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Paul Coletti | 18:00 UK time, Monday, 9 April 2007

Tonight we talked about he decision by some British sailors to sell their stories to the press. And the US magazine that's outing gays even if they don't want to be outed.

Speaking to the Press

Jo in Greece is not happy with the way the sailors have sold their story.

Steve McLaughlin wrote, ‘Squaddie. A Soldier’s Story’, he’s in our Lancashire studio in the north of England: “Within the military we have a thing called Squaddie humour. This stuff about offending soldiers is absolute rubbish. In a few weeks Faye will be back out on the sea doing her job. She’s working class personnel. Why shouldn’t she make some money?%E2%80%9D

Sheila is in North Carolina: “It’s odd they’re doing it so soon. With Band of Brothers they waited decades. I don’t understand a need to want to sell it to get their 15 minutes of fame.%E2%80%9D

Steven: “It’s part of a wider propaganda war. The Ministry of Defence is trying to get the story out. This way they get their story out first. It’s a propaganda war between Iraq and Britain. I don’t begrudge Faye her money.%E2%80%9D

Terry is in the UK: “It’s absolutely disgusting. The definition of a hero is someone who is admired. The definition of a traitor is someone who is disloyal. Selling this to the papers is a travesty. Unless they take this money and give it to a charity, preferably a Royal Naval charity.%E2%80%9D

Steve: “We weren’t held captive. We don’t know the circumstances. I’ve heard words like cowardly mentioned. It’s a bit cruel.%E2%80%9D

Paul was in Iran in ’82 and was taken captive by the authorities: “The kind of coercion the Iranian practice is very terrifying. Very few people could resist it. Selling the story sits badly with me.%E2%80%9D

Will has texted:
What those 15 royal navy was doing on the Iranian soil, let them stop crying around Europe, bravo to the Iranian government for releasing them.


"What if they were thrown overboard, feared drowned but somehow survived the ordeal, is it not saleable?Pls leave the sailors alone."

Alan is in Spain: “I’m appalled. I’m an ex servicemen.%E2%80%9D

Several more texts rom Africa:


"It is immoral to for the marines to sell their story,that is extending a propaganda war between London and Tehran." Tambwe, Uganda

"Is not good to allow the sailors to tell their stories, it may sore the relationship between UK and Iran." Mustapha from Kano-Nigeria.

"One way or another the story will surely come out so leave the sailors alone."
From Sam in Ghana.

"U have turned yr military into an indisciplined body. The story belongs to Britain and no one shuld make money out of it." Roli, Nigeria

A text from Hannington, Kampala-Uganda.
"These service people have lost the reknown dignity of the British Armed Forces for money. How about those who've lost their lives in the same theatre of operations and those still there? Will they be allowed to say their story too?!"

Steve: “In two weeks they’ll be back at work getting the mickey taken out of them.%E2%80%9D

Pete in Australia has texted:
“What a hypocritical fuss! Every other victim of crime can sell their story, so why not these victims? They hardly got penalty rates for 15 days!%E2%80%9D

Two anonymous texts:
“It's a shame that people supposed to defend their country behave like little popstars, while more than 40 coalition soldiers died in April alone!%E2%80%9D

“Good luck to them, if people wont tn show distaste, DONT BUY RAG NEWESPAPERS.%E2%80%9D

Noah, Koquima, Kono District, Sierra Leone
"The sailors have the right to make their story known to the public in whatever way possible."

Iliyasu: "Funny how peaple hunger for 'SENSETIONAL stories. how can we believe what they said (sold) when we cannot verify from the iranians?"

"They're a bunch of cowards who shouldn't add insult to injury by making money out of it."

A text from Joe in Malawi says "they should not have sold their stories. its not moral. the ministry of defence must be regretting this. they have betrayed other soldiers fighting in Iraq."

Lynda, Nigeria.
"Its appalling that Britain allowed the naval staff sell their story.i think they lied then. So the Brit. gov. Is kind of bribing them."

Ferdinand from uganda has texted:
"It was not right to allow the sale the service men/women provide special service and allowing that is a slap on the face to those who lost their lives and their families."

Hassan, Nigeria has texted us:
"D whole war was about profits & losses. D military have been loosing, while D politictians & businessmen profit. It is now d turn of d military. "

A text from Aburas, Kenya:
"Accepting soldier 2 talk 2 media is an act of cowardice & irresponsible of british gov't."

