An Extremely Boring Video. Do Not Watch It. 502


I have managed to get hold of a copy, which you can see here, of my lengthy interview with Sky News about the Skripals yesterday, which Sky refused to put online because they allege I was boring. With the warning you might therefore be very bored, you may watch it if you wish.

Kay Burley then appeared to suggest in reply to persistent questioning from Teymoor Nabili that Sky News could not put the interview online as they did not record it and do not hold a copy, which is plainly untrue (and would be illegal under their broadcast license).

My perspective on the interview itself was that the interviewer became aggressive and sarcastic, increasingly shrill as the apparent effort to discredit me was not going well, and resorting eventually to asking about any old extraneous matter but the Skripals. I strongly suspect it was not me being boring, but the strange performance by Kay Burley, which motivated Sky to bury the interview.

But you must judge for yourself.

It is my policy when invited by journalists, to give considered and courteous answers to the particular questions which they ask. This is as opposed to what politicians do, which is to spout pre-prepared soundbites irrespective of what they are asked.

I appreciate that mine is a very old-fashioned approach, and may lead you to be frustrated about areas I did not cover. I also make no attempt to look slick or sound glib. I realise in this modern age that may not be good PR, but my belief remains that in the long term people will see me as a polite and thoughtful old gentleman, and feel less disposed to share the obvious contempt towards me of the media and politician classes.


502 thoughts on “An Extremely Boring Video. Do Not Watch It.

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  • Shock jock

    Kay Burley I’m afraid you were guilty of sloppy journalism and a very poor interview. As a Sky customer I expect a better standard of news coverage. I want considered impartial coverage. Mr Murray, being an ex diplomat of some standing tried to give very considered replies to your questions, some of which were trying to elicit a particular reply but Mr Murray was not prepared to dance to your tune. To subsequently call him buddy and say he was not particularly interesting is rude and will not exactly encourage other experts to appear on your news channel

  • Bernard Jeannin

    Thank you for your very sound analysis of the Skripal case which i share totally.
    It has been difficult for me to understand any motivation of the Russian state to undergo such a crime in the context of their presidential election and the upcoming World cup but they are among suspects like many others including State and/or Private actors.

    I am awaiting real evidence on what actually happened to make any jugement and hope that the real perpetrator will be severely punished.
    But, on the same time I doubt this will ever happen as it never did so for those individuals raising the false flag of WMD against Irak who are responsible for so many military and civilian casualties.

    • geoff

      While I agree that it’s not 100% sure that Russia is behind it – they are the most likely candidate and its not hard to understand such a states motivation.

      • Xavi

        What would the Russian state gain by poisoning a released prisoner with nerve agent on the soil of a prime antagonist, just before showcasing the new Russia to the world? That is pretty hard to understand.

        • geoff

          How about with Brexit looming, testing the UK alliances with Europe, sending a message to any ex-nationals who are not ‘loyal’ to Russia and creating solidarity at the same time. I’m not saying the Russian state did it, I’m just pointing out its not difficult to understand the motivation for the Russian state to do something like this.

          • Jo

            You have only got to see uk and usa performance at UN that this an attempt to discredit Russia as a stockpiler developer and user of chemical weapons supporting Assad…ultimate aim is to conjoin both and remove Russia from UNSC or at least remove power of veto from Russia so usa can take it over…that motive is a zillion times more realistic than Russia knocking off Skripal…who being involved in a David Steele and his handler set him up as a patsy against Russia…especially as he was more use to these black ops like that than as an ex intelligence officer with anything useful left to give….

  • Strangely

    Hi Craig. I’m glad someone has managed to save this interview with you. I watched it live but my technical incompetence meant I couldn’t get it saved. I watched it again online where Sky has a rolling 3 hours stream. As I struggled to record it, Kay Burley said that they’d had a tweet about your interview which (words to that effect) said “oh you showed him – will this be going online?” to which Burley replied (words to that effect) “oh yes, it’ll be on our website soon for you”.
    It never appeared.

