Wednesday 22 April 2015

Evan v Nigel. This time it's personal.

Anticipating tonight's BBC One Evan Davis leaders' interview with Nigel Farage on an earlier thread, well, we certainly had our hopes of something that wouldn't be the usual sort of BBC interview with the UKIP leader:
That will indeed be interesting! He might well go for some detailed querying of UKIP's spending proposals/budget cuts as economics is Davis's strong point. Also, expect some detailed scrutiny of the Australian style points system for immigration.
A good, tough examination of UKIP's policies would be worthwhile. It would make a change from the usual 'Today'-style interviews with Nigel Farage which tend to focus on his party's dodgy candidates and accusations that the party is racist. 
Alas, our hopes were dashed. 

Evan Davis spent less than 3 minutes on UKIP's spending proposals/budgets, merely contenting himself with interruptions asking where the money's coming from...

....and that was pretty much it about UKIP's manifesto - despite a passing mention of some 'pro-posh people' UKIP policies near the start....

(...though, to be fair, a good minute was spent on the the 2010 UKIP manifesto and why it was, in Nigel's own words, "drivel"!)

And, yes, Evan Davis did do "the usual 'Today'-style interview with Nigel Farage which tends to focus on his party's dodgy candidates and accusations that the party is racist". 

Taken all in all, some 16 minutes was devoted to questioning the "tone" of UKIP's rhetoric, especially about immigration and Muslims - i.e. over half the interview. 

The very clear imputation from Evan Davis throughout this long section - though Evan was very careful not to use the word - was that, yes, Nigel Farage and his party are racists.

Nigel Farage strongly protested at several points that Evan Davis's had his facts wrong and that he was being misquoted and smeared. Several of Evan's lines of attack will, therefore, need a severe fact-checking. Given what befall Andrew Marr, they had better be correct for the BBC's sake. 

The other main line of questioning concerned whether UKIP is a posh, establishment party. Evan had a list of posh UKIP candidates at hand. 

Twitter has gone wild tonight with UKIP supporters - and people saying they aren't UKIP supporters - describing this as a disgracefully biased interview, one of the worst they've ever seen. Their opponents, outnumbered for once, are either gloating or claiming that Evan Davis was only doing what he ought to have done and that there was no BBC bias here at all.

I'm with the former group.

Interruptions-wise, Nigel Farage has definitely come off worst so far, easily beating all of the other party leaders by my reckoning:

Nigel Farage - 55 interruptions
Nick Clegg - 39 interruptions
David Cameron - 36 interruptions
Ed Miliband - 32 interruptions


  1. Surprisingly, the 10pm edition of the news on the BBC TV News Channel omitted all mention of the Nigel Farage - Evan Davis interview. Could it be that they realized their 'boy' came a very poor second and decided to bury the story?

    1. Heh. So someone at the BBC agrees that Davis failed on every count. Not a single gotcha moment, and proof that the BBC would rather not show anything that makes Farage look good.

    2. Heh, indeed. Much can be taken from what from the BBC 'magazine/interview' programmes day and evening does not make it to the BBC top of the hour 'news' summaries. Classic Editorial By Omission.

      Sadly hard to prove as nigh on impossible to quantify.

      I was pondering another FOI to see what data could be sourced to tally such things but being fair even I can't see a way to define it sensibly, so the semanticists at the BBC would blow it out in a heartbeat. Still worth mentioning empirically. Play the BBC at their own game and let them prove such perceptions untrue.

      Sadly, in areas more tangible in data terms, I have had my latest refusal 'for the purposes of', making it so far 0/4.

      "Notwithstanding your comments in point 15 of your request, the information you have requested about BBC corporate, programme and individual staff Twitter accounts is excluded from the Act
      because it is held for the purposes of ‘journalism, art or literature.’ The BBC is therefore not obliged to provide this information to you and wil not be doing so on this occasion."

      There's a surprise. Not. It was kind of predicted. I wanted to know just how stupid the BBC management feel the BBC staff are on twitter, and the BBC feels that is best kept secret... 'for journalism'.... on accounts predominantly headed 'personal views only' and, hence, NOT journalism. I may point this out to them.

      In related news, as I mull my rejection on another area of BBC transparency and trust, I see someone has opted for KISS on the same issue:

      We'll see how they do, eh? Be kind of a ironic circle of unvirtue to pull the POJAL exemption on this one.

