Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 30 August 2014

Russell Brand: Journalists are Stepfords

Russell Brand

Russell Brand reveals he is embittered by recent television appearances which strengthened his resolve about journalists.

The comedian recently caused a stir with his quick-witted humour during an appearance on US news programme Morning Joe.

A video clip, in which the 38-year-old lambastes anchors for lacking skill and continuously referring to him in the third person despite his objections, went viral.

He penned a piece for The Guardian about the experience.

"One of the things that's surprising when you go on telly a lot is that often the on-camera "talent" (yuck!) are perfectly amiable when you chat to them normally, but when the red light goes on they immediately transform into shark-eyed Stepford berks talking in a cadence you encounter nowhere else but TV-land," he wrote.

"When I landed in my chair, on camera, and was introduced to the show's hosts - a typical trident of blonde, brunette and affable chump - it became clear that, in spite of the show's stated left-leaning inclination, the frequency they were actually broadcasting was the shrill, white noise of dumb current affairs."

Russell also claimed crew members were rude to him behind-the-scenes. The experience further soured his taste for on-air programming.

"I was surprised by the soundman's impatient intrusiveness and yet more surprised as I stood just off set, beside the faux-newsroom near the pseudo-researchers who appear on camera as pulsating set dressing, when the soundman yapped me to heel with the curt entitlement of Idi Amin's PA."

He vowed not to let the experience dampen his desire to remain cordial, resolving production issues may have caused them to be curt.

The comedian also pointed to a similar bitter experience on UK's Question Time.

He used the anecdotes to make a larger point about political journalism.

"In this age where politics is presented as entertainment, it's the most entertaining politicians who ascend," he continued.

"...Whenever we see David Cameron or Barack Obama on the box - knitted brows, index finger and thumb of dominant hand pinched in that contemporary rhetorical fist, powerful but not too powerful - they, in spite of what they're telling us, are always covering something up: their true faces."

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