Tim Blair


New Criterion



Tuesday, April 29, 2003

This sharp description of Late Night Live comes from Philip Gastropod Adams himself. Quoting someone else, of course, but still on the money.

Phil tells us he can disprove it by having the occasional right-winger on as a guest. Like today's David Frum, apparently.

If 10% representation for a majority viewpoint is balance, Late Night Live, and Auntie, can fairly be described as balanced.

Not so our Phil. Frum joins the queue of people who don't wear the "Bush the marionette" thesis that Phil holds as an article of faith. Will Frum succeed in educating Phil where hundreds have failed?

Is there some tension in this plot? Can't feel it myself.

Still, it is interesting that from somewhere has come the message that a gesture must be made. The result is always dangerous for the Gastropod who, without the assistance of his stable of stroke-pals, struggles to ask questions that aren't shown immediately to be ignorant and bigoted.

As he does on this occasion.

Jewish intellectuals are out of place on the right of US politics, asserts Phil.

Wrong, says Frum. Anti-semitism is stronger on the liberal left, eg among African-Americans. The religious right is not anti-semitic. George W Bush is not evangelical, he's a Methodist.

And so on.

Does Phil fight? You're kidding. He just moves on to the next item on his script.

He does stand up for the UN, but. How's that for standards. France the arbiter of correct international conduct. Libya the guardian of human rights.

And when he has a stroke-pal as his next guest he sniggers at his caricatures of Frum's views, like an early adolescent deals with sex.

Will Phil learn? Never.

But a bigot is never without a friend; himself.

If you want to know what it means to be out of your comfort zone, listen to the audio of Monday night's Late Night LIve.