IT was not Emily Maitlis who overstepped the mark with her truth-laden monologue on Newsnight.
Yes, it was an extraordinary opener, but these are extraordinary times.
The coronavirus death toll in Northern Ireland is thankfully low by international standards. That doesn't mean that Stormont shouldn't be subject to searing scrutiny, particularly over care homes.
But across the Irish Sea, things are much, much worse. The UK has the highest excess death rate in the world. So, let's forgive Emily Maitlis for her powerful, passionate opener. It's not a time for mincing your words.
The prime minister's chief adviser has made a mockery of the very lockdown rules he helped to write, and he lacks the humility to even say sorry.
One individual's indiscretion can be unimportant on so many matters. But Dominic Cummings has jeopardised public health measures designed to save lives.
His decision to cross the country while he had Covid-19, and Boris Johnson's endorsement of that, has undermined trust in the Government at a time when maintaining it is crucial for the collective good.
People told to self-isolate for 14 days to protect others will now think that they, too, can decide for themselves whether or not to comply.
I've listened to Maitlis's magnificent monologue countless times, and it's not just that I personally agree with it. I can't for the life of me see how it's factually inaccurate.
"Dominic Cummings broke the rules, the country can see that, and it's shocked the Government cannot," she said.
"The longer ministers and the prime minister tell us he worked within them, the more angry the response to this scandal is likely to be.
"He was the man, remember, who always got the public mood, he tagged the lazy label of 'elite' on those who disagreed. He should understand that public mood now. One of fury, contempt and anguish."
One line - "we do not expect to be joined by a Government minister but that won't stop us asking the questions" - sealed it. This was public service broadcasting at its finest.
Those complaining that Maitlis is aggressive and rude must never have watched Jeremy Paxman and Andrew Neil, or is it only men who are allowed to be confrontational? After a rebuke from the BBC for breaching "impartiality guidelines", Maitlis took the night off Newsnight. Let's hope she comes back and, most importantly, is every inch as fierce as before. When I first entered journalism, Newsnight was unmissable.
It stayed that way until Jeremy Paxman's departure. It became one big yawn under his replacement, the toothless Evan Davis, and seemed to have passed its sell-by date.
In recent months, the programme has been strengthened by the appointment of Lewis Goodall as policy editor. Night after night, he brings to our screens blazingly brilliant and incisive packages that pull no punches.
You will not find a more naturally talented broadcaster, and it's all the more impressive in one so young.
In our social media age, journalism can be too much about selfies and celebrity when it should be the story that is left, right and centre.
Maitlis opened Newsnight with a striking soliloquy last month, as well. You don't survive coronavirus "through fortitude and strength of character, whatever the prime minister's colleagues tell us", she said.
"This disease is not a great leveller, the consequences of which everyone - rich or poor - suffers the same.
"This is a myth which needs debunking. Those on the frontline right now - bus drivers and shelf-stackers, nurses, care home workers, hospital staff and shop keepers - are disproportionately the lowest-paid members of our workforce. They are more likely to catch the disease because they are more exposed."
There was nothing balanced about Maitlis's words, and they were all the better for that.
'Impartiality' should never prevent speaking truth to power.