Nobody outside of the UK would have known who Cathy Newman was until she interviewed Dr Jordan Peterson. She was aggressive in her questioning and clearly went in with the intention of obtaining a gotcha moment. But by taking on someone of the intellect of Dr Peterson it was Newman herself who experienced a gotcha moment when she couldn’t refute his defence of free speech.
She certainly lost that interview and was clearly not prepared for the consequences. She was savaged on social media as the interview went viral and has been viewed 8 million times on YouTube. Despite being the anchor of a national news program with 20 years experience in journalism Newman decided to play the victim by claiming how horrible internet trolls were being to her. Her employer Channel 4 thought these comments were so troublesome they called in the police and security experts to deal with several death threats she received.
Now Newman has done a feature interview with the Guardian UK to again cry ‘poor me’ and to decry free speech on social media and how there is too many men on the internet. The article begins with Newman at home juggling her responsibilities as a working mum when she says while running around the house “I don’t know if you leave the house in a serene state, but I’m always rushing!”.
Much is made of her being the first female anchor of Channel 4 News and lists all of the major news stories she has broken throughout her career. Once she sits down she describes her interview approach “I don’t get nervous. Routinely not. As long as you’ve done your homework and you’re well prepared” and her goal is to be “quoted all over the front pages and set the agenda”.
However being on the otherside of the interview as she was with Peterson is “terrifying” and she blames social media companies for allowing her to become the story. Even though she admits “Was it my finest interview? Probably not” it is clear that Newman can dish it out but can’t handle being on the receiving end of robust scrunity.
She said the criticism and abuse she received after the Peterson interview was because “The internet is being written by men with an agenda,” Last time I check anybody regardless of gender can publish something on the internet. There are thousands of feminist websites saying all sorts of things.
She then calls for regulation of speech on social media stating that the mockery and abuse of women in the public eye “is not an acceptable way of doing business in the 21st century. Either the social media companies have to grapple with that or governments will”. Surely if a woman says something stupid it deserves to be mocked? Who decides what is mockery or abuse? Let us remember many feminists and other victim groups are easily offended.
She then goes back to talking about how hard it is juggling work and family but says “The only reason I can have a high-pressure job and a home and see my kids is because my husband [a writer] works from home. He does the cooking and shopping”. So its not really a juggling act then?
Next she discusses how blokey the journalism industry is and when she first joined “I just assumed in a few years’ time that would be a level playing field” and claimed she never wanted to champion the feminist cause “I [didn’t] want to get pigeonholed as a woman who writes about women’s issues and then I realised that if I didn’t, they wouldn’t get written about”.
She then reflects on #MeToo saying she was “surprised by how #MeToo took off as a hashtag. It was liberating to see women from all over the world, from all walks of life” but then says feminism needs to intersectional “Well, I’m very conscious that feminism can’t become a white-privilege thing”.
She then returns to the dangers of social media referring to how mortified she was when she posted on Twitter her experience being turned away from her local mosque on #VisitMyMosque day and Tommy Robinson then shaming the mosque for turning away a woman. “I mean, it was stupid. It was a stupid, stupid tweet; there was a horrible misunderstanding” as that mosque was not participating in #VisitMyMosque day.
The overall theme of Newman’s article is that she has not learnt anything from her interview with Peterson. She didn’t absorb what he said, reassess her own worldview and maybe approach similar interviews differently in the future. Like all feminists and leftists she has doubled down on her worldview and claimed she is just the latest victim of the patriarchy. Cathy, you lost the interview, get over it.