Sunday, February 14, 2010

Review: Gordon Brown With Piers Morgan

Ok, total honesty. Watching @sarahbrown10 talk about losing Jennifer made me cry.
Watching GB talk about it doesn't...
Gaby Hinsliff

I finished watching Gordon Brown's interview with Piers Morgan and find it difficult to decide whether it will have made any material impact. Putting party political points aside, I think there was little doubt that he came over well. Much more human than we've seen him before, but then again, with the standard of questioning he got, it would have been hard to have come across badly. He spoke movingly about the death of his daughter and his son's illness. It seemed genuine to me, with no hint of an onion being present. He managed to brush aside easily any question he didn't want to answer (like his sexual prowess at university) but at the end I wondered if I had really learned anything new about him.

It's interesting that in the first two advert breaks there weren't actually any adverts - only trailers for future ITV programmes. It seems astonishing they were unable to sell adverts during a much trailed interview with the Prime Minister.

I monitored Twitter during the programme. Several female twitterers were clearly experiencing an hour long multiple orgasm, while others on the left appeared a little more sceptical. Tory reaction was predictably mixed.

As an interview it stank. And I say this with some regret because I actually think Piers Morgan can be a very talented interviewer. But there was no probing, no exploring, nothing. It was just an hour long party political broadcast on behalf of the Gordon Brown Party. As I have written before, it clearly breaches various aspects of the OFCOM code and I suspect we haven't heard the last of it in regulatory terms.

If I were a Brown adviser this evening I'd be patting myself on the back for a PR job well done. But I wonder if I would be doing the same when reading the reviews in tomorrow's papers. Will it make any different to the polls? Time will tell. I'd like to say I doubt it. But I wonder...

41 comments:

Frugal Dougal said...

Well-spotted about the ad breaks, I hadn't picked that out.

POLIS said...

At this late stage nothing will make a significant difference - this was a charade. It shows how difficult it is to get genuine feeling into politics and how far celebrity formulae have reduced the media to something tepid and ineffectual. It's not Piers or Gordon's 'fault', but unless they are prepared to ditch the spin politicians are doomed to distance.

Pam Nash said...

Coming soon to a TV near you: 'Exclusive - Boris Johnson interviews David Cameron!'

Can you just imagine the outraged howls of Labourites?

On another note - GE to be announced in next 7 days? ;)

MTPT said...

Not sure about the ad breaks thing; suspect (given the way the programme was broken up) it had more to do with OfCom regs - trails don't count to the commercial quota.

Jim_Watford said...

I thought the whole thing was demeaning, surely the public won't buy into what was obviously a broadcast so one sided it wouldn't have been out of place in North Korea.

WV ingly

chris morrell said...

He will benefit... Good luck to him.

Jack Adlam said...

Unfortunately I believe politics is now more about personality than it is policy - live TV debates anyone!!!

Norton Folgate said...

Sorry but for me the timing alone of this interview makes it about as cynical a last throw of the dice as you can get.

He exploited a death in the family for some PR and pity votes.

If it works for him then look at what he had to use to keep power, if it fails look at what he did in the attempt to keep power.

Max Atkinson said...

I agree with pretty much all of this, thought hadn't thought about the regulatory implications.

He didn't really have anything to lose and, with an interviewer bowling one full toss after another (punctuated by cutaways to Sarah in the audience), even a non-cricketing Scot could hit them all to the boundary.

However, it won't surprise you to know that I didn't enjoy it half as much as I enjoyed Maggie's pioneering encounter with Michael Aspel in 1983 (http://bit.ly/aaOwVV).

Maybe I'm getting too nostalgic or old (or both).

green man said...

Iain, Itv is limited to the amount ads it can show due to ofcom Piers Morgans chatshow like itv news doesnt run ads because they use them all up during dancing on ice= 11 million viewers, Piers morgan = 6 million viewers

The same happens with the x factor other shows run only trails for ITV shows eg tv burp, youve been framed etc It also happens to Itv news at ten

trevorsden said...

