… it’s their TV.
I reflected on this again after a recent trip to the US and after watching more than my usual dose of daytime TV in a friends home. I was also struck by the inability of news anchors and serious interviewers to conduct a meaningful interview with Donald Trump. He appears on a show and pumps out what is blatantly a lie – the interviewer doesn’t parry, just moves onto the next question on the list. Trump fails for the umpteenth time in the exchange to even attempt to answer the question yet the anchor just lets him get away with turning the question into an opportunity to pump out another un-truth.
But I shouldn’t have been surprised as nothing has changed. A few years back I wrote a piece about NBCs morning news show interviewing the British enfant terrible and comedian Russell Brand…
If ever there is a nation poorly served by its news services then it has to be the USA. For every Woodward and Bernstein at the Washington Post there are hundreds of incompetent dweebs at stations like MSNBC where the three morning anchors are out smarted, out dated, out witted and out performed by Russell Brand who didn’t even have to move out of first gear to floor the three incompetent, witless ‘comedians’ who ‘host’ the Morning Joe show.
As ever with Brand he clearly arrived ready to give ‘good interview’. He knows why he’s there and is prepared to be the good guest while promoting his new tour. But after 30 seconds of disrespect illustrated by the anchors lack of preparation, she isn’t really sure of his name, poor grammar and mindless piffle paffle you can see him turn. Not to out-wit them but to both get ‘the job’ he has completed – bear in mind that this night-owl that probably had to get up at 6am to appear. I think he also wants to reward the viewers with something mildly amusing.
It’s true that as you watch Brand take them apart like shooting fish in a barrel that you remember that he is a pro comedian and stand up and they are just anchors – but I held back my pity… it’s their show, their turf, their agenda, their job to deal with guests. They have all the cards stacked in their favour. What’s most terrifying is if this is how they ‘handle’ a comedian what hope if they had a serious live news story on their hands.