The UK’s oldest MP was running rings around the media at the Labour conference. During one exchange, Dennis Skinner left Huffington Post Deputy Editor Owen Bennett in what looked like an existentialist crisis after challenging the journalist’s fundamental beliefs.
‘You’re not somebody outside the perimeter’
Mid-way through the interview, Skinner flipped the conversation on its head with a series of questions for Bennett:
Do you think it was wrong for Nye Bevan [Health Secretary in the 1945 Labour government] to build the NHS, to save your life?
After a volley of questions from Skinner, Bennett simply replied:
Me personally? Well, I’m just here to ask questions.
But the MP for Bolsover wasn’t having it:
So why don’t you understand that you are part of society?
Read on...Support us and go ad-free
It’s time that you understood that you’re not somebody outside the perimeter – you’re involved. You are somebody that could be affected by all the proposals that you’ve heard today from Dave [Ward, General Secretary of the Communication Workers’ Union] and other people. But somehow or other you people connected to the television / media think you’re above it all. You’re not!
Through turning the interview upside down, Skinner shows that journalists often believe they exist outside of politics. But in reality, everyone – including journalists – has political opinions and ideologies which determine the questions they ask.
Watch the exchange here:
Dennis Skinner running rings around journalists at Labour conference. pic.twitter.com/uaSYRsq8so
— Left Design (@UK_LDC) September 26, 2017
Skinner, who has represented Bolsover since 1970, rounded off the exchange:
You’re vain, conceited, you believe that nobody should argue with you.
Giggling nervously, Bennett replied:
What? Me personally?
Yes! When you say it’s not your business, that’s what you’re saying. You’re fired!
As Skinner points out, journalists have political opinions the same as anyone else. Ideology determines the stories journalists select and how we report them. So citizens should be wary of anyone in the media that claims absolute impartiality. It does not exist.
– Read more from The Canary on the Labour Conference 2017.
Featured image via screenshot
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?