"And I say this with some regret because I actually think Piers Morgan can be a very talented interviewer."

Nope - thats it. I have now officially lost faith in your judgement. You have found yet another labourite who you used to think was some good.

I don't beleeeeve it!

It would be a strange father who would be upset at the death of his daughter - but stranger still that the issue arose again, after 9 years. even stranger that brown seemed to use the same words he did when last asked about it several years ago.

iIs clearly a breach of broadcasting code and its also yet another example of Brown's laborious process of getting ducks in a row, one thing leading to another all carefully plotted out, testing the water, analysing the downside the upside the offside before putting off a decision.

Brownedov said...

A more relevant new video on Mr Brown is Douneray's new Held to account on YouTube.

Even the anti-Scots among you will find something of interest.

Bexifer said...

It makes me laugh reading the Labour supporters' Tweets about the show.

For the last few years they've been banging on about how we shouldn't judge Gordon on his personality, now it seems that's exactly what they want us to do.

To be honest, I found the interview boring, embarrassing and uncomfortable (apart from the part about his children, which was very upsetting, although Sarah Brown stole the show there I think).

I hate to say it, but it's almost like they're going for the sympathy vote. If not, then why talk about it now?

Kris Jones said...

"As I have written before, it clearly breaches various aspects of the OFCOM code and I suspect we haven't heard the last of it in regulatory terms."

Oh don't be absurd. As a pre-recorded interview it would have been cleared by handsomely paid compliance lawyers. If one wanted to take an absurdist position then every interview with a political figure is likely to show bias, in which case the only answer would be to bar all interviews with anyone with a particular bent. Fortunately the regulations are rather more sophisticated than that, allowing for impartiality over time.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I twittered about the ad breaks. Did you read my twitter feed Iain ?

interestingly the only advert in the whole show was for The Daly Mail ! Oh the irony.

Gallimaufry said...

Perhaps Campbell put a veto on mobile phone ads.

Daiinya Diamond said...

The ads are because ITV are only allowed to air a certain amount in primetime and will have sold most of the ad space during the more advertiser friendly Dancing on Ice.

Chris Wilson said...

I thought they skipped the adverts because Dancing on Ice overran?

hott said...

Comrade Stalin would have loved it, Iron Fist Brown, cynic mode off.
Blatent PROPAGANDA.

Frankie says, don't fall for it.

ILLIBERAL DEMOCRATS said...

From what I saw Brown looked pretty wooden when talking about when he got engaged.

It was so cheesy and reminded me a bit of when George Best was on Wogan completly blotto! The pre-meditated lines and coaching by Piers were really amusing when Brown would not reply to even non-intrusive questions. Brown managed to smile in the wrong places and really devalued his office by appearing on such a thing.

I think the media especially the Press have over-cooked this Brown interview. For some reason they want to give Brown a hand - They should not be doing this because sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind. It may destroy Gordon Brown but I would rather that than he destroy our country further.

This election is really Regieme change - The new Labour minions in the media may well get booted with the government. Lets remember the media are part of the new Labour project particularly the feeding of stories. People are starting to loose their respect for the media as well as they know Gordon Brown lies, the Labour party lies, the government statistics are manipulated like they were announced over a tannoy in the book/film 1984. It is like a huge artificial construct tettering on the abyss. Obviously there are some sections of the media that are more rotten than others whilst some are only loosly tainted with the Labour regieme.

I think in the end the media will turn on the hand that feeds it (New Labour). The repeated lies, smears, nonsense stories and general poison is going to explode back on Labour. It will be quite one firestorm i should imagine!

Rush-is-Right said...

I read the other day that Stephen Fry once re-defined the word "Countryside" as somebody shooting a gun at Piers Morgan.

Very funny.

OldSlaughter said...

Putting Gordon Brown with Piers Morgan was a stroke of genius.

