Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Paxman: Has He Lost It?

Call me a sentimental old fool, but I do actually want to hear what the energy minister Mike O'Brien has to say about the Russo-Ukrainian gas crisis. This is one of those very rare political stories which might actually interest intelligent and sensitive types. On Newsnight, however, Paxman was determined to thwart me. I know his withering drawl, his impatient interruptions, his languid sneer are as important to national life as knife crime, the wrong weather and Fear of the French, but this was absurd. The story was buried beneath Paxman's cartoonish mannerisms. O'Brien, apparently a rather straightforward individual, looked like a Bromley solicitor obliged to spend five minutes in a room with a Daffy Duck.

4 comments:

  1. he was locked in a cupboard as a child.

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  2. Alistair Campbell said he stood down as Blair's press secretary because he had become the story. Perhaps Paxman should stand down if he's seen as more important (by himself or the BBC) than the person he's interviewing

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  3. Rufus T. FireflyJanuary 08, 2009 5:43 pm

    I rather admire Paxo; his interview with 'Gideon' the other day was brilliant -- the great thing is, he's an equal opportunities sneerer and therefore appears to hold all politicians in contempt

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  4. The problem is that the bluster and the ooh/aah pantomine mannerisms does not conceal Paxman's intellectual inferiority to the cool customers he's interviewing- for example Mark Regev or Yigal Palmor when they appeared last week top talk about Gaza. Like you I'd have liked to hear about our (lack of) strategic oil and gas reserves. Of course the government quickly rushed out an exciting intiative to create caverns in salt layers under the Irish Sea- all ready, allegedly, by 2014. There is an interesting report to be made about our growing dependence on foreign gas (with Gazprom buying into the sole Algerian LNG alternative) and the failure to commission enough nuclear alternatives, but it won't be on Newsnight anytime soon.

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