The BBC has finally sacked Jeremy Clarkson, and it tells us (up to a point) what the “fracas” was. (Note, by the way, the self-serving word. People do love to do that – use the passive voice with no agent [“what happened” “what was said”] and mild words in place of accurate ones. “Fracas” – it sounds like 18th century gents quarreling over ale in Sam Johnson’s sitting room. “Fracas” is cozy for “that time I punched and shouted at and threatened someone.” The word is “assault” at the very least.) (I’m well aware that millions of people must have already said all that. I wanted to say it anyway.)
In a statement from BBC Director General Tony Hall we’ve learned exactly what took place on that night in a North Yorkshire hotel.
A report has been published with blow-by-blow details of what happened in the now infamous “fracas” between Mr Clarkson and one [of] his producers, Oisin Tymon.
This is one time (and not the only time) when the famous BBC scare quotes are well chosen.
The scene is the patio of a hotel in North Yorkshire on the evening of a long day of shooting and travel.
- The physical attack lasted around 30 seconds and was only halted by the intervention of a witness.
- Mr Tymon did not retaliate.
- The verbal abuse was directed at Mr Tymon more than once – both during the attack and subsequently inside the hotel.
- The abuse contained the strongest expletives and threats to sack him.
- The abuse was at such volume it could be heard in the dining room and the shouting was audible in a hotel bedroom.
The “strongest epithets” – well there’s only one really. It’s that one that we’re always told is in no way denigrating of women, because it’s what men call other men. Clarkson repeatedly called Tymon a cunt.
I suspect that Jeremy Clarkson isn’t a very nice man.