The widespread publicity following the posting on YouTube of the extraordinary rant by BBC reporter John Sweeney, shouting angrily at a Church of Scientology member, has boosted the BBC ratings, according to The Guardian. (So far, this version alone has been viewed over 630,000 times.)
The BBC program in question, Panorama, attracted 4.4m viewers in Britain on Monday night – a 19 percent audience share, which is considerably higher than usual.
Sweeney has admitted he resembled an “exploding tomato” as he “lost it”. But the BBC say no disciplinary action will be taken against Sweeney, who previously worked at The Observer, the Sunday sister newspaper of Britain’s left-wing Guardian.
Famous Scientology followers include Tom Cruise and John Travolta. There are more than 6,000 churches, missions and groups in 159 countries around the world, according to the church, which last year unveiled its new London headquarters.
It is unlikely that a BBC journalist would dare make a similar outburst against a Muslim were they ever to investigate the cultish nature of radical Islam.