Dear Sir, AS sure as eggs are eggs and bears have a propensity for relieving themselves in woodland, I would have bet the National Debt – had I been able to find a bookie daft enough to give me odds – on Ray Fleming rushing to the defence of Channel 4's lame-brain decision to invite Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to deliver its “alternative Christmas message.” In his deluded naivety, Fleming cites the principle of freedom of speech to legitimise the television station's choice of the odious President of Iran and Holocaust denier as a worthy dispenser of peace and good will, then goes on to remark blithely about the broadcast's “almost entirely inoffensive” nature.

Thank goodness for that! Maybe we should congratulate this latter-day Magi for resisting the temptation to castigate ladies' beach volleyball and men dressing up as pantomime dames.

It's worth noting, however, Ahmadinejad opined that, had he been alive today, Jesus would oppose “warmongers, occupiers, terrorists and bullies the world over”. No doubt he would – and there is pretty little doubt in the minds of all but the feebly inane which Iranian would top His hit list of transgressors.

Britain's broadcast media has been its own worst enemy throughout 2008 – from the faking of phone-in results, which even bismirched Blue Peter, to the Jonathan Ross/Russell Brand ferrago and the clumsy ineptitude surrounding the Strictly Come Dancing votes.

And, in its quest to stem the further hemorrhage of viewers, Channel 4 has wittingly added insult to injury by choosing a Christmas “messenger”, whose disregard for human rights is legend and who often rewards anyone with the temerity to disagree with his lunacy – i.e. gays, Muslim converts to Christianity, Jews, women's rights activists and believers in true democracy – with a one-way ticket to the Teheran gallows.

Fleming contends that Channel 4 was established (in 1982) to “provide an alternative voice to the BBC and ITV”, as if this excuses its deliberate intention to incite opprobium. In actuality, it was born of a desire to break the duopoly of the two, terrestrial broadcasters and, as a publicly-owned station, its chief remit – according to the 2003 Communications Act – is to provide “a broad range of high quality and diverse programming…,” which is hardly a licence for televisual sensationalism.

But I wonder what Fleming and his fellow travellers on the ship of fools that is the Far Left would have made of it had Channel 4, instead, invited Robert Mugabe, the Hitler of Africa, or the equally repugnant BNP leader Nick Griffin, another aberrant standard-bearer of the banner of free speech, to deliver its Yuletide homily?

As President Franklin D. Roosevelt once reminded the world in a time of great darkness, all our freedoms, particularly that of speech, come with attendant responsibilities. Fleming and the other apologists for islamo-fascism would do well to remember that.

And while he may see nothing amiss in the world's chief sponsor of terrorism, anti-Semitism and anti-Westernism being afforded the platform of free speech by a mainstream British broadcaster to promote a message laden with hypocrisy and obfuscation, most people are not so easily duped.

Hugh Ash, Portals Nous

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