by test tube. GETTY ‘It was 20 minutes of self-loathing,’ writes Ross Clark
Under the new strictures of social contact that some are trying to force on us, it will be impossible to initiate any kind of physical relationship. According to Newsnight’s poll three per cent of the population now think it is sexual harassment simply to ask someone out for a drink.
What began five years ago with the revelations of Jimmy Savile’s abuse has evolved into a bizarre moral panic involving the entire male population.
To imply, as Newsnight seemed to do, that men are somehow all naturally inclined to sexual abuse, and therefore collectively responsible for it, is outrageous sexism but that term is never used when the targets are male.
You can imagine the justified outrage that would follow if Newsnight broadcast an edition carrying the words, “The problem with women”, and went on to assert that women are less successful in the workplace because evolution has conditioned them to be submissive. The entire BBC board would have to resign but yet it would merely be the mirror image of what Newsnight put out on Wednesday.
The whole issue of sexual abuse has become hijacked for political purposes. Unless there is something much more sinister about Fallon’s past behaviour which has yet to emerge, his resignation is absurd – the very word used by his “victim”, journalist Julia Hartley-Brewer. Harvey Weinstein: Who are the actresses accusing Harvey Weinstein? Wed, October 11, 2017 Harvey Weinstein has been accused of rape and sexual harassment by more than a dozen women including Angelina Jolie and Gwyneth Paltrow. Here are the actresses accusing Harvey Weinstein?