I drafted the following contribution before I saw the news of the horrific shooting at the synagogue in Pittsburgh
I appreciate the opportunity to expose the vile anti-Semitism that leads to these attacks, whether coming from Jeremy Corbyn or any other source, including the BBC itself – often disguised as criticism of Israel.
Here’s the earlier draft:
Intelligence Squared US is an interesting debating forum, left-leaning since it’s filled to the brim with academics, but still worth watching because of the differing perspectives from the knowledgeable panel members and the often-fiery debates. There are several on the IQ2 US site and on YouTube stretching back many years.
Intelligence Squared UK, on the other hand, is not only a pale imitation of its US counterpart but has also mangled the US format beyond recognition – with ‘debates’ that are actually left-wing echo chambers with no room for dissent. And so you have Justin Webb, lately BBC North America ‘Editor’, chairing a lefty fest around the following leading question:
Is the Trump presidency causing irreparable damage to America?
For those of my esteemed colleagues who might watch the thing, I should state that Webb engages in a long, excruciating introduction, which is well worth skipping, except that, at 3 minutes in, he has something to say about his ‘interview’ of Obama, putting a humorous slant on it. I watched it at the time, and it was apparent that Webb had no idea how to conduct the interview and sat there mesmerised by the great man, like a rabbit caught in the headlights of his car. Well, I guess Webb’s capacity for self delusion is boundless. He probably also thinks he’s a good journalist rather than a propagandist.
There is one panel member, the lady journalist, who has a couple of sensible things to say about the topic, but apart from that the audience is also predominately anti-Trump and the entire thing is probably a waste of time.
However, while surfing through the IQ debates I stumbled on a podcast questioning whether Jeremy Corbyn is fit to become Prime Minister.
This was much more of a real debate, with Howard Jacobson and Anna Soubry crossing swords with Ash Sarkar (I’d never heard of her, luckily) and Chris Williamson (of whom unfortunately I had).
Jacobson is really impressive, especially with his scathing and hilarious opening attack on Corbyn for his anti-Semitism.
Apparently there will be a video of the podcast at some stage. Might be worth watching it with the sound muted when Sarkar and Williamson open their mouths.