I just stumbled across this Russell Brand interview, broadcast on Ch4 News earlier this year. It does not address anything making headlines then or now. Nonetheless, it feels like a wonderful antidote to what commonly passes for news.
Here is someone with real insight, based on a life once lived in great pain, talking such sense that even a hardened newsman like presenter Jon Snow starts to melt in his presence. There’s another interview on Youtube with Newsnight’s Jeremy Paxman, where much the same happens.
Why do these veteran journalists, journalism’s aristocracy, seek out Brand? And why do they give him so much time – Snow allows him 15 minutes! – to explain his worldview?
A few years ago, one could have imagined either of them treating him with derision for speaking like a “new-age prophet”. Now they seem to have a sneaking regard for him.
It’s almost as though these consummate “news professionals”, after a lifetime at the heart of the industry, have in their later years finally sensed the shallowness, emptiness for what passes for news.
If Brand can win over people like Snow and Paxman, maybe there is hope yet.