01 December 2011

The importance of watching whole interviews: a salutary lesson

I'm glad now that I didn't go with my kneejerk reaction to contact the Met Police regarding Jeremy Clarkson, as the release of the full transcript of his One Show appearance shows that basically he was trying to be funny. Reproduced below:

Matt Baker: Now, at the end of a day where Britain has seen some of its biggest strikes, what we need is someone calm and level-headed.

Alex Jones: Yep, a guest with balanced, uncontroversial opinions, who makes great effort not to offend.

Matt Baker: And we've got Jeremy Clarkson!

[studio laughs]

Jeremy Clarkson: Thank you very much.

Matt Baker: So Jeremy, schools, hospitals, airports, even driving tests have been affected. Do you the strikes are a good idea?

Jeremy Clarkson: It's been fantastic. Seriously, never had … London today has just been empty. Everybody stayed at home, you could whizz about, your restaurants were empty.

Alex Jones: The traffic actually has been very good today.

Jeremy Clarkson: Very light. Now airports, you know, people streaming through with no problems at all and it's also like being back in the 70s, it makes me feel at home somehow.

Alex Jones: Do you know anybody who …

Matt Baker: [interrupts – inaduiable] – being on strike today?

Jeremy Clarkson: What, in public service? Of course I don't. No, absolutely. We have to balance it though, don't we because this is the BBC.

Alex Jones and Matt Baker: Exactly.

Jeremy Clarkson: Frankly, I'd have them all shot!

[studio laughs]

Jeremy Clarkson: I would take them outside and execute them in front of their families. I mean how dare they go on strike when they've got these gilt-edged pensions that are going to be guaranteed while the rest of us have to work for a living?

Matt Baker: Well, on that note of balancing an opinion of course those are Jeremy's views.

Jeremy Clarkson: I just … ! I was just giving two views for you!

Alex Jones: Well, we will be talking to Jeremy more later.

This is a textbook example of what is called "attitudinising" - adopting a particular position as a posture. Jeremy Clarkson doesn't strikers, I'm fairly sure. And he has a fairly duff line in comedy. But he's not seriously calling for the adoption of Chile's Pinochet regime in the US.

And next time I'll do my homework better before posting stuff off Twitter. I'm trying to up the number of posts but it's no excuse for writing complete cack. Sorry, people.

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