This was the first time that Gordon hasn't been the biggest prick in the room.

Morgan would have to be interviewed by Sidney Cooke to achieve the same result.

Twig said...

I wonder if his PR savvy wife (friend of Piers Morgan) had any input into the scripting?

Could she be the ultimate "power behind the throne"?

I see many paralells between Brown and Mao. The social engineering and smearing of class enemies being the most obvious, and now perhaps we'll find that Sarah Brown is a latter day Jiang Qing.

God help us.

sarah said...

If people decide to vote Labour on the strength of this sham, then they deserve contempt.

The whole thing was an orchestrated exercise in profound electoral cynicism.

Guess what? It's working - nothing else is getting in the news.

Brown NOT fake? Come on.

It was an utterly shameless attempt to get middle-England votes.

Barnsley Bill said...

Have seen clips of it down here in NZ as well. As some commenters have already snorted in derision at the appalingly cynical timing of this ginger headed attempt at securing a pity f*ck by Brown I shall not bother.
BUT...
The government tell a private broadcaster when they can and cannot show adverts and the quantity allowed. YOU PEOPLE ARE TRULY SCREWED. IS THERE ANYTHING LEFT THAT A PRIVATE ENTITY OR PERSON DOES NOT NEED THE PERMISSION OF GOVT FOR?
22 years away and less desire to come back every time I look at a blog or paper from where I (less and less) call home.

Eddie said...

Many people are talking about the timing of this interview - just before a General Election. However there is another aspect to the timing, which has not been mentioned, and which I feel is just as cynical and manipulative.

The interview was broadcast at the start of a parliamentary recess. This provides the maximum time for the stage managed personality to sink into peoples consciousness, before they again see him in a political setting.

The interview was an advertising Puff, by a friend. Apparently the interview lasted several hours, we only saw the heavily edited parts of it - all those parts that were designed to put over a message, without exposing the PM for what he is.

Apparently Morgan has offered the opportunity for an interview to Clegg and Cameron - how very kind. You can bet that they will not be given such an easy ride by Browns friend.

Unfortunately, I think Brown will benefit from this. Hopefully the benefit will only be temporary, and the public will soon be reminded of the day to day Brown, not the gift wrapped one.

Moriarty said...

PMQs 24th February 2010

Speaker: Mr David Cameron!!

DC: Can I associate myself and my party with the expressions of condolence that the RH Gentleman spent 15 mins outlining a few moments ago in the hope of abbreviating the opportunity for questions. Does the Prime Minister agree with me that clause 8 section 3 of the Green Paper on Social Care contains a suppressed premise that puts it in mild conflict with Clause 6 Section 4 of the White Paper that is based upon it? Would he agree to meet with my colleagues so that we can remove the ambiguity and move towards a consensus on this most important of areas for the future of the country?

GB: As usual the RH Gentleman has NOTHING to say about policy! Why doesn't he ask me about policy?? The fact is he has no policy!! Mr Speaker all this oleaginous, slick, unprincipled, two-faced, publicity seeking, toffee nosed Old Etonian wants to do is attack my personality....

Speaker: I can see the Prime Minister is struggling so I'll intervene now...

miko said...

Iain
Reading the pages and pages of comments on all the newspaper websites following this story,I guess that about 95% of their readers abhor the appearance and cynicism of the man.

Do not worry,the British public is not stupid and indeed the public can and will be extremely thorough when May 6th comes in 11 and a half week's time.

Brown will be kicked out and the very long journey to sunlit uplands will begin.

Andy said...

I must correct you on the Ad break issue. It's entirely a technical issue in commercial TV that commercials in peak time are packed into the 7pm-10pm time slots where there are always more viewers. Check any other weekend and there are fewer commercials between 6-7 and 10-11pm. It is not dependent on the programme, there are simply no slots in that hour to sell.

Vienna Woods said...

Someone told me last evening that Cameron also did a blubbercast yesterday.

