When Newsnight became Brass Eye: Jeremy Paxman claims internet used to facilitate masturbation ‘or worse’

Jeremy Paxman announced what he thought the internet was really for during a segment on Wednesday night’s show

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The Independent Online

We’re starting to wonder whether there is much difference between Chris Morris’ comedy creation and the increasingly slap-stick current affairs side show.

After Chandler Bing (OK, fine, Matthew Perry) had to be bundled out of a separate studio exit to Peter Hitchens following a heated debate over drugs courts, during which the Friends star repeatedly called the columnist “Santa” and “Peter Pan”, we didn’t think things could get much closer to Brass Eye.

Read More On Matthew Perry's Furious Drug Debate Here

Until, that is, Jeremy Paxman decided to announce during a segment on Wednesday night’s show what he thought the internet was really for: masturbation.

“Now as we all know, one of the main functions of the internet is to facilitate masturbation,” Paxo told the camera, introducing a feature on online pornography filters, before adding, “Or worse.”

Why? We’re not really sure. But our minds were instantly cast to the 2001 “Paedogeden!” episode, during which guest stars such as Dr. Fox and Phil Collins repeatedly warned the audience of the dangers of exposing young children to crabs with wondering claws and high-tech gloves that allowed offenders to feel their victims through computer screens.

It’s been a year laden with controversy for the show. There was Russell Brand’s interview during his guest editing stint at the New Statesman, during which the multi-million-earning comedian demanded a revolution, though stopped short of defining exactly what the point of one would be.

See Russell Brand's Newsnight Interview In Full

There was #beardgate, when Paxman’s newly sprouted chin strap of facial hair spawned a thousand tweets debating whether the TV host looked better with or without. And his David Dimbleby tattoo tribute, which saw Paxman felt tip his knuckles in support.

Then there was that episode that featured the Cookie Monster.

And tonight? Peppa Pig discusses Ian Duncan Smith’s "rash" early exit from the Commons during a debate on food banks. Probably. We wouldn't be surprised if she did.

But in all (sort of) seriousness, the one story that really should get an honorable mention among the 'can't believe it's not Chris Morris' elite this week should be this: Children Evacuated From Swimming Pool After Prosthetic Leg Mistaken For Paedophile. You're welcome.