One line from a French MEP put John Humphrys firmly in his place
Another day, another episode of BBC Radio 4‘s Today programme. And another day of listening to John Humphrys prop up the government with his insidious sneering.
But on 17 September, French MEP Nathalie Loiseau put Humphrys firmly in his place. Loiseau told him:
That’s weird – I’m not a spokesperson of the government, but you’re not either.
Humphrys was interviewing Loiseau about Brexit and Boris Johnson’s plans. He started the interview by describing Johnson’s disappearance from a press conference in Luxembourg as a “stitch-up” and “a bit of an ambush”.
One Twitter user described this as the “last straw”:
John Humphrys calling what happened in Luxembourg a "stitchup & ambush" is the last straw for me. I wont be listening to @BBCr4today again.
A dreadful waste of vital political journalism time, every day.#r4today
— The Sceptics Gospel (@ScepticalGospel) September 17, 2019
Others called out the supposed “balance” of BBC journalism:
Today's BBC 'balance' when it comes to political journalism;
Boris the Bigot's trip is described by John Humphrys as an EU 'stitch up' & 'ambush'.
The Luxembourg PM's comments on Brexit, when faced with a no-show from Boris the Bigot, are compared to a 'rant' & a 'rave'.
— People and Politics (@peepandpol) September 17, 2019
Loiseau’s one line wasn’t the only time she put Humphrys in his place. She also questioned what Humphrys meant by the concept of “work” on any Brexit deal:
John Humphrys works for Brexit Broadcasting Conservatives. https://t.co/9aPgd7X3N7
— Pascal Jacquemain 🔶 #FSFA #the5million #fbpe (@jacquep) September 17, 2019
Meanwhile, many people celebrated her handling of the interview:
‘You are not a spokesperson for the government!’. The best put down ever to John Humphrys! #bbcr4today #r4today
— Sadiq Bashir (@HarriSiddiqi) September 17, 2019
John Humphrys just took one to the nuts when the French En Marche MEP reminded him that she wasn’t a government spokesman and neither was he. #r4today
— Iain Macintosh (@IainMacAndDog) September 17, 2019
Although, as one person pointed out, he is an ’embarrassment’:
Embarrassing to listen to John Humphrys’ complete abandonment of impartiality on #r4today this morning.
Resulted in @NathalieLoiseau having to point out: “I’m not a spokesperson of the government- but you’re not either”. #Brexit
— Mark Kelly (@marklkelly) September 17, 2019
Seriously, he’s still on the air
Humphrys announced his retirement in February. In fact, he stated that he should have left years ago. Unfortunately, he’s still on our airwaves. So, unsurprisingly, this resulted in social media users asking when he’s finally going to go:
@BBCr4today Been away from UK , back to hearing John Humphrys Government propagandist. Turn off to preserve sanity. When's he going?
— Julie Cuninghame (@JulieCuninghame) September 17, 2019
Retire John Humphrys already. He’s passed his sell by date.
— Meta Data (@JcanQueen) September 17, 2019
Luckily, the answer is soon. This week is, in fact, Humphrys’ last week presenting the programme.
Will it get better?
So while none of us will mourn the departing of a sexist dinosaur from our airwaves, the question remains whether the programme will actually get better in his absence. This tweet, while referencing Humphrys, also pointed out the myriad of problems with the show:
Good morning. Tory John Humphrys and Tory @marthakearney will be spewing Tory spin, lies and smears. You will hear mainly from other Tories covering all current Tory government propaganda and have stories read from Tory papers but no actual news.#r4today pic.twitter.com/1wLjEDVyO4
— James James #CorbynOutrider (@Tingaling007) September 17, 2019
And as this social media user highlighted, the chance of the programme improving while Conservative supporting Sarah Sands is editing is very unlikely:
She also had the true measure of the biased and increasingly incompetent John Humphrys, be glad when this dinosaur has left. Could Sands, programme editor, follow him out of the door please then maybe some balance can be restored, at last.
— Greybear (@Greybea25852222) September 17, 2019
So while Humphrys might finally be retiring, it seems we might still be left with only one solution. And that’s to join the hundreds of thousands of people who’ve already switched off their radios and abandoned the programme for good.
Featured image via YouTube – BBC Newsnight
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