Today's Andrew Marr Show was as bad as it gets.
He is no longer a serious interviewer or journalist. Week after week, the "BBC flagship political programme" is used by politicians as a megaphone to get their point across with almost no direction, challlenge or scrutiny from Marr.
Labour have made quite a big thing recently about trying to deflect the MPs expenses scandal onto how the BBC spend their money (e.g. Foulkes attacking Maitlis), and whether this, or Gordon Brown's thinly veiled threat to the Beeb on this morning's show has any influence on how they report and 'deal with' politicians is up for debate...but Andrew Marr is slowly becoming the one person in politics looking weaker than Gordon Brown.
At least ten times Andrew Marr would try to follow the typical route of questioning...
He gives an example of incompetence, or fraud, or double standard, then follows it up with a question to be answered on this topic. But, yet again, as soon as he mentions 'the bad thing', Gordon Brown - on at least TEN occassions - interrupted with "Hold on, hold on" and went on a two-minute sound-byte filled speech where he has no question t answer, thus giving the interviewee a free reign on anything he wants to say on the topic.
When Marr does try, after a long gospel reading according to Gordon, to put in some framing of a question, or to query anything that has been said, Brown just talked over him. And by the time Brown had finished his lecture, Marr moved onto the next topic for supposed 'questioning', and we would go threough the same process. Brown didn't answer a single question this morning and he only received about three. Fair play to Brown, he's hanging on for dear life, but for Andrew Marr, if he watches a recording of the show, must be embarrassed by what he sees.
Whether it's Government ministers, the PM, Leader of the Opposition or Shadow Cabinet members, Marr has lost any sort of authority over his programme and it's content. If Brown/Cameron can just talk over him and avoid any scrutiny, then Marr is proving to be a weak link in the BBC's poitical team. Andrew Neil poses more threat to ministers avoiding an answer.
At a time like this, an interview with Marr was exactly what Gordon Brown needed...a 15 minute slot on BBC1 where he can preach to the land why he is worthy of office.
Unfortunately, Andrew Marr has got to either go, or search very hard for his political testicles.
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