Thursday, January 21, 2010

BBC Rejects FOIA for
'Kill Gay Ugandans?' Files

Gays around the globe were outraged in December when the editors at the British Broadcasting Corporation posed an online question: Should Uganda debate executing gays? It was incredibly difficult to think any respectable mainstream media outlet would seriously question a country considering executing Jews or blacks or other minorities, but the BBC's gay-related angle showed just how worthless gay lives can be at times to ratings- and online traffic-driven news editors.

I filed a UK Freedom of Information Act request with the BBC in December for any files on what led to the question popping up on their debate page. Since the debate wasn't proper news reporting, nor did it involve the gathering of facts, I thought the FOIA would apply without any exemptions. I was wrong.

As you can see in the reply from the broadcaster's FOIA office, they're claiming exemption because what I've requested pertains to "journalism, art or literature."

Oh, please give me a break. The debate was far from journalism. It was a naked homophobic effort to create a controversy and attract eyeballs and traffic. The rejection is BBC-speak for "we royally messed up and will do all we can to prevent transparency that would show how we arrived at our dumb debate decision."

Here is the BBC's letter:

No comments: