Thursday, 1 November 2012

Can you spot what’s wrong with this BBC story about two deaths at a London sauna frequented by gays?

Two men have died after collapsing in a south London sauna.
A third man was taken to hospital and later released after the incident at the Pleasuredrome sauna in Cornwall Road, near Waterloo Station. 
Detectives have launched an appeal for information after the incident which took place on Saturday at 08:15 BST. 
A 39-year-old was pronounced dead at the scene, a 46-year-old died in hospital on Monday and a 34-year-old was discharged on Monday.

A post-mortem examination on the 39-year-old took place on Monday at Greenwich mortuary, but failed to establish a cause of death. Lambeth Police said it was waiting for further toxicology tests.
A post-mortem examination on the 46-year-old will take place on Thursday at Greenwich mortuary. 
Both deaths are being treated as unexplained. 
Police are appealing for a man seen entering the venue with the 39-year-old to come forward as soon as possible. 
He is described as a slim, white man, aged 25 to 35, with brown hair and a goatee beard and approximately 6ft tall.
You can read the story here - but I wouldn't bother, as it's word for word.

The story struck me as peculiar - as if some vital piece of information was missing that might help explain what had happened. So I followed a link at the bottom of the page to an external site, which told the same story, but helpfully mentioned that the Pleasuredome is a well-known gay sauna.

Why would the BBC imagine that the Pleasuredome’s reputation as a meeting place for homosexuals wouldn’t be interesting or relevant? Certain segments of the gay community have a reputation for guzzling fearsome quantities of recreational drugs, which, along with the mention that the police are “waiting for further toxicology tests” would suggest that someone – either knowingly or unknowingly - has been peddling or handing out some very dodgy substances. Which makes the sexual orientation of the people who tend to frequent the Pleasuredome highly relevant.

It reminds me of the BBC’s habit of – literally – whitewashing the racial identities of young men involved in murderous gang attacks in London, apparently with the aim of masking the proportion of violent crime in the capital committed by blacks: no doubt they imagine that BNP members would be swarming into the streets, causing mayhem, if they were told that 18 year-olds with names like Odongo and Leroy were, well, ever so slightly, you know… not white? As I pointed out last Boxing Day (here) knowledge of criminals’ pigmentation might prove incredibly useful to those of us who live in London.

Knowledge that the victims of a crime might be gay may not be that useful to heterosexuals – but if it helps us understand a news story, we really should be told. We promise not to come over all homophobic as a result - honest!

The link to the website that actually gives a hint of what might have been going on at the Pleasuredome has subsequently been removed by the BBC.

What are we? Infants? 

1 comment:

  1. Homosexuals. Hmmn...Might sit that one out.After all, a chap doesn't want Peter Tatchell manhandling him on his door-step [see Robert Mugabe].If I were you I would stay clear of them - they kind of run things now.