What’s your position on the ‘gotcha’? I'd say they’re a useful tool in the armoury, but they’re not the be-all and end-all.
“The whole thing. The last word. Something that so entirely suitable as to eliminate the need for a search for an alternative.”
Therefore, we had good reason to be appalled by the egregious (outstandingly bad) use of attempted gotchas by the two Andys, which certainly did NOT eliminate the need for an alternative. Not from two of the BBC’s most revered political titans with reputations on par with the 13th Duke of Wybourne.
What we wanted from Andrew Neil and Andrew Marr was not so much to see their ‘interrogee’ demolished, destroyed or, in internet parlance, pwned. We wanted to see their philosophies/ policies drawn out, laid bare, and if appropriate, hoist by their own petards.
What the Andys did was lazy and amateurish, which, with their reputations, they had no business to be.
We, on the other hand, are also guilty of using this tool when we can. (Not only ‘we’ here on ITBB, but practically every online keyboard warrior on the interweb) And elsewhere.
Personally, I’m more interested in the intent. Intent is all. It’s a state of mind thing.
Here, on BBC Watch, is an example of a piece that contains a ‘Gotcha” and reveals a good deal of ‘intent’. In case it’s too dense for you because you’re hung-over/suffer from ADD or AHDD or LGBTQ etc,. I’ll try to precis. Here goes:
Quite recently, (18th March 2019) Nick Robinson interviewed a man called Dr Tarek Loubani about an incident that had occurred in Gaza during the GMoR. To be precise, it happened on the “One Day” that was brought to us by the film “One day in Gaza.”
“I was just hanging about minding my own business when bang! I was shot! “
said the good Dr. Loubani (Not verbatim)
“The paramedic who rescued me, Musa Abuhassanin, was killed an hour later when he was shot in the chest.” (Verbatim)
BBC Watch reminds us that this wasn’t the first we’d heard from Dr Loubani:
“BBC audiences had previously heard that story from Tarek Loubani in an article that appeared on the BBC News website in May 2018 and which included a link to his blog.”
If you follow all the links provided by BBC Watch, (I’m sure we don’t always bother) you’ll soon see that Dr Loubani is a bit of a rogue himself; a blogger and a very naughty boy. His mission was to give the impression that his rescuer Musa Abuhassanin was nothing but a paramedic, good and true, who was shot as he went about his business (hanging about / minding his own etc)
“Despite our efforts to clearly identify ourselves as first responders, several of our medical team were wounded by Israeli live fire. One paramedic, Musa Abuhassanin, was killed while attempting a victim rescue under fire. One hour before he was shot in the thorax and killed, Musa was one of my rescuers when I was shot by live ammunition.”
Dr Loubani blogged.
Musa, the paramedic in question, was evidently doing a bit of moonlighting. His other job entailed being a fully-fledged Hamasnik. Oh well. (Hamas helpfully released the incriminating poster) exhibit A.
“The ‘paramedic’ identified by Hamas in that poster as a member of its internal security apparatus turned up again in BBC Two’s recent film titled ‘One Day in Gaza’.”
says BBC Watch.
The film “One Day in Gaza” addressed the same incident. Here, BBC Watch details separate examples from the film where accounts “contrast sharply” with Dr Loubani’s disingenuous statement that went out unchallenged at a later date by Nick Robinson who should have known better.
“Eyewitnesses say at least two armed Palestinians stood aside from the crowd and began firing on Israeli soldiers.” […] “Hamas admits that Palestinians opened fire”
The film’s producer Olly Lambert Tweeted about interviewing Mishal Husain who was also in Gaza for the Today programme (for some unknown reason) while Lambert’s team were filming in December 2018. That pins down the BBC’s knowledge (that Dr Loubani had been a little economical with the actualité all along) to well before Nick Robinson allowed him to repeat his falsehood once more on the Today Programme. That’s the Gotcha.
Here’s a bit of the ‘intent’ I mentioned earlier. The Tweet in question (seen on Olly Lambert’s Twitter feed or timeline or whatever it’s called) refers to “That wise old owl Don Macintyre….”That wise old owl Don Macintyre talking to @MishalHusainBBC for @BBCr4today in our hotel in Gaza this morning. Felt a proper schoolboy thrill to silently sit on the sidelines (checking my phone was on silent every 30 seconds) pic.twitter.com/TZ2UnH2Bn0— Olly Lambert (@ollylambert) December 17, 2018
Wise old owl, eh? Donald Macintyre may be a wise old owl to Olly Lambert, which says more to me about Olly Lambert and his ‘intent’ than all the gotchas put together.