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photographs include a grotesque computer-generated portrait of Chris Morris a shot of Tasscam Holiday promoter of Sutcliffe The Musical some of the cast of the musical dancing on a stage like girls and a neon billboard of Sutcliffe The Musical in the west end This story begins in mid-February when a national broadsheet newspaper ran an article disclosing that Chris Morriss Brass Eye series would contain a sketch where Peter Sutcliffe the Yorkshire Ripper was seen in a musical production of his own life Close to the end of the piece there is a one-sentence defence from Channel 4 which mentions that this sketch is part of a programme called Moral Decline and that it illustrates how society is obsessed with killers and how the sketch is intended as a spoof in the tradition of black humour But by then its too late By then it has been condemned as sick and tasteless An MP has condemned it A member of a TV pressure group has done the same Its official its sick Any media journalist will tell you that all you need for a good TV outrage story is a quote from an MP and a quote from a member of a pressure group It happens all the time The MP legitimises it and the spokesperson lends it the credibility and support of an organisation It takes just two calls You dont need to have seen the offensive material nor do they The writer of this story knew someone who acted in the Peter Sutcliffe sketch The MP almost certainly hadnt seen it since only Morris and his editor had access to it at that point and nor would the pressure group spokesperson This is common practice One newspaper routinely calls on the same three of four MPs to add fibre to its screaming headlines The MPs oblige as does a member of a pressure group Its a convenient recipe you
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