Sometimes it's just about context. If Louis Theroux or Michael Crick interviewed a loony who advocated that homosexuals be identified and flung from high buildings, the barely disguised mockery and careful editing would leave the viewer in no doubt that the extremist was a pathetic specimen worthy only of derision and taunts. If the same loony were given a serious platform on 'Newsnight' to explain that the sanction was prescribed in Leviticus, in the bible that sits in every church in Britain, and invited to explain the need for a change in the law to allow bible-courts to execute homosexuals, if I had the slightest liking for show-tunes or interior design magazines I'd be very afraid.
There is no doubt in my mind that the foul and loathsome Islamist Anjem Choudary should never have been given a platform on Newsnight. That it happened was a gross error of BBC judgement that should have seen high-level sackings. But to allow it to lead to the Home Office interfering in programme making? I don't think so. Sanctions exist already. OFCOM can withdraw or suspend a broadcaster's licence if the rules are breached - and a new OFCOM with teeth ordering BBC2 to stop broadcasting for 48 hours as a punishment sounds OK to me.