What Lembit did next

First there was the venture into stand-up comedy. Then there was the throwing of his hat into the London mayoralty ring. And now he has a new job: as a presenter on Press TV, a 24-hour English language global news network owned by the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting.

The Telegraph reports:

The 45-year-old former member for Montgomeryshire is presenting a show called A Simple Question. … “It is necessary for me to work. I don’t see that Press TV is ‘controversial’: that is to pass judgment and it is not for one media organisation to pass judgment on another.” …

This week’s A Simple Question investigates how objective the news media is in the UK. “We want to explore whether it does a good job at keeping impartial or whether there are consistent cases of bias in the reporting that we see,” Ed Augustin, one of Opik’s assistants on his discussion programme, disclosed.

The channel was launched in 2007 with a pledge from the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad that it would be “free from all vices that have polluted the world”.

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  • *weeps quietly*

  • Wait a second, Lembit ‘loopy libertarian’ Opik doesn’t see Press TV as controversial, despite de facto control of it by the Iranian government? Seems as though he’s even crap at following his own political philosophy.

  • is it April 1st?

  • Like a lot of high profile (ex)politicians these days, Lembit sees no problem discarding his principles when there’s a chance of celebrity (or power, cough)

    Sorry, that must read very flippant but I just heard about the plans to cut legal assistance by almost half so I’m not feeling particularly generous today

  • Or Liberal for that matter

  • David from Ealing 7th Aug '10 - 11:33am

    Lembit wanted to be a comedian. Is this his latest joke?

  • @keehar
    “It’s as bad as Andrew Gilligan reappearing after his destruction of David Kelly”
    are you seriously suggesting it was Gilligan’s fault? What planet are you on?

  • As long as he’s not involved in politics we should be grateful for being spared the embarassment

  • Ian Sanderson 8th Aug '10 - 6:35am

    How does this compare with former Taunton LibDem MP Jackie Ballard – “From 2001-2 Jackie spent nine months living and studying in Iran. ” (RNID website).?
    How can one actually see “Press TV” or the program “A Simple Question” to make up one’s mind about the content?
    I come from the point of view that the illiberal and sexist policies of the Iranian government are abominable, but getting a western liberal view heard “inside the laager” might be a positive step.

    On a UK level, I personally would have difficulties with taking the shilling of the Mail, Murdoch or Desmond media, or in former times the Beaverbrook press, but I am aware that many people who oppose what they stood for, ranging from Liberal Democrats to Communists.have taken a different stance.

  • Matthew Huntbach 9th Aug '10 - 10:49am

    Isn’t this a good example of why we should be cautious over all that pushes us into having politicians with glib chat-show personallities? It is clear that Lembit Opik is so flawed in judgement that he ought never to have been allowed anywhere near to being an MP, yet our mechanisms put him there and must have done so in front of many more who would have done a far better job. Mark Oaten was another of this type. Not only were these two rubbish and damaging as Liberal Democrat MPs, they had the sort of self-promotional personalities which enabled them to be taken far more seriously than they deserved so they were treated by the media (which is also far too dominated by this personality type) as if they were party stars in a way which dozens of more decent and able LibDem MPs were not.

    On Jackie Ballard, living and studying in Iran is not the same as giving implicit support to its government by agreeing to a job paid by that government and which has the role of putting that government in a good light.

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