Screaming matches are not interviews

A memo to Jean-Luc Mongrain:

Acting like Bill O’Reilly doesn’t make you a better interviewer. When you invite a leader of the student protest movement on your show and yell at him like a madman, it doesn’t make people agree with your position more. In fact, people already agree with your position that protesters provoke police and that the tuition hikes are modest and don’t necessitate this kind of response.

So why are you yelling like a baby who thinks nobody is listening to him? You invited the guy on your show to speak his mind. At least let him speak.


Mongrain Clenche Porte Parole Etudiant 50 Dollar
Uploaded by mediawatchqc

UPDATE (Nov. 19): Mongrain’s contract expires next spring, and he doesn’t seem worried about his future.

UPDATE (Nov. 20): via Patrick Lagacé comes this example of classic Mongrain:

4 thoughts on “Screaming matches are not interviews

  1. DAVE ID

    MMmmmm what people? The sheep who listen to idiots like Mongrain? I don’t agree. I was a student who is still paying for his studies. 50$ may not sound like much but add to everything else that keeps going up and it begins to make it impossible to go to school. 5 years after graduation I felt guilty about going to the movies on cheap night. That’s how much in debt I was. Maybe you were in cushy pampers all your life, but to some ie a lot of people, 50 bucks is enough to break someone. Straw, camel, back.

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  2. DAVE ID

    Yeah overwhelming public opinion is always against anything that digs in their collective pockets without ever really thinking about it. They don’t want to pay taxes but they still want universal health care that works and fail to see the correlation. Please forgive my poor opinion of the general public at times and I apologize if I implied you were one of them.

    Mongrain is such a dick.

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  3. Tim

    Without wanting to necessarily reopen an old argument (beat dead horses much, do I?), I always found it bizarre that student union/associations protest against government decisions as though it were the government’s choice. The problem is that the government, at least in this instance, is faithfully representing a majority opinion and, in this instance, it’s a societal choice not to better fund higher education.

    If half the energy (and student money! Because student unions also reach into students’ pocket books) used to plan and execute these protests was spent on actually trying to convincingly present and argue their case to the public, that would exact twice the pressure on government.

    I mean, for God’s sake, you’re university students! This is the time to demonstrate exactly why society needs accessible education, to show exactly what it enables people to do. Business students should be building business cases on the long-term benefits of a societal investment in higher education; students of philosophy and the humanities should be presenting sound arguments and engaging the public in debate; communications and journalism students should be working to open up this discourse to the public (and thankfully, some have).

    But instead, more often than not, we turn to the most basic and rudimentary form of protest, and we’re surprised when we find our arguments treated in the most basic and rudimentary way—they’re ignored. Not that public protest isn’t appropriate. But uni students more than most should be in a position to offer better. And given the response up until now, I think they will have to offer better if they want results.

    There. Said my piece… Old Man Tim will retire quietly to his corner now.

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