Now, to be fair, it may be that Jeremy Paxman’s researchers are totally ignorant of British history – in other words, have been educated by leftist teachers. Because, after all, the tale of the Sudan spun by him last night sounds like the Guardian version of history. But as that CP Scott was always saying, facts are sacred.
Apparently his series “Empire” is a flagship programme. Pity the flagship is the Belgrano.
“Paxman’s version of the story of General Gordon in Khartoum was so laughably inaccurate that I thought I must be hearing things. I had to watch again on BBC iPlayer to check that my ears hadn’t been playing tricks. In a few minutes of television, Paxman managed to misunderstand every stage of the tale.”
Let David Blair at the Telegraph tell the whole sorry tale.
Paxo went IIRC to Malvern – where history obviously wasn’t taught that well. He should have gone to a decent state grammar like Bromsgrove County High School – Miss Scatchard would have put him right.
I can’t resist appending this family memory of General Gordon, taken from Hilary Hook’s memoir Home From The Hill. This chap, sitting under a tree in the 1950s, knew that the Turks ruled Sudan in 1885 – which is more than the makers of ‘Empire’ do.
“The chief brought us native beer in dirty calabashes, we gave him a mug of rum and sat under a council tree outside the village. The talk ranged through the usual topics, rain, cattle, raids, crops and recruits for the buluk…
‘You must be a great age,’ said Denis jokingly and then added, ‘perhaps you knew Gordon Pasha?‘ The chief considered this for a moment and then said gravely. ‘No, but my father often spoke of him, he worked under “Gordoon” Pasha when he was Governor here in the south. “Gordoon” Pasha was a God, he destroyed the slave traders. My father said that “Gordoon” Pasha’s eyes were like spears – no man dared tell him a lie. He was here many years, then he left us and the slavers came again but worse than before. They slew the great “Gordoon” Pasha in Khartoum and the Turks were driven from the Sudan.
Then terrible years came – we lived in fear. One day from over those hills …”
Jeremy Paxman’s behaviour on last night’s Newsnight was staggering. Perhaps his astonishingly aggressive demeanour was his way of bluffing the audience into thinking that social media gossip was a credible substitute for concrete evidence against the EDL.
With continual interruptions, hectoring and and exaggerated facial expressions of disgust, he completely departed from interviewing and veered off unsteadily in the direction of attempted verbal assassination. I’m glad to announce that he failed to reach his destination.
Stephen Lennon AKA Tommy Robinson – he has two names, so people usually call him the bloke from the EDL – had another grilling on BBC News 24 from £92,000 per annum worth of BBC anchorwoman, Carrie Gracie. However hard she tried, she just couldn’t trip him up, and she didn’t bother to conceal her frustration.
Breivik’s insane killing spree has unleashed some unedifying spectacles of no-holds-barred lashing out at the ‘far right’ from the media and the BBC, and their favourite target is the EDL, which they see as the epitome of illiberalism and intolerance. The more Ms. Gracie insisted that the EDL had ‘the same objectives’ as Breivik and tried to connect him and his atrocity with the EDL as an organisation, the weaker her case became. She failed to ridicule him, trip him up, counter-argue or bully him on any level at all, but instead got herself more and more worked up, so that the whole of the following item was conducted with a rictus grin.
By merely admiring the way Stephen Lennon stood up to the BBC I foresee the prospect of being inextricably associated with the EDL for ever more. But I support Israel, which already places me as a right-wing nutter, so what the hell.
Instead of blogging the emotive language used in the BBC’s report of the Israeli retaliation to heightened attacks from Gaza, I’m going to discuss the embarrassing exposure of Jeremy “I’ll have to take your first answer” Paxman’s pissmronouncing stumbling incompetence as per the Telegraph. Well, not discuss, just mention. Hats off to Alexander Guttenplan.
The many fascinating ways the news about Gaza has been phrased this morning shows how difficult it is to get it right. Keep trying.