The dumbing down of British politics continues apace. Hot on the heels of Piers Morgan’s cringe-inducing “interview” with Gordon “Plonker” Brown comes ITV1’s next headline-grabbing contribution to enlightening the non-voters of this nation: Trevor McDonald Meets David Cameron.
(Full disclaimer: I worked on ITV1’s Jonathan Dimbleby programme, which many would argue was the last genuine attempt by the broadcaster to give attention and airtime to domestic political coverage.)
The Cashcroft-owned PoliticsHome headline for this story is:
Cameron faces McDonald grilling
“Grilling”? Sir Trevor McDonald, knight of the realm and ex-anchor of News at Ten, couldn’t grill a frozen beefburger that had been left to defrost on his kitchen counter for several hours. Ronald McDonald, of Golden Arches fame, could probably do a better job of examining the Tory leader’s policies forensically.
In the original Telegraph story, it says Cameron was asked to appear on Morgan’s show but declined, explaining that he preferred to do “something a bit more substantial”.
“Bit more” are the key words.
Let me remind those of you with short memories (ie, much of the Westminster village) that in 1996 News at Ten was reprimanded by the ITC (the predecessor to Ofcom) over its seven-minute interview with the then Tory premier, John Major. The ITC chairman, Sir George Russell, described Sir Trevor’s questions as “a little too friendly and relaxed”, and even “inappropriate”.
At one point, Sir Trev, whom critics accused of grovelling, said to Major:
I have been reading some of the interviews you have been giving to newspapers recently and what comes over is the extraordinary dedication you have for this job.
Bring on Dave!