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The Dictator and the Fool

Control of the media is key to any dictatorship. The state broadcaster is a branch of the ruling party and a definite part of the government. In the West a lot of work goes into keeping the relationship between state broadcasters and the government at arm's length. But a problem can arise when a journalist from a Western state broadcaster interviews a representative of a dictatorship. Now, members of a dictatorship deserve to be given a good journalistic grilling. The key words here are "good journalistic". On too many occasions the reporter hasn't done his or her homework before the interview and doesn't listen to the answers the dictator gives. The result is an ill-tempered, aggressive and just downright rude interview. I've noticed that the more uncertain of themselves a person is, the more aggressive they tend to be. None of this would matter too much if it wasn't that in the dictator's world the state broadcaster is a branch of government. Rudeness and aggression from an interviewer is interpreted as a reflection of the Western government's attitude to the dictator's country. One fool interviewer can do a lot of damage. You  would think that the people who run state broadcasting in the West would take their responsibility to not to let reporters with less than half a brain loose on dictators or their spokesmen. But from some of the interviews I've heard recently, they don't.

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