Ill-judged Aubergine

“Good journalism has nothing to do with sucking up to would-be authoritarians but rather it demands brave truth-telling.”

CNN Chief Chris Licht is given the boot. The always excellent Margaret Sullivan explains why…


It’s Monday 12th June.

Good morning. The week ahead…

Monday: Legal attempts to stop asylum seeker camps being built in Wethersfield and Scampton are heard in the Court of Appeal

Tuesday: Evidence hearings begin in the Covid-19 Inquiry

Donald Trump will appear in court in Miami 

Wednesday: ITV Chief executive Carolyn McCall is quizzed by MPs on the channel’s handling of the Philip Schofield affair

Junior doctors begin three-day strike

Monthly UK GDP estimate

Thursday: 2023/24 Premier League fixtures announced

Friday: The Ashes first test begins

“I’ll tell you what’s toxic and I’ve always found it toxic. Aubergine. Do you like aubergine?”

Regular readers of the MMB will know we’ve a fairly short fuse when it comes to people playing it cute when being door-stepped by a press pack.

I’m yet to see an example of anyone adopting this tactic coming out with any credit and I’d include Gary Lineker – though there are many who disagree. However one thing on which we can surely all unite is that This Morning Editor Martin Frizell’s bizarre, smug response is a crashing new low…

Asked about the incident in front of a House of Commons committee Magnus Brooke, ITV’s director of strategy, policy and regulation said it was

“extremely ill-judged to say what he did”.

A disastrous visual at precisely the moment ITV were trying (and failing) to control the narrative. No wonder it didn’t go down well with his boss. As SNP MP John Nicolson observed:

“I wouldn’t like to be a young staffer going in talking to that editor about bullying given that that’s the way he treats the subject matter on camera in public.”

I thought it was interesting that at the PM’s immigration press conference after his photo op in Dover last week he took questions from the following:


Channel 5

The Daily Mail

The Sun

The Times

Kent Online

ITV Meridian

Hardly a broad spectrum is it?

Cat Interrupts Interview. Example 45,763


On the Inside Edge website – Tony’s A-Z of media training: 

G is for Gratitude:

Getting an interview request is a form of affirmation – journalists are interested in what you are doing or saying. But don’t let a warm glow cloud your judgement. As producers while we’re trying to get you signed up to the process we can be sweetness and light, but we could be jotting down at the same time the sort of challenging areas the presenter might lob at you when the camera is rolling. Accept that interviews can be robust but draw strength from effective preparation.


Be part of the MMB. Thoughts on this week’s content, or interviews you’ve seen, heard, or (best of all) done. We’re @insideedgemedia or just reply to this email. 


Aged just 55, Labour leader John Smith died on this day in 1994.

Highs of 25 degrees in Ipswich today and 24 in Glasgow.

And this week’s dog-pic-footnote…Stan has a new cushion:

Back on Monday. Have a good week.

Team Inside Edge

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