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back to article Watchdog backs Top Gear in war with Mexico

Broadcasting watchdog Ofcom has ruled that comments by the presenters of Top Gear, at the expense of "lazy, feckless" Mexicans, were "justified by the context". Back in January, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May incurred the wrath of the "world leader in the fields of refried bean cuisine, high-level corruption and …

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"Justified by the context"?

The context being that they were trying to be funny and completely failing? You could justify almost anything by that...

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Anonymous Coward

Not a very funny joke.....

....and definately a little rude, but Ofcom are right, you know what you're getting with Top Gear, and shouldnt take them too serously.

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JDX
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A rare victory for common sense over Political Correctness

<claps>

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I know your problem

You read the Daily Mail too much. Maybe you should those "political correctness gone mad" stories right to the very end. Most of the time there is a disclaimer buried in the last paragraph confirming everything up to that point was bullshit, grossly distorted or justified by facts only grudgingly just mentioned.

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remove the title requirement

"Given the audience's likely familiarity with the presenters' "mocking, playground-style humour", Ofcom suggested the majority of viewers "would therefore be likely to have understood that the comments were being made for comic effect"."

I like Top Gear, I get the humour, but this was a totally ignorant comment.

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**Breaking News**

"Humour can frequently cause offence. However, Ofcom considers that to restrict humour only to material which does not cause offence would be an unnecessary restriction of freedom of expression."

Ofcom in outbreak of sanity? Who'd of thunked?

However, I think that also means Ofcom didn't find Tramadol Nights funny, but then neither did many people.

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not funny?

Yes it was. If it wasn't true, half of the US would be Mexico as the Spainiards were the first europeans to explore west of the mississippi river. It was monumentally stupid of them to sell usz all of that land!

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Ignorance is bliss

The Mexicans didn't exactly have a choice. Mexico City was occupied by the US at the time.

Taking the other side in this story got Absolut into trouble a couple of years back: http://bigthink.com/ideas/21316

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The above

Shadowfirebird and AC, this is exactly what ofcom ruled on (that comedy does not fit everyone.) Your tastes are not that of which the humour was being directed at. If you stopped all comedy that offended someone/anyone then all comedy would stop.

I do not watch TG regularly (seen one or two now and again) and even I know what type of humour to expect and that that humour is not in any way directed to cause offense.

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@ragarath

I *do* watch TC regularly (and enjoy it) and I thought that the Mexican "jokes" were pathetic.

Of course, you're right in that you can always find someone to be offended at any attempt of humour, regardless of the quality.

But my point was simply this: ruling that the jokes were acceptable because in the context of a show where people make tasteless jokes, is a stupidly broad excuse.

You might as well say that Hitler was justified to invade europe in the context of his being a power-mad dictator. This is true -- but no help at all.

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Re: If you stopped all comedy that offended someone/anyone then all comedy would stop

Does this apply to caricatures of deities too?

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Headmaster

@Shadowfirebird

GODWIN!

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FAIL

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

"You might as well say that Hitler was justified to invade europe in the context of his being a power-mad dictator. This is true -- but no help at all."

Yes because Hitler invading western europe is very comparable to a bunch of middle aged blokes telling bad jokes about Mexicans....

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Dammit - beaten to the Godwin!

Kudos...

I'm sure there's a clause in the law which states that the use of the hitler word entitles you to ignore the entire dialog of the author.

Which I shall now do.

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Happy

It hardly took but a momment

Godwin's Law proven once again.

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WTF?

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

I sincerely hope that whoever voted me down was doing so with a sense of irony *rolling eye smiley*

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Title? Huh?

Maybe they were just upset that you forgot to mention that eastern europe had a bit of invading done to it too? =P

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IT Angle

Good decision

I like that the decision shows some common sense.

As a TG fan though, the Mexican diatribe was a bit unusual and out of place. Controversial banter is normal for them, but the Mexican piece was so contrived and vitriolic it was like they were just seeking controversy rather than anything else.

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Really?

"but the Mexican piece was so contrived and vitriolic it was like they were just seeking controversy rather than anything else"

... which is pretty much what they do all the time. Didn't seem to me to be any more "vitriolic" or controversial than saying a Renault was a "Cheese-eating Surrender Monkey" of a car. Or characterising the Australians they were hosting as a bunch of convicts for that matter.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheese-eating_surrender_monkeys

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Vic
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Re: Good decision

> the Mexican piece was so contrived and vitriolic

It was exceptionally poor writing.

Nothing to get worked up about, though, unless you were the one paying the script writers...

Vic.

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Its not all good though

I have been waiting 6 months for a VW Golf (built in Mexico) I suspect since the TG episode, the "lazy, feckless" Mexicans are on a go slow for anything to be shipped to TG viewers.

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"like sick with cheese on it"

Sorry to all commentads above, but that did make me laugh. Out loud. In the office.

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Pint

dont apologise

dont apologise for finding something funny... that's how we got in this mess with political correctness gone mad anyway....

"I my not like your joke, but I defend your right to tell it"

Bernard Manning in an interview said "Every joke will offend somebody somewhere. but nobody will be offended at every joke. So the jokes you are offended by or dislike, consider them a tax against the ones you do find funny"

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WTF?

What are they eating?

I just didn't get it at all. Do motorheads typically vomit solid, crunchy, triangles?

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I thought

the crappy nacho things sat on top of the sick

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21st century Jim Davidson

Not quite as odious but exactly as unfunny, exactly as tiresome and exactly as past their sell-by date. Time to call it quites, beeb.

Go on then, downvote me for holding a different opinion to yours.

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Err!

Isn't that the whole point of up/down voting?

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Anonymous Coward

Given that...

