Friday, October 29, 2004

Fireworks night

Anyone switching on to watch 'Question Time' last night could have been forgiven for wondering why the BBC were televising a chimp's tea party, such was the level of moronic whooping, cat-calling and even wolf-whistling from the predominantly American audience. As a friend commented in a text, "It's a farce! Watch 'Trisha' for a more intelligent audience". David Dimbleby was like an exasperated secondary school teacher struggling to retain control over proceedings, repeatedly having to ask people to be quiet and not talk or shout over others.

Viewers could also have been forgiven for thinking the fireworks had come a week prematurely. No doubt in the interests of avoiding violence, panellists Michael Moore and Richard Littlejohn were kept at opposite ends of the desk, as far apart as possible. Moore was, however, seated next to David Frum, Dubya's speechwriter, who patronised him throughout and even began sneeringly calling him Mr Springer at one point.

Most pleasing it was to see Littlejohn squirming like an eel under a stiletto at having to grudgingly give his public support to the actions of Tony Blair, a man he loathes. For the most part, the Sun's firebrand was remarkably restrained, but then provided an explosive conclusion when, seemingly unable to rein himself in any longer, he embarked on a rant about Moore's 'Fahrenheit 9/11', labelling it a "tsunami of bile" which dishonours the memories of those US soldiers who have perished in Iraq.

Well, not really, Dick (may I call you Dick? Thanks.). You see, you can say a lot of things about that film, but two things of which you absolutely cannot accuse it are biliousness and a lack of compassion. Yes, there's undoubtedly intense dissatisfaction if not anger standing behind what the film says, but his arguments are made calmly, with reason and humanity. If you want to know what a "tsunami of bile" is, then why not read your own column once in a while?

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