Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Take the Axeman to Paxman

I am absolutely sick of Jeremy Bleedin' Paxman.

Last night's episode of Newsnight was another example of this useless overpaid idiot needlessly and pointless just abusing and interrupting another politician - the result being that the viewer was not enlightened one bit about the days events.

Now I am no fan of Vince (questionable reputation) Cable. But to invite him on Newsnight following the announcement of the detailed breakdown of the governments initial £6 Billion cuts and simply deriding him for ten minutes for 'changing his mind' about the need for cuts now, rather than later, was just ludicrous. We learn't nothing of substance about the cuts and the economic circumstances - a total waste of everyone's time.

If this was an isolated event for this mindless moron, it might be forgiveable as a temporary lapse of judgement. But it wasn't was it? Paxman's 'stock in trade' is just mindless, repetitive abuse.

The pattern is predictable and dull:

First he thinks of the most awkward, vindictive and poisonous question he can muster and then about 3 seconds into the answer he interrupts the start of the answer and starts badgering with more and more pointless follow-up questions trying to box the interviewee into a corner, all the while interrupting them and speaking to them in the most ridiculous and derisory way that none of us would ever dream of speaking to another person unless.. well they had at least mutilated or murdered a fairly large proportion of our family.

Now there are extreme cases. Where individuals or elected representatives have behaved in a completely intolerable way and in this instance, the sort of derision that Paxman heaps on almost all of his 'guests' is perhaps appropriate.

But to do it almost daily to every politician he interviews is just indiscriminate, mindless and ludicrous.

Ironically, it was on Newsnight that Michael Howard memorably attacked Alastair Campbell for having devalued and debased politics. But he could just as easily have turned his fire on Paxman.

Now Alastair Campbell has finally been sent to rot in hell it's about time someone did the same for Paxman.

His attitude is intolerable. There is absolutely no excuse for abusing people in this way. If politicians are going to be expected to behave in ways that command, if not respect, then at least reasonable acceptance, treating them like something on the bottom of your shoe is not the way to go about it.

Just as Campbell denigrated politics by making it acceptable to lie and deceive and be completely dishonest with the electorate - so Paxman continues to denigrate politics by making political discourse an arena in which he displays complete contempt for politicians of all parties.

The relevance and importance of politics, and the standing of politicians will only improve when extremist media lunatics like Paxman are consigned to the scrapheap.

Scepticism, or even a degree of cynicism is acceptable, but repetitive, mindless abuse of politicians - constant attempts to make them look stupid rather than discussing the issues is as much of a destructive force in this democracy as was the era of spin.

Boris Johnson was the only one to have ever have comprehensively beaten Paxman. Facing one of Paxman's tirades of abuse, Boris hit back with an attack. He pointed out that Paxman is a crazily overpaid public servant - reputed to 'earn' a million a year. Boris badgered him back and kept on questioning him on this point in exactly the same way that Paxman repeatedly badgers his interviewees and tries to make them look stupid.

And Paxman really did look stupid. The response from the BBC was to delete the exchange from it's later published programme on i-Player...

So. If you are looking for cuts George then just get the BBC to sack that idiot Paxman and lets start having some sensible political conversations. oh and save a million quid a year at the same time!

And Crick. Don't think I haven't noticed. I am watching you too.


Prodicus said...

Don't forget the Newsnight Trot.

Henry Wood said...

Boris was not the only one to duff up Paxman. Take a look at this Welsh Nationalist:

Anonymous said...

Good point well made.

I was thinking the same thing last night as well. I have no writ fore Cable, but just what was the point of Paxman's abuse? there MAY have n]been a point if a party had a working majority, but in a coalition everybody has to eat humble pie.

A dish no-one will see anyone from the BBC eating.

I grow tired of Paxman.

I hope when he interviews labour politicians he asks them top apologise for the national debt and the deficit.

Anonymous said...

what about the "Today" mob of lefties?

jailhouselawyer said...

Whilst I do have an axe to grind, and I should be taken to Paxo to answer questions about the news story about to break on 1 June 2010, I quite like the chap and have no desire to see him beheaded.

Benjamin said...

If you don't like it there is always the OFF BUTTON, Tory boy.

