The Unsubtle Art of Non-Verbal Communication 407

Human beings can communicate by gesture and facial expression as well as by verbal language. In the following video, at 39 seconds in BBC presenter Jo Coburn is not communicating to the viewer – the director has switched back to her before she expects. She is however working very hard on communicating non-verbally to somebody, presumably the director, with quite an extreme facial gesture.

My question to you is this – what do you think she is trying to communicate with that facial gesture, and why? It is not a rhetorical question, your answers are welcome. You need to watch the whole video for context – it’s less than a minute.

407 thoughts on “The Unsubtle Art of Non-Verbal Communication

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  • SA

    “Oooh, he is not saying that is he, this was not meant to happen”

    And then of course the technical department sprung in with the loss of picture. Although Cascuani was still being heard loud and clear, she interrupted him to say we are loosing you now. I wonder what happened to him?

    • Baalbek

      we are loosing you now

      I could care less about they’re placebo affect, for its Saturday, irregardless, and now it effects my inner pedant as your know doubt well aware. But loose in place of lose and i loose my face quiet happily to point that out.

      Merci beaucoup monsieur ou madame! 🙂

      loose, lose
      The adjective loose, meaning ‘not tight,’ should not be confused with the verb loose, which means ‘let go’: they loosed the reins and let the horse gallop. This verb in turn should not be confused with the verb lose, which means ‘be deprived of, fail to keep’: I will lose my keys if I don’t mend the hole in my pocket.

      • SA

        Mercy beaucoup indeed.
        Of course I know the difference but I have to plead autocorrect sloppiness is the cause in many of these cases. But thanks anyway.

      • Simon

        That should be “couldn’t”, could not. As in “I could not care less about they’re placebo affect”.

        To say ” I could care less” can only mean that you care a great deal about their (not they’re) placebo effect (not affect). But other and contrary wise it’s “affects” my inner pedant not “effects”; and “you’re no doubt aware”, not “your know doubt aware”.

        Your inner pedant needs to get out more.

        • Nick

          I think it’s an American thing? – “I could care less”. Never made much sense to me, for the reasons you set out..

          Skitt’s law: any post which points out grammar or spelling mistakes in another post will (almost) inevitably have errors itself.

      • Herbie

        Thing is.

        She’s trying to pretend they’re losing him, but they are in fact loosing him.

        Letting go of him.

        Weird, eh.

    • Amber Trudeau

      June 30, 2018 at 07:39
      I wonder what happened to him? I wonder what is going to happen to him!! Doesn’t seem a good career move does it?

  • Helen Pender

    Technical difficulties too often beset BBC broadcasts if the govts agenda is being compromised. If this is the case here my reading of the lips in that nano second is “cut him off” but I’m not a good lip reader.

    • Hugo

      Very good lip reading !!

      The other translations might be “who let this #!&!ing honest journalist on my program?” or “pickle my nuts, NOW I’ve got to cover because you mis-managers cant train your journalists”

  • Richard

    It looked very much as though she was getting a message in her ear that they were about to ‘experience technical difficulties’ and she was scrambling with thought (her face was exhibiting fear characteristics) as to how to communicate a falsehood to her audience.

    I say this as experienced broadcasters are used to actual technical difficulties when receiving reports from the field. Its not an unusual or fear inducing circumstance.

    The difficulties only became apparent, if we are to take the commentary on face value, when the subject of the reporting turned to what those taking the case desired in terms of outcome from HMG and the intelligence services. If they had sought monetary recompense then the narrative could quite easily have been turned to “look at these greedy people”.

    • Hal Martin

      Shush. Paranoia and reading far too much into things are all the rage these days. 🙂

  • Derek J. Smith

    Not in itself strong evidence, I think, but fully consistent with the suspicion that the BBC is totally a tool of Oceania’s Truth Ministry. The topic being what it was, the whole interview was in the censors’ crosshairs hours beforehand. Interestingly I heard Seymour Hersh on BBC4 the other day opening the way for books on what really happened at Salisbury, and the Russians, it seems, are now being retruthed to be our friends again. But this is the only forum which gives a damn: if you want to go viral post kittens, God help us!! Hang on there’s someone at the door

  • Gutter

    She’s saying “He’s not supposed to say this! We can’t let him say this!”
    Quite amazing.
    For me, watching that clip has finally extinguished the tiny flame of hope I’ve been fondly nurturing, that perhaps the BBC isn’t so bad as it seems.
    The notion is no longer sustainable that BBC news actually comprises journalists reporting events, rather than secret service stooges saying what they’ve been told to say.
    Quite amazing.

    • willyrobinson

      “He’s not supposed to say this! We can’t let him say this!”

