Sunday 12 May 2019

Demolition job

Okay, so who demolished whom? I’d say the blogosphere-cum-Twittersphere-cum-my-own-head-osphere has come down, say 60/40 on the side of Andrew Neil.  

Whether you’ve watched the edited version, the full version, the YouTube version or the BBC version, the problem du jour is the BBC’s complacent reliance on the dull-witted, second-rate, unimaginative research on which their adversarial interviewing technique is habitually based.

Arguably, Andrew Neil won on points - well, one point - which is that he himself is not particularly known for his leftieness. It’s the BBC that’s known for that. 

However, Andrew Neil isn’t all he’s cracked up to be. When it comes to certain issues he’s as lefty as the next ‘Beeboid’. (viz his horrified reaction to perceived Islamophobia and related politically incorrect attitudes) He’s lazy on that.

The other thing that needs to be mentioned in this context is Ben Shapiro’s apology. Fulsome and unequivocal.  Has Andrew Neil reciprocated? Or has he doubled down?  

If neither of them had really ‘never heard of’ the other, then it’s surely very remiss of the BBC to have left Andrew Neil in the dark. Anyway, someone should be a bit sorry about that, if nothing else.

The theme of attacking the BBC for cherry-picking old and tired soundbites and using them as their primary demolition strategy seems to have caught on. 

Nigel made mincemeat out of t’other Andy in that regard, I thought. Poor chap looked quite shell-shocked in the end; he went pale - and who wasn’t just a little concerned for his health?

Anyway, the BBC should now take a leaf out of some rival broadcasting organisations. I can’t access  Al Jazeera Eng any longer, but although they were who they were, they allowed their debates time to flow. I think I’ve heard more uninterrupted speech from Israeli politicians and spokespersons on Al Jaz than on any of our own MSMs.

 And look at Russia Today? Who saw that debate with David Vance and Peter Tatchell the other day? Apart from some unforgettable smarmy bits, I thought it was quite good. In its own sweet way.

As for the spiteful ad homs and attacks on Ben Shapiro that have littered the blogosphere, well, shame. (Mind you there is a touch of the heliums in there, which does slightly ‘affect the overall’. )


  1. Shapiro obviously hadn't done his homework (Andrew Neil left wing? hmmm...) and that kind of rapid fire argumentation doesn't go down well in the UK. Also some of Shapiro's statements are pretty offensive targeting a race rather than an ideology.

    I think Neil won it by a comfortable margin but Shapiro did make contact a few times.

  2. Rupert Myers - the Remainiac who thought the violent assault on Tommy Robinson the "most satisfying thing" you'll see all day...

    Farage has definitely got his mojo back and his approach to BBC interviews (he's clearly been studying Trump) is bang on the mark. Marr looked sheepish, foolish and bested.

  3. You think Neil may have 'won' this debate because Shapiro accused him of being left wing and he isn't ?!

    That a journalist says to an interviewee "I've never heard of you" at all is pathetic.
    For a journalist to say it to an interviewee who gets more listeners per day than Neil gets in a month is beyond pathetic.

    Shapiro is a highly intelligent, highly educated and informed orthodox Jewish neo-con who argues his case day and night for a living.

    Neil made a total cock of himself using the tired tactics of putting someone in a corner to see how they try to get out. It's boring, hackneyed and someone of Shapiro's intellect deserves a more honest debate.

  4. This was the first time I saw Shapiro debating and it was a bit lacklustre. His debating tactics looked like they would work well against an audience of leftwing undergraduate students but they carry less weight against an interviewer who's made a career out of spotting inconsistencies and hypocrisy in politicians and political commentators. But it would be nice to see a second round of Neil v Shapiro, if the latter can desist from victim mentality and actually engage in the vigorous debate he claims to enjoy.

    1. As someone who hasn't seen him debate, maybe you should make the effort before you make a judgement. It may reveal to you the extent to which BBC editorial tricks lead you down the alley where they can safely mug your perception.

      It seems to have worked on you.
      And no, I don't believe Sahpiro was responsible for the outcome - after all Neil 'hadn't heard of Shapiro' until he 'prepared' for the interview. How many debates or speeches had Neil listened to ?


      The brief was obviously prepared by a researcher with the instruction 'dig up some dirty stuff'.

      I don't agree with Shapiro on much - he is at heart a neo-con, but he argues his points well and is worth listening to in my opinion.

      The problem I have with this event is that it opens up space for the poison of people like Nesrine Malik, she who is given unfathomable credence all over the place.

      Nesrine doesn't like the Overton window being shifted. Nesrine describes Nigel Farage's radio show as 'white noise'. See what she did there ?


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