Mohamed, Memphis, USA, has texted:
“The MOD (Ministry of Defence) mod is allowing the marines to sale because the country evolve is Iran.%E2%80%9D

kadar is in Kuwait:
“Defence dippartment is to blame because instead of telling they can sell the story defence shoud say they can tell the story.%E2%80%9D

We’re back after the news and are hearing some of the comments from BBC Bush House staff concerning our colleague Alan Johnston. It’s been 4 weeks since Alan was captured and we’re all praying for his release . . . here's a text from a fan

"To the takers of Allan Johnstone : please free Allan and take me instead. I am willing to take Allan's place in captivity. Kindly let him go." Willis. Mombasa.

. . . and another . . .

"Oh what a shame to the kidnappers, did you kidnap ALLEN JUSTINE because he tell the world your suffering? Please we need him." Theophilus, Kano Nig


Now we’re talking about this lifestyle magazine . . .

Out magazine front cover

Mike in Detroit, USA has texted:
As a gay man, I wish more celebrities would come out, but it should be on THEIR terms.

Michael Musto wrote the article for Out:
“We’re labelling people gay because they are gay. I’m not making them gay I’m just reporting they’re gay. I don’t call it outing, I call it equalizing.%E2%80%9D

Chris Ciompi writes for Genre, he has a different opinion: “My main point is that Out magazine has put together a list of 50 people but the two exceptions are the two people on the cover. The fact that someone goes to a gay bar doesn’t mean he’s gay. You need to ask the person if he’s gay. Until you ask him he’s not out.%E2%80%9D

Michael musto: “These two people represent the glass closet which is the topic of my article.%E2%80%9D

Riz has texted:
“When publishing the weight update of celebrities stop selling magazines, they turn to these tactics.%E2%80%9D

Ted is from Texas: “The shame is what we’re fighting against.%E2%80%9D

Michal,Prague has texted:
“You might say there's nothing wrong with being public about your homosexuality, but some people may think otherwise, and if they don't wish their gayness to be public, you should respect that wish.%E2%80%9D

Adrian has texted from Hong Kong:
“Celebrities put themselves in the public eye. They seek fame and fortune from the public and need that attention to remain on top. Yhey are no longer entirely private property and have to accept that role as part of their public personas.%E2%80%9D

Someone has just said : “It’s an agenda-driven outing that puts a burden on somebody.%E2%80%9D

Sorry. It’s getting difficult to make out who was speaking there . . . this topic always gets the debate hotting up.

Lisa is in Florida: “The two celebrities are known to be gay. It’s not a shock to people.%E2%80%9D

Chris Ciompi: “There’s a greater question: What is too far? Has entertainment journalism gone too far? I agree with some of the callers who’ve said that coming out is an important personal decision.%E2%80%9D

Lisa: “It’s probably helping them in the long run.%E2%80%9D

Michal has tected in form Prague: “How did this journalist 'out' these two people? Did he uncover some unknown private facts about them? Or did he just reported what everybody knows and logically concluded they're gay?%E2%80%9D

Jason, Portland,OR, “Anderson Cooper was outed more than a year ago, Jodi Foster has been obviously gay 4 as long as I have known her. WHO CARES WHO’S GAY! Move on.%E2%80%9D

Some texts from Africa:

"Much as I hate gays, I think it is wrong to report one's private life without permision from him or her."
Akele, Nigeria.

"Shame on you! How dare you expose people's private lives like that. How would you feel if others exposed how you had sex last night.God have mercy on u. edy, Kenya.

Hannington, Uganda:
"Once a celebrity entertainer, your life becomes public property and so your actions. If U do not want to be negatively exposed BE STRAIGHT."

"It;s not good 2 out pple's private lives wether gay or not i think journalists should apply the social responsibility heory."
nura, Kenya

"Toney an bush should know.the world is going faster.the should not use forse on iran."
From babar in s.leone kenema.

"Once you are a public figure, your everything is public. What if Kofi Annan was gay, would it be wrong to promulgate it? Michael did it,thats his job."
Obed, Ghana

"Its not good 2 out pple's private lives wether gay or not i think journalists should apply the social responsibility theory."
nura, Kenya

Kime from detroit has texted: " Perhaps it is not about shame one has for themselves but the stigma from others that they simply may not want to deal with."

That's all for tonight folks. As ever a hot and spicy debate. Goodnight and sleep tight.


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