Sunday 20 May 2018

In praise of Emma Barnett

Emma Barnett

Here I was this morning tuning into The Andrew Marr Show after a post-wedding evening do last night (no, not that wedding) and hoping for a bit of restful political interviewing only to find Emma Barnett going after her guests like a magpie after a fledgling. Her style of interviewing is bracing to say the least. Piles of feathers lay strewn over the studio floor by the end of the programme. Shifting animal comparisons, she also has a fascinating cobra-like way of staring fixedly at her victims before, during and after she asks her questions.

I found her both very impressive and fair, and most people seem to agree (at least if Twitter's anything to go by - and it always is) - that is, of course, with the predictable exception of the Corbynistas who obviously didn't enjoy seeing their man (silver-tongued Barry Gardiner) getting taken down and torn apart. (eg. "Emma Barnett's shameful haranguing of decent Barry Gardiner looked personal & vindictive; by comparison Tories just aren't gone after personally like this on the Marr Show. Illustrates once again the BBC's failure to abide by political impartiality in its political offerings"). Even the anti-Trump former CIA head General Michael Hayden didn't get the easy ride I expected him to get, with Emma putting the case for President Trump with surprising gusto (and you don't often see that on the BBC).

So well done Emma Barnett!


  1. EB doing her job at the BBC: promoting soggy leftism (the approved BBC ideology). She will do down the Corbynistas but she will equally do down the Tories. She will never be tough on soggy leftists like Chukka, Yvette and Stella. She will love them to death. She writes a lot in the press and appears on Sky so we all know her bias. She advocates openness and honesty in personal matters in her agony aunt columns...hmm...research her biog.

    1. I'm sure you're right about that (as it sounds about right), but what do you make of her interview with General Michael Hayden?

      Though I don't doubt for a second that she didn't believe in what she was asking, I felt she made a decent stab at disguising that fact.

      Her questions to him were:

      Haven’t you just described a President who’s in tune with his people? Perhaps that intuition explains why he’s made much more progress with some of those entrenched political problems than leaders before him.

      You describe North Korea in your book as an unsolvable problem,’ that has confounded previous US administrations. Aren’t you impressed by Donald Trump’s ability to bring King Jong-un to the table?

      But aren’t you generalising? Why would the President of South Korea say that Donald Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize?

      A lot of people could say that President Trump is making progress where others haven’t.

      You called President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran imperfect. So why don’t you praise Donald Trump rather than criticising him for pulling out of it?

      What about the development of ballistic missiles? It’s all very well saying we now know more, but what’s to stop Donald Trump getting a far greater and more encompassing deal?

      But General Hayden, didn’t you pre-judge the commander-in-chief before he was even elected? In fact, you signed a letter alongside other senior security figures from past administrations saying he lacked the temperament to be President. You prejudged the man who’s now making progress you could argue.

      And you say he’s doing harm. Could that be repaired by a future President?

      Yes, the disguise slipped at the end but at least she made a bit of an effort - and more than most at the BBC would have done.

    2. I'd say that was an easy way to polish up her journalistic credentials. If she ever subjects Yvette, Chukka or Stella to a similarly tough (ie genuinely tough) interview, I may believe she is upholding true journalism.

      Anyway here's a couple of submissions from the case for the prosecution:


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