Jeremy Paxman interviews the Prime Ministers: A Newsnight special

This interview is about a very high profile event. The Iraqi crisis, which involves just about every political nation, has effect many countries in one-way-or-another. Some people have said it is a good thing, i. e. getting rid of the regime – which I might add is a good thing – but also some people have suggested that there was no need for the war, and that it was a bad thing, especially due to the fact that many innocent people have died because of this war. Jeremy Paxman did an interview with the Prime Minister Tony Blair.

From previous interviews taken by Jeremy Paxman, I can say that he is a very aggressive interviewer. He will interrupt his guest in mid-sentence, just to get his point in. As this is on television, I think that it is worthwhile talking about the setting, as if the setting is right, the audience will actually listen more too. Well the first type of setting I noticed was before the programme actually started. A short trailer came on, and was about the crisis on Iraq. It was a very powerful trailer, involving captions, which were of the past wars.

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These captions gave me a taste of what war was actually like, and possible what could have been in store for this war. I call this a part of the setting as it brings the interview into the audience’s mind. I think that putting in trailer just before the programme was a clever tactic, as it introduced the programme, and also showed us what could have possible been in store for us, if the U. N decode to go to war. The actual introduction of the programme followed this short trailer.

The introduction was very dramatic, and included clips of very high profile people, such as George Bush, Tony Blair and Saddam Hussein – the triangle of this crisis. This immediately said to me that this programme was going to be very professional, and that it would be a very important interview. I say this as those people have made every ones life what it is today – they are the people with the power to make change in this world. As well as having high profile faces on the interview, it also had very dramatic music in it. This music only emphasised how important this interview was.

This introduction also gave the interview a sense of supremacy. The first thing Jeremy Paxman said was, ‘Hello, and welcome to a special interview with the Prime Minister… ‘ The fact that this is a special interview, and that it is with the Prime Minister again gives it that sense of supremacy. As the programme is a special on such a high issue of agenda, it is obviously going to be proceeded in a very professional way. With such a high profile interview, really an audience watching this programme could not contemplate anything less.

The structure of this debate – as you would expect – is very well thought out. Jeremy Paxman has obviously had taken questions which the public wanted to be answered. Also, the studio has an audience, which is known as the ‘floor’. ‘The floor’ has obviously been pre-selected, inviting certain people from different backgrounds and from different parts of England. Due to the pre-selection, it avoids many popular questions to be repeated, as the producer of the interview knows what the question and points raised are going to be.

If the questions were repeated again and again, the debate would become boring, and wouldn’t run as smoothly as it should. The fact that ‘the floor’ is made up of people from different backgrounds and from different areas of England says to the viewing audience that this agenda involves everyone in England, no matter how clever, far away from London or whatever the case may be. Paxman is a very intimidating interviewer. He has the ability to put people on the spot with his quick thinking and quick ability to twist what the answers of a question may be on the interviewee.

Also he is able to put people under pressure very easily, making them play into ones hand. Due to Jeremy Paxman being like this, the debate is very vigorous and passionate. This then makes the actual debate a more true case, as there is less time for the interviewee to think up ways of spinning the questions. This is exactly what the audience will want to see, and also adds a little entertainment to this serious matter, as a debate with so much venom is very interesting to watch. The tone of the debate was very serious. Paxman was always trying to humiliate Blair.

This obviously made Blair Prone to making mistakes, by slipping up, and saying something that he really shouldn’t have done. Paxman’s style seems to be to put off or humiliate his interviewee’s. An example of Paxman humiliating Blair is when he follows up to a question saying, – quote – ‘Some people say that you are a poodle, Mr Blair. ‘ This was saying that Blair does anything that he is told to, much like a poodle (dog) rolling over or chasing a stick.

Another thing that Paxman said to Blair was – quote – ‘So if you and your friend do decide to go alone… This was being very patronising, and again insulting him. Tony Blair uses a lot of gestures to emphasise the points he is making, and in his replies to questions. This seems to look like a habit on his part – possible could have been taught to do it as much as possible. Much like Paxman, Blair was also quite forceful with his answers as well, and did put up an argument against Paxman, giving as much back as he could, although he may have been a little intimidated. However, when it was ‘the floors’ turn to start asking questions, very tricky questions came out.

Blair again put up a fight against all of the questions, answering them fully, and respecting their views. I think he had to do this, as when the election next came about, people possible would not vote for him, as he came across as an arrogant person. The studio also played a big part in the interview for the audience. The lighting in the studio was quite dark. This possible could have been to hide ‘the floor’ a little, as it did partially hide it, or maybe to make Paxman and Blair stand out more, as it was lighter on the stage of the in interview.

Behind Blair were a black background, and then a light on him. This made him stand out a lot; maybe it was there to give him more of a magnitude, especially when answering questions, or making a point. In the background behind Paxman was the famous bridge in Newcastle. This could be saying to the audience that Blair has bothered to come all the way up to Newcastle to talk about this matter, as every ones view counts. Also it must mean that that it is of the utmost importance. Also the camera angles were used to emphasise certain points.

The broadcasters will always be looking to put the camera on the important part of the moment, or on who is speaking – possibly going for a close up with that person. You will notice that when Blair made a response, the camera would be on him alone. This is because the audience want to know answers, and if it is just on him on the screen, the audience can concentrate on what he has to say a lot more easily. Media has many ways to make people stand out, to show certain perspectives of a topic or how they want information about a topic to be portrayed. Most of them can be seen in this interview.