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Friday, 20 March 2009

Auntie Joanna ambushed - comes out fighting

It might seem that when ambushed, you should run for cover, conceal yourself, get out of danger. McAleese's "Fighting Manual" realistically points out that when the enemy has put out a deliberate ambush, he has chosen the ground and set up his weapons. You don't have the luxury of choosing cover. As he says, the only realistic response is to come out fighting with aggression and determination:
"It's got to be "enemy left!" and straight in - as quick as that. If you start thinking 'Well, they could have a machine gun here ... should I, shouldn't I, could I, couldn't I, you're dead."
Mutatis mutandis, this applies to an ambush by the presenter on live TV. Joanna Bogle was ambushed by Jon Snow on Channel 4 the other day and came out fighting. She didn't equivocate, apologise, wonder whether it might be right to use a condom to save a life, or try to hide under cover of "possible theological opinions."

From the luxury of watching a rerun of the clip, we could all give advice on a phrase here, or a gesture there. But this was a sophisticated attack on the Catholic Church using the now customary tactic of having a nominal opponent while the presenter is the (much more experienced) real opponent. By aggressively getting in some points of truth and common sense, Joanna may have helped some viewers to see that there is in fact another side to this argument and that it is not just "blind dogma" or prejudice but a question of facts - what works and what does not work in saving the lives of thousands of people. Had she done anything else, she would have been publicly kebabed or simply betrayed the truth.

Have a look at the clip. And before you jump in to give advice, ask yourself whether you would have actually responded better in the heat of the moment to the outrageous assertion that Pope Benedict has "condemned many Africans to death."



H/T Patrick Madrid
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