Tuesday, March 21, 2006
I Am Smoking A Fag (Why Rod Liddle Should Be A Tosser But Isn't)
A lot of people seem to thing Rod Liddle is a bit of a tosser, and it is true that as he gets older he seems perversely to be trying to look more and more like Bob Geldof. At least you can't see the earring any more because of the unkempt, over-long grey hair. But, whatever, he becomes an Honorary Hero of the People for his remarkable appearance on Sky News last night. Somehow, Rod had persuaded Murdoch's televisual minions a) to have someone more interesting on than the usual b-list, brain-dead zombies from the Times and the Sun, ie himself, and b) to allow him to be interviewed in a Westminster pub. As I was in a pub myself at the time, I could not hear a word he said, but I am sure it was good. Anyway, there he was having what I assume was a verbal dust-up with John Lloyd of the New Statesman, when clearly it is signalled by the interviewer that it is Lloyd's turn to speak. Rod, not realising that the screen has been split rather than being filled entirely by Lloyd, reaches nonchalantly forward, grabs a fag, lights it and takes a big draw. A scene unlike anything seen since the 1960s, when interviewees used to puff away freely throughout the programme; and do you know, back then, not one single TV studio burned down? Rod's actions, however, have clearly stunned the producer/cameraman who is aware that Rod is still on view to however many people actually watch Sky when James Rubin isn't on (that was a joke). A hand is seen waggling at Rod in a "what the bloody hell are you doing, you can't smoke on telly" sort of way. Rod thinks for a second, then smirks and takes another puff. A medal for the man, please.