Is this the BBC we know? On Wednesday night, during “Newsnight” programme presenter Jeremy Paxman had invited economist and Nobel winner Paul Krugan and former Greek finance minister George Papaconstaninou via live link from Athens to discuss about the Greek crisis and the economy.
However right at the beginning of the programme Jeremy Paxman, presenter in one of world’s most renommated broadcasters, managed the impossible: He offended Greece and his Greek guest.
Paxman said that Greece, “like a bad kebab”, faced the prospect of being “vomited out of the single currency”.
Startled, Giorgos Papakonstantinou, a Greek minister, who was appearing live from Athens, told the presenter: “Can I take issue with your ‘bad kebab’ analogy, which I find offensive.
“The Greek economy is in a crisis and the Greek people are going through a lot, and deserve some respect, and I really did not find that very appropriate.
Paul Krugman, the Nobel Prize-winning economist, who was close to Gordon Brown, shared the Greek politician’s dismay at Paxo’s jibe. “I think that was, actually, quite inappropriate, to say that the Greeks have done something terribly wrong,” Krugman said. (Telegraph)
Paxman’s literally vomiting comment triggered an outrage among BBC viewers who directly complained to BBC or via social media and condemned Paxman about the offensive analogy.
Video: first minute!
The BBC confirmed that viewers have complained about the “kebab” comment, but it is unapologetic.
“Regular Newsnight viewers will be aware of Jeremy’s provocative style and use of humour,” says its spokesman. “The comment was firmly in that tradition. The guests responded to the comment within the debate, which quickly moved on to a wider analysis of the situation,” said the spokesman.