Saturday 25 April 2015

Bearing down on Nigel

News-watch's David Keighley has written a fine piece about the Evan Davis-Nigel Farage interview at Conservative Woman, describing it as "another clumsy but brutal ad hominem attack":
His [Evan Davis's] approach to the interview was yet another example of the BBC’s ‘painting by numbers’ approach to Ukip.  The main intent was to show that all those who support such policies – and Nigel Farage in particular - are dangerous, bigoted racists.
Accordingly, the tone and mannerisms he adopted were those of a superior, enlightened being dealing with something rather unpleasant adhering to his shoe.

David also notes the staggering amount of interrupting that went on (as we did here at 'ITBB'):
One obvious manifestation of this approach was that he interrupted Farage at least 50 times. Counting the total is quite hard because sometimes there seemed a deliberate desire to stop Farage talking at all, and certainly from presenting an answer that contained detailed reasoning.
Was this simply robust interviewing?  Emphatically not. In the equivalent interview with Ed Miliband by Davis, the number of such interruptions was only 32.  
He then adds another striking measure - a count of the words spoken by the BBC interviewer and his interviewee: 
Further, Davis spoke almost 3,000 words in the Farage ‘interview’ – only 700 fewer than Farage himself.
...which works out as Evan talking for about 45% of the interview and Nigel talking for about 55% of the interview - which isn't quite how interviews are supposed to work, is it?

Incidentally, David has posted a full transcript of the "interview" at News-watch (a great public service on his part).

Here's an extract, just to remind you of one of its lowest points:
ED: (speaking over) I wonder whether . . . I don't know, I just wonder whether there are different patriotic visions and there are certain people you would call liberal Metropolitan elite who have a different vision of Britain. Did you see the Paddington Bear movie last year?
NF: No.
ED: A terrific movie with a kind of . . . a rather sort of moving, in a sense, proclamation of the virtues of multiculturalism which I know you hate because he's a bear and he's different and he feels very at home and he’s made to feel welcome here.
NF: I think, I think . . .
ED: Would that, would that sort of be a ‘Metropolitan elite’ movie . .
NF: I think er . . .
ED: that is kind of a tragedy (corrects himself) a travesty of British patriotism and British values?
NF: Well, I think the fact you throw the word in ‘hate’ like that, as a sort of off-the-cuff comment . . .
ED: But you have (words unclear, ‘lots of insults’?)
NF: as if, as if . . . as if of course Mr Farage ‘hates’ things, what's your evidence for that?
ED: Well you said in your manifesto . . .. You said multiculturalism is divisive.
NF: What is your evidence that I hate it?
ED: But you say (words unclear due to speaking over)...


  1. 'Words unclear due to speaking over'

    An apt summary of the BBC on most things they seek to obliterate. Impartially, of course.

  2. Definitely an all time low for the BBC news and current affairs outfit. To think that this is what political interviewing has come to: claiming the merits of a children's movie about a toy bear as evidence that liberal media elite groupthink is right.

    We wouldn't take a racist seriously who quoted Enid Blyton's stories as evidence for ethnic criminal propensity would we?


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