Some Contradiction Here I Think …

The main item on Today’s 7 am news was to the effect that “Peter Halliday is to be sentenced today after pleading guilty to abusing choirboys over a period of five years. But the Church of England knew that he had admitted the offences 17 years ago.” An in-depth report (RealAudio) follwed at 7.35.

Now it’s not unreasonable that they should be reporting such things, although the prominent billing is probably because the story is a Today exclusive.

But what’s this item at 7.15 ?

“Academics have uncovered a book written by a man who could well be considered the first advocate for gay rights (RealAudio). We speak to Dr Hal Gladfelder of Manchester University.”

John Humphrys even invited Dr Gladfelder, author of such seminal works as “Plague Spots: Deviance and the Body in the Writings of John Cleland” to give a potted history of homosexual rights in the UK, interrupting Dr Gladfelder at the mention of Roy Jenkins with the enthusiastic comment ‘that great reforming Home Secretary !‘.

The actual document discovered by Dr Gladfelder is called ‘Ancient and Modern Pederasty Investigated and Exemplified’. It is available to Project Muse subscribers.

Perhaps the BBC, so exercised by people who abuse choirboys without criminal sanction, should check out the definition of ‘pederasty‘.

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24 Responses to Some Contradiction Here I Think …

  1. DennisTheMenace says:

    Spot on Laban – the instinctive ‘doublethink’ of the BBC is often breathtaking coupled to its arrogance and disdain for the general public.

    On the other hand if the religion involved in the report was —- lets say one sourced from Mecca, then it would be OK with the BBC and non-controversial?

    Khomeini’s Teachings on sex with infants:

    “A man can have sexual pleasure from a child as young as a baby. However, he should not penetrate. If he penetrates and the child is harmed then he should be responsible for her subsistence all her life. This girl, however would not count as one of his four permanent wives. The man will not be eligible to marry the girl’s sister.”

    The complete Persian text of this saying can be found in “Ayatollah Khomeini in Tahrirolvasyleh, Fourth Edition, Darol Elm, Qom”


  2. Lawney says:

    Linking these two stories is ridiculous.
    So the word “pederasty” was used in an 18th century text. What has that got to do with a choirmaster abusing boys in the 1980s and the church covering it up?


  3. Little Black Sambo says:

    The link is presumably that the same practice is either acceptable, if it is reported from an approved Gay Rights source, or “abuse” if practised by a choirmaster, scoutmaster, etc. (Cf the simultaneous turning a blind eye to the smoking of cannabis, and the fanatical pursuit of tobacco-smokers.)


  4. TheCuckoo says:

    I’m struggling to see how this demonstrates bias (or anything else, for that matter).

    The acedemic study of gay rights might be what some people find interesting. Personally, I don’t, but that’s just me.

    How could they have linked a 285-year-old book with the story of a modern day abuser? How tenuous can the link be before it snaps?

    Because the book has only just come to light, it is impossible for it to have had any effect on the practices of modern-day abusers – therefore, no link.

    The only way I could imagine that this could be perceived as bias would be if the Peter Halliday story was supressed, or treated irreverently, but that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    I’m sorry folks, but I just don’t see this one.


  5. deegee says:

    It’s not impossible that pederasty had a wider meaning, encompassing all forms of male(?) homosexuality, in 1749.

    It is also not unusual for the Media to condemn certain acts (as slaughtering sheep at home) and in the next breath applaud it as an example of multicultural diversity (Blue Peter). It’s not even necessarily bias – different journalists from different departments submit unconnected reports.

    Perhaps not on the same level of seriousness. I remember an Australian commercial newsreader reading a report that Councils have stopped watering public gardens due to severe drought. Sydney citizens would have to get used to dirt instead of grass and flowers. Then he interviewed the Head Gardener of Sydney City and complimented him and his staff (off-the-cuff?) for the wonderful way they keep the City green despite the drought. 🙂


  6. Archonix says:

    No, the meaning of pederasty has always been very narrow as far as I know. So what this means is that we have the BBC condemning a kiddy-diddler with one hand and praising to high heaven a text that would be at home at the headquarters NAMBLA with the other. If it’s not bias then it’s definitely inconsistent…


  7. Greencoat says:

    The link is quite clear: the BBC condemning pederasty when it involves the CoE, thus providing (in their eyes)a convenient anti-Christian angle.

    But – perfectly relaxed about pederasty when it is promoted/advertised from an ‘academic’ or ‘reforming’ angle.

    Nicely spotted.


  8. Hettie says:

    Those who failed to see the link might have not checked out the weblink at the end of the article.

    Wikipedia says:
    “In modern academic parlance, “pederasty” is used as a generic term which includes the cultural phenomenon of erotic relationships between men and adolescent boys, wherever encountered.”



  9. meggoman says:

    Just wondered if this ever appeared on the BBC news.


  10. Lawnie says:

    Some of you lot are out of your minds. You’re more concerned about whether the BBC is biased than you are about young boys being abused.
    The victims in this case are real people! Get lives, please.


  11. Jon says:

    meggoman: Don’t remember seeing that report on the BBC!!!


  12. Biodegradable says:

    You’re more concerned about whether the BBC is biased than you are about young boys being abused.

    This blog is called Biased BBC.

    Get it?


  13. IQ says:

    Some of you lot are out of your minds. You’re more concerned about whether the BBC is biased than you are about young boys being abused.

    But this is a BBC Biased web site, so the analysis of BBC output and whether it’s biased or not is more of a concern (or should that be, more in focus?) than the abuse of boys. I’m fairly confident most here are disgusted by the reported abuse, but some are similarly disgusted that such a story might be being used for the BBC’s own agenda.