      However, it's not like they BBC and especially top brass seem immune to irony in this regard:

      Girl sure knows how to pull in the crowds, and then ban them.

      I wonder if she was an NUS official when at Uni?

  2. Bizarrely quite aa lot of the interview was taken up with the question of whether Mr Farage hated the Paddington movie (which it turns out is a hymn to multiculturalism) . After failing - several times - to incite the hoped-for rabid response, Davis tried again, this time inviting Farage to hate Mo Farrah (which he doesn't either).

    1. That part was unbelievable! :) Davis spent precious time talking about a toy bear movie when he had the opportunity to ask hard questions about UKIP policy!! Laughable - even more so when you think what thought processes might be going on in Davis's head "I loved that Paddington Bear movie - it was such an incisive statement of multi-culturalism. Better than Nigel Farage wouldn't have liked it."

  3. That really was a low point for Evan Davis and very revealing of the chatter that goes on inside the BBC. Utter disgrace.

  4. Did Evan Davis deliberately mispronounce Farage's name when introducing him? If he had been an ethnic minority, Davis would have made an extra effort to get it right.

    I was probably prepared to notice because of your post, Craig, but I felt that the Davis's patented interruptions were markedly absent during the first eight minutes. In fact Farage interrupted him a couple times there, amusingly. Then we got to immigration, and classic Davis ensued.

    Who was lying about that ghettos remark on Fox News - Farage or Davis? I will try to look on the YouTube later.

    Totally false, but desperate analogy from Davis about orthodox Jewish neighborhoods. When a few yeshiva bochers are

    "Your straight-talking way..." Davis openly deriding his guest here.

    How many times has Davis deliberately twisted a past quote from Farage now? I've lost count. Stepping all over him, and flat out demonizing him when all else failed. He had his agenda, and that was it.

    Farage did well in any case. One of his best performances.

    1. It is not uncommon for Farage's name to be deliberately mispronounced in lefty circles.They think this mispronunciation is terribly funny.

    2. There is also the...[cough]... brain freeze, er, tongue-twister... [giggle, cough]... that happens with senior presenters of a certain age with Jeremy, but not Tristram, Hunt.

      A bit like the rash of BBC 'technical problems'.

      You'd almost think they were unaccountable.


      Farage was talking about France. Im not even a Ukip supporter but I think this interview was a disgrace.

  5. Final verdict: I don't think Davis laid a finger on him. Farage even turned the tables on Davis a few times. Even if you don't agree with Farage's position on things, at no point did Davis really nail him. None of those elaborately prepared trump cards were worth a damn. The only people who will think Davis got the better of him and exposed him or whatever are those who already hate Farage and nothing will change that. In reality, Davis couldn't debate him on the merits of a single point and all he could do mostly was say variations on, "But this makes you sound mean." Pathetic effort.

    PS: I read Paddington as a child out of the school library, and had a different take on it. He was never a model of the marvels of multiculturalism. Paddington learned to be British because he respected the culture of his adopted country. He wanted to to be British. He was the kind of immigrant Farage wants, not the kind Davis and the movie were preaching.

    PPS: Speaking of the kind of immigrant Farage likes, I'm certain Davis thought he was lying about Mo Farah. A few B-BBC denizens will be chagrined by what Farage said, I imagine.

    1. Personally, I think Paddington, as a non EU national, with an excellent command of English and an almost unparalleled expertise in the manufacture of food produce (marmalade) would not have had to stowaway on a boat to come to the UK, he would have definitely got in on a points based system, if he wasn't fictional. It was a ridiculous question really though, not exactly Sir Robin Day there were you Evan?

  6. Evan was a disgrace even by the BBC's low standards. Given that UKIP's main policy is for the UK to leave the EU, I would have expected that to be the main topic. Evan came over as a silly little boy . Totally unprofessional.

  7. I thought the interview a disgrace, in a democracy all opinions should be respectfully heard not ridiculed. Nigel came across as a first class politician and a decent man who will do our country proud. Shame about the interviewer.

  8. The interview last night has convinced me to vote UKIP
    Nigel Farage was insulted, goaded and interrupted, all handled extremely well byFarage. It was a total disgrace in a supposed democracy, and illustrated the appalling bias of the BBC.
    People desperately need real discussion about policies, but last night was the very worst interview I have ever witnessed anywhere on the media.

