Last night I heard an interview with the head of the TV network in Cairo during the Mubarek regime.His answers to very pointed questions consisted of self justifications, mis-directions and outright lies – the kind we are so familiar with when someone is pretending that nothing bad happens in their life and, even though they were card carrying members of the government, nothing is their fault.
It was half way through this interview I suddenly realised that I had heard this kind of nonsense before – on television? on radio? in the news? No, it was much closer than that.I had heard it from my boss, for oh so many years.The pitch was always the same – it’s not my fault, it’s your fault,I am an innocent bystander. I didn’t pull the trigger and I didn’t pull the lever. there seemed to always be a mantra. And, as I thought more, I remembered an incident not 6 months before I left where an announcer accused me of destroying his programme because something had gone wrong in his studio.The crazy thing was the fact that he was some 600 miles away and I had no access to his studio.The ranting was the same, self justification, mis-direction and then leading to outright lies.
What is it that makes people do this? I believe it is fear and particularly the fear of self criticism, the fear of exposing oneself to being seen as making a mistake. The poor BBC presenter was as dumbfounded as I have been when he presented facts that were seen as considered fictions.The cycle continues