Spineless (or: If people should be able to say everything...)

...don't act surprised if they do.

What I am of course refering to is the new political climate in the Netherlands where apparently everybody should be able to say anything, write anything etc., whether or not it's true, is offensive etc. A good example is what recently happened on Dutch TV show "DWDD", where two chief editors of newspapers discussed their respective papers and columnists, and eventually started talking about which of the papers was reliable (or not).

At this point one of the hosts said this:

"Ik heb tal van voorbeelden van de onbetrouwbaarheid van de omitted. omitted is een van de grootste hypocrieten waarvan ik vernomen heb dat hij het voornamelijk met kleine kinderen doet. Ik heb er geen bewijs van, maar zo schrijft hij ook."
Which translates to:

"I have lots of examples of the omitted being unreliable. omitted is one of the biggest hypocrites of whom I've heard predominantly has sex with small children. I have no proof of this, but this is the way he writes."

Emphasis mine obviously. What happened was the inevitable shitstorm, where people conveniently ignored the but this is the way he writes part, and made it out to be an insult, the main host demanded an apology, which he sort of did get (only to be retracted the following morning), but I read it entirely different. It was little more than pointing out that omitted habitually writes things (and nasty ones at that) without any evidence to back up his claims. Granted, the example being used (pedosexuality) was a bad one, but if people actually believe omitted was accused of being a child molester, then they are even dumber than expected.

The rerun of the show later that night was edited, and the statement was removed, another news outlet who included an audio fragment was asked to remove it (which they did) and later on the whole thing was restored, including said fragment. And the next episode of the show the main host apologized profusely for what happened and told everybody the other host would not be coming back for the remainder of the season.

So, in conclusion:

If you have newspapers with columnists who think you can say whatever you like, don't act all shocked when people follow your example.
If you don't listen to what is actually being said, shut the fuck up.
Main host of said show? Try growing a pair of testicles, because I find you (and the producers of the show) severely lacking in backbone and moral fibre.
The sacked host? The example you used was probably not the best one imaginable, but you certainly were right. And whatever you do, keep that big mouth of yours open, and let no one silence you.

older  newer