Anyone who relies on the BBC News website could be forgiven for believing that BBC Radio 1 had apologised for Rio Ferdinand's unguarded remark which was broadcast last Monday. BBC News reported that Radio 1 have issued an apology after premiership footballer Rio Ferdinand called Chris Moyles a "faggot" live on air. I've yet to see the full wording and other details of the apology, if it exists. The report seems to fail the test of the current editorial guideline:
Where BBC content or the BBC is the story
Our reporting must remain accurate, impartial and fair even when our content, or the BBC itself, becomes the story. We need to ensure that our impartiality is not brought into question and presenters or reporters are not placed in potential conflict of interests. It will be inappropriate to refer to either the BBC as "we" or the content as "our". There should also be clear editorial separation between those reporting the story and those responsible for presenting the BBC's case.
Here is a transcript of the exchange on the Chris Moyles show (Ferdinand in blue) which took place at about 8.25am that morning, 2 October:
You know men can't see beauty in other men. But you know, you're not a bad looking man right. But you must hang out with some ugly footballers?
I'll be honest. There are some ugly, ugly ones.
But they all do well with the women.
It's banter init. If you've got banter you're alright.
Are you trying to tell me that Peter Crouch is like Peter Kay?
Peter Crouch - he's a half decent looking geezer.
Don't ever be gay, Rio. I'm telling you you will go out with some ugly men.
(laughs) I'm not like feminine, or gay in any way but like, he's not like ugly and like - a few birds like him.
Yeah .. you know I'd rather go out with Michael Owen.
I don't want to start talking about going out with players. Let's move on.
Rio, you got it right because if you keep hanging around with these people then it puts you at the top of the, you know, pecking order.
No, I'm not into that good looking fellow hangs out with ugly fellows to get the birds.
Well let's ask you this. If you had to, who would you rather go out with - Smudger [Alan Smith] or Scholsey [Paul Scholes]?
(laughs and pauses to think) That's not my bag that, seriously.
That is not my game: talking about going out with geezers.
(music starts playing in background) (laughs) It's a great question though, isn't it?
Who would you go out with?
Smudger all the time.
Cos he's leet, he knows he is.
You're a faggot.
(burst of laughter) You can't say that .. (laughs) .. er which is football terminology for a funny lad.
Yeah I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I'm not against any erm gay guys or anything like ..
Don't, don't, you'll make it worse.
Stop there, I say
I'm not homophobic, man.
No, I know. You'll make it worse. I know you didn't mean anything by it, you're just messing. So we've got lots to talk to you about. Are you gonna hang around? Can we get you anything? Are you nice and comfortable?
No, I've got some water here .... What music can I put on?
And that was about it for a while. Later Moyles steered the conversation towards the topic of comparing footballers' penis sizes.