Thursday, October 07, 2010

At least just try to look pretty

I've oft lamented over how newspapers deal with statistics and science, now let's turn to politics. Now as with the subjects I've already mentioned I think we'd all agree that it's best to have someone who at least has some knowledge of the subject covering such matters. However with the juggernaut that is 24-hour news it seems to be a case of grabbing whoever's currently at the top of the pole and shoving them out there.

Let's give a hand to Kay Burley of Sky News as picked up by Guido. Check the transcript and the audio then wince. Now to be fair; it could be an out of the blue mention of this gentleman so everyone was scrabbling to get more details etc.; but just listen to the attitude directed at Mr Berkhough.

First off you have to love the "Who are you?", hey manners are for people with time on their hands you can't expect busy reporters to bother to introduce themselves; you should just perform as soon as anyone points a microphone or camera at you.

Next up a pet peeve of some in particular it seems the older generation."Harry you’re live on the tele." so without introduction she's familiar enough to address Mr Berkhough by his first name? Good job she did though as she then mispronounces his surname. When corrected she then repeats her original mistake; it's huff not hoff.

Next up date of birth 1929; no it was 1914 he joined the Party in 1929. Granted easy mistake to make from hurried notes.

"you fought for the Stafford Cripps" and before that he fought for the Royalists against the Roundheads. Yea gods how can anyone with even the slightest pretension of political knowledge refer to "the Stafford Cripps" as if it was some organisation. Oh and Mr Berkhough fought against Cripps as might be expected.

Now referring to his namedrop in the PMs speech "When a lady refused to turn, Harry was with us, [...] Presumably that was Margaret Thatcher?" Oh gods; no it was some other famous Conservative with the same oft-quoted line. Oh wait it's not that Kate's thick "that’s just for our viewers at home who are listening" who she thinks won't know.

And that's not even dealing with the patronising tone "You didn't used to have 24 hour news when you first started in politics, did you?" then after a speech regarding leadership and the war etc.

"I wonder it's like being interviewed on live telly? You ever had that happen to you before?"
"[surprised oh] That's me put in my place"

Mr Berkhough then recites where he's been interviewed and recommends his DVDs and books.

Now if this was a one-off, as I've said hurried around; but it's not. She seems to simply lack internal knowledge on any subject she's presenting.