Mandy vs Marr – My take

I’ve always said that when the nuclear holocaust hits only two things will remain. Cockroaches and Peter Mandelson.

Based on the now (in)famous interview between Mandy and Andrew Marr, I can see why. There’s been a debate in the office between myself, David Brown and Will Sturgeon about this.

He is clearly a master in the art of controlling the media. I never thought I’d be defending anything Peter Mandelson said or stood for (I was first in line to cheer when he got pelted with green custard) but as someone who works in the dark art of PR, you have to admire the way he didn’t allow himself to get flustered by Marr. If anything, for most of the interview it seemed that Marr was the one with something to squirm about. It takes a lot to get a seasoned hack like Andrew Marr hot under the collar so Mandy clearly has something about him.

Now I’m not saying that politicians should evade questions but in a age where lazy journalism seems to be the order of the day, reporters have to be on their toes when interviewing especially when the subject is as wily as Mandelson. It might be that Andrew was having an off day, but I’m sure he’ll think twice before taking Mandy again in future.


2 thoughts on “Mandy vs Marr – My take

  1. OK Eb, we’ll call this a draw. You make a very good point that no journalist should interview Mandy without all his supporting facts. And the fact he gives a journo a hard time won’t mean Mandy can’t get back in front of the press when he has something he DOES want to talk about, because of the position he holds.

    So from a technical point of view – assuming this was just a sparring session between Marr and Mandy – then he comes out of it with a technical knock-out.

    However, assuming Mandy may have been there to in any way show the government is still united and in charge of the country then I still believe he failed considerably, showing himself to be arrogant, rude and dismissive of public inquiry at a time when we all have questions we want answered.

    Even if Marr came out of it with little credit, Mandy definitely lost any points he won for technical ability in being so out of touch.

    The danger with media training is assuming it’s all just a game where we sit around and score them on points because we know the rules of the game. The majority of people watching at home probably wanted answers, or at the very least credibility. Neither were in evidence.

  2. I am a very experienced media trainer and I thought Mandy was brilliant. Marr didn’t lay a glove on him. His one blemish was right at the end when he said the cabinet was united “against” Gordon when he meant united behind Gordon. By then Marr was so emasculated that he even kindly corrected Mandy and didn’t say something like “Freudian slip”…to make capital. He knew he was beaten fair and square. As for Mr Sturgeon’s interpretation above. It’s one view. But I don’t agree. On issues like this people tend to the view they want to see. I’m no Labour supporter but I think Mandy and lately Shaun Woodward (another hate figure) have done Brown proud. By the way check out my blog

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