    This is the second time I’ve noticed the two camera bit where Burley imperiously declares your perceived lack of techy TV knowledge. It’s around the 14m mark in your video….. The thing is that I’ve watched the full Aitkenhead interview which at the time of your Burley interview you weren’t privy to. This lack of knowledge led her to attack you and I’m sure that if you’d seen the full Aitkenhead video you wouldn’t have made the “cut” claims and that’s how her issue about defending the company she works panned out.
    Regardless of that, Burley claimed that there were two cameras, but study the full Aitkenhead interview and only one was used, just zooming in and out as the cameraman got bored. She also claims that the cameras are heavy and on a tripod, trying to minify you. To me, the single camera used is on a tripod. But they can be moved, pretty easily as I have watched my stepson at work with one of these things – he’s a pro TV cameraman; does Wimbledon, football, olympics, royal weddings, all that sort of stuff. He can move. But even so the Aitkenhead interview is just one camera being used. There may have been two in the room, but that’s not the same thing since there could have been 5 in the room… I also seriously doubt that a large camera was used for what was a simple interview. Horses for courses…

    One more thing. I’ve noticed Burley use it a lot. She butts in. So what, you may ask, so does Paxman. The thing is if you make a WhatsApp call, say, you will notice that the conversation becomes disjointed if two people try and speak concurrently. It’s the nature of the technology. Phoning Auntie Gladys it is just annoying….. However, Burley uses this as a way to make the interviewee (yourself, say) sound stupid. The live feed from the studio (Burley) isn’t interrupted, so you hear her asking questions and your replies aren’t heard correctly.
    It is a small point, but I think it is deliberate. It all seeks to demean the interviewee especially as in your case the interviewer is not fair & balanced and has an agenda. This doesn’t happen if they interview in the same way some actor plugging their latest film.

    • bj

      You are very rightly putting the finger on their (Sky’s) creative use of delays in the audio. It’s not ‘a small point’, this is how propaganda works. So yes, it is deliberate as you say. It creates the image of the interviewee being a pathetic stumbler.

      • Steve Evans

        I have see the full 16 minute video. But Birley quite clearly stated that the video isn’t 16 minutes long.

  • grafter

    Sky News ??? This shallow superficial clown of a woman clutching her clipboard of pre prepared establishment questions is about as dumb as it gets. Craig’s measured replies are beyond the scope of the airheads running Sky who know their viewers have the attention span of a goldfish.

  • Wilfrid Whattam

    Clearly Sky is emotionally insecure, and needs therapeutic assistance. The interview, up to the point of Burley childishly trying to defend Sky, was very interesting. I am not interested in being entertained, so I did not find the content in the least boring. Craig, you did not come across as some old duffer, just a sensible, knowledgeable person. Burley became utterley crass.

    • bj

      She even turned her back to the screen while Craig was still visible there. Utterly indecent.

  • Steven Hemmings

    Hear, hear. Much respect to you Craig. Have no doubt that the reason Sky have buried the interview, is they are mortified by the ineptitude and crassness of that moron Kay Burley.

  • A Biochemist Writes

    We heard this morning on the BBC Today Programme from an “expert’on social media” called Ben Nimmo, that we (the Brits) “just try to get the truth out there (on the Skripals) whereas Russia (is winning the media battle) because it just muddies the water.

    Not a hint of challenge from the insufferably smug (and grossly overpaid) John Bumfries.

    We learn afterwards that the ‘expert’ is a social information researcher from the impartial Atlantic Council.

    Ben Nimmo in fact is Information Defense Fellow, Digital Forensic Research Lab, Future Europe Initiative
    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/about/experts/list/ben-nimmo

    The Atlantic Council describes itself thus:

    Within a few years of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty in 1949, voluntary organizations emerged in the member countries of the Alliance to promote public understanding and support for the policies and institutions that would build collective security and peace. T¬his international network of citizens’ associations was bound together formally in 1954 with the creation of the Atlantic Treaty Association.

    http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/about/history

    In other words it is an Astroturf lobbyist media operation spouting NATO propaganda.

    The UK’s State Broadcaster has nothing to learn from PRAVDA.

    • Laguerre

      I particularly liked the bit where he said that the experience of Iraq, where no WMD were found in spite of the certainty of government declarations, was why Britain stuck so rigorously to the truth these days. Incredible, no?

      • Ultraviolet

        The fact that someone can say that in all seriousness in the week that Boris Johnson has been exposed unambiguously lying about his central piece of evidence in the entire case, and not be challenged on it, shows that our mainstream media has utterly failed.

    • bj

      Thanks for exposing the Atlantic Council. It’s an institute for the fine art of warmongering.

  • N_

    Brazil, which has the world’s 8th largest economy, is being destabilised in the run-up to the World Cup. The 50 families from the top of the hill, who tend to send their brats to US law schools, are using one of their weapons – the senior judiciary – to try to reverse what the “outrage” of Luiz Lula’s social reforms. Lula remains overwhelmingly popular and he will win the October 2018 election if the “families” haven’t removed him by then. He’s currently holed up in a trade union building defended by his supporters.

    None of the BRICS countries have backed Britain in the Skripal affair.

