I’ve never quite forgiven Eddie Mair for championing a mature student who was trapped in Gaza by a defensive tightening of the blockade during an abrupt escalation of violence in the region, which I think was during Operation Cast Lead. It was undoubtedly very unfortunate for everybody who was caught up in the situation, but the way radio 4‘s PM kept on and on about it was.... was... I know.... *disproportionate*. After all, he was only doing business studies, not a Fulbright scholar or anything, just halfway through a course at some redbrick or other in the north of England, and he’d gone home for the hols, apparently to collect his wifey, and bring her over here. But they didn’t mention that. Instead they treated it as if missing the start of term was one of the greatest hardships ever endured by man or beast, and the PM team breathlessly updated us on the evildoings of Israel, daily. (I wonder if he eventually sought asylum?)
So that's a kind of faded, five-year grudge. Anyway, I viewed the Mair/Johnson affair pre-annoyed with Eddie, especially as we all know everyone likes watching Boris, and despite his indiscretions, surely nobody nice would call him a nasty piece of work.
Now that I’ve seen the film, seen the interview, read the reviews and heard the gratuitous replay on Today, I don’t know what all the fuss is about. It was a petty approach that the BBC took, mean and small-minded. But what can you expect from our dumbed-down, ratings-chasing BBC?
Boris comes out the winner, especially as he has taken a gracious approach to the debriefing, and praised Eddie Mair for his incisive interviewing. Whether or not this is a cynical ploy, I know not, but can anyone imagine Boris doing any other? That’s why he gets away with it and Eddie, only doing his job Mair gets nil points.