      Close. But there’s anger in it too though, so it’s more like “Just what in the name of [email protected]#K does he think he’s doing? Get this shit off now!”

    • Gutter

      [ MOD: Caught in spam-filter, timestamp updated ]

      On reflection, I think her anger is directed not at Dominic Cascani but at some unseen minion who had failed to press the ‘technical fault’ button the first time MI6 was mentioned.
      [Incidentally, shortly after I submitted my last comment my Fairphone 2, which I have had for a couple of years and which has never let me down before, suddenly died, and I have been unable to revive it. A strange coincidence. i hope!]

  • David Barrie Grieve

    The video did not show up on my device. (09:20)
    One is tempted to presume there may be 3rd party interference…

  • Simon

    Amazing, it’s even starting to look like 3rd rate propaganda. What an mask dropping moment.

  • Bob

    British Rule;

    Vigorous Interrogation Good, Torture Bad.

    Hellfire Missiles Good, Barrel Bombs Bad.

    Nuclear Weapons Good, Chemical Weapons Bad

    Liberal Humanitarian Intervention Good. War of Aggression Bad.

    Western Propaganda Good, Russian Lies Bad.

  • Phil Espin

    “Aw bugger, hope I don’t get the chop too, it was him that said it not me”

  • justguessing

    Clear as day. Coburn is an Establishment lackey to her fingertips while the BBC’s impartiality on a daily basis is being exposed as fraud it always was.

    Clearly the reporter (ex-reporter now?) wasn’t expected to be so definitive about MI6 involvement in rendition and torture in his report and had to be unplugged rapidly.

    I watch BBC and the rest of the MSM news/current affairs only for the entertainment value of spotting the spin. C4’s interview with the Russian foreign minister last night was a hoot.

  • Hector McGlumpha

    Oh Fuck. He’s telling the truth. This is the State Broadcaster – he’s not supposed to do that!

  • Kempe

    Welcome to paranoia central!

    If “they” didn’t like what he was saying why cut the picture but allow the sound to carry on? What else was he going to say about the case anyway?

    Because no other BBC outside broadcast has ever broken down like that has it?

    • frankywiggles

      Yeah live broadcasts from just outside parliament are always breaking down on BBC News or politics shows … happens so often.

      • Tom Welsh

        It’s actually quite understandable in technical terms, with Westminster being so many thousand miles from the BBC studios.

    • Nick

      Because the screen and sound going abruptly dead right after the “MI6 wot dunnit” moment would be so obvious that even you couldn’t explain it away?

      Jo was very clearly talking over him. Usually they proceed along the lines of “We seem to have lost the picture, bear with us”, but the report continues via audio and they usually try to “Get him back later”.

      Paranoia, no way.

    • SA

      She cut him out as he was speaking and we could still hear him. But Kempe, you missed the whole point of the blog: the look on her face!

    • David Penn

      Yes, Kempe, you may hay a point there, maybe it was just an unfortunately timed technical glitch. Looked most like that to me, though I’m willing t be proved wrong.

    • bj

      Well, it’s on record you came here to ‘paranoia central’ quite early.

      As to your concluding question — please give some examples (preferably with urls) to substantiate your implicit claim, as I’m not in the UK and don’t have television.

  • Sharp Ears

    ‘Ooh er missus. Ooh er Dominic. You have said too much too much. Must stop now or otherwise I will be retired from this nice little earner………’

    Robbie Gibb was the producer of Daily Politics until he went off to become Treeza’s ‘Director of Communications’. His brother is Nick Gibb, now Minister for EduKaShun.

    • Sharp Ears

      They are all in it together.

      Coburn is married to Mark Flanagan. He ‘ worked in Downing Street from 2005, where he was head of strategic communications for the Labour and Coalition UK Governments.’ Now he works for Portland Communications where he is the MD.

      Portland Communications Ltd is a political consultancy and public relations agency set up in 2001 by Tim Allan, a former adviser to Tony Blair and Director of Communications at BSkyB. In 2012 a majority stake in Portland was purchased by Omnicom.

      Incidentally, Coburn is a member of the congregation of Ealing Synagogue.

      • Sharp Ears

        The editor is Rob Burley. There is too much control of political programming in one pair of hands.

        ’15 Feb 2018
        [email protected]
        BBC has made Rob Burley Editor of Live Political Programmes. Rob will be based in Westminster and have responsibility for Daily Politics, Sunday Politics, This Week, The Andrew Marr Show, Westminster Hour and Newswatch programmes. He will also work with Head of Westminster and Political Newsgathering Editor Katy Searle during election debate specials. Rob replaces Will Boden who had been Acting Editor.

        Neither Coburn or Burley appear in the list of staff/expenses. Presumably they have private companies to which fees are paid or else they work for production companies.