    Older hands will recall the US-backed coup against Hugo Chavez in 2002 when he was arrested but was released and returned to the presidency when the poor rose up in his defence – a sequence of events practically without precedent in any country.

    In Brazil let us hope the steelworkers and others who support the greatest president Brazil has ever had are able to resist the silk-suited inherited-wealth scum who are trying to overthrow him.

  • Rhisiart Gwilym

    Well done, Craig! You kept cool, courteous and good-humoured in exemplary fashion. You and George Galloway are two of the few high-profile terrier-dogs who are keeping sanity alive in this ridiculous black farce; or bull-dogs, if you like. Never let go, Craig! As for Kay Burley – “a ribbon for her hair” indeed! Silly bimbo. Should do well in corporate-media steno-hacking for the powerful, on the USAmerican model.

    One small point: Please re-consider your apparently-settled conviction that it’s now proven that ‘Russia’ – in some sense – killed Litvinenko. It isn’t. Maybe, true; but maybe not; not proven.

  • Monster

    Sky dropped the story because Kay Burley failed to get the appropriate responses..While she was pirouetting around with a clipboard repeating the absurd pre-ordained questions, Craig maintained his diplomatic dignity and didn’t fall for the John Humphrys-style ‘words in the mouth’ routine. Well done Craig, you are a hero in our office.

  • Older. Glencross

    Shame on sky and Kay burley her approach in her interview skills were disgusting !!!!!!

  • John Slater

    Even by its own account Sky News looks bad. It is suggesting that it chooses its news on the basis of how entertaining it is.

    • bj

      Sky news themselves engage in Chemical Warfare: what with the scandal of the drug-assisted wins of their cyclist Chris Froome.

  • Lynne Gill

    I found the most irritating aspect of this interview was the entirely lack-lustre questioning by Kay Burley. Her umming and ahhing, and rambling, poorly constructed questions . She really needs to go back to journalism school to re-learn the basics.

  • maggi adams

    You are a hero Mr. Murray. How lucky we are to have someone with your experience and courage on our side.

  • Syd Walker

    @Rhisiart Gwilym

    I agree with you re the Litvinenko case. It’s far from proven that the Russian State was to blame for that murder. If he hasn’t seen it already, Craig might care to watch a recent interview with Alexander Litvinenko’s father, who once believed the Russian State was responsible (and said so, very publicly) but has since changed his mind about that – see https://www.rt.com/news/422999-litvinenko-father-skripal-case-truth/

    One point I have yet to see made about the strange and heavily edited Sky News interview with the head of Porton Down is why it was a Sky News interview in the first place. Why not a media conference open to a range of journalists, including journalists who might just ask hard questions? This was the first time Porton Down had spoken publicly on the case and the public had a right to much greater transparency in the interview process. It’s important that we don’t become accustomed to – and therefore come to accept – such a bodgy process in matters of international significance.

    If someone has already made this point in the comments above, I apologise. I haven’t had time to view them all yet. There are only so many minutes in the day..

    • bj

      But it’s understandable Craig didn’t belabor the point a) to keep focus, and b) not to be painted as a conspiracy theorist.
      Always keep focus. If not, you’re lost. The power of editing is a real power.

  • knuckles

    What craig and others have to realize; polite and courteous will only get you so far in the world of 24 hour noise we live in. If you wanted to draw attention to your views craig you should have said mid interview ”what a obnoxious, rude, slag you are Kay” and got up and walked out. Instant viral. Job done.

    Unrelated – the OPCW should sample the ”tear gas” Isral is using on the peaceful protesters in Gaza for carcinogens.

    And Ex Director of the OPCW – Jose Bustani – on RT has claimed John Bolton threatened his children. WTF. Pure gangsters.

    • Ultraviolet

      No.

      That would have delivered a short-term frisson of delight, seeing that woman get what she deserved.

      But it would have prevented Craig from ever being taken seriously by the majority of the country. By being unfailingly polite, calm and factual, he will convince far more people than a viral video of him rudely walking out, despite the difference in the numbers who would see it.

  • steve williams

    I’d like to see the the full interview with the porton down person, He had better be careful, remember Dr David Kelly

    • Laguerre

      There’s a link on a previous thread. He is not in Kelly’s danger because he is not an expert, just a manager with no knowledge of the technical aspects.

  • DavidB

    I lasted 4 minutes, but not because you were boring. Rather, she is thick. Has she perhaps considered a career in Conservative front bench politics?

    Pretending to be a journalist.

