Chicken Out of RPK Interview – HARDtalk or SOFTtalk?

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Sep 02 2010
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Launched in 1997, HARDtalk is the hard-hitting flagship news programme which is broadcast four days a week (Monday to Thursday) on BBC World News and BBC News Channel. The reason why the programme was so “HARD” is the fact that the programme is almost No-Holds-Barred in the sense that the interviewer will grill the interviewee upside-down by asking difficult questions.

The programme has grilled former U.S. presidents such as George Bush and Bill Clinton, not to mention the heated interview that provoked Venezuela President Hugo Chavez not many moons ago. It has also grilled Malaysian former Prime Minister Mahathir and controversial former Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

Just when everyone was waiting for the (probably) most interesting HARDtalk interview of all time in Malaysia history, BBC dropped the bombshell when it cancelled its plan to have Raja Petra Kamarudin (popularly known as RPK) on its programme 1st September 2010 (that’s today). BBC’s Bridget Orborne claimed that BBC decided to drop RPK after the network’s lawyers advised them that the show would expose BBC to legal action and upset the Malaysian government.

RPK and Wife

Blogger RPK who now lives in self-imposed exile in Britain can now claim the throne of being the most popular and controversial individual of all time since BBC’s Bridget Orborne admitted that the questions to be posed to RPK would be “very sensitive in nature” and critical of the Malaysian government. If BBC dares to “touch” former U.S. presidents, dictator Mahathir and even Hugo Chavez but not an ordinary citizen RPK, this loose-cannon cowboy RPK must be hell a person to handle.

Swarmed with criticism, BBC denied today that it was pressured to drop Malaysian blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin from its influential HARDtalk programme. BBC tried to beat around the bush when it said its research found out that interviewing the Malaysia-Today website founder would affect an ongoing court case in Malaysia. If BBC was trying to insult our intelligence it sure did a really bad job here. You mean you invite your candidate first before do your research?

Furthermore the job of HARDtalk interviewer is to pose question and let the interviewee answer it so which part of the programme that would potentially land it in hot soup? It’s like asking Bill Clinton if it’s true that Monica Lewinsky had indeed smoked his “cigar” and BBC is immediately slapped with a lawsuit. Get the picture? And since when BBC worry about kangaroo courts? Does this means BBC can be easily bought over as what many are assuming now?

 BBC Hardtalk Chicken Out RPK

Surely BBC is not another “Barisan Backbenchers Club”, no? The fact is political pressure has indeed comes into play in this latest axing of RPK’s interview. Maybe Prime Minister Najib has made the correct business decision in contracting APCO Worldwide, an award-winning global communication consultancy, for about RM77 million to rebuild Malaysia (or rather Najib’s?) image domestically and abroad. APCO has indeed done a good job in “persuading” BBC to drop the interview.

Sure, deny as much as you like but the perception is BBC’s HARDtalk has become SOFTtalk. Understandably without asking RPK questions which ultimately will link current Prime Minister Najib Razak to the murder of Mongolian beauty Altantuya and the controversial submarine deal that is tainted with corruption element, HARDtalk interviewer would look really stupid.

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http://www.publicaffairsnews.com/panawards/previousawards07 – Cached – Similar

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“…..they reacted with fury. BBC’s intelligence source against the liars, government weapons scientist David Kelly, died suddenly, a supposed suicide. They neutered BBC—Britain’s national public network, purged BBC’s leaders and acted to crush all media opposition.

…..a case which was cooked up during Spring, 2003, when LaRouche addressed Great Britain over BBC…” Unquote.

You be the judge.


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