|"Must eat right-wingers' brains! Must eat right-wingers' brains!"|
Following on from Allison Pearson's "leftie hell" on Radio 4's Any Questions, Douglas Murray has an enjoyable piece in The Spectator about his own experiences of appearing on programmes like Any Questions and Question Time called In the lion's den.
‘I bet you’ve never been spat at,’ a fellow right-winger once said to me, with barely disguised pride. We were speaking the day after an episode of Question Time. I was still slightly bruised from the booing, and this effort to cheer me up worked well. I may have been booed, but at least I had not been used by the audience as a spittoon.
And it's not just BBC audiences that give a right-winger appearing on the BBC such grief:
Coming back from a book tour of the US a few years ago, I asked a fellow right-of-centre pundit why it was such a pleasure being on the American media. She replied, ‘It’s because there the hosts ask us our opinion, allow us to give it and then thank us for coming on.’ If you are a right-winger on the British media, the main motivation of the presenter tends to be ‘How can I expose this person as a liar, racist or some sort of denier?’ Certain presenters behave as though their entire stack of liberal credentials are at stake. Newsnight’s Kirsty Wark is an example of this phenomenon, striking a weird, flared-up-nostrils, ‘What horrible smell has come before me?’ pose before even asking the first question. Another popular presenter’s aim is to try to catch you contradicting yourself. So having been cut off in the middle of your first answer, your second will be interrupted with, ‘But I thought you just said…’
He ends by giving his main reason for still doing it (and it's not the money):
Perhaps I shouldn’t make it sound so unappealing, since at some point I would like to retire and allow a new generation of innocents to get duffed up for a bit. The openings are there, and you don’t have to be very right-wing in Britain to fill the right-wing chair. And although nobody in the studio will be on your side, many people at home will be. The fact that they — not to mention the gods — are on your side should be incentive enough.
Yes, Douglas, many of us at home are on your side, so please keep at 'em. And thank you.