Monday, July 15, 2024
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Nick Robinson, the poster boy for BBC arrogance


IN THE dangerously overcrowded stable of pretentious journalists, the BBC’s Nick Robinson must rank among the most gratingly smug and oozing in false omniscience. His every utterance, be it the glib put-down or smarmy retort, indicates that he believes himself to be above the interviewee.

His Panorama interview with Nigel Farage, aired on June 21, was a classic of the genre. I stumbled upon it by accident: having crippled myself recently at work I am spending more time rotting my brain in front of the television. Given that Saint Nige was to be interviewed, I simply had to watch. You can see it here.

Although one cannot Barrage the Farage, Mr Robinson certainly tried. Half an hour of predictably tiresome accusations dressed up as talking points, each delivered before a substantive answer could be given. Mr Robinson was searching for the ‘Gotcha!’ moment, the one that would put him in the history books as The Man Who Stopped Farage.

It was pitiful to watch. Robinson’s puffed-up performance offered no intention of engaging on any topic or deepening anyone’s understanding. It was a dull bid for political assassination. It was conducted not for the public’s benefit, but in the hope of admiration from the journalistic class.

Its desperation reminded me of Cathy Newman’s disastrous interview with Jordan Peterson. Sadly, Farage did not land any killer blows on Robinson as Peterson did Newman, though one had the feeling that, had he wanted to, he could have stuck the boot in quite easily. Saint Nigel, on best behaviour, remained above such things.

Nick Robinson perfectly embodies the utter irrelevance of institutions such as the BBC. The world has moved on and they are yet to realise. They are living dinosaurs. Why, pray, should anyone suffer through an interminable interview where the interviewer is more concerned with proving himself right than letting the subject talk freely?

It is why podcasts have exploded in popularity. Platforms – which do not leech off the public purse like some fattened parasite – offer interviews over an hour or two (or three) held on the basis of good faith and intellectual inquiry. Joe Rogan, Triggernometry and the rest: their focus is the guest; the presenters are not trying to prove to their listenership that they are the Good Guys.

The growth of this format has even led to some of the media world’s more arrogant characters being tamed: witness Piers Morgan (who is only wildly on-message or totally off, never in between) speaking to American public policy analyst Jeffrey Sachs recently about Russia-Ukraine. Throughout, Morgan allowed Sachs to speak freely without seeking any gotchas, enabling the audience to learn about an opposing view, something that remains unpermitted on the BBC’s airwaves where the guiding principle remains indoctrination not information. See the interview here:

One useful aspect of the interview with Farage, however, is that  Robinson shows himself to be a perfect embodiment of the Establishment. As someone who has disengaged to a large degree from mainstream media, I find it handy once in a while to tune back in to hear the devil singing his same old tune. These are, after all, the exact types who occupy each and every institution across the land.

Whether such people are actually humans, or avatars created by The Simulation to irritate us, remains unclear. Nevertheless, they are the defenders of each orthodoxy and each catechism of the modern elite.

Take, for example, Farage’s statements on the Russia-Ukraine conflict: that Nato’s expansion eastwards gave Putin a pretext upon which to launch his invasion. Naturally, this is presented immediately as ‘Putin apologism’. Any attempt at nuance, any glance towards the viewpoint that maybe we are not always blameless in our foreign policy dealings, is met with tiresome slurs.

I do not agree with Farage on everything – for example, I think he should be more forthright on the radical leftist ideology that underpins the cult of climate change – but that he has moved the Overton Window on the issue of Russia-Ukraine is heartening.

It is a shame that our current political elite is so happy to see so many lives wasted, cities obliterated and dollars poured away in the pursual of a pointless war. For Nick Robinson et al, the piles of corpses in eastern Europe serve merely as an adornment of their self-proclaimed moral superiority.

Hopefully, this disastrous war will soon be over. The political elite and the likes of Robinson will find themselves robbed of a purpose, no longer able to encourage the deaths of others. No doubt they’ll find some other project to tie themselves in knots over. With any luck, that will be the growing threat of Nigel Farage bearing down on Downing Street.

When that day becomes a realistic possibility, we will see the extremes to which the Establishment will go. Previous battles will look like mild skirmishes as the entire apparatus of the progressive state is hurled at the usurpers. No doubt Nick Robinson and his colleagues will be at the forefront of the efforts.  

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Frederick Edward
Frederick Edward
Frederick Edward is from the Midlands. You can see his Substack here.'

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