You may all remember the conviction and public witch hunt of Mark Meechan (AKA Count Dankula) over a joke video he made in 2016.
I was absolutely furious at the injustice of it all and was especially vexed with comedians that not only remained silent, but actually cheered along as this man's life was destroyed for a joke.
One such cheerleader was Graham Linehan (Father Ted, The IT Crowd). Someone that I singled out for particular scorn in this video I made in 2018:
This point was already clear to me before, but having spent some time with Mark a few times at events in the UK and appearing on panels with him in the USA, it seemed even more remarkable that anyone could sincerely consider him anything close to being a 'Nazi'.
So, in September 2021 I spotted Graham Linehan in the crowd of an Edinburgh demonstration I was reporting from and took the opportunity to ask him for a few words on camera. He agreed, and I asked about his treatment of Mark fully expecting to have just picked a fight with the creator of Father Ted about freedom of expression and double-standards.
To my surprise, Graham was really candid and admitted that he had gotten it all wrong about Mark. This sort of public concession strikes me as a rarity in the current climate and I was impressed.
I've since recorded a full hour long conversation with Graham and bumped in to him this weekend at the Battle Of Ideas. His journey is an interesting one and I appreciate the work he is doing in the direction of gender ideology:
Back in July 2022 a 'roast of Count Dankula' event took place with a surprise appearance by none other than Graham Linehan. Graham mentions being "ambushed" by me in Edinburgh and goes on to offer a full apology to Mark. It seems this whole thing has now come full circle and demonstrates what can happen if we simply do better at talking to each other and avoid assuming the worst possible motives of our ideological counterparts.
Please watch the clip that at the top of this post that bookends my "ambush" of Graham and with the subsequent apology to Mark.