Over the weekend of 8/9 October 2016, the mainstream news was dominated by the ‘Donald Trump Tape.’ Such was the furore generated in the media worldwide that I’ll assume the reader is familiar with the backstory, and cut to the chase.
It has long been evident that, for reasons we can all deduce, a majority of the mainstream media holds an anti-right wing brief in general and, currently, an anti-Trump brief in particular. Over that weekend, this bias was endlessly demonstrated in all its obnoxious glory, not least by Sky News and the so-called BBC.
A Case In Point
On Saturday 8th October at 2:15pm, BBC News Channel broadcast an interview with one Dr Jan Halper-Hayes. Halper-Hayes is vice-president of Republicans Overseas, a political organization, created in 2013, for Americans who are living outside the United States. She has written pro-Trump articles for Breitbart under the name Dr Jan Halper, Ph.D. In the BBC news studio, the interviewer is the programme’s presenter, Gavin Esler. He begins with this introduction:
Let’s get more now on our main story. The Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has apologised for obscene comments he made about women in a video from 2005. In the recording Mr Trump braggs about groping and trying to have sex with women. With me now is Jan Halper-Hayes, a former worldwide vice-president of Republicans Abroad.[sic]
And so the BBC, judgemental as ever, begins the process of embedding the word ‘obscene’ into the nation’s psyche in relation to this subject. Also, one would expect the BBC to have correctly named the organisation to which the good Doctor belongs. Republicans Overseas and Republicans Abroad are quite distinct and separate organisations. Whatever, let’s roll with it.
GE: Good to see you. When you heard what he had to say, what did you think?
JH-H: Well.. look.. I wrote an international best-seller where I interviewed over 4,000 men and followed 43 men’s lives that come from the same generation as him, so I’m not surprised by anything because there’s at least 50% of the men that play that jocular game. I feel very bad for him that it is an 11-year-old comment, and it has come out at this time. There is no way any man in this political correct environment could come to his defence, or could admit that sometimes in the locker room, you’ve all said something lewd or off-colour. And.. uhm..
So talking dirty is something at least half of men do because it’s human nature. Who knew? Undeterred, Gavin decides to confound the Doctor with fuzzy logic…
GE: I have to say, I don’t think most men have said anything quite like this, that because he’s a star he can do what he wants with women, and he said it when he was fifty-nine years old. He wasn’t a fourteen year old boy.
JH-H: Well.. you know.. let’s leave his age out of it and we can look at his generation. But yeah, he said it 11 years ago and yes, um, I.. I have heard those kinds of comments because I’ve been the confidante to different celebrities, different CEOs. Bob Crandall of American Airlines used to refer to the flight attendants with the C-word, and they knew it. You know? They got away with it back then. They should not get away with it now, but they got away with it back then.
Bugger. Let’s try channelling the confected disgust of the RINOs…
GE: Paul Ryan, er.. the most powerful Republican in United States politics, has said he’s ‘sickened’ by the comments. If that’s what the Speaker of the House of Representatives is saying, many Republicans must be really holding their nose if they think they’re going to vote for this man.
JH-H: Uh.. you know what? Um.. I’m not sure they’re holding their nose. I think that it would.. it’s been very interesting that this is occupying the news and something far more damaging to Hillary Clinton broke at the same time, that is going to make most of Sanders’ supporters walk away from her, and probably go to Johnson. And so we’re not presenting both sides of it. Let’s just agree. It is horrible that men think that way, talk that way, but they do. And…
Christ on a bike, why is she bringing up Hillary? We’re not here to present both bloody sides, woman! Gavin interrupts…
GE: I think you’d have to put the word ‘some’ in there.
JH-H: I said, about 50%.
Oh.. er.. yes, you did, sorry, Gavin just remembered. So now he resorts to a combination of auto-inclusion and weapons-grade supposition…
GE: Yeah, you said.. but you said men.. in other words, when people listen to this, they will wonder if this is the person with the right temperament to be President of the Unites States. It’s not about policy, it’s about ‘who is that person?’ He said, ‘These words do not reflect who I am.’ Now some men might cheer that they DO reflect who he is, but other people will think that ‘yes they do, I can’t stand him.’
JH-H: Look, in the celebrity world, in any world, men play one-upmanship. In the celebrity world, this is one of the ways. But we also have to put some responsibility on the women, who are so enamoured with power and money, that also throw themselves at these men.
Esler clenching his fists now. This.. woman.. so off-message, dissing other women. Get it back on topic, Gavin. We’re rubbishing Trump, remember?
GE: Yeah, but the women who ‘throw themselves at these men,’ as you put it, are not running for President. This is the guy who would have the most important job in the world, and I’m just asking you, Jan, whether you think he’s got the temperament to be President of the United States.
JH-H: I do. I think he has the temperament, and I think there are aspects of his behaviour that need changing.
At this point, imagine Esler’s producer screaming through his earpiece, “This isn’t working, wind it up now!” (or words to that effect).
GE: We’ll leave it there. Dr Jan Halper-Hayes, thanks very much, thank you.
The dialogue between Esler and Halper-Hayes could have been so much more interesting had Esler dumped his brief and instead explored some of the points raised by Halper-Hayes. As it was, it lasted just over two minutes. A classic example of an interview curtailed because the interviewee’s contribution failed to support the broadcaster’s agenda.