|Dealing with Hostile Media||Frank Kimbal Johnson offers some guidance|
For obvious reasons, all journalists and TV and radio interviewers are not only well trained for their jobs, but also specially briefed regarding their employers' policies on key issues. And no matter how 'intrepid' or 'incisive' their performances before the public, the fact remains that any of them seen to deviate from these corporate policies will be summarily dismissed, with little hope of similar employment elsewhere.
Since the mass media have now become vehicles for fundamentally anti-British propaganda, it follows that their front-line hirelings are obliged to adopt an uncompromisingly hostile attitude to all interviewees seen to espouse patriotic causes. To put it bluntly, media monkeys will always dance to the organ grinders' tunes. It can therefore be taken as read that all political news items, election coverage, public debates and interviews are designed, among other things...
And since, unlike their opponents, many BNP supporters are unaccustomed to Media interviews, they can sometimes make a poor showing regardless of the merits of their case. Where TV and radio interviews are concerned they may well walk into a 'studio ambush' with a hostile questioner, with at least one equally hostile opponent on tap, will bombard the hapless interviewee with loaded questions, and then at once attempt to interrupt any cogent reply. And if such treatment makes the interviewee understandably flustered and irritable, so much the better from the questioner's viewpoint, since it helps to reinforce the media contention that BNP people are an incoherent and unpleasant lot.
In these circumstances, and given the extremely rare opportunities for BNP representatives to make themselves heard in the mass media, they must ensure to be adequately prepared and briefed for any such encounter.
To begin with, all media inquiries should be referred to an authorised party, spokesmen or women, otherwise a 'no-comment' reply should be given. Secondly, these authorised representatives should be thoroughly briefed in BNP policy and preferably have undergone some special training in media relations and media management. Such training would best include media interview techniques and typical debating tactics. They can also even be used to highlight personal mannerisms, which give a negative effect, so that these can, where possible, be avoided in future presentations. Even the best of us have the odd mannerism of this kind, and it is up to us suppress it on public view!
Any good salesman will confirm that it's not enough just to "know your stuff," you must also know how to put it across. The BNP spokesman/woman must appear before the general public just as composed as any media or opposition representative. After all, we have to seen how an 'unelectable' Labour Party has been 'repackaged' by its spin-doctors in such ways as to enlist far more voter-support than its policies have ever deserved. By contrast, the BNP's policies are manifestly superior in every respect; what they need to attract greater support is adequate exposure and competent presentation. So while the volume of media coverage remains a serious handicap - only to be overcome as we make more and more news that cannot be suppressed - we can at least ensure that the quality of BNP personal and policy presentation is second to none.
Points to remember
Detailed advice and instruction in public and press relations, interviewing and debating skills is clearly a matter for BNP education and training seminars. Here, however, are some basic guidelines which I believe need to be followed:-
As a last tip, much can be learned by studying the public performances of prominent politicians and other well-known media figures, so that you can note their debating skills and interview tactics. Finally, be of good cheer! The opposition may own the media orchestra, but we have the best tunes!
EDITOR'S NOTE: The interview tips given here reflect the writer's personal opinions and should not be taken in all respects to represent the official BNP interviewee's handbook. There may be one or two suggestions with which some readers will disagree, though most will probably be endorsed.