Mishal Husain gave Nigel Farage the Israel treatment this morning.
Let me remind you of her line of questioning with Gil Hoffman in 2012.
“How many Israelis have been killed by these rockets this year?”
“No no, the numbers do matter. How many Israelis have died this year?
“Why does it not matter?
“How many Israelis were killed. No, but how many were actually killed by these rockets?
“Do you know?
“Oh well, you’re either unable or unwilling to give the answer, so let me tell you the Economist says in 2004 - we’re trying to bring this story to our audiences around the world, according to the Economist 20 Israelis were killed by rockets that came from Gaza into Israel, and this year not one Israeli was killed by these rockets until this current confrontation began. (stare) Do you accept those figures?
“You could argue that Hamas was also stopping worse happening all of this period because although there were rockets being fired they weren’t the big rockets that have caused damage in recent days, they were mostly home made contraptions.
“You’d agree that not all of them were fired by Hamas, were they? I mean you know that and I know that Hamas is not the only group that’s operating in Gaza.”
I’ve left out Hoffman’s answers because she ignored them anyway, but even more obnoxious was Husain’s expressions of disdain, smugness, hubris, self-importance that she kept up throughout this interview. (she might look rather friendly in the above stills, but watch the video to see the full effect) She made no attempt to conceal the loathing she felt towards her interviewee.
To Mishal Husain Nigel Farage ‘is Israel’. Today at ten past eight. ( 2:09:27 )
She doesn’t like him and she felt it was a good idea to be super confrontational. I know people like that, people who are inclined to pick up and query every single point you might make, innocuous or no.
There is merit in that. If you’re making a statement it’s easy to resort to cliches. We can use a cliche as a shortcut to evoke a meaning we assume is a ‘given’. So, for example when Nigel days ‘fings ain’t wot they used to be’, it conveys a whole raft of things, which do need to be clearly justified. However, in this particular case there was an elephant-sized impediment to clarity. Political correctness. Mishal was trying to corner Nigel into saying something racist. Perhaps ‘children playing in the streets’ was a clumsy way of alluding to ghettoized communities. It was a euphemism of the type forced upon us by the constraints of political correctness.
Nigel Farage is an expert at remaining calm and eloquent under considerable pressure.That’s a large part of his appeal. He was self-possessed enough to stay calm when others might have buckled. Free from the constraints of office and party loyalty he has no need to wriggle, squirm and be evasive - i.e., behave like a politician - so for the most part he generally succeeds in giving straight answers, which is another part of his appeal. Anything that could be interpreted as racist is another matter. Eggshells.
Before the Lib Dems were lumbered with the responsibility of co-government they felt free to promise anything under the sun, deliverable or not. Nick Clegg’s tuition fees calamity was an accident waiting to happen. Achieving power must have taken the Lib Dems by surprise, otherwise, surely they wouldn’t said what they said.
Who knows if Nigel’s promises will ever be put to the test, but if Mishal Husain has anything to do with it, they won’t.
When it came to the misdemeanours of some of his naughty candidates - the ones who’ve been dumped - he made the very reasonable point that Ukip is not the only party that has attracted some dodgy members, yet Ukip is singled out for the Israel treatment.
Instead of “how many Israelis killed” we had “Which market towns?” and instead of “Numbers do matter” we have “What is your cap?” and “So you do have a cap.”
Mishal is fiercely arguing in favour of unlimited immigration. “define a skilled worker” and “what is a skilled worker?”
Instead of “home made contraptions” we had “the type of people you have in the party.”
“We’re trying to bring this story to our audiences around the world,” she said in 2012. The same applies in 2015. “This story”
You’d have thought Nigel Farage was some sort of terrorist. I wonder what Jeremy Bowen would have done with that interview, or for that matter, what Mishal Husain would have done with Khaled Meshaal. Now that would be something. Can you imagine?