On the Miliband Loop

I’m actually with Ed on this one. Since, like the reporter, the public apparently has no listening skills, most people fail to realize he directly answers each question quite adequately.

Q: Labor thinks you’re saying the strikes are wrong, why aren’t you taking their side?

A: I *am* saying the strikes are wrong. And the reason is because negotiations were still going on. 

Q: Are people saying different things in private than in public? (Typical idiotic reporter question — let’s start a fight!)

A: I’m saying both in public and private just what I’ve said here.The strikes are wrong. Because negotiations were still going on.

Q: Have *you* said different things in private? (Fight! Fight! Fight!)

A: I’m saying the same thing to everybody. The strikes are wrong because negotiations are still going on. 

Q: Are you mad at the strikers? Has this impacted your familiy? (Does it make you mad? Are they making you suffer? Did they make your kid cry?)

A: I’m not talking about my family, thanks. The point isn’t about me, the point is the strikes are wrong, because we were still negotiating, and we need to keep doing that.

And so on. Every answer the reporter needs is in the initial statement. His questions are ridiculous in light of that.

But of course the reporter doesn’t want the official statement that accurately represents the views of the party as an institution. He wants a gaffe, a fight, a soundbite no one else is getting. A tear, a bit of anger about the personal question. A hint of internal strife (Labor in disarray!). All he needs is 30 seconds of gaffe, “Miliband testy about striker actions! Labour coalition fractures!” and he runs lead tonight.

Had the reporter asked a question that wasn’t answered initially, something that took half a brain to ask, I might have sympathy. Had he asked, say — “How did we get here? What are the long term fiscal pressures that push us toward this stuff? Is this both an efficiency problem and a revenue problem?” I might have some sympathy.

But no, every question he asks about it is to support the story he wrote in his head on the car ride over, a story that has nothing to do with a single issue of public policy — the Labour movement feels betrayed by the Labour party! Miliband defensive about throwing Labour movement overboard! Miliband upset about strikers disrupting his kids education! (Or alternatively — Miliband’s child’s education *not* upset by strike — Miliband out of touch!)

Fight! Fight! Fight!

Like a wind-up toy the reporter will keep asking his question until he gets the quote that fits into his Mad-Libs of a story outline.

As much as I’m sure Miliband is a prat, the defender of actually getting information out to the public about the Labour position here is Miliband. The person that really couldn’t care less about the value of information is the reporter. Though I doubt anyone will see that.

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