Friday, November 06, 2009

Jeremy Paxman admits to being 'hoodwinked' over Iraq invasion

In an interview last week, Jeremy Paxman - leading interviewer on BBC 2’s flagship
Newsnight programme - claimed that he had been “hoodwinked” by US government
propaganda prior to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. Paxman commented:

"As far as I personally was concerned, there came a point with the presentation of
the so-called evidence, with the moment when Colin Powell sat down at the UN General
Assembly and unveiled what he said was cast-iron evidence of things like mobile,
biological weapon facilities and the like...

"When I saw all of that, I thought, well, 'We know that Colin Powell is an
intelligent, thoughtful man, and a sceptical man. If he believes all this to be the
case, then, you know, he's seen the evidence; I haven't.’

"Now that evidence turned out to be absolutely meaningless, but we only discover
that after the event. So, you know, I’m perfectly open to the accusation that we
were hoodwinked. Yes, clearly we were."
(Paxman, ‘Is World Journalism in Crisis?‘, Coventry University online interview,
October 28, 2009. The entire interview is available here: