28 November 2021, Sunday, 21:23
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BBC Journalist Showed How to Bring Lukashenka to Hysteria

BBC Journalist Showed How to Bring Lukashenka to Hysteria

Few people remember the dictator in such an inadequate state.

Aliaksandr Lukashenka’s interview with BBC caused controversial assessments, political scientist Valery Karbalevich writes in an article for Radio Svaboda.

The point is that Lukashenka considers himself an "outstanding polemicist." But his "polemical abilities" work under certain conditions. First, it should be a genre of pure interviews, when a journalist only asks questions, albeit sharp ones, but cannot enter into polemics or dispute something.

Secondly, it works under the condition that the state has a monopoly on the media. When no one can then expose, show where Lukashenka is telling a lie.

In this sense, Lukashenka's interview with the BBC became a shining example of what happens when these conditions are not present. Journalist Steve Rosenberg provided an example of how to counter the demagogic style of the interlocutor. He was well prepared, had the facts, and was no weaker polemicist than his opponent. Moreover, he did not need a long monologue to challenge Lukashenka. He interrupted Lukashenka's whole "impulse" with short but sharp questions and remarks.

BBC aired the interview earlier than BT, it was seen by many Belarusians. Thus, they set the agenda, created the appropriate information field. By showing their version of the show later, BT hardly broke the effect.

Lukashenka’s behavior was the main sign that the interview was not working out. I don’t remember him being so angry, aggressive, nervous. The standard prepared statements that he usually uses did not help. Lukashenka was so pissed off that he threatened to end the interview if the journalist behaved in this way. For some reason, he even answered an innocent question about Belarusian-Russian integration very aggressively. Because he could not return to normal. And this made a very bad impression on outside viewers, especially in the West.

It seems that after this embarrassment, Lukashenka himself and his propaganda headquarters will think carefully next time before agreeing to be interviewed by Western media.