Talk about scepticism
On Newsnight we've long hankered after our own website forum. With an opinionated, argumentative, computer-literate audience it's a marriage made in heaven. So, as we launched Talk about Newsnight this week our correspondents queued up to expose themselves to your views.
"This 'ethical man' crap has got to be one of the worst ideas Newsnight has ever had. An entire year? That's not serious journalism, that's moronic daytime-magazine-programme s***e. Good luck with the blog though." wrote Kate, rather charmingly by the end.
"Welcome to blogging Justin", added our business correspondent Paul Mason, in what I think was solidarity.
We launched the forum properly on Thursday and the timing - coinciding with the huge news of the foiled alleged terror plot - could hardly have been better. As our deputy editor, Daniel "King of the Blogs" Pearl, spends his evenings discovering, the great attribute of the blogger is scepticism. Sceptics duly flocked to his posting (also here), Peter Simmons summing up the mood.
"It now transpires that bottles of pop are suspect, MI6 must have just seen the Tango ads and thought 'whoo, that looks dangerous'. This is sounding more and more like a farce, dressed up by the government to frighten old ladies into not flying. Meanwhile, in Lebanon...".
Don't the trusting or the gullible ever go blogging?
As I write I've just noticed this, from the improbably named Gully Burns of California. Is Gully gullible, or just sensible?
"I live in Los Angeles. People here respond to the news with immediate relief and support for the security services. There is almost no thought of the secondary implications, or having any sort of suspicion that the timing of the event is in any way related to Lebanon, Iraq or any other theatre of conflict. I personally feel that congratulations are in order to the police for this coup. All the complainants on this post would certainly be shocked and horrified if the events described today had come true, and they would then probably be complaining that the police didn't do their jobs."
In truth, one of Newsnight's aims in life is to be heartily sceptical, so we can hardly be surprised at our viewers' demeanour. But personally my favourite piece of the week displayed no edge, no cynicism, no controversy. It was the rediscovered gem of Harold Baim's travel film showing the beautiful place that Lebanon was in the more innocent age of the 1960s (watch it here) - now a tragic and poignant document.
Perhaps you hated it?