Why did Huw Edwards act like a star-struck teenager in front of President Obama?

Why did Huw Edwards act like a star-struck teenager in front of President Obama?

They used to make BBC journalists out of sterner stuff. When David Dimbleby interviewed Bill Clinton, the former President complained that he was asking too many aggressive questions about the Lewinsky scandal. And when, decades ago, Robin Day interviewed the Japanese Foreign Minister on a visit to Britain, the Minister was dumbstruck to the extent that his aide said he’d need advance notice in order to answer the points Day raised.

Yet Huw Edwards was clearly so thrilled and flattered to be “invited” to interview Obama that he served up a series of questions that were about as challenging as a toddler’s jigsaw puzzle, and delivered in a manner of fawning supplication.

Halfway through the interview, Edwards actually asked the President for permission, no less, to ask him about the remaining nine months of his Presidency! And when he did pose something a little more searching – asking Obama to justify the comment that the UK really would be, in trade negotiations after Brexit, “at the back of the queue”, and not just towards the back of the queue – he allowed the President to get away with an outrageous dodge. Edwards’ last words sum it up: “Mr President, it’s a great honour to talk to you.”

Robin Day is no doubt turning in his grave.

It seems that the BBC, and Edwards in particular, regards Obama as some kind of God descended from on high to deliver his wisdom to the innocent British public – someone far too awe-inspiring to be interviewed with anything close to the pressure, let alone aggression, that British leaders have to face.

We deserve better. Edwards should go back to what he’s genuinely excellent at (presenting the news) and forget about interviewing world leaders until he can learn to do it with more intent.

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Article date

April 25th, 2016

Robert Taylor

Media Trainer

@RT_MediaTrainer

My main passion is media training, and I’m proud to be one of the UK’s most experienced and successful trainers in this field.

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