Given that in 2009, Top Gear was drawing viewing figures of 7 to 7.5 million per episode, and in 2010 (allegedly) even more, I'd suggest that there are more than 7 million people who think that Top Gear is not tiresome, past its sell by date or that it's time to call it quits.

I'm not going to down vote you, however I don't see why I shouldn't given that surely the system is there to express users feelings that they agree or disagree with you? Surely if you hold a different opinion to and disagree with a comment, then you should down vote it, that's what the damn thing is there for.

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FAIL

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

call it "quites" what? Not "quites" funny? Not "quites" making any sense?

So you don't like Top Gear.. *shrug* plenty of people do... Not every episode of any TV show is gonna be gold, you don't junk a winning show simply because of a bad episode.

I don't understand the lack of perspective shown around this issue.

Its not like there's anything important going on so I suppose we have to whinge about something eh?

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typical

feckless, lazy bone idle downvoters, prolly asleep against a fence with blanket with a hole in it for a coat etc etc etc

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Anonymous Coward

Strange request...

"Go on then, downvote me for holding a different opinion to yours."

Happy to oblige though...

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I wish to register a complaint

"Not quite as odious but exactly as unfunny, exactly as tiresome and exactly as past their sell-by date. Time to call it quites, beeb."

Dear Register,

I find Mr Code Monkey's comments offensive to my personal religion - a major tenet of which is the freedom to watch buffoons prat about on TV whenever one feels the need. To that end his call for one of the few remaining sources of overblown buffoonery on television is particularly offensive to people of my beliefs. I would appreciate it if you could refer this to the "powers that be" and have him removed forthwith or at least a full page retraction printed in the Times.

Yours Sincerely

Someone with a very very thin skin who should probably just get over it.

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I was saving them

I've been saving downvotes for commentards I thought were being an arse.

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Round of applause for IsJustabloke...

...who's never done a typo in his life

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I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

I thank you ;-)

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FAIL

Pot, Kettle

You mock his 'quites'. WTF is gonna?

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Re the Point of Voting

If someone manages to work out the point of up/down-voting, would they please let me know? At the moment it seems like just a way of not having to articulate an opinion. They're like convenient knee-jerk buttons: you don't have to know quite *why* you dis/agree. They're just right/wrong, dammit!

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Unhappy

International image

Great. The world, apparently, used to think of the British as being gentlemen. Now they think we are just a bunch of boorish tossers. Thanks Top Gear.

The French, apparently, used to call us the "roast beefs", because we ate roast beef. Now they just call us the "f**k offs", because all we ever say is "f**k off".

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Anonymous Coward

Oh, so tempting

so very, very tempting...

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WTF?

I refuse to enoble a simple forum post!

good grief....

its a fucking TV show not an expression of national pride.

get a grip you fool.

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Vic
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re: International image

> Now they think we are just a bunch of boorish tossers

Pretty accurate, then, in the main...

Look around you. Most of the people you meet in the street are not the reincarnation of Wilde...

Vic.

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That should be a source of national pride

It's an incredibly difficult linguistic feat pronouncing asterisks like that!

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no title

"Great. The world, apparently, used to think of the British as being gentlemen. Now they think we are just a bunch of boorish tossers. Thanks Top Gear."

Wow - seriously?

If anyone made a value judgement on the entire British population based on Top Gear then I dont really care what they think of the UK... Their opinions are so warped they really dont matter.

Obviously in the case of the cheese eating surrender monkeys calling the British "Roast Beefs" because some people eat it is just as incorrect as calling us "f**k offs" which is just as incorrect as calling them "cheese eating surrender monkeys."

Banter is international. Getting upset about it is pointless.

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Sir

Was round at my wife's friends' house for drinks the other week, and to top the evening off she offered us a 'fu-coffee'.

Made me chuckle anyway, but then I _was_ pissed.

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This post has been deleted by its author

FAIL

@Jim 59

Are you saying it is acceptable, nay, predictable for Johnny Foreigner to form a racist stereotype of British people based on a single television show but us superior British Gentlemen should be worldly enough to dismiss simplistic imagery and absorb ourselves fully in the foreign culture before we form an opinion of them?

I find that mildly racist to be honest.

I am Mexican and I didnt find it offensive.

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So the logic appears to be

that if you have a history of being offensive then it is OK to be offensive. To be honest I quite liked the joke but it was clearly at the expense of Mexicans.

However it seems strange to me to say that it is OK to offend people so long as you have a history of offending people. Are they really saying that if someone such as Jimmy Carr had told the same joke then they would have ruled against him because he is generally perceived as a nice bloke?

The message to any upcoming comedian surely has to be to work on their racist, sexist routine and slot nicely into the (sizeable) gap left by Bernard Manning.

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its about perception

"The message to any upcoming comedian surely has to be to work on their racist, sexist routine and slot nicely into the (sizeable) gap left by Bernard Manning."

that comment is so "fattest" !!! the fact that he was overweight had no baring on his humour (or lack of it depending on your standpoint)

as a overweight person, I am so offended that I am going to call ofcom to complain !!

I wonder how many double whoppers with cheese I can buy with my compo claim !

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How many times have you seen Jimmy Carr

His routines are very offensive.. to everyone, and bloody funny too.

If not convinced look up his routine on Red Nose day where he said this:

'I saw a charity appeal in the Guardian the other day, and it read "Little Zuki has to walk 13 miles a day just to fetch water". And I couldn't help thinking, she should move.'

Or how about this

'See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil. Rohypnol(TM).'

Or this

'I live near a remedial school. There is a sign that says, slow... children. That can't be good for their self esteem. But look of course on the positive side, they can't read it.'

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You know

"And I couldn't help thinking, she should move.'

You know, he really does have a point, though.

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