This has been a big topic over on Guido over the weekend. It reminded me of another occasion when Snow didn’t measure up too well.
I saw him doing a travelogue in Japan a few years ago. He stepped off the plane and clearly had no idea about Japanese culture. I had an office there for seven years and could have given him five minutes to get him somewhere in the game. For example, he had no idea that if you ask a direct question, in Japan, you will never get a straight ‘yes or no’ answer.
For example, he asked a few shop-keepers how business was going. They gave the standard Japanese reply – mama – meaning ‘so, so’ giving no indication one way or the other, as their culture would not permit them to claim either success or failure.
Snow the fool then did a piece to camera summarising what he was hearing, taking ‘so,so’ in the western sense, of not very good. It was laughable hearing him assessing the whole Japanese economy based on his total ignorance of what he was hearing.
His ignorance of invoice allocation in book-keeping meant that he couldn’t understand the points being made by Zac Goldsmith. As in Japan, he was totally out of his depth all over again, but much nastier and ruder than before.
And to think that this is the best that Chanel No 4 can put up!!! It almost prompted a headline ‘Snow Melts’, but he’s too frozen over to do that.
Surely the presenters should stop trying to be the participants. Robin Day started the process of the interviewer being partisan, rather than polite onlooker and medium. It has now gone via Paxman to ludicrous levels, where interviewers feel they are failing if they don’t attempt at minimum a crucifixion of their interviewee. Maybe Snow should see his role as enabling the story to come out, and ensuring that Goldsmith explains his side of the story. And let the public hear other viewpoints coherently. The fact that politicians feel the need not to be browbeaten by low tactics seems fair enough. The interviewers should respond by reverting to their earlier mode pre-Robin day, of acting as the medium, not the activist. It only works if the politician is willing to act out the role of silent endlessly polite victim.
The coming of Zac shows that the younger generation of politicians don’t want to play the same old game as before, and are no longer going to tolerate low punches, without hitting back. The public see it as fair enough. The wheel has gone full circle. It’s up to the media to adapt to the changing circumstances – or, in Snow’s case, die.
There must be someone in Chanel No 4’s arsenal of interviewers who has the slightest grasp of the real world, things like book-keeping, foreign cultures etc. Maybe there isn’t anyone! It’s part of the job specification for a C4 interviewer to have an empty brain, which can be programmed to contain the required assumptions of Marxist doctrine.