Holding out against the GotchaBots

I know nothing of Jeremy Corbyn other than that he’s reported to be about to win the leadership of the British Labour Party. The video above was literally the first I’d seen of him. But on looking at it I was struck by the similarity of his interview with the first I saw of Yanis Varoufakis interviewed by a similar GotchaBot. Unfortunately the interview with Varoufakis was removed from YouTube by the BBC almost immediately, but it had the same quality of a person trying to express clear views – with which one might agree or disagree – but being systematically harassed to undermine that effort so that the conversation could be corralled into the grooves of the gotcha talking points of the day.

I know nothing of Liz Kendall either, but as you can see she’s got the talking points schtick down pat and works them into the little crevices left her by the GotchaBot.

I’ve long thought that one of the main reasons that Julia Gillard failed was that she went from the appearance of being a feisty, Deputy Leader who said what she thought to being a talking points ZombieBot. People hate that. I think they do anyway, but that might just be my projection. I really really hate it. It makes me feel like we’re all going mad. Perhaps that’s why Corbyn is winning in the party. Not so much for his ideology, but because people want out of BotWorld.

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GrueBleen
GrueBleen
6 years ago

Hmmm. According to the very brief news item I saw, Liz Kendall “the Blairite candidate” came a longish last. And whatever the reason for Corbyn’s popularity, he won with a considerable absolute majority, and ‘New Labour’ has become ‘Old Labour’ again.

Maybe you’re right about Julia Gillard, though I’m not sure she became a real Zombiebot. I just thought her natural lack of sophistication and inability to really think anything through was her undoing – those things didn’t matter so much when, as deputy, she had a leader to do the real thinking (though he completely “lost it” too).

But yair, maybe – let us fervently hope – the Zombiebot/Gotchabot/whateverbot era is coming to an end. I’m not holding my breath, though.

GrueBleen
GrueBleen
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

What ? Are you so old and cynical that you just don’t have hope any more ?

So sad.

Sancho
Sancho
6 years ago

It’s very much in the media’s interest to break politics and policy down to trite talking points, and politicians oblige in order to have something rhetorically defensible and not vulnerable to the sort of sustained attack in that first interview.

As for optimism, it would be nice to think the public is tired of such sterile debate, but it’ll be a hard habit to break.

Some Corbyn/Sanders/media discussion I enjoyed at this link.

Laurence Millar
Laurence Millar
6 years ago

I found the interviews almost unwatchable; the questioning of the interviewer was obnoxious. Do the British like this form of dialog? Where did the long form interview go, where people are invited to explain their ideas and proposals, rather than constantly being interrupted? Is it the need for pace and action to avoid the riks that the viewer switches channel?

Pappinbarra Fox
Pappinbarra Fox
6 years ago

We need more of the one on one style of interview, done respectfully.
Gotchabots are so annoying that I clearly fall into the category Nicholas describes of people who hate that style of interview.

GrueBleen
GrueBleen
6 years ago
Reply to  Nicholas Gruen

The thing that I don’t get, and never have, is who are the GotchaBots doing this for ? is there some bgreat big audience “out there” that is just hanging out for its daily dose of Gotcha ?

because it isn’t you, and it isn’t me and, basically, it isn’t anybody I know. And it isn’t just for Rupert because they’re all doing it.

The only idea that suggests itself to me is that they do it for themselves – ie for each other and for each of them. It’s a bit like the fashion industry, I think and the people who indulge in “fashion’.