First off we have to say kudos to Shelly Dass for getting that exclusive interview with the Prime Minister on The Big Story - his first one on one interview in several years (well if you count that staged interview with Anthony Wilson, Ria Taitt and Rosemarie Sant ahead of the last general election.)
Lots of back door plotting must have gone into this latest encounter.
At some points Shelly seemed uncomfortable, as if she was in awe of the PM and still couldn't believe he was sitting on her set. She played with her wedding ring quite a lot and slouched down over the desk. Mr Manning seemed to tower over her throughout the interview. At one point she asked him with a half smile "Mr Prime Minister, why are you doing this?", in response to a very aggressive caller. She also didn't sound sure about the website address for the Fifth Summit of the Americas; and she kept saying "I have to ask you this question...". Why tell him that? Because he clearly saw all the prepared questions ahead of the interview? Where was the element of surprise?
Well we knew Mr Manning was really running that interview when, in response to a question from Shelly about Mr Big, he said "There is a difference between information and evidence. (Pause) I say no more." and Shelly happily moved on to the next caller.
Well after the Big Story ended, Giselle Legall of Y2G fame read the 10pm news. She looked like a deer caught in headlights. We will say no more.
Overall we felt Mr Manning answered the questions that he was asked, but the interview was not hard-hitting enough.
Well at least one media house suffered a case of envy. During the TV6 news on Wednesday evening...while they did use soundbites from the PM on the CNC 3 set and they did put up the Courtesy graphic, they also put up a graphic telling viewers that they had been asking the PM for an interview since March. While they were probably trying to show that the PM was playing favourites, they only succeeded in announcing to the whole world that the PM outright blank them. Steups!
Whose decision was it to put up that graphic?