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Politicians make terrible journalists

BORING: James and Rupert Murdoch giving evidence to the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee in the House of Commons

PHONE ON vibrate, feet up and popcorn in hand. The most anticipated show was about to begin…. The Grilling of the Murdochs.

As the politician’s favourite saying goes … ‘Let me be clear’, it was a damp squib. A total disappointment. What was I expecting? More than what we got for sure.

Where were the clever probing questions that makes you cringe yet hold your breath at the same time, where was the tension, the killer blow, the gotcha moments, where was the smoking gun. The only bit of excitement came in the form of ninja Wendy – Rupert’s wife, when she smacked the foam carrying intruder around the chops.

Instead, we spent, or indeed I spent two and a bit hours of my life (which I will never get back) watching a bunch of ineffectual MP’s playing to the gallery and the cameras pretending that they were in a bad episode of Law and Order Criminal intent. The one time they had to question the great kingmaker and his heir apparent, they crumbled like soggy garibaldi.

The other committee meeting on showdown today was the cross-party Home affairs committee which questioned the Met Police over the phone-hacking firestorm. Chaired by Keith Vaz, this meeting faired little better that the Murdochs’ committee. Although the questioning was better, here too you saw committee members unable or unwilling to ask the real relevant questions or hold people’s feet to the fire.

During these painfully long sessions we, the public learned nothing new. It perhaps only confirmed what we know already, never trust a policeman, never believe what you read in the press, rich people live in a completely different world, to get to the top you must never remember, and hindsight is a very good thing.

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