HARD to make sense of this

Stephen Sackur makes it easy to see why the broadcast media today is, largely, such a waste of time. For every response Zizek gives, Sackur tries to mince it down into an easy take-home summing-up sprinkled with generalisations and cliché. This is the perfect example of BBC journalism, in which the programme – HARDtalk – claims to be tackling the ‘difficult topics of today’ and offering its audiences intellectual programming. And yet, what is serves up is a myopic presenter who continually interrupts the interviewee, refusing to allow him to answer with any subtlety or complexity. It’s a sort of liberal hegemonic Q&A that results in learning almost absolutely nothing at the end of it. Zizek seemed to capture the futility of the project when he said in the first half, I would need at least half an hour to explain this; and then, in the second half, that if people don’t understand they should read more. I have this vision of Sackur at a dinner party this weekend in south London somewhere, chortling with his friends about how he controlled Zizek and showed the HARDtalk listeners that communists and Marxists are just silly because Zizek admits he doesn’t have a solution right now. Sackur wants a ready-made world with ready-made answers. No wonder he’s such a Beeb celebrity.

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