Friday 23 September 2016

Hatchet JO'B

'Repetition!', as they cry on Just a Minute...

Well, if Gyles Brandreth is going to accuse me of 'Repetition!' for posting yet again about James O'Brien on Newsnight then Gyles really ought to accuse James O'Brien and Newsnight of 'Repetition!' as well for yet again inviting on yet another hapless US right-winger for JO'B to ritually slaughter. 

Last night's Republican 'lamb' was this chap, then duly splashed on the Newsnight homepage:

Anyone seeking to contextualise that quote - by saying that Congressman Pittenger (as he himself said to James O'Brien) was citing some of the public comments made by rioters in Charlotte that they do hate white people - must be a racist. Twitter says so, after all.

Funnily enough, JO'B then talked to a black US journalist, Goldie Taylor, and was very nice to her.

She talked repeatedly of an "uprising" in Charlotte and yet James didn't pick her up or challenger her on her use of language there. (Did it ever cross his mind to do so?)

The difference in treatment was even more pronounced as (a) he introduced her by slighting his previous guest, Congressman Pittenger ("...It's hard to know where to begin"...) and (b) his following questions were all open invitations for Ms Taylor to further slate Congressman Pittenger. (All except his final question, that is. 'In contrast' that was an open invitation to Ms Taylor to slate Donald Trump, with whom Congressman Pittenger sympathises).

Anyone wanting to see biased interviewing in action should simply watch these back-to-back interviews.

Even if you side with Goldie Taylor against Robert Pittenger, can you honestly say that James O'Brien was behaving like an 'impartial BBC interviewer' here?

What's that I hear you say? You "don't care!"? You think JO'B was right to be blatantly biased here?

Well, you may be perfectly happy with that (as many just like you on Twitter were) and think that the BBC should be openly taking sides - as it, indeed, does, again and again - on US political issues. But what if they also took against your side on either issues? On UK issues even? You'd complain then, wouldn't you?


Earlier on the same Newsnight, Emily Maitlis had presented a report comparing Trump and Boris, the Trump phenomenon and Brexit. The comparisons weren't exact, she said, but the similarities were striking.

Given the very low approval ratings Donald Trump has here in the UK (according to the polls I've read about), that might not be taken as a positive comparison here. 


  1. I too was appalled at James O’Brien's "interview" with Congressman Pittenger - the complete refusal to actually listen to what the Congressman was saying, just an attempt to discredit him (in the eyes of the BBC) by linking him with Trump. The, “How can you agree with Martin Luther King if you support Donald Trump” and the rude manner in which it was delivered smacked of desperation on O’Brien’s part. Interestedly it was exactly the kind of rudeness regularly displayed by BBC journalists whenever they interview Israeli politicians.

  2. The riots are getting worse because the BBC's beloved Obamessiah has once again sent His Department of Justice minions to instigate. Just like He did in Baltimore and Ferguson.

    Guess what the BBC won't be reporting. If you think His 'community organizing' is bad and destructive now, just wait until He's out of office and seeks revenge on everyone who blocked His plans. Especially if Trump wins. We'll have a race war within months.

  3. O'Brien is appalling on LBC as well. LBC are going downhill fast. They imported Shelagh Fogarty from the BBC (they never change do they).

    Now they have hired Matthias Frei from the BBC. I didn't realise he was "German born". He certainly looks German.

    Anyway what radio station can I listen to now?

  4. P.S. Talksport is stuffed full of ex-BBC people. All retain their BBC-nurtured arrogance.


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