Friday, March 03, 2006

Before Your Very Eyes

Last night, this very blog brought you Nick Cohen on BBC's Newsnight. Because we're liberals, the BBC gives us preferential treatment. We phone them up, give the secret liberal signal (yelling "Down with Israel"), and then they do whatever we want. Tonight, at the behest of Aaronovitch Watch, Newsnight brings you David Aaronovitch. Apparently he has a "nasty stye in his eye."

Just as well that it's Aaro and not Nick. They're discussing "The Road to Guantanamo, the new Jay McInerney novel, the Arthur Miller at the Old Vic, and the Triennial at Tate Britain." I know which of them I'd rather hear talk about the West End and modern art. Dave himself says, "Better than going out and having fun." And I'm not going to argue with that. Though Newsnight Review starts at 11 pm, when many pubs shut, and of course you could tape it.

Update. I've found Mark Lawson's overview, if you will, of Newsnight Review, in which he says, "In a Newsnight Review panellist, energy and eccentricity helps." The good thing about Mark Lawson's writing is that you can hear him reading it out in your head. (Well, I can anyway.) The obvious reason for this, however, is that he writes everything he says beforehand, and uses an autocue. I rather fear that Aaro lacks both qualities at a telegenic pitch. Of course he has some energy: most people who make it into a television studio have already trampled a fair-sized garrison of lesser talents, but he's not as obviously loopy as Germaine Greer or Tom Paulin (who needed, according to Mr Lawson, "a demilitarised zone between them while discussing a drama-documentary about Bloody Sunday").

I also fear that as he's a supporter of the government and of both adventures in Afghanistan and Iraq, he'll be called on to defend Guantanamo. This would be unfair. I don't recollect him supporting torture or this arbitrary detention without trial of brown people. It would be a shame if they used him as a liberal bien-pensant punching bag.

One of the pieces up for consideration by the bridge crew of the Starship Enterprise I mean the Newsnight Review panel is a play by the late Arthur Miller. As I wrote a short post about Miller here, I'd like to see Dave's take on his final work.

7 Comments:

Anonymous redpesto said...

I only caught a wee bit of Newsnight Review (frankly, watching DA go head to head with everyone else wasn't my idea of a night in), but I did catch him commenting that the Guantanamo film got awards for being well, agin Guantanamo, which struck me a a cheap shot. (DA's problem basically being that he's still trying to support the invasion of Iraq without being tainted by everything Bush and 'God Will Judge Me' Blair have done or said since.)

3/04/2006 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Backword Dave said...

Actually, I thought he was rather good. The other four were against him, and weren't interested in his reasoned objections (the three men crossed into Afghanistan *after* the war had started, not before as the film led one to believe). Ekow Eshun was determined not to let a few facts get in the way of his shallowly held beliefs, and Mark Kermode thought that it was a "Michael Winterbottom film" (which it is) and that Michael Winterbottom loves unreliable narrators. This may be true, but it rather disqualifies him from making documentaries.

Aaro looked a lot slimmer than even his Times byline photograph. Slimmer than Nick the previous night in fact, and quite healthy. I couldn't see the stye.

3/04/2006 01:39:00 PM  
Blogger Backword Dave said...

Oops, I meant four men of course. One has "disappeared."

3/04/2006 01:43:00 PM  
Anonymous bruschettaboy said...

I thought Aaro was all right, particularly as the bar for "Newsnight review" is set by Mark "Hyacinth Bucket" Kermode, who is just like the biggest wanker in history. Has Kermode ever achieved anything at all, and should the fact that he hasn't not occasionally be noted when he gives such a dismissive account of other people's work.

3/04/2006 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Mark said...

Did anyone watch Blair on Parkinson? I hardly expected a tough line of questioning bearing in my mind the nature of the show but that was one of the most horrid displays of sycophancy I've ever seen. "People have been writing stuff about you accusing you of being a liar and a war criminal. I mean, how do you feel when people say stuff like that about you?" It's disgraceful isn't it Michael, poor little Tony, eh? And as for "Oh, I remember when I was sat in your living room watching the football.." - ugh. Parkinson could hardly have been more fawning if he tried.

3/04/2006 11:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blair actually does get the treatment that Nick and Dave believe George Galloway does.

3/05/2006 02:29:00 PM  
Anonymous belle le triste said...

(kermode is awful on TV but as a writer on the history of horrible horror he is v.well-informed and ok: however he shd NEVER step outside this territory)

(the guy who shot herzog with an air rifle pellet while kermode wz interviewing him on TV a few weeks back wz actually aiming at kermode for giving away the SHOCK MOMENT in "ringu" when he introduced it grrr)

3/05/2006 02:48:00 PM  

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