Thursday, July 20, 2006

Newsnight: A dreadful performance

I don't mean Ming: I think he did quite well in the circumstances last night. See Alex Wilcock for a fair-minded account.

No, the person I am thinking of is Martha Kearney. Hectoring, refusing to let Ming answer questions after she asked them... she was the Davina McCall of political broadcasting.

Nor was the bearpit format much better, with members of the public brought in to make their one point come what may.

The whole thing was redolent of contempt for politicians and public alike. I think Ming would do well to steer clear of such spectacles in future.

5 comments:

Joe Otten said...

I thought it was funny that the bear pit was introduced as from outside the media bubble, or something like that, and then the first to speak was a journalist, albeit a sports journalist.

John Coles said...

I was amazed that Newsnight could bring itself to be rude to a "progressive" politician. Some sort of balance, I suppose.
I thought that Campbell's claim that he could have been a high Court judge was plaintive and pathetic. Still, never trust a Campbell.

cassilis said...

The thing is Jonathan whatever we think of Martha's performance the problem remains Ming's inability to handle her or the studio audience.

Although nobody (friend or foe)would seriously question Ming's intellectual abilities, a frontline politician in today's media environment also has to be able to handle people like Martha Kearney or a hostile audience. They need to be able to turn situations in their favour, come across as reasonable and measured and leave even those who remain in disagreement with them impressed by their performance. Ming failed in that.

This isn't about the politics - all parties have good & bad performers, people who almost thrive when being grilled by journalists or the public and people who whither away - and crucially there's no correlation between these facts and the talent or intellect of the people themselves.

Ming's a gentleman and an asset to our democracy. He's not a party leader.

Edward said...

You're quite right: so why was Ming inept and unthinking enough to agree to it?!

Anonymous said...

"The whole thing was redolent of contempt for politicians and public alike."

...or maybe just contempt of teh Lib Dems.

Big Ed x