People who get wound up by silly telly programmes make me laugh.

Robin Horsley said...

Thanks for the comments all!

Henry - good point - I saw the Welsh Nationalist - he did well!

Trevorsden - Agree strongly ref Debt and Deficit - see previous posts.

Anon - Personally I object less to the Today mob and think the accusation of bias is true but overdone.

Jailhouselawyer - Perhaps a legal expert you know better than me. Perhaps beheading seems a little excessive. But I do think if his battered carcass was left on the steps outside TV Centre (Wood Lane) as a reminder to other media people to try and concentrate on the job of sharing the news rather than just abusing the interviewee it might sharpen things up a tad.

Benjamin - Actually I am 'Liberal Conservative' now. Tory Boy is a bit 1980's although I do like the Gene Hunt associations. I think you were wearing your 'Tory Prejudice Goggles' when you read my post and it obscured your vision. Of course you can turn off the telly but you are still paying for it and not getting the News at Night - I thought the title of the programme was Newsnight not Abusenight.

Anonymous said...

How refreshing... I thought it was just me. He needs a slap.

George said...

Well, frankly, Vince "Man of the People" Cable deserved it. He has flip-flopped all over the place and is only in the Lib-Dems as he is a failed Labourite candidate, Glasgow, who disliked and had little affinity for the extreme left.
As for Paxo, cannot fault the string, overpaid and on our TV.

Anonymous said...

Paxman is one of the Left's Grumpy Old Media Men and his whole overly-cynical interviewing style is way past its sell by date. The people who over obsess on politicians' changes of mind over every bit of policy detail need to be told to lie in a darkened room and breathe deeply to aid recovery from their addiction to political trivia point-scoring fetishism.

Mr Paxman doesn't yet seem to realize that the British political paradigm has shifted and that we're in a new political age that will require a new set of assumptions and interviewing styles. The Left is generally incredibly slow to respond proportionately to significant changes in wider society.

Robin Horsley said...

Anonymous 2 - Brilliant! Particularly loved your first paragraph - superbly put

Anonymous said...

This is why the broadcasting media is fucked . Only an idiot buys into these media gods like Paxman . It's just another loviedom all patting one another and giving one another awards . It's all shit . No intelligent person ever watches this stuff . The Welsh Nationalist guy who fucked Paxman over a few weeks ago said it all. The BBC will be gone in ten years and I say that as someone who has learnt a huge amount from BBC programmes over fifty years, but as this bloke says it's all so old hat this Paxman attack dog garbage . Poor sod what else would he / can he do .

Steven Allan said...

At last ! Someone else has said what I've been thinking for years. Being interested in politics, Newsnight is just my type of programme and Jeremy Paxman ruins it. There was a time when the BBC would never have given an in-view job to a slob. Now, it appears to be their style - I won't mention Ann Robinson.

I wish someone could get something done about it. I like the programme but I hate it when he's on. Incidentally, I wonder if Kirsty Wark and the others get the £1m that Paxman is reputed to get.

Anonymous said...

The trouble with you Ian is that you cannot tolerate any kind of reportage unless it is framed according to your world view. No wonder you were not elected to become an MP. I think you had beter stick to your behind the scenes job because your worn out demeanour is extremely unattractive. More importantly it would defintely firghten the children

Robin Horsley said...

Eh? Who is Ian? I have never run for Parliament. What are you on about?

Anonymous said...

Grumpy old whining man. Methinks Ian Dale that you are referring to yourself. You are so full of venom and bile towards Labour that you have the effect of turning people off your message. AT least the good people of Norwich had the sense to see you for what you are. Better to stick to the behind the scenes role as your outward apperance is no better either.

Anonymous said...

Can somebody please explain to me what has shifted in the national political paradigm. How can it be right that a party which only gained 23% of the national vote is running the show in parliament. The general election was fought amongst three political parties and yet we have ended up with a party which polled the least number of votes entering into coalition with the Tories. Surely it is Nick Clegg who is squatting in No 10 Downing Street

Anonymous said...