        • Shatnersrug

          @Portlandcomms are behind the #FPBE twitter tag who’s trolls rather unimaginatively clog tweets from Corbyn supported with the bogus question “but when will Corbyn stop Brexit) whatever that means…

          Im not sure their entire purpose other than strengthening support for Brexit, in previously undecideds.

        • Shatnersrug

          Btw, I don’t think it’s just a case that they’re all in it together at all, I think Coburn is a Portland Comms Blairite, and I think BBC producers are Tories. Tories love seeing Blair and therefore labour (in their minds at least) getting the blame for approving rendition and torture. Coburn and was defending the liberal establishment.

          We shouldn’t think that just because they are against us, that they are one solid gang here, it’s more like a bunch of rats fighting in a box.

      • David Avi

        “Incidentally, Coburn is a member of the congregation of Ealing Synagogue.”

        Yes, Jo Coburn is J***sh”.

        How do I know that?

        Because you already told us about her membership of the Ealing synagogue a few weeks ago.

        BYW, “incidentally” to what, exactly?

  • Nick

    Fascinating moment and story behind it. For me Coburn didn’t need anyone in her ear telling her anything, she’s too well versed. Though probably even more unsubtle non-verbal communication off-camera with someone doing horizontal chopping actions in front of their neck.

    What will this do for the official narratives on things like the Skripal affair? I think a lot of people, who usually aren’t that bothered, won’t be happy we’ve been so definitively involved in torture and so definitively lied to. It could lead to some interesting consequences.

    • willyrobinson

      “For me Coburn didn’t need anyone in her ear telling her anything, she’s too well versed.”


  • Insighter

    Satans biggest lie and achievement is to have conned secularists it does not exist, whilst it is alive and well within certain human beings, the only question here is whether it is more inside a kay burley than this evil bitch. After the con it can achieve anything easily.

    • Simon

      Satan’s biggest lie and achievement was not to have conned secularists that it didn’t exist, the corporate Satan’s biggest lie and achievement was to convince believers, religious and political, that it was their God.

      E.g. “burn them all. God will know his own”, “we had to destroy them to save them”, “torture is OK when our side does it”, etc. etc.

  • Michael

    If you can be bothered, here’s another good example of non-verbal communication from a host:

    At 1:42 (it’s only 4 minutes long), Johnny Carson is holding up a photo that was suppressed, showing individuals who were arrested in Dealey Plaza in the immediate aftermath of President Kennedy’s assassination. As he is holding up the photo to the audience and TV screen, Johnny clearly looks past Jim Garrison to someone off-screen. Johnny then turns the photo around to look at it, removing it from the TV screen. He then says words to the effect that the other photos “won’t come out on TV” to avoid showing them.

    The look on his face at 1:42 is interesting.

  • squirrel

    As Richard says, I don’t think she is trying to communicate, she is reacting to a voice in her earpiece, I would guess ordering her to shut the interview down. She is momentarily flustered.

  • A

    She is reacting to her producer who is screaming in her ear something like the following “WTF!! SHUT HIM UP, INTERRUPT HIM, SHUT HIM THE F*** DOWN!!”. The deep state via their state propaganda MSM machine can’t possibly allow anyone on air to talk about MI6 having been implicated in the removal of Col. Gaddafi. And that’s essentially what happened there.

  • Guy Bloke

    At :39 Coburn is beginning to say ” Allright…”, she is listening to the Director telling her he’s about to pull, because the feed is breaking down, so she is prepping what she is about to say. On the reporter, the first glitch is immediately after the word MI6, but the lead up to that is ” admission by British Ministers…etc” so that’s when someone, somewhere, would have decided it’s not in the national interest to continue with the statement. So as the statement heads steadily toward evidence and detail, the feed gets progressively worse, to make it look like a glitch, then is terminated.

  • Nomatestype

    Those of you who are appreciative of great works of art may be reminded of the Chief of Police giving a speech in the first “Police Academy” film…

    • Tom Welsh

      Perfect! I remember it well. (And, although not relevant here, his uncanny martial prowess with golf balls).

  • Anon1

    The facial expression is saying “That’s a bit full on!” but the technical difficulties seem genuine as they begin much earlier in the broadcast.

    Alternative explanation: the technical difficulties were engineered in advance by Coburn’s zionist handler at GCHQ in readiness for Cascuani going off-piste so that it would look like a natural breakdown in communication and provide the perfect pretext to shut the interview down so that nobody would know about the MI6 involvement with torture that everyone knows about anyway.

  • Nicholas Woodward

    It appears she has been told in no uncertain terms probably and with unsavoury blunt language to get him off the air Now! I think her face conveys the shock of that language.
    Best regards and much admiration for your work.

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