I wonder which of his Nothing Hill crowd advised him to do that.....idiots!

skynine said...

Did anyone else notice that he was unable to string together a coherent logical sentence? It was all repeating the first phrase of the sentence and often not addressing the question.

Alan Douglas said...

Loss of a child is indeed a tragedy. It is the loss of an imagined or created future.

I too am mourning loss of a future, which would have included my children and grandchildren, after Mr Brown deprived me of

a) my pension savings,

b) my business,

c) a major chunk of money after a one-sided tax year investigation, where I was done for not being able to PROVE certain items were not income, and

d) most of the surplus equity value of my main home, which my children etc would have had some future from, as well as covering my own old age requirements.

e) the ongoing prosperity which was a fact in the UK before he took over the country's finances, inflated bubbles, abolished booms, and saved the world.

Yes, I DO feel very sorry for Mr Brown's loss of future. But I simply don't have any sympathy to spare, being somewhat mired in my own problems, many of which were CAUSED or certainly exacerbated by our sympathy-seeking, "human" Mr Brown and his PR wife.

Not to mention for ALL of his VICTIMS, otherwise known as tax-payers, or even just residents of the UK.

What goes around ....

As Glasgow bus-conductors say "Come on, git aff !"

Alan Douglas

Elby the Beserk said...

@BarnsleyBill

I'd love to reply to your post, bit I haven't got permission ;->

You are right. UK FUBAR.

Didn't watch the show. Too much danger of apoplexy. Brown is a nauseating, nasty, broken goblin. And that's being kind

tapestry said...

What's the message?

Nice guys waste your money and then demand your sympathy. I'd prefer to have our economy back, if you don't mind, Mr & Mrs Brown.

The Purpleline said...

The Brown Piers ( I published faked Pictures of British soldiers committing war crimes) Morgan started with a legacy of 5.2 million viewers, this included some switching on to view.

This audience dropped by 1.2 million so when Labour claim 4 million or 5 million tuned in to Brown, we know they lost over a million viewers.
Ha ha ha Love it!!

BrianSJ said...

I think you are right to wonder... at the end. I suspect that there are people who would like to believe that Brown is not incompetent, selfish, aggressive etc.. (as per Bower book). This will give them the confidence to vote.

Patrick said...

I taped it....

but now I cannot bear to watch the gurning fool.

Anna said...

I didn't bother to watch it. I've never willingly watched Piers Morgan and saw no reason to change the habit. Nobody could fail to sympathise with the genuine sorrow of the Browns at the loss of their daughter and the cystic fibrosis of their son, but I thoroughly dislike populist appeals to facile emotions and sincerely believe our Prime Minister does himself a disservice by colluding in it. It is reminiscent of the hysteria surrounding the death of Princess Diana and the hounding of the Queen for showing dignity and restraint in the face of private loss. For sure public figures open themselves up to a degree of probing but not, surely, to a window on their souls to satisfy a slavering public.

Jabba the Cat said...

Brown was a one eyed Scottish git before the interview and remains one afterwards...

ElaineS said...

I'd like your opinion then of David Cameron going on teatime Scottish tv show The Hour to talk pretty much about similar things as Gordon was answering....a bit of a copycat and very hypocritical from Cameron considering he mumped and moaned as we say in Scotland about how it was wrong for Gordon Brown to do this interview. Anyone watching Cameron's interview will probably recognise ex Pop Idol Michell McManus.....or maybe they won't;-)
Gordon Brown was very true to himself......this is the caring, passionate about politics, humorous man that we all have known for many years and have a great love and respect for back home in his constituency and hometown Kirkcaldy. Its a good town and we have a great MP!
Heres Camerons recent interview.
http://entertainment.stv.tv/tv/157214-david-cameron-on-love-loss-and-politics/

Moriarty said...

I'm sure Elaine must be delighted that her "great" MP will soon have so much more time to attend to constituency affairs.