Monday, 31 August 2009

The Curious Case of the Missing Episode

This is getting silly. The reaction to episode 2 of Benefit Busters was overwhelmingly negative - critical of A4e and the government more than of the jobless. But those who didn't see it and were banking on watching it online are frustrated. Channel 4 won't explain; nor will those newspapers which have denied their readers the opportunity to comment. There's just silence. Which leads people to the conclusion that A4e exercised their rights over the programme to ensure that no one else can see it - damage limitation. And that they also put pressure on other branches of the media to close down discussion. In a way I don't blame them. The prospect of clips from the programme being repeatedly shown is unbearable if they can stop it.
But someone - Channel 4, A4e or the DWP - should have the courage to tell us why.
And the Shaw Trust people must be quaking in their boots about this Thursday's episode.


  1. This falls under the "you could'nt make it up" category. What's worse:

    The bad publicity from a TV program showing you in your true colours.

    Or the bad publicity from attempting to control the said program hoping to stem the bad publicity.

    A4e no doubt sees the latter as worse if the above and some of the comments I've read elsewhere are true. And if this is the case, it will do A4e even more damage as it will simply provide yet another negative talking point and a stick with which to beat them with.

  2. Less not forget, over a 1 million people watched Episode 2 (not including a few 100,000 that watched it on 40d) whilst it was available.
    And Ch4 receieved more emails about the show than other other last week.
    A lot more people have now heard of the infamous A4e.

  3. I notice channel 4 have now removed all the comments demanded to know why they cannot watch episode 2 on-line.

  4. We can complain to Ofcom why C4 has pulled the plug on Episode 2

  5. I'll soon have the episode on my PC and I'm seriously thinking about uploading it in parts on YouTube. Do you think it would be worth it? Or will the censorship vultures pull it?

  6. El Ricardo, give it a whirl! You have nothing to lose. Any disputes will be between A4e and YouTube.

  7. Their doing what politicians always do and that is to try and bury the truth.But in the process digging a bigger hole.I have seen it and if your on the left of the right it is an obvious waste of tax payers monies

  8. Just recieved a reply from Channel 4

    Thank You for your email regarding 4oD
    Unfortunatley, BENEFIT BUSTERS Episode 2 is no longer available on 4oD. 4oD must acquire very specific rights for online viewing and in this case we no longer hold the rights to show it online. We apologise for any inconvenience.

  9. I contacted Ch4 - here's the reason why Episode 2 is no longer available:

    Channel 4 decided to remove this episode of BENEFIT BUSTERS because
    subsequent to transmission a person contacted Channel 4 and asked for his
    identity to be concealed in the programme. This person was incidental to the
    programme, however, we will re-edit it so that they are not identifiable.
    The removal has nothing to do with A4E. The new edit will be available as
    soon as possible. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.

  10. Thanks, Gerry, that was one of the scenarios I'd considered. So we can look forward to seeing it again!

  11. El Ricardo: If you upload it to YouTube it will eventualy be removed because of breach of copyright

  12. This still does not explain why there were hardly any reviews in the mainstream press.

  13. I would only consider the youtube route if the episode was pulled for dubious reasons. We'll have to wait and see what the re-edit has in store.


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