  • Lisa Garbett

    Dear Craig,
    Boring? Are you kidding? You most certainly were not boring, quite the opposite. This blood boiling interview shows a shallow condescension of a woman trying to bully and manipulate a learned person into submission not for the honest persute of knowledge but simply for her own striding up and down glamour puss tv image and self serving agenda.
    Sincerely Disgusted.

    • Peter North

      Very well said Lisa. Exactly what I thought but was spluttering with anger too much to get the words out. Kay Burley came across like a vacuous arrogant tool. And her tweets posted above only reinforce that. Whereas Craig Murray was intelligent, reasonable, courteous and calm. No wonder they dropped the interview. It would have shown Sky in a really bad light. I sincerely hope they sack Burley and she ends up living on the streets.

  • Nick G.

    What a thoroughly unpleasant and unprofessional woman Kay Burley is. Her (not so) passive aggressive tone and body language were disgraceful and disrespectful. Kind of like a weird hybrid of Kathy Newman, Huw Edwards and Chris Morris in full “this is the news you sh*ts” mode.

  • Rhys Jaggar

    Reasons for the editor to cut it:

    1) Kay Burley expected a non-scientist ex diplomat to answer detailed questions about technical chemistry, when any first year TV presenter would line up an expert Professor of Chemistry as a second contributor. That disreputable Putin-appeasing Yank Peter Lavelle at RT manages to interrupt three guests every 30 minute Cross Talk episode after all….is it beyond Kay Burley to complete a balanced 20 minute segment interviewing both a diplomat and a scientist? Amazing that a 13 year old channel can run rings round God’s Gift to News, eh?
    2) The segment descending into puerile playground insults about knowledge of tripods etc was unworthy of Sky News and was correctly edited out. It came across as undignified when a simple piece by Sky clarifying Mr Murray’s questions would have satisfied ll concerned.
    3) The need to paint Mr Murray as an appeaser of Rusia would be soundly refuted by Mr Murray’s statement that, were Russia to be shown to be guilty, then current sanctions were wholly inadequate.
    4) The editor would not want to be seen as starting a witch hunt on a party which gives News Corporation unrivalled tax advantages, inappropriate access to- and influence upon Government decision-making.
    5) Giving Russia the benefit of a criminal investigation is also not the Party Line Sky has followed as an editorial line. To change policy on air would be an embarrassment too far for an Editor well aware of Murdoch’s ruthlessness in sacking editors who displease him….

    Nothing personal, I am sure, Mr Murray….

  • knuckles

    Regarding the ‘credit’ craig and few others are directing toward Porton Down and its employees in not being bullied into a corner by the political class; I think it is extremely naive.

    These people have supported and perpetuated the establishment line 99%. The wiggle room lawyer spear ”probably” only state actors is perfectly in keeping with ”type developed by” nonsense. They continued to insinuate Russia is responsible.

    Why they did not go whole hog – Russia did it – is to maintain a position of credibility for future events when their ”expertise” are called for again to confirm another fraud, (such as the Syria ‘sarin’ events that predated this). Hitch their wagons to such a shambles on an event and they could never be taken serious in future campaigns of war justification.

    In short, save your praise for these ‘scientists’ and their ‘integrity’. They do not deserve it.

    Look at who pays their mortgage and what for. In a former life they probably worked for the tobacco lobby or worse.

  • Marian Reader

    Craig Murray, I thought you were very interesting, spoke every word in truth and were very very patient with the awful Kay Burley. What is the matter with her? There is no need for such aggression ! She needs to learn to listen to the person she’s interviewing and show some respect!

  • Radar O'Reilly

    The silky Matt Frei currently hosting what appears to be the “MI6 information war phone-in” on the London Broadcasting Company, LBC news radio for London. http://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/presenters/matt-frei/. I might be wrong, but most of his partial guests seem to really believe that Russia has been at war with the west for the last 4 years. In all the talk of (rightfully) sanctioning the London based oligarchs as the USA has just done, there is strangely no mention that the Rt Hon. J.B. Corbyn MP for Islington North & Her Maj’s leader of the Oppo has been suggesting this for years

    However, isn’t it completely the other way around, (there was a telling US Kazakh ambassadorial memo from British embassy dinner a few years ago when Prince Andrew revealed this . . . http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/babylonbeyond/2010/12/great-game-wikileaks-turkmenistan-prince-edward-chevron-kazakhstan-kyrgyzstan-azerbaijan-turkmenista.html )

  • Martin Kernick

    Wow! What a cow that Kay Burley is! Nasty, shrill, interrogation receiving calm, measured and informative answers. Well done Craig.

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