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Pete on BBC2

Reports about the who are generally positive, though everyone says it's extremely painful to watch. I've asked for permission to cross-post, but meanwhile, here's the first official review I found:


LONDON - Rock guitarist Pete Townshend (news) has said he considered committing suicide after his arrest last year on suspicion of possessing child pornography. And the stress he suffered was obvious in a BBC documentary shown Tuesday night.

The program, following police investigations of several different child pornography cases in Britain, briefly focused on the Who co-founder's ordeal.

He was arrested in 2003 as part of Operation Ore, an FBI (news - web sites)-led crackdown on Internet child pornography, and eventually cleared of possessing pornographic images of children.

However, he was placed on a national register of sex offenders as part of the formal police caution that he received for accessing a Web site containing images of child abuse.

The "Police Protecting Children" documentary series by the British Broadcasting Corp. showed an exhausted and deeply worried Townshend being questioned by police after scores of journalists gathered to watch his house being searched, and computer equipment removed for the investigation.

Dressed in a winter jacket and a T-shirt, with deep bags under his eyes, Townshend apologizes for having gone onto the Web site for research aimed at starting a campaign against child pornography.

"The first images I stumbled upon...really burned me up," said Townshend, 58. "One in particular showed a young boy being sodomized. I think that's about the worst thing I've ever seen. I was angered by it," he said. "I thought my son, who is a young boy, could easily stumble on this."

Sighing deeply, he said: "I apologize for the trouble I've caused. I feel terrible about it. I was trying to do something useful, and I was foolish and stupid, and arrogant is perhaps the word."

After the ordeal, Townshend told a British newspaper that it had been so difficult "if I had had a gun, I would have shot myself."

After the four-month investigation, police said Townshend "was not in possession of any downloaded child abuse images" but had accessed a site containing such images in 1999.

He acknowledged using his credit card to enter a Web site advertising child pornography but said he was doing research for his autobiography and the campaign against child pornography. He denied being a pedophile.

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