  14. mick in the uk says:

    Ann Cryer tried to get a Keighley imman charged with child abuse a few years back.
    The police said it was not in the public interest to proceed.

    This was not sexual abuse, it was whipping kids with electrical flex.

    On second thoughts, maybe it was sexual.


  15. archonix says:

    Would that the BBC was genuinely concerned for these kids. Their contradictory attitude to two different manifestations of the same problem demonstrate that they don’t give a damn.


  16. John Gentle says:

    Lawnie – Biased BBC. Do you have any comment relevant to this issue? I ask this as a reader of this site who’s completely against child abuse. Surely you must agree that your allegations were completely unwarranted.


  17. Jonathan Miller says:

    Those who think the stories are unrelated should perhaps read an extract from the text:

    “Eumolpus at first thinks of the boy as a passive object of desire and over three nights he vows to Venus that if, while the boy sleeps, she allows Eumolpus first to kiss, then touch, then “enjoy” him, he will give the boy a series of more and more extravagant gifts. The reader, however, knows that the boy only feigns sleep. On the second night, “The sweet Youngster hearing what I bid for the Joy, moves Insensibly towards me, afraid, I suppose, of my falling asleep in Reality: But I quickly reassure him, and slide my Hand over his delicious Body: ’till grasping Love’s Bolt, [I] spurt myself away, plunging in a Gulph of unutterable Delight” (45). The next morning, Eumolpus observes on the face of the boy “a new Soul-stealing Desire, raised by my rambling Touches, [which] makes itself felt within and diffuses over him a Strength of Lustre beyond Description” (46). Although he only recognizes it retrospectively, Eumolpus has by this point ceded the dominant desiring role to the boy, who at the story’s comic denouement so wearies his older lover that the latter threatens to tell all to the boy’s father if the boy does not let him sleep.”

    So in fact the BBC have just put a positive spin on a document that celebrates child abuse.
    Perhaps John Humphrys should ask the victims of the recent case to comment on the extract above?


  18. Block 813 says:

    “Some of you lot are out of your minds. You’re more concerned about whether the BBC is biased than you are about young boys being abused.”

    LOL…thats bloody pathetic…..this is the BIASED BBC Site…….a place to discuss BBC Bias….not ittle boys…

    Get a life…….you only used your last retort as you had no other, and had lost the argument….but even you now see the link, so just admit you are wrong, and hang your head in shame…..

    You said “where is the link” to bias, they showed you, so you tried to change the subject to hide your embarassment and being prooved wrong again…lolol…Too Easy.


  19. Joe says:

    The reason its biased is because its not about Muslims. You see posters here think its biased not to attack Islam at every opportunity and reveal it to be the ‘wicked, vicious faith’ they think it is.
    Who’s biased?


  20. DennisTheMenace says:

    Joe | Homepage | 28.04.07 – 3:29 pm

    Aah, Joe, Joe Joe — what shall we do with you.

    I have rarely seen anyone on this blog advocate attacking Islam or any other religion, faith, belief system or other ideologies. No matter how strong the disagreement.

    What most blog contributors do demand, however, is fairness and balance in reporting, content and context from the BBC — the same rules and morality for all — no equivocation, excuses or allowances.

    Bad is Bad
    Good is Good

    Its very simple, really, believe me.

    Surely the BBC should stand for something, if it doesn’t it stands for everything and therefore by default nothing (to paraphrase G. K. Chesterton) ???

    BTW, what’s with the odd homepage link, is it supposed to be significant in some manner?


  21. Joe says:

    “Surely the BBC should stand for something, if it doesn’t it stands for everything and therefore by default nothing” – So you dont actually want the BBC to be unbiased?

    What the BBC stands for is in the public domain, if you would care to have a look at their website.


  22. AntiCitizenOne says:

    The BBC stands for jailing people that refuse to pay a tax for a product that is actively harmful to them.

    Extortion funded Broadcasting is an abomination.


  23. Bryan says:

    “Surely the BBC should stand for something, if it doesn’t it stands for everything and therefore by default nothing” – So you dont actually want the BBC to be unbiased?

    Actually this is the very first comment that Joe has made that is not an illogical, childish attack on the ability and character of the people who contribute to this site.

    So I guess it’s worth a brief answer. The BBC prides itself on its “impartialiy” and sees itself as always adopting the middle ground in any conflict. But in fact by and large it approaches world events with an agenda set in stone.

    In fact it might be instructive to have a look at the vast gulf between the BBC’s image of itself and what it actually is. As an example, the BBC sees itself as taking the middle ground between terror and the victims of terror. Apart from the fact that there is no middle ground here, if you think about it, the BBC actually leans more towards sympathy and support for terrorists than concern for their victims. Look, for example at how BBC hacks report on Hezbollah, Hamas, the Taleban, Chechnya and Iran.

    A lot of that reporting resembles the excitement of groupies at a rock concert who’ve made it backstage to talk to the band.


  24. Fabio P.Barbieri says:

    Anyway, the book in question is exploitative nonsense. Anyone familiar with eighteenth-century publishing (which, I grant you, is a somewhat minority pursuit) knows that books with scholarly titles such as “Modern pederasty explain’d” were nothing more than the period’s version of pornography. The very idea of “gay rights” was an absurdity; these minimally learned products, laced with gossip and lies, served to shock and titillate the public. Well, you might say that the difference with the BBC is that Grub Street publishers did not demand payment from every household in the kingdom as of right. But to present it as “the first advocate of Gay Rights” is deleterious nonsense. Apart from anything else, one might pick any one of twenty titles published at the same time, with the same subject, and make the same claim. The academic who abused his position by publishing this nonsense is worthy of the admiration the BBC gives him; they are birds of a feather.