My dear fellow Robin you are acting as a mouth piece for your comrade Ian Dale. I do not recall you rushing to put pen to paper when Gordon Brown was savaged by Andrew Marr and the press generally. If you were on the other hand to look at BBC salaries, I think you might find greater public support for your argument. I for one do not agree with news presenters being paid ninety thousand plus to read the news. Now that is a scandal. At least with Jeremy Paxman you get a first class demolition job which is why David Cameron did not want to lock horns.

Anonymous said...

Actually we need more forensic examination of all politicians, left and right, not less. Paxman along with Jon Snow are the only credible journalists who are capable of carrying out this role.

Anonymous said...

I used to be a fan of Paxman, but I don't class what he does now on Newsnight as forensic examination. If he invites people on (from either left or right) and asks them questions, he should at least give them chance to answer, after which he could challenge the answer. His constant interruptions mean that we don't get to hear the answer, which I, for one, find very frustrating. Increasingly there are also times when three or more people talk over each other and nobody can hear anything.

Anonymous said...

"His constant interruptions mean that we don't get to hear the answer"

Paxman and Dimbleby (on 'Question Time') both employ a similar infuriating barracking tactic aimed at not letting someone share their analysis and proposed solution to a particular challenge. Michael Gove was brilliant at dealing with Paxo a few weeks ago when, in discussing his free schools proposals, refused to respond to Paxo in kind. Paxo kept repeating "How many new schools...?" as a question and Gove replied that quantity was not the issue: the new policy was about a qualitative change, not a mandatory, target-driven quantitative one. Paxo was genuinely lost for words and never recovered thus enabling Gove to set out his arguments in full. I punched the air from my armchair (ha ha).

Anonymous said...

"there are also times when three or more people talk over each other and nobody can hear anything."

I've recently returned to the UK after living abroad for 20 years and this is one of the changes - this barracking, this impatient talking over each other - to British culture that has hit me between the eyes. I had become used to living in countries where people are more reflective and philosophical about many aspects of life, including politics and, suddenly, I am back in a culture in which shades and hues are left out of such discussions and gauntlets based on black and white thinking are constantly thrown down. Was it always thus? I even find it among friends and have a headache by the end of a dinner party as people shout across each other as if expressing a Eureka moment when in fact they are expressing a narrow-minded opinion. It seems like the quick, 'clever', holier-than-thou, put-you-on-the-spot, one-upmanship society (not quite to the level of the East Coast US 'F*** You!' society) is everywhere around me: traffic, supermarket queues. Mind you, I've learnt a few tricks from other cultures that quite often stop people in their tracks because they come from outside the box (so to speak).

Am I, a recently-returned expat, just imagining this? It's a bit like the way that British life seems to have had its volume turned up on an invisible volume control: loud conversations all over the place; loud screaming, whooping and hysterical, emoting on TV talent shows.

I can at least console myself with the great British sense of humour which is as great as ever.

Anonymous said...

"At least with Jeremy Paxman you get a first class demolition job which is why David Cameron did not want to lock horns."

Is that a justification for forcing a pensioner living in poverty, who happens to own - wait for it - a television, to subsidise - via a de facto tax - Mr Paxman to the tune of some 900 grand per year?

Anonymous said...

"to subsidise - via a de facto tax - Mr Paxman to the tune of some 900 grand per year"

Yep. Agree with you there! Paxman is paid a fortune to perform his verbal gymnastics (complete with Basil Fawlty type indignation- never sure how genuine that is!) for a tiny audience from mainly the chattering classes.

Newsnight could be cancelled and 99.75% of us wouldn't notice any difference.

Robin Horsley said...

Hmm. Lots of Anonymous commenters! - Anon at 5.26 you say:

'My dear fellow Robin you are acting as a mouth piece for your comrade Ian Dale. I do not recall you rushing to put pen to paper when Gordon Brown was savaged by Andrew Marr and the press generally.'

A really bizarre idea that I am in some way speaking for Iain (note spelling) Dale. I have no idea what his opinion of Paxman is but I guess if he wanted to express one he would himself. Actually I am quite flattered that you think I might be some kind of mouthpeice for the master blogger 'imself.

Do you really think Andrew Marr has ever 'savaged' anyone?

But I do think having destroyed the British economy and having nearly unhinged the entire global Banking system Gordon Brown does indeed deserve a damn good savaging - at the very least..

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