  9. Nigel Farage - Evan Davis interview was disgraceful. Evan Davis proved himself to be a terrible interviewer. Everytime he accused Nigel Farage on a discriminating fault, he then never gave him time to reply. There was double talking throughout the whole interview. Well Done Nigel Farage for keeping your cool - BBC you should be ashamed!!

  10. I haver already post voted for UKIP as have all my family. Evan Davis was just trying to be smart and did not address any real political or manifesto issues. He said Nigel went to a public school, so what! Nigel said there used to be assisted places, scrapped ages ago. Also the abolition of most grammar schools, which Nigel would bring back, a point not mentioned.

  11. The interview of Nigel Farage by Evan Davis was a disgracefully unprofessional episode in the BBC's close-minded leftward political promotion. Not only was it an utterly biased presentation of questions, but by his boorish talking over of his guest he illustrated his prejudice and brought out Farage's inate courtesy. by the way I don't vote UKIP - but I would certainly give it consideration now.

  12. Hats off to Nigel Farage for not rising to the downright rudeness of Davis. None of the other party leaders would have been treated in such a biased way or so discourtiously. Whether you agree with Nigel Farage or not he deserves to given the same opportunity to answer important questions about his policies and not Paddington bear.

  13. What a disgracefully inept interview, which amply demonstrated the BBC and Davis's left wing bias. Davis does not possess the necessary skills for such interviews and the interruptions rendered the whole exercise a waste of time, except to boost UKIP's support.

  14. What a disgrace Evan Davis is bring back Paxman.
    I have complained to the BBC not that it will make an iota of difference. Well done Nigel for keeping your cool. I will definitely vote UKIP.

    1. Paxman is metropolitan elite establishment and would have done much the same thing. He probably wouldn't have gone with the Paddington Bear angle, though.

  15. Yes the BBC showed they were very biased. Is there no way to really highlight it? I squirmed in my seat at how Farage was verbally accused and attacked. It was uncomfortable viewing. Watching Davis try and pin slanderous views on him was pathetic.

  16. Evan Davis expressed surprise that Farage had not been to a darkened cinema to see a film about a cuddly toy that is aimed at aimed at 5-9 year old children. What is surprising is that a homosexual man should have done so.

  17. Well I hope everyone's made their complaint to OFCOM over the interview - I have.

    Can I just ask everybody to spen 5 minutes making a complaint here:

    Channel: BBC One
    Programme: 'The Leader Interviews: Nigel Farage'
    Date/Time: 22nd April @ 19:30

    Do something about it!

  18. I have also made a complaint to ofcom, probably a waste of time but meh...

    It was a complete farce from start to finish. Evan Davis showed no interest in discussing manifesto/policies. Just pure slander from the get go, David did not allow Farage time to answer questions, as he did with the other election candidates in the previous shows. Instead constantly interrupting and discussing trivial nonsense.

    Shocking bias from BBC, yet so transparent. Farage handled the farce very well though, Was not going to bother voting in the election, however the interview last night has convinced me to vote UKIP haha...

    1. I wish you both well, and will be interested in how the ofcom route pans out.

      It is my experience they bounce anything BBC back to the BBC Trust before you can say 'conflict of interest'.

      There is now a vast dissatisfaction with the BBC clearly shredding impartiality on the altar of survival, and the Trust is a running joke as well as sore now, so it is possible other sections of public sector oversight may be inspired to react.

  19. Evan davis was rude, unprofessional and ignorant in questionjng farage, not allowing farage to answer before moving on to another subject. Completely biased interviewing by the bbc who may have dictated dsvis style which was at odds with his style on newsnight. A thoroughly disgusting display by the bbc which is loosing its reputation of impartiality.

  20. I have only just been able to watch this interview on I-player, and was completely disgusted by the rudeness of Evan Davis. He made no attempt to let Nigel Farage even finish a sentence, and was obviously not at all interested in anything the UKIP leader had to say. I don't know how Farage kept his temper, let alone remain so affable. Davis definitely owes Farage an apology. However, it may well backfire on the BBC, as I should imagine it will have persuaded more people to vote UKIP.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.